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Why pop-up sprinklers? For good looks, safety.

Why pop-up sprinklers? For good looks, safety Before the invention of pop-up plastic sprinklers several years ago, the only way to install a sprinkler so it would spray over tall ground cover plants and shrubs was to raise it above the plants on a length of rigid pipe. Not only is this unsightly, it creates a hazard that someone could trip over.

With the availability of sprinklers that pop up 2, 4, 6, or 12 inches above ground level when in use, you can make your landscape safer and more attractive. If a 12-inch pop-up sprinkler in the middle of a bed isn't tall enough to reach over plants, you can add a 6- or 10-inch plastic extension to the pop-up part of the sprinkler. When the system is turned off, only the extension is above ground, and it is hidden beneath foliage.

Pop-ups go on existing and new sprinkler systems

Select a sprinkler size that will reach over the plants when they're mature. If ground cover plants eventually grow to 6 inches high, use a sprinkler with a 6-inch pop-up head.

Because the entire sprinkler sits below soil level, pop-ups require more space underground than stationary sprinklers. That can mean a little extra digging. Determine the depth of your water supply line by digging a hole around the old sprinkler. The actual height of the sprinkler head is several inches longer than the height of the part that pops up. For a 6-inch pop-up to fit directly on an existing line, the pipe has to be at least 10 inches deep. If it's deeper, adjust the height by using a longer nipple than the one shown in the photograph below.

If the water supply line isn't deep enough, make the four-piece height-adjusting arm shown in the side installation photograph (left). You will need three street ells (elbows with male and female threads) and a 2-inch nipple, all in 1/2-inch-diameter pipe. Attach the arm to the water supply line first, then screw the sprinkler head onto it. Dig a wide hole--you will have to spin the sprinkler head end-over-end to tighten it onto the fittings. If you use fittings made from Marlex, a softer plastic than PVC, you don't need to tape the joints. Once everything is attached, rotate the arm until the top of the sprinkler is level with the soil, then fill in the hole.

For a new system, put the water supply line deep enough to use the bottom opening of your sprinklers--unless you are using 12-inch pop-ups (which are 16 inches long). Fabricate the four-piece arm to install these.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 1, 1986
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