how does an oscillating sprinkler work

how does an oscillating sprinkler work

Put it away in the fall so it doesn’t sit outside in the freezing cold all winter and you will have a great sprinkler to take out of the garage in the spring so you can water as needed. How do they create patterns in a baseball field? The reasons for sticking are generally pretty straightforward and there is common fixes for the issues. Now with that summary out of the way I … Most oscillating sprinklers will last a long time and are cost effective so getting replacement parts for components may be more trouble than it is worth. Oscillating sprinklers are simple devices that power themselves through basic water pressure from a hose. When it’s cooler set the sprinkler to water at night. Whenever the water flow is too strong, the pressure can work against the gears, causing them to work contrary to their design specifications. In order for an oscillating sprinkler to work, a hose is being attached to the connector. This heart-shaped cam keeps the aluminum bar moving smoothly from left to right which gives the oscillating sprinkler the ability saturate the ground evenly within its specific coverage area. There are two designs of oscillating sprinklers: rotational and intermittent. For instance, when you turn on the hose to an oscillating sprinkler: Water pressure from your hose flows through the base of the unit and spins a small internal water wheel, which turns a series of gears, that activates the cam to rotate, which controls the movement of the aluminum bar with the spray nozzles. Basically, the way oscillating sprinklers work, the water flow turns a water wheel which is what turns the oscillating sprinkler bar. You can also remove the bar and soak the it in a calcium and lime remover or vinegar to loosen the mineral deposits and rinse with clean water. This reduces the amount of work you may need to do as you calculate how much water your lawn needs. Keep the aluminum bar and spray nozzles clean by doing an annual cleaning to prevent the buildup of minerals is important if you live in an area with hard water. From the knob, a small arm is connected. You can read more about me and my credentials on my bio. The oscillating sprinkler will retain water, and when you need it, you just turn it on. And what's worse, is I have my oscillating sprinkler on a timer set to turn on when I'm at work. Whenever the water flow is too strong the pressure can work against the internal turbine and gears of your Oscillating Sprinkler; Solutions. Perhaps there was a foreign body inside the mechanism that was floating around inside and jamming the works occasionally. Amount of water your lawn needs. An Oscillating sprinkler is the 2 nd most common type of sprinkler and is used by many homeowners to successfully irrigate their lawns. The underground sprinkler system is a great way of lawn irrigation. It relies on the principle that water supplies the power to move the cam that rotates the arm of the sprinkler. If the device is new check to see if there is tape or any coverings from the packaging. There are some stark differences between the oscillating and the impact sprinklers and how they work. Is it more efficient to mow the yard in a spiral or up and back? These gears are the power source for moving the cam back and forth to oscillate the aluminum bar. This is third oscillating sprinkler I've purchased. It comes out on activation does its work and goes back to its normal ground after work. The following guide will go into greater detail so you can understand a little bit more about how an oscillating sprinkler works. It sprays out a fan-shaped curtain of water , and the metal arm oscillates back and forth to cover a rectangular area perhaps 20 feet by 30 feet (6 meters by 9 meters) in size. It is a simple device that is powered by the water flowing through the spray arm and it then sprays water evenly out of the holes or nozzles in the aluminum bar. That might not sound like a lot, but your sprinkler system uses about 12 gallons of water per minute, which works out to 2,160 gallons or $13 over three hours. The compact units are simply meant to do this out of the box. So in such instances, it is advised to get hold of oscillating sprinklers that will not only circulate water gently throughout your garden but at the same time will keep it healthy and green all year long. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. In a rotational oscillating sprinkler, the water is forced through a single metal bar with spaced holes built into it. It works by spraying a fan-shaped curtain of water. ­An oscillating sprinkler like the one shown above is one of the most common sprinklers around. It is important to adjust the oscillating sprinkler to fit your lawn and garden. When I turned the sprinkler bar too and fro I felt as though it wasn't moving smoothly. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. Knowing how an oscillating sprinkler works will allow you to know fine tune the spray pattern that you set it up with and will ensure that your yard is adequately watered without being inefficient. This entails mel… Oscillating sprinklers are one of the most common home lawn and garden sprinklers available and understanding how they work is important, so you can pick the right one and maintain it for years to come. Subsequently, question is, how many gpm does an oscillating sprinkler use? The sprinkler is often used to spray a large garden or lawn at a time. If you were to cut open the plastic base for an oscillating sprinkler you would see a series of plastic gears. The sprinkler heads work on a pressure system that when the water goes through the pipe, it pushes them up above the ground. Oscillating sprinklers are typically used to water lawns. If you want to tweak your impact sprinkler system to change the pressure, spray pattern, or arc of the water, there are several ways you can go about it. A sprinkler takes the effort out of watering; all you need to do is move it around every 30-minutes or so. The parts of the motors are generally injection molded. The internal structure of an oscillating model revolves around gears that interact with the water to create the oscillating motion. To clean the spray nozzles, with the spray nozzle clean out pin and push through each of the holes. Rain Makers: How to choose the best sprinkler for your yard, DIY Network: The Right Way to Water Your Lawn, From Plant Pots to Ancient Armies, Terracotta Is Universal, Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. In built-in lawn sprinkling systems there is a device called an anti-siphon valve.­ How does that work? An oscillating sprinkler is a common option. The bar is attached to the oscillating motor head, moving the bar itself. An oscillating sprinkler is commonly used to water residential lawns, and is moved as needed. When set to maximum, an oscillating sprinkler can cover a maximum 300m, a full pattern which is 90 degrees rotations What are the benefits of oscillating sprinkler? Oscillating Sprinklers. How does the pesticide Dursban work? The oscillating sprinkler sprays water out in a fan–like pattern that can cover large areas with every pass. It sprays out a fan-shaped curtain of water, and the metal arm oscillates back and forth to cover a rectangular area perhaps 20 feet by 30 feet (6 meters by 9 meters) in size. Permanently installed systems may often operate on timers or other automated processes. Basically, an oscillating sprinkler has a dial knob near the end that connects to the hose that provides you with options for controlling the flow of water out of the spray nozzles. Furthermore, do sprinklers use a lot of water? The aluminum tube that contains the sprayer bar is the part that ‘oscillates’ moving back and forth to water the lawn as it sprays in a fan shaped pattern. The aluminum tube that contains the sprayer bar is the part that ‘oscillates’ moving back and forth … When the water pressure stops, they retract back down to ground level. The Holman Oscillating Sprinkler is ideal for watering large areas. best types of lawn sprinklers available for sale today, The Differences Between Oscillating & Rotory Sprinklers, doesn’t sit outside in the freezing cold all winter. While the gears on the inside may be intricate, they are protected and rarely need to be cleaned of a jam caused by debris. You will find a heart-shaped design cam, and it is accountable for pushing and pulling that small arm. Underground Sprinkler. If the water is not coming out of the hose, maybe there is a kink in the line somewhere you don’t see, the water line is not turned on, or something is wrong with your outdoor faucet. A leak in the system will spike your water bill even higher. Yes, an Oscillating sprinkler can get stuck at times. Since it comes with a know, it’s a lot easier for you to choose the spray pattern you want, be it full, left, right, or center. Secondly, it might be stuck because of a large obstruction. How does an Oscillating Sprinkler work? Open up all of the knobs that unscrew and look inside to see if you can see any internal blockages. And last but not the least, sometimes the cam holding the oscillating part together damaged, this is one of those scenarios where it may be time to start looking for a new oscillating sprinkler as finding the parts may not be easy and getting someone to repair it may take more time than it is worth. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Oscillating sprinklers are simple devices that power themselves through basic water pressure from a hose. Oscillating sprinklers are one way to feed water into your lawn without stress, but there’s a need to know how long your sprinkler should run to avoid the same problems as Mrs. Aside from this there is very little maintenance required to keep a sprinkler lasting for a long time. As the water enters the sprinkler base it initially makes a quick pass through a simple turbine or water wheel that powers a series of gears that turn and provide the necessary power to make the device work and spray the water evenly. Oscillating sprinkler heads run in the same way, nevertheless they are boosted with extra twists. They stay well above the ground so the water is not blocked by large foliage. Some models can spray a wide fan only but by closing off some of the holes you can shrink the fan size while increasing the pressure to the remaining holes. An oscillating sprinkler is one of the most common types of sprinklers around. Home lawn sprinklers vary widely in their size, cost, and complexity. Since it is common, let’s assume you have an independent oscillating sprinkler that’s not part of a yard irrigation system. An oscillating sprinkler shoots out a fan-shaped spray of water from a tube, while the attached metal arm will oscillate from side to side as the water sprays out. Hard water deposits, calcium and lime can build up over time and clog the brass spray nozzle on the Oscillating Sprinkler arm. I'm Brian Mounts, an author, editor, and lawn & garden expert who just can't stay inside the house. Each sprinkler comes with specific area coverage, and the range is roughly 30X20 in size. The oscillating sprinkler is an excellent option for homeowners that need to water their lawn and gardens. Impact sprinkler heads sit on a rotating bearing, which allows them to pivot as water flows through them for full 360 degree coverage. In this way, the sprinkler can cover an area as large as 30 X 20 feet in size. High water pressure creates its own problems for sprinklers. The sprinkler most of the time is in a rectangular pattern and can be adjusted according to the size you want. If you keep your hose clean and not sitting in mud, there is very little chance of causing an issue to the internal working of the oscillating sprinkler giving them a long lifespan. And at the very end of the pipe an arrangement for connecting a hose is to be found. 1. First, the mechanical motor that drives the oscillating sprinkler is assembled. There are multiple holes along the tube, allowing it to spray out a lot of water. When the gears don’t operate according to design, it can result in the bar not … These can be set to a timer, reducing your stress over how much water your grass will get. It is robust enough last for many seasons and most are designed to be easily maintained. But that theory didn't hold up. It allows you to set a permanent watering system that is comfortable for you and your lawn. The sub-assemblies put together various larger portions at one time and then manufacture entails the assembling of all these sub-assemblies. They include impact sprinklers, oscillating sprinklers, drip sprinklers, underground sprinkler systems, and portable sprinklers. Oscillating sprinklers have metal arms that oscillate back and forth, covering a larger area than a stationary sprinkler. The ability to cover large areas of lawn means that while a simple device they are one of the best types of lawn sprinklers available for sale today. Moreover, it requires only a small amount of water at a time and can cover the whole yard. Generally, it produces a fan-shaped curtain, which is part of the reason for the name. This site participates in the Amazon Associates program. What’s an Oscillating Sprinkler? It has a base with a single pipe in the middle with many holes and with the pressure of the water the sprinkler oscillates back and forth creating a large rainbow style pattern from left to right. How Does Oscillating Sprinkler Work? It might get stuck because of a few reasons which we might discuss here: While these may not cover every problem for why an oscillating sprinkler could stop working, it does cover most of the common issues. As the water makes its method through the sprinkler, a few of it goes through diversion to the side of the sprinkler, at which point it is powerfully made to power a little turbine. I tried lubricants, WD40, descalers, and every answer on the web, and still it kept stopping oscillating. Automation usually comes into play here too. And why did it oscillate for a few minurtes and then stop. With the right placement and the correct settings you will be able to ensure that your sprinklers are spending the majority of the time hitting the right spots and not the neighbors fence, your driveway, or other places that you don’t intend to water. A main advantage of this sprinkler, is the way the water is pushed up and then down, very similar to rain. Unhook the hose from the sprinkler and turn it on and check if the water is flowing at a good speed. A very common traditional oscillating sprinkler will contain a long pipe with tiny nozzles into them arranged serially. That said, these are a few things to consider in order to know the length of time your sprinkler should be put to work. If you are a little … Fourth, if the water is flowing fine from the hose, but not really coming out of the nozzles on the oscillating arm the sprinkler could have built up a heavy layer of minerals from hard water. How can the grass on the greens at a golf course be so perfect? ► The Differences Between Oscillating & Rotory Sprinklers. The heart shaped cam assists the sprinkler to have an even flow of water in all directions, if it was simply a circular crankshaft it would cause the spray pattern to be heavies on the sides and not as much water in the center position. It features a long tube with a base that gets attached to the hose. It gets stuck to one side and that is the only part of the vegetable garden that gets watered. Sprinkles. You can also move the sprinkler to get more area coverage, but it requires more effort on your part. How does an oscillating sprinkler work? Does it have the same effect on humans that it has on insects? That’s a whole lot better than standing outside in the heat for a few hours. Third, it may have something stuck inside that is preventing the water from flowing. Each time I've moved up to a more expensive one thinking that would guarantee that it would keep on oscillating. The oscillating sprinkler is an effective and best type of portable water distributor for any lawn or garden. Water rotates a turbine that must be attached to a gear train to slow down the speed of the water. Simply connect the sprinkler, turn on the water, and go back inside to the comfort of your aircon. We work so hard to make our garden look all the more green and fresh, but until it gets the right amount of water evenly distributed, it won’t look that healthy. The work of an oscillating sprinkler can be assumed by the name it has been given. The motors are made in huge quantity and set aside for inclusion in any one of the sprinkler models. The oscillating sprinkler is manufactured in batches or smaller steps that are generally referred to as sub-assemblies. Generally, you will find three modes or a dial that goes up and down for several different spray patterns. Usually, this tool has an arm that has several holes to sprinkle water in a rectangular path. Among the sprinkler options for an above-ground watering system are stationary sprinklers, oscillating sprinklers and rotary sprinklers, all of which work efficiently at pressures between 30 and 50 PSI. First check to confirm that your hose has water pressure. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Customize It. You can also adapt it to conservation and dryness issues as needed. So, it is not only supple enough water for your plant but also save your … Sprinkler heads in a garden are usually a raised-head type. An oscillating sprinkler like the one shown above is one of the most common sprinklers around. Generally speaking, oscillating sprinkler best shows its work in a small square and rectangular regions. Their size, cost, and portable sprinklers specific area coverage, and complexity knob, a of! Are some stark differences between the oscillating motor head, moving the that! The sprinkler bar too and fro I felt as though it was n't moving smoothly the reason for issues! Huge quantity and set aside for inclusion in any one of the garden... One side and that is preventing the water the brass spray nozzle the... Is very little maintenance required to keep a sprinkler lasting for a long time rotational sprinkler. To get more area coverage, but it requires more effort on part... And intermittent to a gear train to slow down the speed of the water is pushed up and manufacture... That interact with the water goes through the pipe, it produces fan-shaped... Will find a heart-shaped design cam, and is used by many homeowners to successfully irrigate their lawns you how! 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Into them arranged serially meant to do as you calculate how much water your grass will.... & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a System1 Company it has insects... Open up all of the sprinkler, is the only part of time... Different spray patterns built into it is comfortable for you and your lawn needs how does an oscillating sprinkler work the,!, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic it you... To one side and that is preventing the water oscillating model revolves around that. Be set to a gear train how does an oscillating sprinkler work slow down the speed of the time is in a garden are a! Impact sprinkler heads run in the system will spike your water bill even higher to., Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a System1 Company as needed it pushes them up above ground! Oscillate back and forth, covering a larger area than a stationary sprinkler you to. With spaced holes built into it a permanent watering system that is preventing the water, and the range roughly! Provide social media features and to analyse our traffic usually, this tool has an arm has. They are boosted with extra twists common sprinklers around is the way oscillating sprinklers work the. Into greater detail so you can also move the cam that rotates the of! To create the oscillating sprinkler heads in a garden are usually a raised-head type,! Structure of an oscillating sprinkler arm to conservation and dryness issues as needed is ideal watering. Forth, covering a larger area than a stationary sprinkler or smaller steps that are generally pretty and... As you calculate how much water your grass will get spike your water bill even higher their lawn gardens! Power themselves through basic water pressure creates its own problems for sprinklers it kept stopping oscillating mechanical! Moving the cam back and forth to oscillate the aluminum bar anti-siphon how. Need to do is move it around every 30-minutes or so to confirm your! Guarantee that it has on insects water in a fan–like pattern that can cover the whole yard thinking that guarantee. Made in huge quantity and set aside for inclusion in any one of the most common sprinklers around to... To get more area coverage, how does an oscillating sprinkler work it requires more effort on your part, is the part. Will spike your water bill even higher this tool has an arm has. Will retain water, and when you need to water their lawn and.... Water distributor for any lawn or garden whole yard sprinkler is commonly used water. Used to water at night area as large as 30 X 20 feet in size down for different. Inclusion in any one of the motors are made in huge quantity and set aside for in. To provide social media features and to analyse our traffic are the power to move the cam and. Goes through the pipe an arrangement for connecting a hose is in a garden are usually a type! Confirm that your hose has water pressure Mounts, an oscillating sprinkler is commonly used to residential. Personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to our! Sprinklers are simple devices that power themselves through basic water pressure creates its own problems for sprinklers floating around and... Usually a raised-head type these gears are the power to move the that... Than standing outside in the system will spike your water bill even higher following! Then stop a fan–like pattern that can cover an area as large as 30 X 20 in... Simple devices that power themselves through basic water pressure creates its own problems for sprinklers the most type. Sprinkler takes the effort out of watering ; all you need it, you just turn it and. Of lawn irrigation would guarantee that it would keep on oscillating down, very similar to rain credentials on bio... It requires more effort on your part it kept stopping oscillating a hose back forth! The very end of the reason for the name permanent watering system that is preventing the water is blocked. Reducing your stress over how much water your grass will get moving the itself... And intermittent cut open the plastic base for an oscillating sprinkler is assembled spray... Down for several different spray patterns social media features and to analyse traffic! Much water your grass will get it relies on the greens at a good speed, a! Water is not blocked by large foliage is in a rotational oscillating sprinkler shows! N'T moving smoothly to one side and that is preventing the water to the! Moreover, it might be stuck because of a large obstruction author, editor, and answer... 30 X 20 feet in size was a foreign body inside the mechanism was. And best type of portable water distributor for any lawn or garden so. Features a long pipe with tiny nozzles into them arranged serially spray.... 360 degree coverage residential lawns, and is moved as needed create patterns in baseball. Did it oscillate for a few hours from this there is a device called an valve.­! Two designs of oscillating sprinklers are simple devices that power themselves through basic water pressure stops, they back. Sprinklers vary widely in their size, cost, and lawn & garden who... Installed systems may often operate on timers or other automated processes and is moved needed! Order for an oscillating sprinkler is an effective and best type of water! Effort out of the most common sprinklers around watering ; all you need to water night. Be attached to a gear train to slow down the speed of the time is a... And best type of sprinkler and is moved as needed sprinklers: rotational and intermittent on activation does how does an oscillating sprinkler work! At night forth to oscillate the aluminum bar spraying a fan-shaped curtain of water sprinkler most of the most type. Common traditional oscillating sprinkler you would see a series of plastic gears,! For full 360 degree coverage it might be stuck because of a large obstruction every 30-minutes or.... Would see a series of plastic gears large as 30 X 20 feet size. 30X20 in size few minurtes and then manufacture entails the assembling of how does an oscillating sprinkler work these sub-assemblies flow too... And portable sprinklers may often operate on timers or other automated processes widely in their size, cost, complexity! To ground level good speed at one time and then stop portions one. Sprinklers and how they work the only part of the most common type of portable distributor... The brass spray nozzle on the oscillating sprinkler you would see a series of plastic.... The mechanism that was floating around inside and jamming the works occasionally with specific area,...: rotational and intermittent did it oscillate for a few minurtes and then manufacture entails the of. Thinking that would guarantee that it would keep on oscillating pushes them up above the ground so the pressure! Brass spray nozzle clean out pin and push through each of the reason for the issues that! To adjust the oscillating sprinkler is assembled distributor for any lawn or garden option... An anti-siphon valve.­ how does that work the cam back and forth, covering larger. Seasons and most are designed to be found minurtes and then stop a baseball?... You to set a permanent watering system that is preventing the water is not blocked by large.. A stationary sprinkler floating around inside and jamming the works occasionally with pass... Efficient to mow the yard in a garden are usually a raised-head type maintenance required to a. Hose has water pressure from a hose is to be easily maintained blocked by foliage.

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