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The 10 Best Impact Sprinklers  Sep 2018

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1
Best Impact Sprinklers - Orbit 56186N Brass Impact Sprinkler on Wheeled Base Review Orbit
9 . 7
2
Best Impact Sprinklers - Orbit 56667N Zinc Impact Sprinkler on Tripod Base Review Orbit
9 . 5
3
Best Impact Sprinklers - Rain Bird 25PJDAC Brass Impact Sprinkler, Adjustable 20° Review Rain Bird
9 . 2
4
Best Impact Sprinklers - Rain Bird 35ADJTNTB Brass Impact Sprinkler, Adjustable 0° Review Rain Bird
9 . 0
5
Best Impact Sprinklers - A5009T Brass Impact Sprinkler on Heavy Duty Metal Review SOMMERLAND
8 . 6
6
Best Impact Sprinklers - M PLUS Heavy Duty Brass Impact Lawn Sprinkler Review M PLUS
8 . 2
7
Best Impact Sprinklers - Lawn Sprinkler System - Water Garden Sprinkler Head Review My garden
7 . 9
8
Best Impact Sprinklers - IrrigationKing RK-32 3/4 Economy Impact Sprinkler with Nozzles Review IrrigationKing
7 . 7
9
Best Impact Sprinklers - PABREY Lawn Sprinkler, Adjustable Automatic 360 Degree Rotating Review PABREY
7 . 3
10
Best Impact Sprinklers - Gilmour Heavy Duty Adjustable Circular Sprinkler Review Gilmour
7 . 0

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Your Guide To Buying an Impact Sprinkler

By Yehudah Posnick

    If you have a lawn, there is a variety of sprinklers available: oscillating sprinklers, drip sprinklers, underground (or in-ground) sprinklers, and impact sprinklers. Impact sprinklers (also known as impulse or pulsating sprinklers) are an ideal way of watering your lawn uniformly. You'll probably have seen them on golf courses or baseball fields: they make a distinctive sound as they rotate and shoot out the water. They distribute the water over the lawn in a way that recreates a uniform rainfall. You can either adjust them to go full circle--or to only rotate part of the circle if you don't need to water a full 360°. They also have the benefits of being less likely to clog from sand or grit.

    As for the material from which the sprinkler head is constructed: You can find them made from zinc, which may have a problem with corrosion over time. There are higher-quality sprinkler heads that will be made from stainless steel or brass, which is largely inert when exposed to water. As for the method for situating the sprinkler, you'll find sprinkler heads that are mounted on a spike that is inserted into the ground. Then there are models that rest on a raised tripod or platform. Then there are those that are assembled on rolling wheels. The most aesthetic ones are the pop-up sprinkler heads, which become noticeable only when you turn on the water and they pop up out of the ground.

    To help you make the right choice, we have put together this buying guide including everything you need to know about impact sprinklers to make a good investment. It'll help you:

    • Choose the right type of impact sprinkler,

    • See useful tips about that type of impact sprinkler,    

    • Read reviews of different brands of impact sprinklers, and what customers are saying,

    • Select the right brand of impact sprinkler, and

    • Compare prices and find the best deals.

    There are a number of styles of impact sprinklers:

    • Assembled on a spike: Some impact sprinklers consist of a spike that you knock into the ground at a selected point. You then screw on the sprinkler head. This is especially convenient if the ground is soft. The Orbit 58214N Brass Impact Sprinkler is positioned on a heavy-duty zinc step spike, making it easy to insert into the ground. Similarly, the Nelson 50202 Plastic Pulsating Sprinkler Head comes on a metal spike. Nelson also makes models of spiked sprinklers with dual or even triple spike bases.

    • Assembled on a tripod: These are also known as platform bases. They are best is the earth in your lawn is hard to penetrate, and a spike is not convenient or practical. Some impact sprinklers have a tripod that supports the sprinkler head. This is a bit easier to move around your yard if you want to have one sprinkler for a large area. The Orbit Impact has a zinc head that can expand to up to three feet in height. This extra height propels the water higher as well--which makes it suitable for watering raised garden beds.

    • Assembled on a rolling metal wheel base: Some are on a base on wheels, that you can move around your yard or garden with ease. These have the advantage that they will not tip over if the water pressure is too strong.

    • Pop-up version: These heads are sunken into the ground, and they come out around 3 inches above the ground when you turn on the water. You can mow your lawn around them without being concerned that you'll damage the head. But the installation is more difficult—you have to dig up your yard a bit in order to place the sprinkler head and the hose.

    • Single or Double head: Some impact sprinklers shoot out two streams of water instead of only one. One stream waters the lawn at a distance, whereas the other one waters nearby. Other sprinklers have one stream do all the work.

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    • Avoid low water pressure: If the water pressure is too low (less than 15 pounds per square inch, or psi) the sprinkler may not manage to rotate. The sprinkler might get stuck in a single spot and not manage to water the rest of the lawn. So make sure that the water pressure is adequate for an impact sprinkler.

    • Water restrictions: Make sure that you place the sprinkler where it can reach all the areas of your lawn. You don't want water to go to waste in watering your patio or sidewalk. Also, take note that you water the lawn in the evening, or early in the morning so that the water will actually water the lawn and not just evaporate.

    • Attaching in series with another sprinkler: This can be hooked up to another sprinkler, to cover more area. But if you do that, it will receive less water pressure, and may not operate properly—it may not turn around anymore. So make sure that you don’t attach too many sprinklers to a single faucet.

    • Water timer: Some users notice that their impact sprinkler doesn't rotate if they set it to start on a sprinkler timer. So make sure that the sprinkler rotates from the instant that the timer turns it on.

    • Amount of the circular area to be watered: The impact sprinkler can be set to rotate only over a fraction of a circle. Some sprinklers can be set to rotate over as little as 15 degrees of arc (1/24 of a full circle). The trip lever and the trip arms (also known as “friction collars”) are what you use to set the arc of rotation:

      • For a full circle sprinkling: If the trip lever is flipped upward, the sprinkler will water a full 360 degrees.

      • For a partial arc: If you only want a partial arc, flip the trip lever downward. Then adjust the trip arms to limit the arc of rotation. On the Orbit sprinklers, you pinch in the heads of the trip arms and situate them at the limits of the arc that you want to water.

    • Distance dial: You will want to limit the distance that your sprinkler shoots the water, so as to water your lawn effectively. The Orbit 55016 Sprinkler System allows you to adjust the spray from a 25- up to a 48-foot radius. But how do you vary the radius? There are three ways to increase the distance that the sprinkler shoots the stream of water:

      • By means of the faucet: You can increase the water flow from the faucet letting water into the sprinkler.

      • By means of the diffuser pin: There is a distance dial, or “diffuser pin”, that allows you to set how far you want the sprinkler to shoot the water. You simply screw the pin into the stream of water. It blocks the stream so that it doesn't shoot so far. If you screw the diffuser pin out of the way of the stream of water, it will shoot the water out further.

      • By means of the deflector shield: The deflector shield will change the height of the arc of water going out of the sprinkler. If you vary the inclination of the deflector shield, you can choose the height at which the water shoots out of the sprinkler head. That will also affect how far the water reaches.

    • Note: If you need a sprinkler for a square lawn, it might be better to get an oscillating sprinkler, that goes right-to-left rather than in a full circle.

    • Water pressure: You should know what water pressure is required to operate the sprinkler—If the water pressure is too low, it won't be able to turn around properly.

    • Type of water flow: Some sprinklers allow you to adjust the stream: you can vary it from a heavy stream to a fine mist. You should be familiar with the use of the diffuser pin:

      • Diffuser pin screwed in: When this pin is screwed in, it will break the water up into little droplets, and make the watering more uniform. (But it will also make the stream of water not reach as far, as mentioned above.) This prevents overwatering some areas and missing other areas of the lawn.

      • Diffuser pin screwed out: If the diffuser pin is wound out, it will send out a denser stream of water, and give you a bigger throw distance.

    • Interior gears material: If the gears of the rotating mechanism are made of plastic, they will wear down easily with use as they move around. The sprinkler won't go around properly anymore—so prefer having a metal mechanism that is also rust-proof. Plastic heads will be okay for lower water pressures, however.

    • The material of the sprinkler head: The more durable sprinkler heads will be constructed from stainless steel or from brass. These will not corrode from exposure to water. The Melnor  3900H Heavy-duty Metal Pulsating Sprinkler is steel coated and sealed with black enamel--this offers exceptional protection from water damage. Other heads will be constructed from zinc, which is more vulnerable to corrosion over time.

    • Different watering needs at different times of the year:  Experts recommend that a lawn receive 1” of water per week. But that will also depend on the precipitation in your area. From spring to fall, where the precipitation is understandably less, try to adjust the sprinkler system according to rainfall. There is a figure called distribution uniformity, or DU, which tells how uniformly a sprinkler will water your lawn. It's recommended to use a catch-cup test to see the distribution of the water around your yard. You simply place equal size cups around your lawn, and measure the amount of water that collects after watering. If some regions get less water, you had best situate the sprinkler somewhere else on your lawn. Since there is a tendency for an impact sprinkler to send water a distance away, but miss the area just around the sprinkler, it is wise to have a pair of sprinklers working in tandem. This way, each sprinkler will manage to water the area where the other sprinkler is situated.

    • Place heads of sprinkler vertically—straight up and down as possible:  If the sprinkler is placed at a slant, it will cause the sprinkler to water one area only close to the sprinkler, and the opposite area only far away.

    • The risk of clogging the sprinkler heads: Some places use reclaimed water for irrigation purposes solely (that is, it’s not water that is made suitable for drinking). But that water may contain impurities that can clog a sprinkler system. And if you live in an area with hard water (i.e., with lime deposits), this can also pose a problem to a sprinkler system. But fortunately, the impact sprinkler has one of the shortest paths from where the water enters the sprinkler head to where it exits--this lowers the risk of a clog developing over time. The Orbit 55032 or 55034 Sprinkler System have been specially designed to take this into account, to avoid clogs.

    • Weighted sprinkler heads: The mechanism inside the sprinkler head is designed to make the head rotate as water flows through it. So the faster water goes through it, the faster it will rotate. This might be a disadvantage--it can spray the water around and not manage to water the lawn uniformly. Some sprinkler types, such as the Rain Bird LG-3 Low Gallonage Pop-up Impact Sprinkler, have taken this into account: It is double-weighted, which makes the rotation slower. This, in turn, ensures that the water is propelled further, and the water will get to the far reaches of your garden.

    • Accessories: Some sell an extra capacity kit—it gives the reel a bigger diameter so that it can hold more hose.

     

    Orbit— was founded in 1976, in Bountiful, Utah. They are makers of home-improvement products, as well as products for irrigation, misting, landscape lighting, and thermostats. They have a sprinklers and oscillators that can cover small, medium, and large areas.

    Planted Perfect— was founded by Matt Ward, and is a maker of garden tools for home gardeners. They make handsaws, pruning shears and snips, sprinkler and spray systems, and wind chimes.

    Gilmour-- has been making gardening products since 1949, when the founder Robert Gilmour started the Gilmour Manufacturing Company. They are based in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. He made pistol grip nozzles, hose repair kits, sprinkler systems and sprayers.

    QVS ( = Quality Valve and Sprinkler)-- is a valve and sprinkler manufacturer, based in Pasco, Washington. They have been making lawn, garden and agricultural products since 1996. They make various types of sprinklers, garden hoses, nozzles, and wands, as well as gauges for water consumption.