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How to Correctly Install Pop-Up Sprinklers

How to Correctly Install Pop-Up Sprinklers
August 23, 2019 Luke Porter

Broken and ineffective Pop-Ups are perhaps the most common issue with residential irrigation systems in Perth. We’ve all seen that telltale stream of water running down the street, just wasting buckets of precious water. And we’ve all been guilty of letting our lawn grow so tall that it blocks the spray, leaving green patches around each sprinkler and the rest of the lawn yellow. 

Below I’m going to address some of the most common issues we see and take you through the process of how to install your pop-up sprinklers correctly.

An example of Head-to-Head Coverage

First things first, you need to plan out the number of sprinklers you will be installing. Sprinklers should always be set out for ‘head-to-head’ coverage. This is where one sprinkler throws all the way to the base of the next. ‘Head-to-head’ coverage means that all areas in the lawn are being watered and there are no brown patches.

You will also need to choose the type of nozzle you use. We recommend either the Hunter MP Rotator Nozzles or Rainbird R-VAN rotary type nozzles. Rotary nozzles have improved water efficiency because their heavier droplets ‘cut’ through the wind. 

You can look up the charts for water usage and throw distance online or get them in person from any good Irrigation store.

You will also need to choose the type of nozzle you use. We recommend either the Hunter MP Rotator Nozzles or Rainbird R-VAN rotary type nozzles. Rotary nozzles have improved water efficiency because their heavier droplets ‘cut’ through the wind. 

You can look up the charts for water usage and throw distance online or get them in person from any good Irrigation store. Once you have carefully set out your new reticulation, you should perform a flow and pressure test to work out how many sprinklers you can have on each zone. 

We recommend installing PVC pipe to your lawn sprinklers. Many landscapers and DIYers will use LDPE (poly pipe) because it is cheap and easy to work with. However, PVC is the pipe of choice for professional Irrigation Installers due to its strength and ability to cope with higher flow/pressure. The PVC pipe should be buried minimum 200mm below finished ground level to protect it. 

When you are ready to install your pop-up sprinklers, we recommend installing them on Articulated Risers or ‘Swing Joints’. These are an assembly of pipe and fittings that connect the lateral pipe to the pop-up sprinklers. Articulated Risers allow you to easily set the height of each sprinkler without changes to the pipes below. They also allow for easy maintenance and protect against damage to the sprinkler if force is applied (i.e. when a vehicle drives over the pop-up).

FIxed Riser Vs. Articulated Riser
Concrete Surrounding on Sprinklers

For the pop-up size 100mm or taller is desirable. The taller pop-up shaft allows it to clear the grass and then pop back down lower than the ground level. By sinking the pop up 2.5cm below the ground it helps to protect it from damage by lawn mowers and cars, and the taller shaft still allows it to clear above the lawn. 

Many landscapers and DIYers use 50mm pop ups to avoid digging in the pipes but these are often either installed too high, an easy target for the car or lawn mower, or too low meaning in summer you need to mow your lawn every other day to prevent the grass blocking the spray.

Lastly, in areas that need extra protection we suggest installing concrete surrounds. These are ideal for Pop-Ups in verges as well as beside the driveway to protect against cars driving over the Pop-Ups.

So, there you have it! If you follow these instructions, you’ll have a very efficient system that is protected against damage. For further advice or a quote for installation don’t hesitate to get in contact with us! We’re always happy to provide advice.

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Founder and Director | Luke’s Landscaping and Irrigation Services. My focus is on all aspects of reticulation service, trouble shooting and installation with a strong emphasis on waterwise services and products. We also deliver a range of landscaping services. I aim to provide a professional and efficient service that stands out from other businesses.