Earlier this year we had our large back yard professionally landscaped including a complete installation of new sod. To make sure the sod got off to a great start it was important to keep it watered on a regular basis, especially during the brutal heat of our Louisiana summer. We didn’t have a decent sprinkler setup in place but with a little trial and error we ended up with something that I LOVE.
In my opinion, the best sprinkler for large yard coverage is the Orbit Impulse Tripod Lawn Sprinkler.
I ended up buying four of these and now watering my lawn is a complete joy. Before I go into why I like the Orbit Impulse Tripod sprinkler so much let me tell you about our first attempt at a sprinkler system that I ended up hating.
Melnor Dura Tek Oscillating Sled Lawn Sprinkler (Bad Choice)
Our first attempt at a sprinkler system was with Melnor Dura Tek Oscillating Sled lawn sprinklers.
The Melnor sprinkler is designed for large yards and it uses a little over three gallons of water per minute. The sprinkler has 20 brass jets and oscillates to cover up to 4000 square feet. Melnor also offers a 4500 sq ft model but that would not have made a difference in performance for our situation.
The reason I ended up hating these sprinklers is because they were light. While the fact that they did not weigh much might not seem like a big deal it created serious aggravation during usage. In order to use these sprinklers you have to carry them into the yard, place them where you need them and then hook up a garden hose. Here are the problems:
- Hauling water hoses around the yard and then rolling them back up was not fun. It sucked.
- The water hose would sometimes get a kink. When I let the kink out it hit the sprinkler with a pressurized slug of water that would make the sprinkler “bounce” and get pointed in the wrong direction. Then I would have to reposition the sprinkler, either by first turning off the hose or walking through the spraying water, which kind of sucked.
- Our dogs would be playing in the yard and if they hit the sprinkler or the hose it would get knocked out of position and have to be reset.
- The light design made these sprinklers easy to break. While the oscillation controls on all of our sprinklers (we had three) worked great at first, two of them eventually jammed after a little rough handling as I pulled them up with the hose. These sprinklers come with a warranty but I hated them so much I was glad to have a reason to throw them away.
In a nutshell, these light oscillating sprinklers work okay but they are high maintenance and using them to water a large yard required more work than I was interested in performing.
Orbit Impulse Tripod Lawn Sprinkler (Great Choice)
After I ditched the Melnor sprinklers I did some research online and drove around some other neighborhoods that had massive lawns to see what other people were using and recommending. The sprinkler that I kept seeing and reading about was the Orbit Impulse Tripod.
They stock these at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement Store so I headed over and picked one up. After I got home and played with it for about 30 minutes I knew I had found exactly what I had always wanted. I got back in my car, went back to Lowe’s and bought three more!
I love these sprinklers because they:
- Provide Precision Watering
- Allow Sturdy Installation
- Are A Joy To Watch
Precise Watering Control
The Orbit Tripod is the most adjustable sprinkler that I have seen.
You can set the height of the sprinkler to anywhere between 25 and 48 inches with the adjustable legs. The legs can also be set at different heights from each other if you are trying to make the unit stable on uneven or sloping ground.
You can set the sprinkler to spray while rotating in a 360 degree circle for maximum coverage. However, you can also use the guide clips shown below to restrict the rotation to anything you want, including an almost a completely straight line if you just want to target a single spot. The rotation control guide clips are super easy to use and you will have this figured out in just a few minutes.
In addition to controlling the height and rotational pattern, you can also control how far the sprinkler sprays water. There is a hand turnable screw on the sprinkler head that changes the position of the stream diffuser plate. If you turn the screw all the way open there is almost no flow restriction and the sprinkler will shoot water for a little over 80 feet. If you turn the screw all the way closed then the diffuser plate obstructs the stream and the water will only spray for about 20 feet.
By being able to control the height, rotation and distance of the water you can use these sprinklers to deliver precision watering to any part of your lawn. I had a blast setting mine up and fine tuning the exact spray patterns. I now how every inch of my lawn dialed in and it was super easy to do.
These sprinklers put out over five gallons per minute of water and can cover a MASSIVE area (over 5000 square feet per sprinkler) depending upon how you dial them in. Whether you are looking for brute force watering capacity or precision targeted sprinkling, these guys have you covered.
These sprinklers have a some weight behind them (a few pounds) and the tripod base makes them very stable. I have these sprinklers permanently set up in strategic locations tucked up behind deck posts and shrubs. You can’t really see the sprinklers from my porch unless you really look for them and they have stayed in place rock solid for the past four months.
Some folks use these as portable sprinklers or stick them in the garage after they are done watering but I love leaving them out in their fine tuned precision spraying arrangement.
They way I have things set up I no longer have to move hoses every time I water my yard. I do have two sprinklers sharing one outdoor faucet and use a two water splitter to direct the water to whichever one I want.
A Joy To Use
Watering my backyard is now an absolute pleasure. I turn on the outdoor faucets, sit on my porch with a cup of coffee and sit back, relax, and take in the sights and sounds of water spraying all over my yard.
I almost feel like I am overlooking a golf course watching the greens be tended to. The birds love the spray and I have seen a few hummingbirds flying through the mist for fun.
An additional benefit of the tripod design is that it, if used as a permanent installation, it can serve as a great trellis for climbing vines. One of my sprinklers is playing host to a native vine of some type which has me inspired to use the others to host some Morning Glories or other climbing beauties.
Which Model To Buy?
When I was doing my Internet/Amazon research I found at least four different model numbers for these sprinklers (27677, 58308A, 58308D, 58308N) and could not figure out what in the heck the differences were between them.
I finally went to the company website and they said that the only difference in the models is in which stores they were sold. That is, an Orbit sprinkler sold at Lowe’s will be a different model number from one sold at Tractor Supply and those will be different from ones sold at Walmart.
I have no idea why they make things confusing like that but hey…that’s out of my control.