how does an oscillating sprinkler work

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January 8, 2018

how does an oscillating sprinkler work

Perhaps there was a foreign body inside the mechanism that was floating around inside and jamming the works occasionally. From the knob, a small arm is connected. 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. An Oscillating sprinkler is the 2 nd most common type of sprinkler and is used by many homeowners to successfully irrigate their lawns. 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. If you were to cut open the plastic base for an oscillating sprinkler you would see a series of plastic gears. Basically, the way oscillating sprinklers work, the water flow turns a water wheel which is what turns the oscillating sprinkler bar. Now with that summary out of the way I … Underground Sprinkler. An oscillating sprinkler is commonly used to water residential lawns, and is moved as needed. In a rotational oscillating sprinkler, the water is forced through a single metal bar with spaced holes built into it. 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. You will find a heart-shaped design cam, and it is accountable for pushing and pulling that small arm. Home lawn sprinklers vary widely in their size, cost, and complexity. 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. 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. First check to confirm that your hose has water pressure. The internal structure of an oscillating model revolves around gears that interact with the water to create the oscillating motion. A leak in the system will spike your water bill even higher. It gets stuck to one side and that is the only part of the vegetable garden that gets watered. A main advantage of this sprinkler, is the way the water is pushed up and then down, very similar to rain. The sprinkler most of the time is in a rectangular pattern and can be adjusted according to the size you want. Oscillating sprinkler heads run in the same way, nevertheless they are boosted with extra twists. It allows you to set a permanent watering system that is comfortable for you and your lawn. The motors are made in huge quantity and set aside for inclusion in any one of the sprinkler models. 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. Impact sprinkler heads sit on a rotating bearing, which allows them to pivot as water flows through them for full 360 degree coverage. Since it is common, let’s assume you have an independent oscillating sprinkler that’s not part of a yard irrigation system. You can read more about me and my credentials on my bio. 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. In order for an oscillating sprinkler to work, a hose is being attached to the connector. I tried lubricants, WD40, descalers, and every answer on the web, and still it kept stopping oscillating. 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. There are some stark differences between the oscillating and the impact sprinklers and how they work. When it’s cooler set the sprinkler to water at night. You can also move the sprinkler to get more area coverage, but it requires more effort on your part. It relies on the principle that water supplies the power to move the cam that rotates the arm of the 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. The compact units are simply meant to do this out of the box. Sprinkler heads in a garden are usually a raised-head type. Usually, this tool has an arm that has several holes to sprinkle water in a rectangular path. Hard water deposits, calcium and lime can build up over time and clog the brass spray nozzle on the Oscillating Sprinkler arm. 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. If you are a little … ► The Differences Between Oscillating & Rotory Sprinklers. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. 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. The bar is attached to the oscillating motor head, moving the bar itself. The parts of the motors are generally injection molded. 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. 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. Moreover, it requires only a small amount of water at a time and can cover the whole yard. It is robust enough last for many seasons and most are designed to be easily maintained. That’s a whole lot better than standing outside in the heat for a few hours. Unhook the hose from the sprinkler and turn it on and check if the water is flowing at a good speed. In this way, the sprinkler can cover an area as large as 30 X 20 feet in size. The following guide will go into greater detail so you can understand a little bit more about how an oscillating sprinkler works. First, the mechanical motor that drives the oscillating sprinkler is assembled. When the water pressure stops, they retract back down to ground level. And at the very end of the pipe an arrangement for connecting a hose is to be found. Water rotates a turbine that must be attached to a gear train to slow down the speed of the water. Customize It. A sprinkler takes the effort out of watering; all you need to do is move it around every 30-minutes or so. Amount of water your lawn needs. Permanently installed systems may often operate on timers or other automated processes. The oscillating sprinkler sprays water out in a fan–like pattern that can cover large areas with every pass. The underground sprinkler system is a great way of lawn irrigation. 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. 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. Each time I've moved up to a more expensive one thinking that would guarantee that it would keep on oscillating. 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. 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. 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. Yes, an Oscillating sprinkler can get stuck at times. This reduces the amount of work you may need to do as you calculate how much water your lawn needs. 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. 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. That said, these are a few things to consider in order to know the length of time your sprinkler should be put to work. How do they create patterns in a baseball field? This site participates in the Amazon Associates program. Aside from this there is very little maintenance required to keep a sprinkler lasting for a long time. The Holman Oscillating Sprinkler is ideal for watering large areas. Does it have the same effect on humans that it has on insects? 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. 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? How does an 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. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. Whenever the water flow is too strong the pressure can work against the internal turbine and gears of your Oscillating Sprinkler; Solutions. ­An oscillating sprinkler like the one shown above is one of the most common sprinklers around. While the gears on the inside may be intricate, they are protected and rarely need to be cleaned of a jam caused by debris. The sprinkler is often used to spray a large garden or lawn at a time. When the gears don’t operate according to design, it can result in the bar not … An oscillating sprinkler like the one shown above is one of the most common sprinklers around. The sprinkler heads work on a pressure system that when the water goes through the pipe, it pushes them up above the ground. 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 is third oscillating sprinkler I've purchased. 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. These gears are the power source for moving the cam back and forth to oscillate the aluminum bar. And what's worse, is I have my oscillating sprinkler on a timer set to turn on when I'm at work. What’s an Oscillating Sprinkler? If the device is new check to see if there is tape or any coverings from the packaging. It works by spraying a fan-shaped curtain of water. 1. 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. Oscillating sprinklers are simple devices that power themselves through basic water pressure from a hose. Automation usually comes into play here too. You can also adapt it to conservation and dryness issues as needed. Simply connect the sprinkler, turn on the water, and go back inside to the comfort of your aircon. 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. It features a long tube with a base that gets attached to the hose. 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. Generally, it produces a fan-shaped curtain, which is part of the reason for the name. The sub-assemblies put together various larger portions at one time and then manufacture entails the assembling of all these sub-assemblies. The oscillating sprinkler is manufactured in batches or smaller steps that are generally referred to as sub-assemblies. These can be set to a timer, reducing your stress over how much water your grass will get. 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. When I turned the sprinkler bar too and fro I felt as though it wasn't moving smoothly. The work of an oscillating sprinkler can be assumed by the name it has been given. To clean the spray nozzles, with the spray nozzle clean out pin and push through each of the holes. I'm Brian Mounts, an author, editor, and lawn & garden expert who just can't stay inside the house. Subsequently, question is, how many gpm does an oscillating sprinkler use? A very common traditional oscillating sprinkler will contain a long pipe with tiny nozzles into them arranged serially. Oscillating sprinklers are simple devices that power themselves through basic water pressure from a hose. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. 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. Whenever the water flow is too strong, the pressure can work against the gears, causing them to work contrary to their design specifications. 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. High water pressure creates its own problems for sprinklers. It is important to adjust the oscillating sprinkler to fit your lawn and garden. And why did it oscillate for a few minurtes and then stop. 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. 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. The reasons for sticking are generally pretty straightforward and there is common fixes for the issues. This entails mel… They stay well above the ground so the water is not blocked by large foliage. Third, it may have something stuck inside that is preventing the water from flowing. It comes out on activation does its work and goes back to its normal ground after work. Secondly, it might be stuck because of a large obstruction. Open up all of the knobs that unscrew and look inside to see if you can see any internal blockages. Sprinkles. Furthermore, do sprinklers use a lot of water? 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. Generally, you will find three modes or a dial that goes up and down for several different spray patterns. The oscillating sprinkler is an excellent option for homeowners that need to water their lawn and gardens. The oscillating sprinkler will retain water, and when you need it, you just turn it on. The oscillating sprinkler is an effective and best type of portable water distributor for any lawn or garden. 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. Is it more efficient to mow the yard in a spiral or up and back? 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. How Does Oscillating Sprinkler Work? But that theory didn't hold up. How does an oscillating sprinkler work? They include impact sprinklers, oscillating sprinklers, drip sprinklers, underground sprinkler systems, and portable sprinklers. Oscillating Sprinklers. In built-in lawn sprinkling systems there is a device called an anti-siphon valve.­ How does that work? How can the grass on the greens at a golf course be so perfect? Generally speaking, oscillating sprinkler best shows its work in a small square and rectangular regions. Oscillating sprinklers are typically used to water lawns. There are multiple holes along the tube, allowing it to spray out a lot of water. Each sprinkler comes with specific area coverage, and the range is roughly 30X20 in size. An oscillating sprinkler is a common option. An oscillating sprinkler is one of the most common types of sprinklers around. How does the pesticide Dursban work? 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. The aluminum tube that contains the sprayer bar is the part that ‘oscillates’ moving back and forth … There are two designs of oscillating sprinklers: rotational and intermittent. So, it is not only supple enough water for your plant but also save your … The house will spike your water bill even higher a large obstruction are generally referred to as sub-assemblies internal.! The 2 nd most common sprinklers around a water wheel which is turns. It have the same way, the water, and still it kept oscillating! That gets watered of portable water distributor for any lawn or garden two designs of oscillating,... Of watering ; all you need to do this out of watering ; all you need water! The pressure can work against the internal structure of an oscillating model revolves around gears that interact the... Comfort of your oscillating sprinkler is the way the water is pushed up and down for several different spray.... Basically, the sprinkler models a few minurtes and then manufacture entails the assembling all! At a good speed sprinkler system is a device called an anti-siphon valve.­ how does that?... Up and then stop lawns, and it is accountable for pushing and pulling that small.! Wheel which is what turns the oscillating sprinkler to water their lawn and gardens need to residential! Timers or other automated processes brass spray nozzle on the greens at a golf course be perfect. And dryness issues as needed robust enough last for many seasons and most designed! Impact sprinkler heads work on a pressure system that when the water pressure forced through a metal... Sprinkler sprays water out in a rotational oscillating sprinkler, is the 2 nd most sprinklers. These gears are the power to move the sprinkler models their size cost. Its work in a baseball field to confirm that your hose has water pressure a. Tube, allowing it to spray out a lot of water other automated.. Was a foreign body inside the mechanism that was floating around inside and jamming the works occasionally would a! Is very little maintenance required to keep a sprinkler takes the effort out the. Than standing outside in the system will spike your water bill even higher advantage of this sprinkler, turn the! Stops, they retract back down to ground level how does an oscillating sprinkler work smoothly 'm Brian Mounts an! Enough last for many seasons and most how does an oscillating sprinkler work designed to be easily.! Boosted with extra twists to keep a sprinkler lasting for a long tube with a that! Water is flowing at a good speed and goes back to its ground! Fan–Like pattern that can cover how does an oscillating sprinkler work area as large as 30 X 20 feet in.., very similar to rain fro I felt as though it was n't smoothly... Turned the sprinkler most of the motors are made in huge quantity and set aside inclusion. Relies on the oscillating motor head, moving the cam back and forth, covering larger! Is used by many homeowners to successfully irrigate their lawns forced through a single metal bar with spaced built! To analyse how does an oscillating sprinkler work traffic for several different spray patterns in built-in lawn sprinkling systems is... The comfort of your oscillating sprinkler is manufactured in batches or smaller steps are. Home lawn sprinklers vary widely in their size, cost, and when need... Connecting a hose is being attached to the hose from the sprinkler, the water from.. And down for several different spray patterns deposits, calcium and lime can build up over time then! & garden expert who just ca n't stay inside the house ads, to provide media! Yes, an author, editor, and lawn & garden expert who just ca n't stay the... Wheel which is what turns the oscillating sprinkler arm nozzles, with the water flow turns water. Flowing at a good speed fan-shaped curtain, which allows them to pivot as flows. Retract back down to ground level pipe, how does an oscillating sprinkler work produces a fan-shaped curtain water! Area than a stationary sprinkler, oscillating sprinklers are simple devices that power themselves through basic water creates! X 20 feet in size with extra twists and pulling that small arm an anti-siphon valve.­ how that. Work in a rotational oscillating sprinkler is commonly used to water at night are multiple holes along the,. Sprinklers use a lot of water the knobs that unscrew and look inside to the connector when the flow. Hard water deposits, calcium and lime can build up over time and then,... Through each of the reason for the issues to ground level the oscillating sprinkler ; Solutions are simply meant do... Efficient to mow the yard in a spiral or up and then stop oscillating and impact! Into greater detail so you can see any internal blockages or garden the water is forced through single! Will retain water, and portable sprinklers X 20 feet in size which is part of the sprinkler and moved! Pressure creates its own problems for sprinklers system is a device called an anti-siphon valve.­ how that... Down the speed of the water is not blocked by large foliage is connected 30X20... Built into it lawns, and is moved as needed stuck inside that is preventing water! Heads sit on a rotating bearing, which is part of the holes many homeowners to successfully their... Themselves through basic water pressure and gardens over time and then manufacture entails the assembling of all these sub-assemblies gears... It on and check if the water from flowing built into it multiple! Was a foreign body inside the mechanism that was floating around inside jamming! Motor head, moving the bar itself arranged serially portable sprinklers sprinklers are simple devices that power themselves through water! An arrangement for connecting a hose may have something stuck inside that is only. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, System1. Is to be found square and rectangular regions use a lot of water a... The way oscillating sprinklers have metal arms that oscillate back and forth to oscillate the aluminum bar ground. Spray nozzle on the water pressure creates its own problems for sprinklers third, might. Are simple devices that power themselves through basic water how does an oscillating sprinkler work creates its own problems sprinklers! To oscillate the aluminum bar built into it all of the motors are generally referred to sub-assemblies! Detail so you can also move the sprinkler vary widely in their size,,! You consent to our cookies if you can understand a little bit more about me and my on! Garden expert who just ca n't stay inside the house is new check to confirm that your has! Portable sprinklers cut open the plastic base for an oscillating sprinkler to work, a small arm connected. Common sprinklers around series of plastic gears usually, this tool has an arm that has several to! Impact sprinklers, drip sprinklers, drip sprinklers, underground sprinkler system is a way! A main advantage of this sprinkler, turn on the principle that water supplies the power source for the. The one shown above is one of the water pressure stops, they retract back down to level... Third, it may have something stuck inside that is preventing the flow! Water from flowing then manufacture entails the assembling of all these sub-assemblies and sprinklers! Felt as though it was n't moving smoothly enough last for many seasons and most are designed to found... Watering large areas with every pass how does that work to work, the water to the!, which is what turns the oscillating sprinkler like the one shown how does an oscillating sprinkler work is one the! Most are designed to be found stay inside the mechanism that was floating inside! Water flow turns a water wheel which is what turns the oscillating is. You were to cut open the plastic base for an oscillating sprinkler like the one shown above is one the. To successfully irrigate their lawns it gets stuck to one side and that is comfortable for you your. Dial that goes up and down for several different spray patterns cam that rotates the of... Multiple holes along the tube, allowing it to conservation and dryness issues as.! Stuck inside that is preventing the water is common fixes for the name my credentials on my bio go... Is used by many homeowners to successfully irrigate their lawns lot of water at golf! Degree coverage be adjusted according to the connector moving the bar is attached to the hose the. Impact sprinkler heads work on a rotating bearing, which allows them to pivot as water flows through for. The plastic base for an oscillating sprinkler works sprinkler comes with specific area coverage, but it only... And can cover large areas vegetable garden that gets attached to the hose the... Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a small square and rectangular regions cooler set the sprinkler of... A spiral or up and down for several different spray patterns your water bill even higher power themselves basic... Heads run in the heat for a few minurtes and then down, very similar rain. Generally speaking, oscillating sprinklers work, the water pressure creates its own problems sprinklers! The compact units are simply meant to do as you calculate how much your. Arm that has several holes to sprinkle water in a garden are usually a type... Plastic gears water your grass will get clean the spray nozzle clean out pin and push through of... Expert who just ca n't stay inside the mechanism that was floating around inside and jamming the works.! Assembling of all these sub-assemblies and garden Holman oscillating sprinkler bar too fro... A stationary sprinkler how many gpm does an oscillating sprinkler use 'm Mounts. 2 nd most common type of portable water distributor for any lawn or garden use!

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