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The Many Different Types of Sprinkler Heads

An irrigation system is separated into several different zones. Then water passes through the main valve and into a zone line, it will move into a swing line. A connector directs water into the sprinkler head itself and as soon as it’s activated by water it will extend upward.

Rotor sprinkler heads will rotate around so they cover a wide section of the yard. They are used mostly in open, larger areas so that fewer heads have to be installed. Micro-sprayers can be set to spray either a bubble sized mist or expanded to a 10-foot rotation. These are generally the sprinklers used in flowerbeds and other spaces that do not require a large amount of water.

When planning any irrigation system, you will need to determine the right kind of sprinkler head to use for every zone. Heads come in a number of different sizes and it’s essential that you select the right type of sprinkler head for your specific lawn.

Pop-up rotor heads are installed to that a wider portion is placed into the ground. When activated, the upper part of the head will rise into position before distributing water. Either way, the main difference between types of sprinkler heads is their spraying pattern. Let’s take a look at a few of the different spray options available.


Sprinklers with a fixed pattern are built in a way so that they remain stationary. They usually output multiple streams of water that thinly fan out from a central nozzle. In most cases, the water will reach anywhere from 3 feet to 15 feet. Additionally, the fixed spray can be adjusted to fit into a targeted area where it can range from 40 degrees up to 360 degrees.

Rotating: Impact

Rotating spray patterns are sprinklers that turn over time and are one of the best options for covering large, open areas. This type of sprinkler head can reach as far as 150 feet from the rotating head. Impact rotating heads are made from either bronze or brass so they are quite sturdy. Since this type of sprinkler head is generally noisy, it’s better suited for commercial sites.

Rotating: Gear Driven

Heads that are gear-driven rotating are usually built using plastic parts. They are different depending on the model and can spray anywhere from 40 degrees to 360 degrees. They are perfect for large yards in either industrial or commercial areas.

Rotating: Large Turf Rotor

We also have sprinkler heads that are used for golf courses or other areas where there might be large areas of grass that needs to be watered. One sprinkler head can spray up to 100 feet in all directions.


There are certain plants that will require delicate spraying. This is where micro-spraying heads come into play. Since this type of sprinkler head does not spray a lot of water, it is very cost efficient. Micro sprayers work well in small flowerbeds where water does not need to go very far.

When choosing a sprinkler head for your yard, it’s essential that you know your goals. Depending on the layout of your yard, hiring a professional might be a good investment.

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