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Active Member


Monday, September 5th 2011, 7:59am

Sprinkler head height

I am in the process of installing my new sprikler system. I have mostly Raninbird 32SA and 42SA+ heads as well as some small ones that spray about 12 feet. I have a thin lawn in about half of the yard, and no lawn in the rest. How far above the ground should I install the heads to compensate for the lawn becoming thicker over time, but also keep me from hitting them with the lawn mower. I am installing them with funny pipe so they will have a small amount of movement, but prefer not to have to dig them up again to adjust the height if possible.
Any advice appreciated....


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,382

Location: Metro NYC


Monday, September 5th 2011, 10:10am

add a marlex elbow at each head, and it's easier to pull the heads up as needed


Active Member


Wednesday, September 7th 2011, 8:54am

What height would you start with?


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,382

Location: Metro NYC


Wednesday, September 7th 2011, 11:05am

That is all site specific, and your site is an unknown.


New Member

Posts: 5

Location: Atlanta, GA


Tuesday, September 13th 2011, 6:42am

Why are you using those type of heads? Use the Rainbird 5004 or 5012. These heads will retract into ground and you won't have to worry about the lawnmower hitting them. Install these so that the top of the head is flush with the dirt level, not turf level but dirt level.
Russell Hulsey, CIC


Supreme Member


Tuesday, September 13th 2011, 3:28pm

Most DIY instructions I've seen say to install the sprinkler heads just a little bit ABOVE ground height. Dirt builds up over time. Some of it is dust that settles out of the air, some of it is leaves, grass clippings, and other things that organically decay over time. The build up isn't fast. But if you mount the heads perfectly even with the ground, in several years from now, they will be below ground level.

I would suggest a mounting height of 1/4" That will give years (decades?) for soil to build up, yet high enough than even a lawnmower blade set at 1" won't hit it (assuming level ground).


Supreme Member

Posts: 493

Location: Seattle


Friday, September 16th 2011, 12:36am


The weight of a lawnmower and the fact that the earth is always moving around slightly will play a much bigger role then what your talking about


Active Member


Sunday, September 18th 2011, 3:25pm

CRI IRR, I went with the 42SA+ & 32SA because I had Rainbird do my design and that is what they specified. I looked at the 5004 and 5012 on their site, and they look to be pretty much the same, especially the 5004. It's almost identical. The 5012 may have a 12 inch pop up which may help a bit.
I ended up going 1/2" above the ground. I measured my mower at #2 and it was higher than that, and I never go below #2. My wheels on the deck are on the grass at that height. I mow 99% of the time at #3 which will give me plenty of room. I have funny pipe and marlex elbows, so I can always adjust if need be.
Thanks for the advice everyone.

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