Sprinkler Spray patterns for optimal watering: Head-to-head coverage

Sprinkler systems Perth

Proper and efficient sprinkler head/nozzle-spacing starts with understanding how water from the  sprinkler is distributed. With the different types of sprinkler heads on the market with varying arcs from 90° to 360°, you can be forgiven for not knowing where to start and which designs suit your property!

Sprinklers have been designed to allow for overlapping. This is how they work best and good overlaying sprinkler heads help with uniform water distribution and prevent dry spots in your garden. Basically, when the sprinklers overlap, the spray pattern from one sprinkler is complemented by the next sprinklers. This is called Head-to-head coverage – the water from one sprinkler goes all the way to the next sprinkler head.

This may seem like water wastage, but it is very important to overlap the sprays. It is impossible to design reticulation systems that provide consistent water cover for all areas especially for different shaped areas if the sprinklers do not overlap . The challenge in the design is to water the area properly and to make the job cost efficient, use the minimal number of sprinklers

Some  common considerations to bear in  mind when designing what type of sprinklers to use for the perfect coverage are:

  • The shape and size of the area that needs watering.
  • The types of plant to be watered: lawn, shrubs or trees.
  • Water pressure and flow at the property.
  • Environmental conditions that will affect the water spray: wind and temperature.
  • Water retention ability or soil absorption rate, meaning the type of soil is an important factor to take into account.

The importance of spacing sprinklers properly for the area cannot be overdone or overexaggerated. Once an irrigation system is installed at great cost, if it is not correctly designed, swapping nozzles or sprinklers may not be enough to change the problem. The changes will be considerably more expensive as the whole system has to be redesigned.

Sprinkler Spray patterns

Proper Sprinkler layout and design.


“Head-to-head” layout  is the most common sprinkler spacing used for watering an area whether regular or odd shaped. This is when the water spray from one of the sprinklers hits the next sprinkler on the head and so on and so forth until the area is covered. A benefit of this method and design is that there is minimal water wastage as all the water is contained in the area being irrigated. This provides the best cover for the area and helps your lawn or garden thrive.

The diagrams above show how to space the sprinkler heads properly for regular shape or for unusual shaped areas. Good overlapping will ensure that your property is watered efficiently, with minimum water wastage and water run-offs. Different areas will of course have different designs or layouts to suit which is why the choice of an expert irrigator is required for the job.

Call us today for your perfect reticulation design and install. We are experts at irrigation system designs.

Want more information? Watch this youtube video from RainBirdCorp for a basic explanation of what head to head coverage is about and check the website below.

Head to Head Coverage

Image credit: Designer Watering, www.designerwatering.com.au, Sprinkler System Layout Guide | Sprinkler Radius | Sprinkler Layout

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