How Does an In-ground Lawn Sprinkler System Works?

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If you’re a gardener, you know how difficult it can be to keep your lawn green and healthy.

You spend hours tending to the plants and watering them every day. But if you live in an area where there is only rain during the winter months, then what do you do when summer comes? That’s where an in-ground sprinkler system comes in handy!

It helps provide water for your plants so that they can stay healthy all year long.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how these systems work and some of their components

Know the process

A typical in-ground sprinkler system utilizes a network of pipes resting at least 12 inches below the soil bed. Besides, it requires multiple water outlets placed in all the zones of your garden or lawn. These sprinkler heads work based on water pressure and the process is as follows:

Electronic control is responsible to open and close the water outputs. All these heads operate on water pressure. Means, they come above the ground once the water passes through their respective pipelines. Once the water pressure goes low, these heads retract back.

Water heads are generally raised high from the ground level so that none of the foliage can block their water spray. You can add a rain sensor for better productivity and water conservation. Such a component will make sure that an in-ground sprinkler system stays idle in case it’s raining.

Understand the electronic controller

The primary water supply comes into a box and then moves into separate pipes, wherein each one of them gets a control valve. The electronic controller is set to divide the water supply towards each valve, depending upon the garden zone and the amount of water it needs. In other words, the controller tells all these valves when to start the watering process and when to stop.

Some of the less expensive controllers are not entirely automatic. Means, you must push a button when the garden needs some water. Always remember to shut down such a manual system otherwise it will convert your lawn into a pool.

Sources of water supply

It’s easy to understand that the lawn sprinkler comes online when you activate its electronic controller. But, where is the water supply? Well, such sprinkler systems use two different water resources.

Pump systems: Natural water bodies like a lake or pond works as water sources in pump based sprinkler systems. Maintenance and servicing of such gardening equipment are easy. Moreover, you don’t have to bear the additional water bills.

Metered water systems: Uses the existing water lines of your house and needs professionals for maintenance or repair. Metered water systems are expensive but are more reliable when compared to the pump systems.


An in-ground sprinkler system is a great way to maintain your lawn year round.

It can be difficult to understand the inner workings of these systems, hope this article provided you some tips on how they work and what you need to do for maintenance.

If you are looking to add or upgrade the water system of your lawn, then an in-ground sprinkler might be an ideal choice.

Clean the sprinkler heads every week from grasses or other debris that might force them to get stuck. In such cases, a lawnmower can easily damage the water outlets.

Also, winterize the system in case you are residing in an area with freezing winters.

About M H Sharaj

Sharaj is a passionate garden enthusiast and expert gardening tool reviewer with more than 5 years of hands-on experience. His love for gardening blossomed in his childhood, nurtured by weekends spent in his family's vibrant garden. Sharaj holds a degree in Management and enjoys the unique challenges and rewards of roof gardening. He combines his horticultural knowledge with a keen eye for innovative tools and equipment, providing readers with insightful, unbiased reviews. When he’s not testing the latest gardening gadgets, Sharaj is cultivating his own lush rooftop garden oasis, filled with a variety of plants and flowers. His mission is to inspire others to create beautiful, sustainable gardens using the best tools available.

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