Adjusting Oscillating Sprinklers in 5 Easy Steps

59 - Sprinkler.jpg

Oscillating sprinklers often require cleaning or adjustment in order to provide necessary watering to lawns and gardens. Their nozzles can get clogged with hard water deposits and grit, which prevents successful water flow. If you need to do a sprinkler repair, or to adjust your sprinkler, here are some steps to help resolve the problem.

Step 1: Clean Nozzles

If you suspect there is dirt clogging your oscillating sprinkler, or you can see dirt build-up on it, try poking a hatpin or a long sewing needle into each nozzle along the spray tube. Poke and prod until you've removed any accumulated debris or dirt that might be obstructing the nozzle.

Step 2: Remove Nozzles

If the debris is too big, you might need to remove the nozzles altogether. Use pliers to extract the nozzles. You also may be able to simply unscrew them. Once you've separated the nozzles from your oscillating sprinkler, soak these parts in vinegar and water, then wash from both ends with a pin. Once you've done this, put the washed nozzles back into the spray tube.

Step 3: Adjust Spray Pattern

To adjust the spray pattern on your oscillating sprinkler, first loosen the screw on the sprinkler's dial arm using a screwdriver. Rotate the spray tube just a tad and then tighten the screw. Test the altered pattern by turning the water on. If you're still not satisfied with this adjusted spray pattern, repeat this procedure until you come up with a satisfactory pattern.

Step 4: Bend the Spray Tube

If your oscillating sprinkler's spray tube is made of flexible material, you can bend the tube to adjust the spray pattern to either narrow or wide coverage. You can also use this method to give it either a left or right bias.

Step 5: Adjust the Water Flow

If you have a large coverage area, you may need to turn the water up high to reach it all. Even this might not be sufficient sometimes, as you may need to move your oscillating sprinklers multiple times in order to completely cover your property. If you only intend to reach a small area with moisture, turn the water on low.

It's always a good idea to check your sprinkler regularly to see if a little dirt removal might be in order. Get to know the various spray patterns available on your oscillating sprinkler, and familiarize yourself with bending the spray tube - if your model allows for that sort of adjustment. When it comes to watering lawns and gardens, some experimentation may be necessary. Try a few different approaches until you're satisfied with the results. Oscillating sprinklers are wonderful, time-saving tools. But like any other tool, they're only useful if you use them correctly.

59 - Sprinkler.jpg

 Photo copyright Wikimedia Commons (