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One of the most commonly overlooked aspects when using Pop-Up Sprinklers is how deep the trench should be. The depth of the trench is important as it will affect the position of the pop-up in the ground. If your trench is too shallow, the pop-up sprinkler will sit too high and as many people have experienced, the lawn mower will not tolerate it. If the trench is too deep, grass eventually will grow over the sprinkler, blocking it. It's also possible, if the trench is too deep, the pop-up sprinkler may be unable to throw water over the blades of grass surrounding it, browning the unwatered parts.
When using male threaded fittings the right depth to trench is where the pop-up sits flush with the ground, avoiding the lawn mower and clearing the surrounding blades of grass easily. You may be lucky whilst trenching to the get the right depth straight away, but more often than not you may need to re-trench or backfill.
Trench depth when using male threaded fittings
Articulated Risers are a clever alternative to male threaded fittings, that saves you time and labour. Articulated risers are basically a riser with one M&F elbow on one end and two M&F elbows on the other. These elbows are pivot points, which allow for the pop-up sprinkler position to be adjusted. Trenching will still be required, but the depth is no longer critical. Also, it gives the joint flexibility to move in case the pop-up sprinkler accidentally gets pushed or run over by a vehicle. With standard male threaded fittings, they may crack and leak.
With installation, the female threaded fitting needs to be placed perpendicular to the direction of the pop-up. The Articulated Riser end with the one elbow screws into the fitting and the end with the two elbows screws into the pop-up sprinkler inlet. Larger sprinklers like the 150mm and 300mm pop-ups that have a side inlet, require even less trenching.
The adjustability of an articulated riser
Articulated risers have a few variations. Rainbird call them 'Swing Arms'. Hunter stock 'Swing Joints' which have 2 M&F elbows on either side, providing even more adaptability. Toro supply 'Super Funny Pipe Flex Assemblies', which uses flexible pipe in place of the riser, giving you even more flexibility. At SunshowerOnline, we can supply all of these products on request.