If you are in need of a new sprinkler system or a replacement sprinkler you may have noticed that pressure regulating sprinklers are a requirement in many states. But even if they are not required where you live, they can be a good option to consider due to their water saving benefits.
Simply put, pressure regulating sprinklers regulate the water pressure flowing from the sprinkler so that it is consistent across the entire system. For many sprinklers the recommended operating water pressure ranges between 30-40 pounds per square inch (psi). A pressure regulator ensures that water pressure consistently falls within this recommended psi range regardless of the water pressure before it reaches the sprinkler. Sprinklers operating at optimal pressure last longer, save water and contribute to healthier lawns due to consistent water application.
A standard sprinkler may not operate ideally and you could have sprinklers applying inconsistent amounts of water throughout the system. You may also notice “fogging” or “misting” which occurs when fine water droplets remain suspended in the air or get carried away by the wind. These water droplets are usually lost to evaporation or fall on hardscapes and other structures instead of the lawn and plants.
In many cases the amount of pressure from the water supply to the sprinkler will vary. Water pressure can be impacted by everything from the sprinkler’s location in your yard to other appliances in use at the same time the system is running.
When the system is running and the pressure is too high you will often see what is referred to as “fogging” or “misting”. This is caused by fine water droplets that are so small they remain suspended in the air or are carried away by the wind. These water droplets are ultimately wasted because they quickly evaporate or, if carried by wind, fall on hardscapes and other structures.
You will see a moderate increase in the cost of a pressure regulating sprinkler compared to a standard one. This is due to the added parts in the sprinkler itself. However, the additional cost can be off-set by the water savings you’ll experience throughout the life of the sprinkler.
Pressure regulating sprinklers significantly reduce misting and fogging. This means that water is not wasted due to evaporation or being blown away resulting in considerable water savings.
If your state requires pressure regulation, you should be able to visit any hardware or home improvement store. In other areas, we recommend visiting your local irrigation supply distributor.
Pressure regulating heads typically have the regulating feature built into the body of the sprinkler so they install just like standard sprinklers. If you are replacing an old sprinkler or upgrading your existing system the install should be quick and easy. If you are installing a new system you may want to consult an irrigation contractor or local professional.