Friday, August 5, 2022


Our county is now under what is called Stage One Water Alert. Among the rules is that we are to use 20% less water than usual, only water lawns 3 times per week, and no water runoff on pavement.

I can pretty much adjust my use and meet these goals. One thing that's been bugging me is a narrow strip of grass next to my patio. The sprinklers that were installed there...and throughout our yard...can spray up to 10 feet. As you can see in the picture above, that means the patio is getting as much water, or more, than the lawn it is supposed to water.

Luckily, this can be remedied easily and cheaply.

Rural life means adapting to a DIY lifestyle and, by necessity, I've learned how to repair and replace sprinklers. It's actually pretty easy...just unscrew the sprinkler and screw a new one in. 

Most sprinklers are buried pretty securely in the ground, especially sprinklers that have been in place for 15 years, as ours have. To make this job easier, I'll just replace the inner assembly, leaving the main shell in place.

First things first, I have to find a proper replacement. I found these Rain-Bird sprinklers at for less than six dollars. They're low-flow...up to 50% less than standard sprinklers...and only spray 3-4 feet out, just about perfect for this section of grass.

I get a plumber's wrench, unscrew the top, and remove the inner assembly. 

I do the same thing with the in-ground sprinklers. Then, I just screw the new assembly into the old shell.

The only downside to the new sprinklers is that you have to adjust the spray pattern. A screw on top allows you to adjust from 0-180 degrees. It's not too hard but you must have the sprinkler running to do this, meaning you're going to get very wet.

The adjustment mechanism is also something else that can break on this sprinkler, it feels like it compromises the quality but we'll see how this goes. I'd rather have a fixed pattern, like standard sprinklers, where you can just get the sprinkler with 45,90, 180, or 360 degree patterns built into it.

Once the sprinklers in this section were replaced, the water usage has gone down fairly dramatically. You can see that just a few drops land on the concrete of the patio now.

Darryl Musick
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