How to Choose and Use Lawn Sprinklers | This Old House

How to Choose and Use Lawn Sprinklers | This Old House

the key to keeping a lawn healthy during the summer is to water deeply and infrequently different parts of the country have stresses on their lawn in the south it gets really hot they need more water down there and then your soil type plays a big pot in how much water your lawn needs a sandy soil will dry really quickly a loamy soil holds water and a clay actually holds the most water all right well what about our little croquet pitch right here what do you recommend my rule of thumb is one inch of water a week you know I've heard you say that before but my question to you is how do you know when one inch of water has come out of your sprinkler we measure the water coming out and you do that using a rain gauge you simply set up the sprinkler run it and then after a half an hour come out and check the rain gauge and see how much water is in there and then do the math to find out how long it takes to get one inch of water exactly all right I guess it makes sense once you've got the initial measurement for your sprinkler to keep this on the lawn because you're gonna get some natural rain right because if you get a half an inch of rain and you measure it in here then you know you only have to add a half an inch of water using your sprinkler okay so one inch a week all at once no spread it out I like the lawn to dry out a little bit in between watering so twice a week a half an inch each time okay let's talk about some of the sprinklers that you brought with us and why we use one over the other okay this is a oscillating a fan type it goes back and forth and puts out a big rectangle of water gotcha great for a large square one okay this one here is for a small one it actually throws out a square pattern so this allow you get corners if you got along with a right angle you get in it that's right and this one actually throws a circular pattern when it sprays but it has wheels on it so you can drag it along using the hose makes it easy to reposition and how about this guy right here this is one of my favorite Kevin this has a spike and you simply push it down in the ground now this one has the ability if you lift up this lever to turn in a 360 degree patent or using the stops down here you can do any angle you'd like all right I want to see that throw some water but what is this you have on the edge of the hose okay this is a quick-connect coupling and what it allows you to do is you screw it on each end and then when you change sprinklers you simply lock on like that or if you want to put on a handheld spray those in the place and you don't have to do all that twist it's gonna save you some time all right let's see some water fly okay you ready yeah now what I can do is increase the oxide so you go from a nice little tight angle to something a lot wider really let you control where you throw that water that's right all right so I know you're also particular about when we water that's right I don't want you to water at night because the lawn blades will stay wet if they stay wet at night there's a good chance they can get a fungus disease all right I know you don't want us to water when the Sun is high because everybody a lot of evaporation and waste water so you write them in the morning 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. in the mornings a great time of style you sprinkle em yeah listen Milo may be getting up before him but I'm not getting up before I am well let me show you how we take care of that let me show you some time as Kevin the first acts just like an egg timer we connect a water source here and then we put the hose on this end we simply turn it to the amount of time that we want the water to come on for after 45 minutes this will automatically shut up a sprinkler that's right wait a second I still to get up early to turn it on well let me help you with that what we have here is a battery-powered timer we're able to set this for several different functions number one what day we want it to come on number two how long we want it to come on and lastly what time we want it to come Monday and Friday 20 minutes 4:00 a.m. so I don't have to get up that's right and look if you look down here we even have two zones Kevin let me show you one more sprinkler this is actually one we used on a project in Texas a couple of years ago I remember we had a lot of your interest and they're still emailing us about this that way to install this you dig a hole and you permanently fix it into the ground that's the advantage you never have to reposition it all right so attach a hose we've got water traveling through here when this gets pressurized it pops up in a start spraying and once it pops up and start spraying you can adjust the angle or even the amount of flow coming out okay so to connect to it we just pop the top off this there's that Quick Connect one in the ground already take me set it down in fire it up ha thanks great you


  1. The best sprinkler is the one that emits water that covers all area and keeps water low to the ground to prevent wind drift and evaporation.

    With that being said, I've always been a fan of just the old fashioned sled sprinkler with the different adjustable patterns.

    Oscillating sprinklers shoot water upward 15 feet and by the time it falls to the ground, you are only getting a fraction of what you actually put out.

    Those rotary sprinklers have uneven area coverage. And impact sprinklers have the same issue.

  2. So far I love this sprinkler>>> I’ve used it 3-4 times a day since I’ve received it. I only wish it would spray more downward bit I do like the versatility (side width is adjustable, as is front and back).

  3. Get a traveling sprinkler if you have a large, level lawn. They are not novilities, they actually work well and even turn themselves off.

  4. i found this video completely uninformative. the host needs to actually learn what he is talking about. plastic is a waste of time unless your yard is tiny, they are cheaply made junk. buy something made of metal and buy it once. i won't be watching this channel again. the host is a joke.

  5. but if you have the timer (replaces you having to wake up to turn it on) then why would you need the attachment that controls how long you run it for?

  6. Dude, it's not HOFF and inch, it's HALF an inch. It's not POT of something, it's PART. It's not staup, it's STOP. Good God.

  7. That's freaking cool.
    I actually enjoy these options, because the in-ground sprinkler solution (from my personal experience) is a nightmare.
    Not too long after I moved in I found out after I got the water bill that I had a valve leak. Since they're made out of plastic they're not intended to last. Paid the water bill which was about $250 and then paid over $100 to fix the problem myself.
    Even after fixing that issue, my water bill was over $50 a month when running the sprinkler and I still had issues with areas of the lawn not getting watered.
    I finally gave up on the in-ground sprinkler and have been using an oscilating sprinkler, manually re-positioning it.
    I understand some people frown at this solution, as it require manual intervention.
    Well, here's what I have to say, it works better than the in-ground sprinkler ever did and my water bill is less than half.
    My first water bill after choosing this method came down to about $25 and my last bill was $19
    This is with using the oscilating sprinkler around the lawn twice a week or more, with about 20 mins per zone.

  8. I don't understand why you don't tell us where to get the last one when you said that you still are getting questions about it? I would like to know how and where to get it…

  9. We have an underground irrigation system that has better winterization methods than those installed around the rest of the neighborhood.

  10. Yea but hoses all over the yard and moving them. Roger, isn't there a hose that can be buried and withstand the weather?

  11. I'm all for saving money but a permanent sprinkler system can cost as little as $800 and even less if you do the work yourself.

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