Bio Green Outdoor Services, LLC Lawn Care & Sprinkler Learning Center (703) 450-0034

Sprinkler heads should be tuned-up on a yearly basis to ensure optimal irrigation system performance. The most common time to perform the tune-up is at the start of the summer watering season.

To perform sprinkler head tuning, turn on each zone individually and monitor the performance of every head. Checking for issues such as a large amount of water around the head is important because it could be an indication of a leaking head or pipe. Other issues you should check for are broken heads or heads that are leaning. It’s also important to make sure that each of your sprinkler heads is free of dirt and debris, maintains enough clearance over the top of your grass, and that the heads have not sunken into the ground.

Knowing When to Adjust

In the event that you notice your sprinkler heads are not performing the way they should, the spray pattern is not correct, or the radius is going too far in one or both directions, then the sprinkler heads need to be adjusted. Adjusting sprinkler heads is a generally straightforward process, although it depends largely on the type of sprinkler heads in use.

Adjusting Pop-Up Spray Heads

To adjust a pop-up spray head, turn the small adjustment screw on top of the head. Adjust the sprinkler so that it does not spray on unnecessary surfaces or in places that you don’t want to water. It’s also a good practice to ensure that spray from each sprinkler head reaches the next sprinkler head in every direction, as sprinkler heads are designed for 100% overlap.

Adjusting Impact-Driven Rotor Heads

If your sprinkler system has impact-driven rotor heads, the adjustment should be just as simple as adjusting a pop-up spray head. To adjust the radius on an impact driven rotor head, turn the radius adjustment screw located on top of the head and in front of the nozzle. To properly adjust this type of sprinkler head, adjust the  screw so that it is just touching the water stream. You should notice a change in the way the stream looks. Then turn the screw until it is no longer touching the stream of water.

Follow-Up Check

Re-check your lawn for dry or wet spots in about a week or so. If you notice any spots that have not been watered properly, you can usually correct these issues by re-adjusting the heads. If the issue persists, there could be a spacing issue with the sprinkler heads and the system may need to be redesigned because the sprinkler heads are incorrectly placed.

For guidance and advice on tuning your sprinkler heads, call our office in Sterling, Virginia at (703) 450-0034 or visit our website at

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