Thirsty Lawn Recognize the Symptoms and DIY Sprinkler Head Adjustment

Skip Orth :
Hey, this is Skip Orth, with Father and Son Pest and Lawn Solutions. Today we're going to talk about recognizing drought stress in your lawn. The other day I came out and looked at my grass, and as you can see there's a brown patch right here. It almost looks kind of pie-shaped. And then right next to it we have green grass and you can almost see a defining line right from the green to the brown here. It actually leads right to this irrigation head. My suspicion is that as this irrigation head is moving back and forth, it's just not coming over far enough and watering this area. So we're going to turn on the irrigation system and see if that's the case. If it is, we're going to talk about how to adjust that irrigation head so that it will cover that area.

Skip Orth :
[inaudible 00:01:06]. Here the sprinkler head's coming around and let's see where it stops. My guess is it's going to stop about right here. Yep. What we want the sprinkler head to do, is we want to go farther over this way. The unique thing about rotors, which is sprinkler heads that go back and forth, is that the left side of the arc is fixed. You can't adjust it. What you have to do, is you have to turn the whole sprinkler head and then adjust the right side of the arc accordingly. What I'm going to do, I'm going to take a shovel and I'm going to dig around that sprinkler head so that I can turn the whole thing, and then I'm going to adjust the right side of the arc. Okay?

Skip Orth :
Okay. What we're going to do is, we're going to dig around this head and actually now that I'm looking at it, it looks like it's coming way too far over, so maybe we just need to rotate the whole head and it'll go where it needs to go. I'm going to just loosen up around this head so I can [inaudible 00:02:32] turn it and as you can see, looks like maybe it's a little bit crooked too, so I'm going to dig out a little bit more dirt so that I can straighten it up as I adjust it.

Skip Orth :
So [inaudible 00:02:48] we're going to do, I'm going to straighten it up like this, and I'm going to [inaudible 00:02:51] rotate it. Rotate the head over a bit. It's okay to... You can turn these while they're moving, like that just so you don't have to wait for it to come all the way around. I'm looking at the area I want it to cover. There, just about perfect. I'm going to put the dirt back around. I'm going to make sure it's straight up and down, because if it's not straight up and down, then the stream of water isn't going where it should be. It needs to be just nice and straight.

Skip Orth :
Now, if I did need to adjust it, say I just didn't want it to go as far that way, and I wanted to adjust the right side of the arc, there's a little hole right here. You can see a little plus sign there and a little minus sign there. This is a Rain Bird screwdriver. You can use any real thin blade screwdriver like this, but this is specifically for Rain Bird heads. I'm going to just insert the screwdriver in this hole, and I'm going to turn it around until I feel the blade of the screwdriver drop into the slot of the screw.

Skip Orth :
I can feel that screwdriver drop into this screw slot, and so if I wanted to increase the arc, if I wanted it to go farther around, I would turn it clockwise and it would then come around farther. We'll see how much farther. See if it came around a little bit farther. Now I'm going to turn it back and then turn a little bit farther so you can see. If I wanted to... Maybe I wanted it to do a three quarter turn. See if I turned it a little bit more, now it's going to come around and it's going to go even farther. Like that. But I don't want it to go that far so I'm going to take away some of that arc. I'm just going to take the screwdriver, I'm going to turn it the opposite direction.

Skip Orth :
We're going to speed things up here a little bit. Turn it around and we're just going to let it go there and see where it stops. Still too far, so I'm going to take more arc out of it. See if that's enough. Now that's a little bit too much, so I'm going to increase it a little bit. I'm just going to [inaudible 00:06:14]. That's about right. Right there.

Skip Orth :
Now, while we're here, there is one other adjustment that you can make on this nozzle. Let's say I didn't want the stream to go as far, I wanted to shorten it up, I wanted to just not go as far. Here's another hole right here at the top that I can stick the screwdriver in. In there, there's a little set screw, and I find a slot and I turn the set screw down. As I turn it down, you can see the stream of water start to change. See how this changing? It's shortening up how far the water goes. Like that. But I want mine to go as far as it can, which these sprinkler heads are designed to go about 30'. That's about how far I want them to go, so I'm going to readjust it to where its spring as far as it is designed this way.

Skip Orth :
That's how you look at a drought stress area and determine whether it's getting enough irrigation or not, and that's how you adjust the sprinkler head.