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Orbit Underground Sprinkler System



Getting a garden to flourish can be demanding — save time and avoid overwatering by letting Orbit® sprinklers hydrate your plants while you enjoy the day.

Plan an irrigation system for your property in 3 easy steps with the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer.


Orbit® offers four types of watering systems to tackle all of your irrigation needs: WaterMaster® sprinkler systems, DripMaster® drip watering, SunMate® hose faucet watering and ArizonaMist® cooling.


Orbit Watermaster Sprinkler

Orbit® WaterMaster® contains a complete line of easy-to-use underground irrigation products, including sprinkler timers, valves, accessories, and a wide variety of sprinkler head options. WaterMaster® products are innovative and engineered for durability and performance.

WaterMaster® Timers

Timers are reliable, easy-to-use and work with any residential sprinkler system. Easy Set Logic™ provides for simple yet flexible programming. Choose from indoor or outdoor models.

WaterMaster® Sprinklers

Sprinkler heads are designed for durability and uniform watering. Gear drives provide smooth, quiet operation and uniform coverage for medium to large areas. Spray heads are ideal for small to medium sized lawns and shrub areas. They should be placed 10 to 15 feet apart for an average radius of 12 feet. Impact and gear stream heads are designed to throw water over a large area and the distance and spray pattern can be adjusted. Space heads 15 to 45 feet apart (depending on sprinkler type).

WaterMaster® Valves and Manifolds

Valves are designed to provide automated operation of irrigation systems. Valves also prohibit the free flow of water from ruptured pipes and tubing, reducing potential water waste and flood damage. Manifolds provide an easy and secure method for installing multi-valve systems.

View all Orbit® WaterMaster® Irrigation Products


Orbit Dripmaster Drip Watering

Orbit® DripMaster® products delicately and directly apply water to plants' root zones instead of non-growth areas. They are ideal for small watering areas such as gardens, flower beds, container plants, trees, and ground cover. Drip watering replaces hand watering and reduces water waste by up to 70 percent.

DripMaster® Manifolds & Adapters

Manifolds and adapters switch your underground watering system to an above-ground drip-irrigation system.

DripMaster® Sprinklers

Drip sprinklers supply the right amount of water directly to the roots of your plants.

DripMaster® Valves

Shut-off valves help regulate the water flow to plants or shrubs and work with most new and existing drip irrigation systems.

DripMaster® Accessories

Stakes are ideal for holding drip tubing and low-volume heads in place at the root zone of plants.

View all Orbit® DripMaster® Irrigation Products


Orbit Sunmate Hose Faucet Watering

Orbit® SunMate® offers a wide variety of sprinklers, timers, pistols, nozzles, and wands for all hose-end applications. SunMate® products are a great addition to any existing sprinkler system. SunMate® carries innovative hose-end yard watering systems and has durability designed into every hose-end product.

SunMate® Timers

Hose faucet timers let you program the watering time as well as frequency and duration. The rain delay function is easily programmable and a manual button allows for program interruption.

SunMate® Sprinklers

A variety of sprinklers are available to accommodate yards of different sizes and shapes. For larger yards, oscillating sprinklers provide even water coverage up to 3,600 square feet. Gear-drive sprinklers offer 360°coverage and numerous spray patterns. Impact sprinklers can be used as a single sprinkler or connect to a series and reach up to 80 feet diameter coverage. Both gear-drive and impact sprinkler heads should be placed up to 45 feet apart. For medium yards, the rotary arm sprinkler reaches up to 50 feet diameter coverage. For uniquely shaped yards, the turret sprinkler can be adjusted to eight distinctive spray patterns.

SunMate® Nozzles, Pistols and Wands

Nozzles and pistols adjust from a fine mist to a jet stream; they can be used to water delicate plants or clean patios, driveways or siding. Watering wands have flexible necks to easily reach hanging baskets.

View all Orbit® SunMate® Irrigation Products


Orbit Arizonamist Cooling

The portable Cobra Mistand attaches easily to any hose and provides immediate cooling relief through two mist nozzles. With its ultrafine mist, the Cobra is ideal for watering exotic plants and for cooling sunbathers and pets.


LIMITED WARRANTY Orbit® Irrigation Products, Inc., (hereinafter "Orbit®") warrants to its customers that its products will be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of purchase, unless otherwise stated on the product packaging (proof of purchase required). During the warranty period, Orbit®, will replace, free of charge, the part or parts found to be defective under reasonable use and service, as determined solely by Orbit®. Orbit® reserves the right to inspect the defective part prior to replacement. Liability under this warranty is limited to the replacement or repair of defective parts. This warranty is exclusive and is in lieu of all other warranties expressed or implied, including, but not limited to warranties for fitness, for use or merchantability. No agent or representative has authority to waive or alter this warranty in any way.


Check Local Codes

Before beginning your underground irrigation project, check local water and building codes to learn the requirements for installing an underground sprinkler system as some areas may require a permit. You should also contact your utility companies (e.g. cable TV, gas, water, hydro, telephone) to avoid damaging any utility lines that may be buried on your property. Often one call will initiate locates for all of these services.

Measure Water Flow

To determine the water flow for your sprinkler system and the number of sprinkler heads that can be run at one time, you'll need to first measure both the main water service line and your water pressure. Water flow is measured in gallons per minute (GPM) while water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI).

To measure the main water service line, wrap a piece of string around your main water service line then measure the length of the string. Use the table to convert the string length to pipe size (diameter).

Length of String 2" 2-3/4" 3-1/4" 3-1/2" 4-1/4"
Copper pipe size 1/2" 3/4" 1"
PVC or galvanized pipe size 1/2" 3/4" 1"

To measure your water pressure, attach an Orbit® pressure gauge to an unregulated outside faucet (a line without a pressure regulator), then open the faucet and record the reading on the gauge - no water should be running during the test. If an unregulated faucet is unavailable, call the local water district for an estimated PSI.

Water Flow Chart in GPM

  Water Pressure (PSI)
Main Line
35 LB 40 LB 45 LB 50 LB 55 LB 60 LB 65 LB 70 LB 75 LB
1/2" 3.5 5.0 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 9.0 9.5
3/4" 7.5 9.0 10.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 16.0 17.5
1" 10.0 11.5 13.5 15.0 16.0 17.5 18.5 20.0 21.0

Measure and Draw Your Property to Scale

Sample Diagram

Property Sample Diagram


  • Buildings
  • Sidewalks
  • Patios
  • Driveways
  • Trees


  • Grass
  • Flower beds
  • Water metre location


Large Area Heads

For large open areas such as backyards and play areas.

  • Gear Drive - Voyager II® Professional and Saturn III®
    • Easy to adjust
    • Produces a smooth quiet rotating spray
    • Closed case design resists clogging from grit, sand and heavy grasses
  • Impact - Satellite®
    • Simple and reliable flow-through design that utilizes an efficient impact mechanism
Voyager II Professional Sprinkler Head Voyager II® Professional -
spaced 20' to 40'
Saturn III Sprinkler Head Saturn III® - spaced 15' to 30'
Satellite Sprinkler Head Satellite® - spaced 25' to 45'

Medium Area Heads

Commonly used in front and side yards.

Pop-up Sprinkler Head Pop-up heads and flush heads -
spaced 10' to 15'
  • Spring-loaded pop-up with adjustable pattern
    • Easy to adjust pattern 0° - 360°
  • Spring-loaded pop-up with fixed pattern
    • Available in full, 1/2, 1/4 and strip pattern nozzles

Small Area Heads

Commonly used for flooding flower beds and ground cover or to spot water trees and shrubs.

Mushroom Bubbler II Stream and bubbler heads -
spaced 3' to 5'
  • Mushroom Bubbler II™
    • Adjustable flow

GPM Chart

Area Size Article Number Sprinkler Head Arc PSI GPM
Large 1000413102 Voyager II Professional Pop
Up Gear Drive
Variable 30 2.6
Medium to Large 1000164648 Saturn III Pop Up Gear Drive Variable 30 2.5
Small to Medium 1000429612 15' Adjustable 4" Hard
Top Pop Up
30 0.78
30 1.56
30 2.34
30 3.12
Small to Medium 1000164658 15' Adjustable 2"
Pop Up
30 0.78
30 1.56
30 2.34
30 3.12
Small to Medium 1000529069 15' Adjustable 12"
Pop Up
30 0.78
30 1.56
30 2.34
30 3.12
Small to Medium 1000164671 15' Adjustable 4"
Pop Up
30 0.78
30 1.56
30 2.34
30 3.12
Small to Medium 1000656893 4" Pop Up Eco Stream Rotator
with Adjustable Nozzle
30 0.16
30 0.32
30 0.48
Small to Medium 1000656891 4" Pop Up Eco Stream Rotator
with Fixed 15' Full Pattern
30 0.65
Small 1000117652 Centre Strip 2" Professional Pop Up Fixed 30 1.3
Small 1000167152 End Strip 4" Professional Pop Up Fixed 30 0.56
Small 1000117651 End Strip 2" Professional Pop Up Fixed 30 0.56
Small 1000167119 Centre Strip 4" Professional Pop Up Fixed 30 1.3
Small 1000117649 Side Strip 2" Professional Pop Up Fixed 30 1.21
Small 1000167119 Side Strip 4" Professional Pop Up Fixed 30 1.21


Follow these five simple steps to determine the number of heads required per lawn area:

  1. Add up the total number of GPMs of each spray head selected for your lawn area.
  2. Identify the GPM of water available from the water flow chart above. This number represents the maximum GPM you can use per zone for the sprinkler heads to operate according to expectations. The GPM available assumes you'll be connecting your sprinkler system to the main line and NOT a hose faucet.
  3. Divide the total number of sprinkler head GPMs (calculated in step 1) by the GPMs available from step 2. Round up to the nearest decimal point to get the total number of zones required for the system.
  4. Next you will have to group the heads into zones. Remember not to exceed the GPMs available, as identified in step 2, in each separate zone.
    Lawn area Large, 72' x 42'
    Main line size 1/2"
    Water pressure 60 lb.
    Available water flow 7.5 GPM
    Sprinkler heads chosen Voyager II Professional - 6 heads@ 2 GPM
    Total sprinkler GPM 12 GPM
    Number of zones to cover lawn area 2
    Result 6 heads operating at 2 GPM should be divided into 2 zones (3 per zone) to effectively cover this lawn area.
    Repeat steps 1 to 4 for each separate lawn area.
  5. Determine the locations for the main sprinkler shut-off valve and the sprinkler control valve.

    The main sprinkler shut-off valve should be installed directly after the service metre whether it is inside the house or outside in the lawn.

    The sprinkler control valve locations (each zone will have its own separate control valve) should be located away from heavy foot traffic in areas that will be easy to operate and service. If feasible, all control valves should be grouped together outside — this is referred to as a manifold.

Click here for complete layout and installation instructions of Orbit® underground irrigation systems.


How deep do I need to dig?

Only deep enough to keep the pop-up heads level with the ground. Make sure the lines are deep enough that you don't puncture the lines if you aerate the lawn. See Winterization question next.

How do I winterize the system?

Automatic drain valves are one method of draining the system each time the sprinkler shuts down; however, all low spots must be drained and for a large system this can involve many drain valves, fittings and clamps.

A better method in freezing areas is to blow out all lines with an air compressor. Connect before the manifold near the wall of the house (or inside) and blow out each zone individually, allowing the compressor to recover between zones. This can be accomplished using the manual bleed lever on the valves or from the timer if it's more comfortable to stay indoors.

How many sprinkler heads can I run at once?

This depends entirely on the pressure (from the supply) and the size of the line feeding the sprinklers. The higher the pressure (in pounds per square inch) and larger the line, the more gallons per minute you can deliver to run the heads. Remember: the larger the line, the less friction loss and hence the more heads you can run. Try to attach the supply directly to the 3/4" copper in the basement using a full port ball valve for a shut off.

What is the advantage of gear drive heads?

Gear drive heads cover a large area (often up to a 40 foot radius) and have a number of advantages over impact sprinklers.

  • The interchangeable nozzles allow you to change the gallons per minute (GPM) requirement of each head and therefore an entire zone to match the water supply. In other words, if you have 7 GPM from the supply and want to run 3 heads on a specific area, simply use the 2 GPM nozzle in each head. Also, heads covering a larger area (full circle versus 1/2 and 1/4) can be sized with larger nozzles to ensure uniform coverage (matched precipitation rates).
  • Gear drive sprinklers are quieter than impact sprinklers, which can wake up the neighbourhood on a quiet night with open windows.
  • Gear drive sprinkler heads are usually smaller in diameter.
  • Gear drive sprinklers adjust from a small 40 degree arc to a full 360 degrees.

How do I adjust the arc on my gear drive sprinklers?

To increase the arc, insert the plastic end of the Orbit® key into the pattern adjustment socket. While holding the nozzle turret at the right stop, turn the key clockwise. Each full turn of the key increase the arc 90 degrees. Adjust to any arc between 40 and 360 degrees. When the maximum arc (360) is reached, the key will stop turning or there will be a ratcheting noise.

To decrease the arc, insert the plastic end of the Orbit® key into the pattern adjustment socket. While holding the nozzle turret at the right stop, turn the key counterclockwise. Each full turn of the key decreases the arc 90 degrees. Adjust to any arc between 40 and 360 degrees. When the minimum arc (40) is reached, the key will stop turning or there will be a ratcheting noise.

What is the advantage of a dual program timer?

A dual program timer operates like two separate timers. It allows you to schedule lawn areas on one schedule and flower beds on completely different days and times. This is also ideal for newly seeded or sodded areas that require more water.

Why does my timer repeat an additional watering cycle?

There are overlapping start times programmed. Clear all start times and then enter only one start time. If you would like to water more than once a day, enter the next start time for later in the day. A start time is the initial time of day when the timer will begin to water. Each station or zone will then water in sequence according to its chosen duration. Multiple start times allow you to water all stations more than once in the same watering day.

How do I install the rain shutoff?

The rain shutoff is installed in series with the common wire that goes from the timer to the valves. When wet from rainfall it acts like an open switch to prevent the valves from activating. Evaporation on a sunny day will dry the rain sensor and the timer will resume with its normal schedule. An area that is exposed to the elements is the best location for installation (e.g. eavestrough, fence post).


Using PVC pipe (or polyethylene in freezing areas) creates an artery formation with one main water line in each zone. They branch off into lateral lines along which the sprinkler heads are installed. Each zone needs to be piped separately to its control valve.

Determine the length of pipe and quantity of fittings (and hose clamps for poly pipe) that will be required to assemble the sprinkler system. It is always better to overcalculate quantities so you don't have to return to the store in the middle of their installation.

Before beginning the installation process, check your local building codes to see whether you are required to use a backflow prevention device. This device is designed to prevent foreign material from siphoning into the main service water line.

And lastly, always verify the direction of the water flow arrows on the valves before beginning an installation.


  • Confirm you have everything you need to create a tee coming off the main service line. Orbit® recommends a ball valve to shut water off to the system at the end of the season.
  • Contact your local watering district for the correct type of control valves required in your area.
  • Before digging trenches, lay out the entire sprinkler system on the lawn and test it to ensure measurements are accurate and everything works according to plan.
  • Shut off the water at the metre before tapping into the service line.
  • If your water metre is outside, the main shut-off valve needs to be buried below the frost line, which is usually the same depth as the water metre.
  • Bury the lines at least 6 to 8 inches deep, especially if you aerate your lawn.
  • Flush the main water line before installing the control valves.
  • Flush and check the system at each step of installation.
  • For winter preparation in freezing areas, open each control valve separately and blow the water out of the system with an air compressor at the end of the season every year.
  • In milder areas, ensure there is proper drainage at the following points:
    • main sprinkler shut-off valve (use a stop and waste valve or manual drain valve)
    • manifold (if you have one, use a manual drain valve installed at the end of the manifold)
    • all pop-up impact canister heads (install an automatic drain valve in the bottom inlet of all canisters)
    • end of each sprinkler lines (install an automatic drain valve at the end of the pipe)
    • low spots (install a tee and automatic drain valve)
  • Operate only one sprinkler zone at a time.
  • Do not bury the lines until each zone has been checked and you are sure that all areas are being watered.
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