written by Chris Mendelssohn, Sales Representative

One of the simplest ways to save water in irrigation is where you place your sprinklers. We’ve created a simple guide to help you design an efficient irrigation layout. There are a couple of things you’ll need to watch out for when placing sprinklers.

One of those is mixing types of sprinkler heads with each other (rotors, sprays, and rotary). By placing mixed heads together in the same zone causes water usage to increase by 10-40%. If you’re using spray heads in one section of your yard, make sure all of them remain the same type. You can change to a different type in an adjacent zone. This will ensure that each zone contains the same type.

The second thing to ensure is to irrigate the lawn with its own set of sprinklers and zone. Why? Shrubs and planter beds use less water than lawns and will need their own zone to control when they need to be watered. This will also allow drip irrigation to be set for your shrubs and planters as well.

Now that you know some things to watch out for when planning your irrigation, here is how you can begin placing them in your yard.

First step:

You’ll need to map out your yard. Divide your landscape into sections (or zones) to separate your lawn from your shrubs. This will help you decide which similar types of sprinklers need to be grouped into which zones.

Second step:

Draw in your sprinklers on your map. In order to ensure complete irrigation of your yard, employ the technique commonly referred as “head-to-head coverage”. What does this mean? It simply means a sprinkler should be placed where it sprays water to the head of the sprinkler across and next to it. Start by drawing sprinklers in the corners. If you draw the radii of each sprinkler, you’ll be able to measure if it will reach the opposite and adjacent sprinkler heads. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll need to place them around the perimeter and then one in the center – like so:


Third step:

Manage those curved areas. For curved areas, you can treat them as if they were squares or rectangles, by drawing straight lines along the curve:

Straight lines drawn to mark sprinklers

Straight lines drawn to mark sprinklers (diagram courtesy of Hunter Industries)

You’ll be able to easily calculate where to place each sprinkler head and use the “head-to-head” technique to make sure water covers this area.

*Tip: for large areas, place sprinklers 25-40 feet apart (i.e. golf courses, soccer, baseball, and sports fields). For smaller areas, place sprinklers 17-18 feet apart (i.e. residential homes, HOA communities, etc.)

Lastly, in order to maximize your placement of sprinklers to the fullest efficiency, use strip patterned, end, side or center stripped nozzles for odd shaped areas. You can also use adjustable nozzles that can cover an arc of 0-360 degrees. Using these simple principles and techniques will maximize your watering schedule and ensure even water distribution.