How many sprinklers can be used per zone or valve?
In order to determine how many heads you can use per zone, you need to know your water pressure and flow rate. 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. Consult the Performance Charts on or inside the box your sprinkler head came in for your head's exact performance data, or locate the performance data in the Support area of this website.
For a more technical overview related to system design and hydraulics, you can review Rain Bird's Landscape Irrigation Design Manual.
For a basic assessment of your pressure and flow conditions:
Check your water pressure:
- Screw a pressure gauge onto the nearest faucet to the water meter. Make sure no water is running anywhere inside or outside your house. Turn on the faucet with the gauge attached. The gauge shows your water pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). You may also call your local water company to find out your water pressure.
Measure your home's water capacity (flow):
- Get a measurable container, like a 5-gallon bucket, and make sure no other water is running in or outside the house. Then, turn the faucet on all the way and time how long it takes to fill the container. The flow rate in gallons per minute (GPM) is: 300 (which is 5 gallons X 60 seconds in a minute) divided by the number of seconds it takes to fill the container.
The videos below will guide you step by step how to measure static pressure and maximum flow available in your service line:
Note: For pump systems, check with your well and pump dealer or the owner's manual of your pump to determine its pressure and flow capacity.