What is an Inground Sprinkler?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2020
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An inground sprinkler is a watering system that features sprinkler heads which are recessed below ground. When the sprinkler system is in use, the recessed heads elevate above ground level and distribute a steady stream of water within a specified area of the landscape. When properly installed, sprinkler systems of this type will last for many years with no more than routine maintenance.

The typical inground sprinkler system is composed of a series of pipes, couplings, valves, and sprinkler heads. There are also enhancements such as sprinkler timers, pressure gauges, and equipment to control water pressure. It is also possible to include head extensions that allow the sprinkler heads to rise higher, making them ideal for use in flowerbeds and around taller shrubbery.

To install a basic inground sprinkler system, it is necessary to plan the layout of the system in advance. This involves assessing the amount of water pressure available to force water through the piping and out the sprinkler heads. Knowing this data makes it easier to determine the placement of the heads in order to provide an even distribution of water over the lawn or other landscaped area.


Once the basic layout is determined, it is necessary to dig the trenches that will contain the pipes. The trenches do not have to be particularly deep. However, the depth must be sufficient to allow the heads to reside below ground level once they are in place. If this is not done, the task of mowing the lawn will become extremely difficult.

As part of the installation process, it is necessary to include valves that open and close sections of the sprinkler system. The basic setup will also require fittings that connect the sprinkler heads to the main portion of the equipment. Experts sometimes recommend that the inground sprinkler system be installed in sections, then tested for water pressure and the proper range of motion for the sprinkler heads. Once each section is tested and found to be working properly, the landscaping can be completed and the system permanently connected to a water and power source.


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