How to adjust rotary lawn sprinkler heads

Updated April 17, 2017

Rotary lawn sprinklers are automatic sprinkler heads that rotate. You can adjust two settings: arc width and radius distance. The arc is how much the sprinkler rotates. The radius is how far the water shoots from the sprinkler. In general, switching to a different sprinkler head is the only way to change the amount of water the sprinkler heads use.

Turn the pop-up head, also known as the nozzle turret, counterclockwise until it stops.

Turn the nozzle turret clockwise until it stops and hold it in this position.

If the sprinkler comes with a plastic key, insert the key into the pull-up socket, which should be labelled on the top of the nozzle. It will have the individual shape of the key. Otherwise insert the screwdriver into the arc dial, which also should be labelled.

Turn the screwdriver or plastic key clockwise to increase the arc or counterclockwise to decrease the arc.

Turn on the sprinkler, and watch it to make sure you have the correct arc. Adjust it and test it again until the arc is the height you want it.

Turn on the sprinkler system.

Locate the radius-reduction screw on the top of the nozzle. It is usually labelled.

Use the screwdriver or the hex end of the plastic key to turn the screw. Turn it clockwise to reduce the radius or counterclockwise to increase the radius until it is at the desired distance.


When increasing the radius, be careful that you don't go too far. The screw will stop at the maximum radius. If you continue to unscrew it, the nozzle could come off because the same screw often holds the nozzle onto the turret.

Things You'll Need

  • Small, straight-slot screwdriver or plastic key
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