How to find underground sprinkler heads?
Measure Between Two Active Sprinkler Heads
Listen for the Water Sound and Look for Puddles
Another go-to method to locate sprinkler head is listening to the sound of water and looking for puddles. Sound can lead you to buried sprinkler heads. This is the quickest way, and you do not need any equipment.
You can divide your lawn into zones by plotting out where each sprinkler head will go on a drawing. From here, you can create an imaginary spray of water covering each area. The goal is to make sure that each square space of your area gets water from the sprinkler head. Add and reduce sprinkler heads as needed.
The deflector, a small plate located at the tip of each fire sprinkler head, is usually imprinted with all the information needed to order the manufacturer's exact replacement or — if that sprinkler is discontinued or recalled — a code-compliant alternative. Some sprinkler heads may be concealed behind a cover plate.
Use A Valve Locator
A valve locator consists of a transmitter, a receiver, two lead wires, and a grounding stake. The valve locator transmits a beeping signal along the wire to locate irrigation valves. Using a valve locator is an accurate way to find lost valves without damage to the lawn or garden.
Mark the sprinkler locations with flags or the stakes. Typical trench depths range from 6 to 12 inches. To run pipe under existing walkways you can "drill" using water pressure.
The trenches will be relatively shallow, usually 6 to 12 inches deep, depending on your area's freeze cycles and frost severity. The trench must also be deep enough to allow the sprinklers to retract underground to prevent breakage from lawn machines.
At different pressures, the sprinkler head and nozzle will consume different amounts of water. For example, at 35 pounds per square inch (PSI) the 5000 Series Rotor using the 3.0 nozzle will use 3.11 gallons per minute (GPM). If your home's water capacity was 10 GPM, you could place 3 heads per zone.
This will primarily be determined by the total flow rate and pressure you have available at your source. For example, you generally have a flow rate of 10 gpm from a ¾-inch spigot where you connect your hose. With your 10 gpm flow rate at your spigot, you could run two sprinklers at 5 gpm each.
Because of the lower PSI the distance of the spray rarely exceeds 15ft. Meaning that spray heads should never be placed further than 15 ft. apart as this would create dry spots (i.e. dead grass) in your lawn. It is always important to install sprinklers with overlap for full coverage.
Is there a tool to find sprinkler heads?
Metal detectors are a good sprinkler head detector, but before scanning your entire lawn with a metal detector, ensure that the metal detector is functional. You can do so by scanning it over a sprinkler head that's functional. Also, to get an accurate reading, make sure to adjust the sensitivity settings.
For instance, ordinary sprinkler heads have a red or orange bulb. Intermediate sprinklers have a yellow or green color. High-temperature sprinkler head bulbs are colored in blue, followed by purple and black as the temperature increases.
Every fire sprinkler manufactured after December 31, 2000, has a sprinkler identification number (SIN) on its deflector following rules issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). It's a four-to-seven-digit code that starts with one or two letters revealing the head's manufacturer: R: Reliable.
Rent a valve-locating device. These devices detect lost valves by tracking the wires from the controller to the lawn irrigation system valve site. A valve-locating device contains a transmitter, a receiver, two lead wires, and a grounding stake. It transmits a beeping signal along the wire to find irrigation valves.
In most cases, your sprinkler valve box will house your manifold and valves. Occasionally valves will be above ground. Valve boxes are generally around the permitter of your house - so when searching for your valves, start there!
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, can be tricky to find because there is little or no metal in the pipe system, rendering a metal detector useless. Today, the best tool for the job is ground penetrating radar (GPR) as it accurately maps metal and PVC pipes.
My recommendation is to bury sprinkler lines 8-12 inches. I usually try to keep a standard depth of 10" because it provides more safety if I need to do some type of ground work so I don't have to worry about hitting lines. A walk-behind rototiller generally won't go deeper than 8".
Pop-up height – For uniform distribution, the sprinkler heads should rise above the grass height, making the 4” pop-up style most popular. High pop-up head, with a 12-inch rise, are suitable for ground cover area and lower flower and shrubs beds. Pressure – Pop-ups work best with water pressure at 30-40 psi.
Polyethylene. Polyethylene pipes are mainly used in sprinkler systems because of their high-pressure rating. The rating system is basically a measurement of pressure-bearing load.
Nothing should be in that area between the bottom of the sprinkler heads and the imaginary horizontal plane parallel to the ceiling that is 18 inches below. This is done to allow an even and unobstructed spray pattern from the sprinklers when triggered to extinguish the fire.
Should sprinkler head be flush with ground?
The top of the new sprinkler head should be level with the ground, not with the grass. The sprinkler head is susceptible to damage from weed whackers, mowers and foot traffic if it's installed any higher.
Materials that are most commonly used for fire sprinkler systems are PVC, steel, copper and PEX. While most commonly applied in potable water and heating applications, PEX piping, with its competitive pricing and straightforward installation, is becoming a growing trend in fire sprinkler system design.
Total number of sprinklers = Remote Area (Design Area) / Area covered by one sprinkler.
The average water pressure for most homes and businesses is between 30 psi and 50 psi; most sprinkler systems are designed to use pressures of around 30 psi. You can measure the water pressure at your site with a flow meter or water gauge attached to an outdoor faucet.
A common rule that is followed for obstructions within 18 inches of the sprinkler deflector is the “three times rule”. This requires sprinklers to be positioned away from obstructions a minimum or three times the maximum dimension of the obstruction.