An Irrigation sprinkler (also known as a water sprinkler or simply a sprinkler) is a device used to irrigate agricultural crops, lawns, landscapes, golf courses, and other areas. They are also used for cooling and for the control of airborne dust. Sprinkler irrigation is the method of applying water to a controlled manner that is similar to rainfall. The water is distributed through a network that may consist of pumps, valves, pipes, and sprinklers. Irrigation sprinklers can be used for residential, industrial, and agricultural usage.

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Types of sprinklers are:

  • Industrial– Higher pressure sprinklers that themselves move in a circle are driven by a ball drive, gear drive, or impact mechanism (impact sprinklers). These can be designed to rotate in a full or partial circle. Railguns are similar to impact sprinkler, except that they generally operate at very high pressures of 40 to 130 lb/in² (275 to 900 kPa) and flows of 50 to 1200 US gal/min (3 to 76 L/s), usually with nozzle diameters in the range of 0.5 to 1.9 inches (10 to 50 mm). In addition to irrigation, guns are used for industrial applications such as dust suppression and logging. Many irrigation sprinklers are buried in the ground along with their supporting plumbing, although above ground and moving sprinklers are also common. Most irrigation sprinklers operate through electric and hydraulic technology and are grouped together in zones that can be collectively turned on and off by actuating a solenoid-controlled valve.
  • Residential– Home lawn sprinklers vary widely in their size, cost, and complexity. They include impact sprinklers, oscillating sprinklers, drip sprinklers, underground sprinkler systems, and portable sprinklers. Permanently installed systems may often operate on timers or other automated processes. They are occasionally installed with retractable heads for aesthetic and practical reasons, reducing damage during lawn mowing. These types of systems usually can be programmed to automatically start on a set time and day each week. Small portable sprinklers can be temporarily placed on lawns if additional watering is needed or if no permanent system is in place. These are often attached to an outdoor water faucet and are placed for a short period of time. Other systems may be professionally installed permanently in the ground and are attached permanently to a home’s plumbing system.An antique sprinkler developed by Nomad called a ‘set-and-forget tractor sprinkler’ was used in Australia in the 1950s. Water pressure ensured that the sprinkler slowly moved across a lawn.
  • Agricultural Science– The first use of sprinklers by farmers was some form of home and golf course type sprinklers. These ad hoc systems, while doing the job of the buried pipes and fixed sprinkler heads, interfered with cultivation and were expensive to maintain. In the 1950s a firm based in Portland, Oregon Stout-Wyss Irrigation System, developed the rolling pipe type irrigation system for farms that have become the most popular type for farmers irrigating large fields. With this system, large wheels attached to the large pipes with sprinkler heads move slowly across the field.