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How Many Gallons Per Minute Does An Impact Sprinkler Use?

Water sprinklers help in good irrigation by ensuring a wider coverage for your lawn, but they can also increase expenses. Following my simple methods to monitor how many gallons per unit time your impact sprinklers use can solve these issues. 

How Many Gallons Per Minute Does An Impact Sprinkler Use

The only affordable method which ensures my lawn gets proper watering, even with low water pressure, is using an impact sprinkler. Hence, investing in an impact sprinkler for low pressure on the market has immensely increased my water coverage with its advanced nozzle and spray patterns.

However, when I initially used an inefficient impact sprinkler for my garden, my water bills rose and got really expensive. That is when I started monitoring my water usage. 

What Are Impact Sprinklers?

Irrigation system in action in vegetable planting. Sao Paulo state. Brazil. What Are Impact Sprinklers.

Before using a water sprinkler to water your lawn or garden, it is essential to be aware of the know-how and their technology. Researching to determine how many gallons per minute my impact sprinkler used has drastically reduced my expenses. 

Impact sprinklers are small irrigation devices that rotate and turn with the help of a rotating arm and spring pin. The sprinkler propels in full and part circle motions to provide a more comprehensive water cover for your house lawn. 

Using a garden hose to water my garden has been challenging, but switching to an impact sprinkler has been the best decision. The sprinkler head can spray water across a large radius, and the sprinkler system is easy to access, whether above the ground or below. 

Many impact sprinklers offer varying features depending on the water pressure, angles, and patterns of water projection. Some companies even manufacture sprinklers that are safe for kids and pets, making them a responsible choice for every household. 


Read the instruction manual before using an impact sprinkler, and never use chemicals while watering, as they can disperse into the surrounding areas.

Different Types of Impact Sprinklers

When buying a brass impact sprinkler for myself, I was faced with different types of sprinklers that I needed to choose between. On average, there are three major kinds of sprinklers on the market. They are:

1. Oscillating Sprinkler

This type of sprinkler usually has a horizontal-bar shape that moves back and forth, covering a large lawn radius with each sprinkler head. Oscillating sprinklers are constructed to emulate a real shower of rain.  

Moreover, they can also turn into a part circle and thus are usually used for small and medium-sized lawns. I found quite a few of these oscillating sprinklers in local gardening stores.

2. In-ground Sprinkler

This kind can be expensive since it needs to be staked in the ground to spray. But though it is pricey, it is quite advantageous, especially for people with a large family or many pets. I found out that this system is designed with features that retract each sprinkler head into the ground when not in use.

However, from the customers’ reviews I have skimmed through, I’ve seen that its mechanical design can cause problems like jams and clogs. So, before you install these, consider talking to an expert.

3. Gear-driven Rotors

This system has sprinkler heads that are more suitable for an expansive area. Not only do they cover a large radius, but they can also turn into a full and part circle. I found that gear-driven rotors are beneficial to increase even distribution of water across a vast site. 

However, they are different from the traditional impact sprinkler since they do not include the arm which helps a sprinkler turn. Also, note that different sprinklers use varying gallons per unit of time, depending on the water coverage, sprinkler head, or water pressure. 

How Many Gallons Of Water Does An Impact Sprinkler Use?

Irrigation system works in field, sprinkles water on the soil for good harvest. Sprinkler spraying agricultural field on farm. How Many Gallons Of Water Does An Impact Sprinkler Use.

Going back to my main concern, having sprinklers can be very wasteful if you do not know how much water the sprinkler currently uses. Besides high water bills, water waste through improper lawn sprinkler usage is detrimental to the environment and violates both regional and state water restrictions. 

However, there are many resources and techniques that will help you calculate how much water each sprinkler head uses every hour, minute, or second. 

Keep on reading as I share some ways to determine the average water usage quickly and efficiently.

1. Gallons Per Unit Time

The average water usage of any irrigation tool is measured in terms of Gallons Per Minute (GPM). I discovered that once I calculated the GPM, it was easy to convert it into Gallons Per Hour (GPH) by multiplying the number by 60. Then, to calculate the overall water meter usage, add the GPM of each sprinkler.

Moreover, I also calculated the inches of water a brass impact sprinkler would spray over time using the collection method. I used this method by putting out containers to collect water for ten minutes while the sprinkler ran. 

But how do you gauge the potential water bill with this seemingly elaborate process?

To estimate the water bill, the water volume has to be measured. And since gallons are a measure of volume, finding the coverage area of the location and the inches of water the sprinklers produce is sufficient. 

2. Other Methods To Calculate

There are also other ways to calculate the Gallons Per Minute (GPM) or Gallons Per Hour (GPH) according to your water pressure. But the most popular one is as follows:

Place a deep, plastic container on the ground and turn on the sprinklers. Aim each sprinkler in such a way that it sprays sufficient water into the container. This is an important step since varying water pressure determines the reach height. 

Before doing this, I examined the interior of the sprinkler to see if the impact sprinkler trip pin is not working. If the trip pin of your sprinkler is faulty, you may need to separately buy another to replace it. 

After letting the sprinklers run for ten minutes, I poured the water into a plastic container that measured one gallon. Thus, this is the quantity of water the sprinkler sprays every ten minutes. Further, this number can be multiplied by six to find out the gallons per hour.

Another method of calculating how much water the sprinkler uses is surveying the water meter before turning on the system. This water meter should be located near the place where the water supply line to your home begins. 

Write down the number on the meter and turn on the sprinkler system. Make sure that no other water source is allowed to flow. 

After ten minutes, check the meter reading and write it down again. The difference between these two readings indicates how many gallons per ten-minute usage. Then, multiplying by 6 gives you the hourly calculation.

How To Choose An Impact Sprinkler For A Lawn?

Every brass impact sprinkler has a different set of features that sets it apart from others. When it comes to me, I require a sprinkler that can suitably adjust to the low water pressure of my home. For this, I look for the PSI requirement of a sprinkler that tells me whether it is compatible with my water system.

Besides PSI, there are several factors one should consider when buying an impact sprinkler. These are:

1. Flow Rate

To continue my discussion with PSI (pound per square inch), the flow rate of a sprinkler is calculated based on the PSI itself. It is also directly related to the water pressure of the central home system and the sprinklers. If the sprinkler is required for a larger area, consider purchasing sprinkler systems with a higher flow rate. 


It is crucial to keep track of the weather before using a sprinkler. High winds and extreme temperatures are detrimental to the flow rate.

2. Adjustable Pattern

Impact sprinklers spray water in a full and part circle. Some sprinklers have adjustable systems that allow users to adjust the circle, arc, trajectory, and water pattern. Thus, look for models with a diffuser pin to adjust water distance.

3. Timers And Automatic Shutting System

Timers and automatic shutting systems are features that are an ideal match for people looking for self-regulating devices. However, impact sprinklers with integrated features like these can be pretty costly. 

But I really wanted a system that could run and stop independently. So, I purchased shutting valves and a timer to add to my impact sprinkler. Now, it saves me a lot of time.

4. Distance

Before buying a sprinkler, measuring the area that needs irrigation is essential. This helps in determining what sprinkler radius may be suitable for a particular location. I always check whether it has an adjustable distance in case I wish to water a larger area.

5. Warranty

Like every device and irrigation tool, warranty is a critical issue to consider when purchasing sprinklers. Different manufacturers provide varying warranties based on the material and durability of the product.

For example, some manufacturers offer a five-year warranty for their brass impact sprinklers and a two-year warranty for the plastic ones. 

6. Price

Price is a significant factor when it comes to investing in irrigation tools. Although impact sprinklers shouldn’t be too expensive, it is good to invest in one with superior quality. I believe the best way to make this decision is by calculating the budget available. 

However, remember that your lawn may require more than a sprinkler to cover the area effectively. The more sprinklers, the higher the budget for purchasing them should be.

Irrigation system in action in vegetable planting. Sao Paulo state. Brazil. How Many Gallons Per Minute Does An Impact Sprinkler Use Final Thoughts.

How Many Gallons Per Minute Does An Impact Sprinkler Use Final Thoughts

The concept of an aluminum or brass impact sprinkler has revolutionized the irrigation industry with easier accessibility and time-saving features. However, to ensure better usage, maintaining impact sprinklers is crucial.

I regularly check inside the sprinkler to see if there are any deposits or mineral buildups. These buildups can cause potential clogs and blockages, so I clean them thoroughly whenever I find them. Moreover, I also make sure to check each head to see if they are loose or broken. If they are, I immediately replace them.

That is all on how much water an impact sprinkler uses. I hope my detailed guide and personal experience help you operate a sprinkler.

If you like similar informational guides and reviews, I suggest you read my article titled
Impact Sprinkler Vs Rotor

That said, I’ll be signing off now. Until next time!