Mr Sprinkler Repair

Sprinkler Repair

Mr Sprinkler Repair

How Long Should My Sprinkler System Run?

Watering your lawn or garden effectively is crucial to the health of your plants and the conservation of water. The duration your sprinkler system should run depends on several variables including the type of sprinkler system, local weather conditions, soil type, and the kind of plants you are watering. This guide will help you determine the optimal duration for running your sprinkler system to ensure a lush, green lawn or garden without wasting resources.

Factors Affecting Sprinkler System Duration

Type of Sprinkler System

  • Rotary sprinklers require more time because they release water more slowly.
  • Fixed spray head sprinklers deliver water more quickly and therefore may run for shorter periods.

Weather Conditions

  • Hot, dry, and windy conditions increase the need for water.
  • Less watering is required during cooler or overcast weather.

Soil Type

  • Sandy soils drain quickly and may require shorter, more frequent watering.
  • Clay soils hold moisture longer and may need less frequent, but longer watering sessions.

Plant Requirements

  • Different plants have different watering needs. For example, vegetables and flowers may need more water, while native plants might need less.

Determining the Ideal Duration

Step 1: Check Your Soil

A simple way to check if your soil needs water is to do the screwdriver test. If a screwdriver can be easily pushed into the soil up to 6 inches, your soil has enough moisture. If not, it may be time to water.

Step 2: Water Deeply But Infrequently

Your goal should be to encourage deep root growth. For lawns, it typically means wetting the soil to a depth of 6 inches. One common recommendation is to water until the soil is moist to this depth once or twice a week rather than lightly watering every day.

Step 3: Measure Your Water Output

You can use catch cups or a rain gauge to measure how much water your sprinklers deliver in a set amount of time. Aim for about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week for most lawns.

Step 4: Adjust According to Seasons

Water needs will change with seasons. Generally, your lawn and garden need more water in the warm growing season and much less during cooler months. Set timers accordingly, and don’t forget to turn off your system when it rains!

Step 5: Observe and Adapt

Monitor your plants after setting a watering schedule. If you notice signs of overwatering (like soggy soil or yellowing leaves) or underwatering (dry, brown patches), adjust the duration accordingly.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long to run your sprinkler system, but these guidelines can serve as a starting point. Regular observation and tweaking of your irrigation practices will result in a healthy and beautiful landscape that makes the best use of your water resources.

Remember, responsible watering is not only good for your plants but also for the environment. With thoughtful water management, you can maintain a thriving outdoor space and contribute to the conservation of our valuable water resources.


If you have any questions or need any type of sprinkler system repair, the experts at Mr Sprinkler Repair will be glad to help. Give us a call or 855-695-1000 to set an appointment.