We’re still in Smart Irrigation month, and I want to share our recent video on the three main types of sprinkler heads. It is important to know which kind or kinds you have, because the type of sprinkler head you have, determines how long the station (or zone) should be set to run. Some heads need a longer time than others for a variety of reasons.
There are two main sprinkler head types—rotor and spray. There is also drip irrigation, which technically has no head at all! Rotor heads, if you remember, rotate, so they are not watering the same area the entire time they are running, therefore, they need to run for a longer period of time than spray heads. The minimum I typically recommend running them for is 15 minutes, and that’s in a shady area. Usually between 25-35 minutes is a good time for sunnier areas with turfgrass.
Since spray heads are stationary, they pop-up and stay watering the same spot the entire time, they can run for a shorter amount of time than rotors. I usually recommend between 6 -15 minutes for those stations, depending on the plant material and amount of sunlight, with the 15 minutes being for areas in full sun and turfgrass.
Drip irrigation is different. Drip typically emits water very slowly, very minimally, so it oftentimes needs to run for longer periods—30 minutes at minimum or much longer in many cases. I caution you to know how many gallons per minute your drip is using before you just set it for an hour. I’ve seen drip that was using 20 gallons per minute, which is just as much as “traditional” spray zones! Unfortunately it cased very high water usage at the property before it was discovered.
Watch our latest Water Wise and I hope you make adjustments, as needed, to your watering schedule!