Types of Sprinkler/Irrigation Systems Explained

The right irrigation system is vital to maintaining vibrant grass and gardens, particularly in climates without regular rainfall. Homeowners and gardening enthusiasts can benefit from understanding different types of sprinklers. Lawn Sense Texas provides a detailed overview of sprinkler and irrigation system options to help you choose the best one for you.

Types of Sprinkler Systems: Basics

Sprinkler System Installation - Lawn Sense Right Sprinkler

Automating the irrigation process with sprinklers ensures your plants and grass receive just the right amount water, at exactly the right time. Your choice of sprinkler depends on many factors. These include the size of your area, types of plants you have, available water and the specific needs of your landscape. We explore different types of sprinkler, which are designed for various situations and needs.

Sprinklers that Spray Water are Available in Fixed and Portable Models

Fixe spray sprinklers, also known as fixed nozzle sprinklers, are the most commonly used in residential settings. They can spray water at a precise pattern and radius, making this sprinkler ideal for medium- to small-sized lawns. The water sprays through an angled, fixed head raised from the surface and remains still while it wateres.

Read More Information: Two Most Common Types of Sprinkler Heads In Your Lawn


  • Provides uniformity in water distribution when placed correctly
  • It’s ideal for lawns that are smaller or have groundcovers, such as shrubs.


  • It is only suitable for smaller areas.
  • It can be wasteful to use them if you don’t adjust it properly. You may end up watering your driveways or even sidewalks.

Rotor Sprinklers

Rotor sprinklers can be used for lawns that are larger, since they use less water to reach a wider area. Water is sprayed in an arc or a circular motion.


  • Watering in larger areas can be done with less.
  • Water waste is reduced due to the precise control of the watering zone.


  • More expensive than standard spray sprinklers
  • This product requires greater care to maintain and install evenly.

Drip Irrigation Systems

A drip irrigation system can be highly efficient, delivering water to plants directly at their base. This system uses emitters in tubing to drip water into soil. It is perfect for gardening, hedges, and areas with densely planted plants where precision water application is needed.


  • Reduces water waste and saves money.
  • You can reduce the amount of weeds by only watering your plants and not surrounding areas.


  • Costlier and more complicated installations can result.
  • It is important to maintain the emission system regularly.

Oscillating Sprinklers

Sprinklers oscillate and have a large tube with multiple openings. This long tube moves back and forth in an arc, spraying out a pattern that looks like a fan. This is a good choice for large gardens, as they can water the area in a more gentle way.


  • Sprays gently, like rain over a vast area.
  • You can easily move the unit around.


  • It is not as efficient in terms of water use as some other types.
  • Spray can easily be disturbed by high winds.

Traveling Sprinklers

Self-propelled travel sprinklers follow the route of your garden hose. This is a great option for larger, more open spaces. It can be adjusted to meet your watering requirements.


  • It is capable of covering large areas without manual intervention.
  • Adjustable water pattern, speed, and patterns.


  • For effective operation, a large unobstructed space is required.
  • The initial cost was higher compared with other sprinkler types.


Selecting the best sprinkler depends largely upon your landscape needs, area size, and water conservation goals. Each type of system has pros and cons, but the goal is always to manage water effectively.
Please visit our Services page to learn more about how you can incorporate each system into your landscaping or view the services we offer. Lawn Sense Texas aims to provide irrigation solutions to maintain a lush, healthy landscape.