Raising or Straightening the Spray Head: When and Why It’s Necessary

Irrigation systems, while designed to be efficient and long-lasting, occasionally require adjustments or maintenance to perform optimally. One such adjustment involves raising or straightening the spray head. This article outlines the circumstances and reasons when raising or straightening the spray head of an irrigation system becomes necessary.

1. Overgrown Landscaping:

  • When: As time passes, plants grow, and landscapes mature. Plants or grass can block the spray pattern when they grow taller than the spray head.
  • Why: To ensure even water distribution and prevent areas of dryness or over-saturation, the spray head should be elevated above the level of the growing landscape.

2. Settling Soil:

  • When: Over time, Soil can settle or erode around the spray head, causing it to sink lower than its original position.
  • Why: A sunken spray head can pool water around its base and inefficient watering. Raising it ensures proper water dispersion.

3. Improper Installation:

  • When: After the initial installation or replacement of a spray head, you may notice that it’s either too low or too high compared to the ground level.
  • Why: Proper installation height ensures water reaches its target area efficiently and prevents damage to the spray head from lawnmowers or foot traffic.

4. Tilted or Leaning Spray Heads:

  • When: You notice the spray head is not vertical or leaning to one side.
  • Why: A tilted spray head can lead to uneven watering, with one area receiving more water than another. Straightening the spray head ensures uniform water distribution.

5. Hardscape or Infrastructure Changes:

  • When: If you’ve added a new path, driveway, or other structure that might obstruct the water flow.
  • Why: Raising or adjusting the spray head ensures that the newly introduced structures don’t block or redirect the spray pattern, maintaining the irrigation system’s efficiency.

6. Alteration in Planting Scheme:

  • When: You’ve made significant changes to your garden layout or introduced new plants that grow taller than the existing ones.
  • Why: To cater to the needs of the new plants and ensure they get adequate water, you might need to raise the spray head to a higher position.

7. Prevention of System Damage:

  • When: The spray head is positioned such that it often gets kicked, stepped on, or run over by garden equipment.
  • Why: Regular impacts can damage the spray head. Raising or relocating it can prevent such damage and prolong the life of the spray head.

8. Visible Wear and Tear:

  • When: The spray head shows signs of aging, like cracks or chips, and isn’t functioning optimally.
  • Why: While this might indicate a need for replacement, raising or straightening can sometimes help prolong the unit’s life if external factors (like soil erosion) cause the wear.


Regular inspection and maintenance of your irrigation system are crucial for optimal performance. By being vigilant and understanding when and why you need to raise or straighten the spray head, you can ensure a longer life for your system and a healthier landscape. Whether you’re a homeowner or a landscaping professional, knowing these pointers can aid in ensuring your green spaces thrive and flourish.