How To Adjust Lawn Sprinkler Heads (eXPERT Advice)

With so many different types of lawn sprinkler heads, it can be difficult to know how to adjust them.

Below we’ll walk you through the basic steps, but if you have any questions or concerns about your system, contact a professional before making adjustments on your own.

Hunter Spray Adjustments and Maintenance
Adjusting lawn sprinkler heads is important to ensure an even distribution of water to your lawn.
Adjusting becomes necessary when sprinkler heads cover areas where they shouldn’t or when they don’t cover areas that they should.
Different types of sprinkler heads require different adjustments, so it’s important to identify what type of head you have before adjusting.
Sprinkler head adjustments can be done easily at home with a few simple tools and instructions, but seeking professional help may be necessary in some cases.
Regularly maintaining and adjusting sprinkler heads helps to prevent water waste, save money, and maintain a healthy lawn.

Observe The Pattern Of Water Being Spread

The sprinkler head should be adjusted so that it covers the area you want to water.

The hole in the center of the nozzle has a smaller diameter than its outer edge. Make sure this hole is positioned so that it faces directly down on your lawn, and not angled to any side.

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Turn Off The Water Supply To The Sprinkler System

Before you begin, make sure that the water supply to your sprinkler system is turned off. To do this, turn off the main water supply to the house or building in which you have your sprinkler system installed. 

Then, if you have multiple zones on your sprinkler system (for example, if one zone has several heads), turn off all of those zones’ individual water supplies as well.

Finally, make sure that there are no leaks anywhere in the lines leading up to and down from each of these valves by checking them using a garden hose connected to an outdoor faucet like so:

Unscrew and remove both caps from one end of each line; then unscrew and remove either cap from the other end of each line (or both caps if there are only two).

Use a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle attached to it; then spray water into all three openings where they were previously capped until there are no more leaks coming out anywhere along any part of those lines!

Steps to Turn Off the Water Supply to a Sprinkler System

1.Locating the main water supply valve to the building or house where the sprinkler system is installed.
2.Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the main water supply to the building or house.
3.Wait for a few minutes to allow water to drain completely out of the pipes, so you don’t get sprayed when you start working on the sprinkler heads.
4.Check the pressure gauge, pressure relief valve or check valve indicator to ensure that there is no water pressure in the system.
5.Proceed with caution knowing that the water supply to the sprinkler system is turned off.

This table provides an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to turn off the water supply to a sprinkler system. By following these steps, you can ensure that water won’t be an issue when adjusting or repairing sprinkler heads, preventing potential water damage or wasted water.

Examine The Heads To Determine How They Are Attached

Examine the heads to determine how they are attached. Look for a small screw that holds the sprinkler head in place, or for a plastic clip or metal clamp. If there is no screw, look for a metal plate that can be removed by loosening its set screws.

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Remove The Old Sprinkler Head By Unscrewing It Or Pulling It Free With A Pair Of Standard Pliers

Next, you’ll need to disconnect your sprinkler head from the water supply. Start by turning off the water supply valve. If you have a hose attached to your spigot, turn it off as well. 

Then use either a screwdriver or pliers (depending on what type of sprinkler head you’re replacing) to unscrew or pull free whichever type of connection is holding your old sprinkler head in place.

Be careful not to break any pipes while removing the old sprinkler head; if you do, try using duct tape to temporarily seal up any leaks until you can get them fixed by a professional plumber or contractor.

Check The End Of Each Riser For Any Obstructions

Before you begin, check the end of each riser for any obstructions. Use a screwdriver to remove any debris or other objects that might be blocking the installation. 

Make sure the riser is clear of debris before installing a new sprinkler head to ensure proper drainage and performance.

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Install The New Sprinkler Head And Tighten Until Secure

To install a new sprinkler head, you’ll need to loosen the existing sprinkler head, rotate it a quarter turn, and remove it.

The new sprinkler head should be inserted into place and tightened until secure.

If you can’t get the adjustment screw started in the hole of your new sprinkler head, try using a hex wrench to get more leverage.

The most important thing when adjusting lawn sprinkler heads is that they are installed correctly. If this step is skipped or rushed through because it’s inconveniently located under your lawnmower deck, things will go wrong down the line and not just for you! 

How many times have you seen rocks thrown on driveways or sidewalks by someone who forgot to check for an exposed pipe before mowing?

Steps to Install a New Sprinkler Head

1.Turn off the water supply to the sprinkler system. Loosen the existing sprinkler head gently, using a pipe wrench, channel lock pliers, or a sprinkler tool key, and rotate it a quarter turn to the left until the head pops out.
2.Insert the new sprinkler head into the riser and make sure the nozzle is the correct size and direction for the area to be covered.
3.Hand-tighten the new sprinkler head into the riser by turning it clockwise until it’s snug. Don’t over-tighten it with tools, or you could break the PVC pipe or fitting.
4.Turn on the water supply to the sprinkler system and let the water run for a few minutes to flush out any debris that may be inside the pipes.
5.Check the water pressure and adjust if necessary, using the pressure regulator. Test the new sprinkler head to ensure that it’s functioning correctly, covering the desired area without overspray or dry spots.

This table provides step-by-step guidance to install a new sprinkler head properly without any damage to your system hardware. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to replace your sprinkler head in no time, and understand how it’s connected to the water flow system.

Raise Or Lower The Sprinkler Heads To Provide Coverage To All Areas Of Your Yard

If you want to change the direction of water flow, raise or lower the sprinkler heads. Generally speaking, raising your sprinkler heads will provide greater coverage in a shorter distance; lowering them will provide less coverage over a longer distance. 

You can also adjust their height to give yourself more control over where they spray water and how much they spray.

  • Raise your sprinkler head approximately two inches (5 cm) for every 10 feet (3 m) of the garden row you wish to cover.
  • Lower your sprinkler head one inch (2.5 cm) for every 10 feet (3 m).

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Turn On Each Individual Sprinkler To Test Coverage As You Adjust Them

Once you’ve found the appropriate height to place your sprinkler heads, turn on each individual sprinkler to test coverage as you adjust them.

 Make sure the water is hitting the ground and not your roof or fence. If it’s not hitting the ground, raise or lower the sprinkler head accordingly until it does.

Once all of your sprinklers are adjusted properly and are hitting their designated areas properly, turn off each individual sprinkler again so that you can move on to another area of the lawn without accidentally watering more than one area at once!

Rotate Each Head In A Counter-Clockwise Motion To Widen The Coverage Area

Rotate each head in a counter-clockwise motion to widen the coverage area. The water will spray wider, and it should cover a larger area. 

This is good if you have a large lawn and want to keep it evenly watered without wasting any water. It also saves time by not having to walk back around to the sprinkler head after it has been adjusted.

Adjusting a garden sprinkler head is crucial in ensuring that every inch of your lawn receives the necessary water supply. Check out our helpful guide on how to adjust garden sprinkler heads to avoid uneven water distribution on your grass.


Congratulations! You can now enjoy your yard in all its glory, knowing that it is being watered in a safe and efficient manner.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that provide more tips and insights on how to adjust your lawn sprinkler heads:

How to Adjust Sprinkler Heads | Sprinkler Supply Store: This article provides step-by-step instructions for adjusting various types of sprinkler heads, along with helpful tips from industry experts.

How to Adjust and Repair Lawn Sprinkler Heads | Lawnstarter: This article offers detailed guidance on how to diagnose and repair common problems with your lawn sprinkler system, including adjusting sprinkler heads.

How to Adjust Sprinkler Heads (with Pictures) – wikiHow: This article breaks down sprinkler head adjustment into simple steps that anyone can follow, with helpful visuals to make the process even clearer.


Here are some frequently asked questions about lawn sprinkler head adjustments:

Q: How do I know if my sprinkler heads need adjustment?

A: Signs that your sprinkler heads need adjustment include dry spots on your lawn, water pooling in low areas, and over-spraying onto sidewalks or driveways.

Q: How often should I adjust my sprinkler heads?

A: You should adjust your sprinkler heads at least once a year, and more often if you notice performance issues or changes in your lawn.

Q: Can I adjust my sprinkler heads myself, or should I hire a professional?

A: While sprinkler head adjustment is a DIY-friendly task, it may require the help of a professional if your sprinkler system is complex or if you’re unsure how to proceed.

Q: What tools do I need for sprinkler head adjustment?

A: Basic tools like pliers, a screwdriver, and a sprinkler adjustment key are usually all that’s necessary for sprinkler head adjustment.

Q: What should I do if I can’t get my sprinkler heads to adjust properly?

A: If you’re having trouble with sprinkler head adjustment, it may be a sign of a more significant problem with your sprinkler system. Consider reaching out to a professional to help diagnose and fix the issue.