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lawn sprinkler
Correct retic sprinkler heights

Lawn Sprinkler Heights

Whether laying our own lawn reticulation system, doing some repairs, or making a few changes when our lawns and gardens change. Correct lawn sprinkler and irrigation pipe placement is important to ensure so they are each protected from damage, and do not become a cause of a potential accident, and so the sprinklers do the job they are intended for and they get the best and the right reach for where we want the water to go on our lawns and our gardens.

Lawn reticulation sprinklers are often referred to as POP-UP sprinklers, the name comes from the action of the sprinkler, when the water is sent through the reticulation pipe, the head of the sprinkler pops up above the ground for the duration of the watering. When watering is finished, the sprinkler head recedes back beneath the lawn, and out of the way of being damaged or becoming a risk of injury to people.

Problems With Sprinkler Heights

lawn sprinkler
Incorrect sprinkler height - at risk of damage

The height of the lawn sprinkler when placed in lawns is important. If left too high - the sprinkler can be easily hit by lawn mower blades during mowing, not only causing the sprinkler to break, but in many cases, this can even cause the reticulation pipe under the ground to also snap. Which can be a timely or costly repair. People walking, or children playing on the lawn can also easily trip on sprinklers that are slightly raised, or even fall onto them causing personal injury.

The risk of damage to reticulation pipes is greatly increased if the lawn is mowed with a cylinder mower, which rolls a very large flat roller across the lawn during its mowing process. If a sprinkler is just 1 centimetre too high, the weight of the machine will push down on the sprinkler and break it, as well as often smashing the pipe below.

The responsibility of ensuring sprinklers are safe from damage during mowing, and do not cause injury to others, falls solely to the homeowner.

Correct Sprinkler Heights

A reticulation sprinkler should sit below the level of the lawn, so a person can walk over it without feeling the sprinkler beneath their feet. This is an important test, because often if lawns become spongy with excess thatch, a sprinkler can appear below the lawn level, however when the lawn is mowed and cuts away the spongy thatch, the sprinkler is still hit and destroyed in the process.

Usually 1 centimetre below lawn level will suffice to keep the sprinkler at a safe level, and it can still pop up more than enough to do the job it was designed for.

Adjusting Sprinkler Heights

In most cases, this is a very easy job to do. The “riser” which connects the sprinkler to the reticulation pipe can simply be replaced by a shorter one. In cases where this is not possible, top dressing to raise the lawn may be an option.

Distance Of Sprinklers From Paths

Lawn sprinklers should be placed so that the installed sprinkler is at least 4 centimetres away from the edges of paths. This allows the easy installation of Sprinkler Surrounds if required, protects the sprinkler from any movement of either the reticulation pipe or path over time, so it will continue to work properly for a very long time, and finally, if our lawns are blade edged during their lawn mowing service - our sprinklers will also be protected from damage during the edging of pathways.

lawn sprinkler

Sprinkler will be broken during edging
lawn sprinkler

Safe from edging or personal injury

Reticulation In The Garden

Finally, let's have a look at the reticulation pipe in the garden, chiefly we'll look at the black poly-pipe often used in many garden environments.

For more detailed information about regular white lawn reticulation piping - this is outside the boundaries of The Lawn Guide, so it would be best to check a quality garden reticulation site.

If sprinklers are used in gardens, they should be raised above the ground in order to effectively distribute water without plants blocking the flow pattern.

Black Poly-Pipe reticulation should be placed safely below ground level up to 10 centimetres deep, this allows normal gardening practices such as weeding, hoeing and raking to be undertaken without possible damage occurring to the watering system.

Where Black Poly-Pipe crosses into a garden bed from a lawn area, the pipe should be 5 - 10 centimetres lower than any trenched edging. This keeps the pipe safe from damage during blade edging, or spade edging of the garden bed.

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