When you have a lawn or a garden that you aim to keep in tip-top shape, low water pressure can be a nuisance. In some cases, sprinkler heads may not even pop up at all. Choosing a sprinkler that is best used with high water pressure can result in uneven or even zero water coverage which, in turn, leads to dead grass and plants. In the next paragraphs, we’re going to show you some of the things that lead to low pressure. However, you need to keep in mind that this may not be a home-problem and the water pressure is naturally low in the area you live in. In these cases, you will have to adapt to the situation and install low pressure water sprinklers. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
If you’re just looking for the best sprinklers for any water pressure, we have a guide for that also.
5 Best Lawn Sprinkler for Low Water Pressure Comparisons
|Dramm 15075 ColorStorm Spinning Sprinkler||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Rain Bird P5R Impact Sprinkler||CHECK THE PRICE|
|SOMMERLAND Spot Sprinkler||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Nelson Stationary Sprinkler||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Gilmour Ring Sprinkler||CHECK THE PRICE|
What Causes Low Water Pressure?
Check Your Regulators
Have you ever heard of pressure regulators? These are devices shaped like a bell which are positioned below the front hose connectors of your house. Upon their first installation, the manufacturer will set them at a water pressure between 45 to 60 PSI. Even if you shouldn’t mess with these pressure regulators, there are cases where units can go bad and will need proper replacement. A very common mistake here is taking matters into your own hands instead of calling a professional.
In other cases, homeowners accidentally turn off some valves and this can cause low pressure as well. The 2 valves that should always be turned on are the home valve and the customer valve. The first one is typically located around the hose bib, while the latter is positioned in the meter box.
Leaks are another common cause of low water pressure. That means that if a pipe is losing water, you’re losing pressure. In order to discover if you have leaking pipes, do the following test: turn off all water taps in and outside the house and read the water meter immediately. Don’t use any water for a period of 1 to 2 hours and then read the meter again. If the water usage has increased from your last reading, you’re likely losing water somewhere.
Believe it or not, mineral deposits can cause low pressure as well. If you live in an older house or a home that’s equipped with galvanized iron pipes, you have increased chances of ending up with clogged pipes due to mineral deposits. In such cases, it is advisable to find a certified plumber that can make all needed repairs.
There are several factors that could cause low pressure and that you may never have thought of. If you have trees or shrubs growing near your water lines, the roots may have wrapped around the lines, causing them to bend over time. If you’re constantly driving or parking your car above a water line, the pressure applied to the soil may directly damage or crush some pipes. Even a really tiny crack inside a water piper can be a regular magnet for dirt and, over time, can lead to clogging and low water pressure.
Common Causes for Low Water Pressure in Sprinkler Systems
If you already own a sprinkler system and you believe that low water pressure is a fixable problem, you should first figure out what factors could be causing it.
In some cases, you could have enough water pressure at every faucet inside the house, but when it comes to your sprinkler system, you aren’t getting enough water. In such a case, there could be a problem with the backflow preventer valves not being fully open. There are generally 2 pipes associated with the backflow preventer: one vertical and one horizontal. Both of these pipes should have a valve and, if they are fully open, the handle should rest parallel with the pipe.
Sometimes, you may notice that the main water valve or the shut-off valve isn’t open all the way through. If you’ve recently turned off the main water supply, you may have mistakenly turned it on only partially. The water sources inside of your house won’t need that much water pressure as a sprinkler system does, so it’s understandable if you didn’t notice this mistake before.
Check Sprinkler Head
An extremely common source for low pressure is improper maintenance of the sprinkler heads. While some sprinkler manufacturers will specify in the user manual how to remove and clean sprinkler heads, other manufacturers (especially of cheaper devices) will fail to do so. Always take into consideration the fact that the nozzles on your sprinkler are nothing but holes and holes which are exposed to both soil and water do have a tendency of getting dirty and clogged. Clear away any obstructions that may cause the sprinkler to disperse less water than it should.
Check Your Neighborhood
Last, but not least, take into account that low pressure could not be caused by anything inside your household. If there were recent repairs in the neighborhood, water suppliers and repairmen had to turn off the main water valves to solve any existing problems. There is always that slight possibility that the valves weren’t turned on all the way after repairs have been made. Low water pressure can be caused at a municipal level by a considerable number of factors. For example, during the summer, when temperatures are high, and the sun is burning through almost everything, the demand for water is higher than usual. If there are new homes being built in the area, that’s also a variable that could lead to lower water pressure.
If the low-pressure problem is temporary, you could get a recommendation to avoid peak water usage points throughout the day and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. However, if the problem is permanent, you will also need to find a permanent solution. That’s where low pressure sprinklers come in. You will need to reconfigure your entire sprinkling system, so you can adapt your watering needs to match the existing pressure.
That’s precisely why we’ve decided to show you the top 5 sprinklers to match your low pressure situation. Thankfully, these above the ground water sprinklers represent a low investment, so you can still have a beautiful lawn that gets its required dose of freshwater without you having to go bankrupt.
Top 5 Best Lawn Sprinklers for Low Water Pressure Reviews
Dramm 15075 ColorStorm Spinning Sprinkler
- Dimensions: 8.5” x 1.8” x 7.8”
- Weight: 1.35 lbs.
- Lowest functioning water pressure: 20 PSI
The Dramm sprinkler promises to really deliver quality watering to those experiencing problems with low pressure. For those of you who’ve never heard about Dramm, the most important piece of information is their 75 years of history in manufacturing water tools.
It can cover a 38 feet diameter, so if you have a generous lawn or rich garden, you will need more than one of these babies. It works with water pressure that goes as low as 20 PSI. The sprinkler can be used on a surface water pump or a shallow well. It comes with a spinning head which is fixed with a brass pin. This pin has a ball bearing at the bottom, with a brass bushing surrounding it. This mechanism was used to provide longevity, as the manufacturer takes pride in the high-quality materials used on their sprinklers.
The station base is sturdy and will offer good stability. The hook can easily be molded so you can store it away during winter, to avoid the sprinkler being covered in snow. The sprinkler is made of aluminum and zinc, which will avoid rust and deterioration over time. The fine droplets eliminated by this sprinkler will be soaked by your soil, to make sure they reach the deep roots of your plants. You can opt between 6 different colors (I’ll give it to Dramm, they found a nice way to make dull green lawns look nicer): berry, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.
- Water pressure can be as low as 20 PSI
- Really solid materials used in manufacturing the Dramm sprinkler, so it will last for years
- Water droplets resemble mist, can easily be blown away by a breeze into random directions
- Circular design, can be a nuisance for square/rectangular lawns
Rain Bird P5R Impact Sprinkler
- Dimensions: 9” x 7” x 4”
- Weight: 0.32 ounces
- Lowest functioning water pressure: not mentione
If you’re a garden enthusiast who knows his/her way around a good sprinkler, you had to know a Rain Bird gizmo would sneak in around here somewhere. That’s because Rain Bird is rather famous for manufacturing good water sprinklers. But before we move on to any more praise, let’s mention that the P5R is made of plastic, which is a deal breaker to people looking for something sturdier, maybe made out of metal.
As the name mentions it, this is an impact sprinkler. This particular type of sprinklers feature a head which moves in a circular motion determined by the pressure of outgoing water. The Rain Bird P5R comes with an integrated diffuser screw that allows the head to disperse tiny water droplets, claiming better coverage. The arm features double brass weight that slows down rotations to make sure water is spread evenly around the sprinkler. The bayonet nozzle can be removed for maintenance, in order to avoid debris or mud from jamming the device.
You can adjust the coverage angle starting from 20 degrees and all the way up to 340 degrees. If you want a full circle rotation, there is also a 360 degrees feature. While the manufacturer fails to specify an exact figure for the lowest water pressure under which the sprinkler can function, customers claim that the P5R is indeed functional under low pressure conditions.
- Works even with a timer
- High number of satisfied customers as far as compatibility between the Rain Bird P5R and low water pressure is concerned
- High number of customer complaints about sprinkler breaking down in 1 to 3 months after purchase
- Coverage is 21 to 40 feet, not 50 feet as reported on the product’s Amazon page
SOMMERLAND Spot Sprinkler
- Dimensions: 5.4” x 3.7” x 1.3”
- Weight: 3.52 ounces
- Lowest functioning water pressure: not mentioned
The first thing you’re going to notice about the SOMMERLAND sprinkler is the affordable price (a packet of 3 can be purchased for as low as $10). The second thing to notice is the aspect: somewhat of a combination between a shower hear and a faucet. Well, this sprinkler is nothing to laugh at, as it does deliver quite a bang for the buck.
The device is made of heavy duty metal, which is a nice touch considering there are so many cheap plastic sprinklers available on the market. Metal sprinklers are always a nice touch, as they provide a bit of comfort knowing they have a larger life span. The manufacturer promises coverage of up to 2,800 square feet, at a radius of 30 feet. Works great when attached to a garden hose (please note that if you use a thick and heavy hose, there are chances it will flip over, so it’s best used with a light-weight hose).
- Hard to tip over, despite its small size
- Made of heavy duty metal, longer life-span compared to plastic sprinklers
- Inefficient for larger lawns/gardens
Nelson Stationary Sprinkler
- Dimensions: 5.5” x 5” x 1.5”
- Weight: 1 lbs.
- Lowest functioning water pressure: not mentioned (lowest water pressure tested by customers: 40 PSI)
Looking at the Nelson stationary sprinkler, we couldn’t help but think that it looks like a modified pair of brass knuckles. Well, no matter what it looks like, we’re here to see if it delivers. This 1 pound sprinkler is surely stable and won’t be easily knocked over. It’s made of heavy duty cast iron, to ensure a longer life, as it prevents the formation of rust.
The manufacturer promises that this circular pattern sprinkler will cover 30 feet in diameter. Even if the Amazon product page doesn’t give us an exact figure of how low the pressure can be for this sprinkler to function, customers reported satisfactory results even with low pressure. It also works well with high water pressure, as this causes the water dispersed from the sprinkler to rise and cover an even larger area.
Please note that due to its low profile, taller grass can interfere with the sprinkler and cause it to spray unevenly.
- No moving parts, meaning there are less components prone to damage
- Great for dogs owners, as the resistant cast iron cannot be chewed or scratched
- The spray pattern is a full circle, no possibility to adjust angles
- Rust can form into female connector, needs constant greasing and maintenance to avoid that
Gilmour Ring Sprinkler
- Dimensions: 8” x 8” x 3”
- Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Lowest functioning water pressure: not mentioned
The Gilmour ring sprinkler is a treat for all those who own circular lawns and want their grass to stay green and healthy. It provides coverage of up to 900 feet and a 34 feet diameter spray pattern. This particular sprinkler is made of a polymer construction that promises to shield this little fellow from rust and any small to medium impacts (impact with lawn mowers yet to be tested).
As you will notice from its design, there are 3 circles with small holes that disperse the water. These 3 rows of outlet promise to work great even if you have low pressure in your area, although the manufacturer fails to specify just how low water pressure can be for the sprinkler to function properly. The circular pattern cannot be switched or adjusted in any way, although higher pressure can lead to further watering.
- Very simple to install, all it requires is a water hose connection (ideal for people looking for simplicity)
- A success amongst customers with children that love to play under the sprinkler’s water spray
- Some users have reported false advertising as far as the 34 feet diameter spraying is concerned (the diameter is actually lower)
In the end, it all comes down to how much money you are willing to spend for watering your lawn. Each of the 5 sprinklers we’ve reviewed comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses (from the durability of the materials used to the lack of specifications as far as low water pressure is concerned). As a general opinion, manufacturers need to do a better job in specifying the spraying diameters of each model at several levels of pressure, so that the customers are properly informed before making a purchasing decision. As you may have noticed in some of our reviews, water pressure is what determines the spray radius of each unit and the variables are vague.
If we must absolutely choose a favorite, it would be the Dramm 15075 ColorStorm spinning sprinkler. We appreciate the detailed specifications which lets buyers know that the sprinkler will function with pressure as low as 20 PSI, as well as the color availability that makes for a nice touch amongst the many dull-looking sprinklers you’ll find on the market.