Best Residential Sprinkler System

January 19, 2021

We all want to take pride in our gardens, don’t we? It’s the luscious lawns that are the rival of our street we want, rather than the patchy brown grass we all fear. 

Some of us are not blessed with frequent rainfall and need to rely on sprinkler systems to ensure hydration for our grass. They can be compact systems that run through our homes to ensure year-long green grass that is the envy of our neighbors.

But which is the best residential sprinkler system? With so many on the market and such a price range, finding your new sprinkler system can be challenging. 

That’s where we come in to save the day! Having scoured the market, we are here today to bring you the best residential sprinkler systems!

Keep reading for our great choices, and be sure to check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ section so you can leave here today a sprinkler system expert!

In a hurry? Check out our top pick to grab your sprinkler and get your lawn hydrated!

Award Product Image Product Title Product Link
Our Top Pick Rain Bird 32ETI...image Rain Bird 32ETI Easy to Install In-Ground Automatic Sprinkler System Kit Check Amazon
Editor's Choice Melnor XT Turbo...image Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with TwinTouch Width Control & Flow Control, waters up to 4,500 sq.ft. - XT4200-IN Check Amazon
Best Value Orbit 58911 Complete...image Orbit 58911 Complete Yard Watering Kit, Green Check Amazon

OUR TOP PICK: Rain Bird 32ETI In-Ground Automatic Sprinkler System Kit

Rain Bird 32ETI Easy to Install In-Ground Automatic Sprinkler System Kit

For those after an in-ground system that is easy to install, Rain Bird has got the product for you! At a reasonable price, the kit will get your lawn a glorious shade of green in no time at all!

The set can be installed in as little as an afternoon. Simply attach to an outside faucet, and you are good to go!

The sprinkles retract into the ground to keep your lawn uncluttered and safe to walk across. There’s also no worry when it comes to mowing; you won’t be mowing your sprinkler like I accidentally did once!

Rain Bird’s sprinkler system is perfect for medium-sized lawns up to 3,000 square feet and works at an average residential water pressure with a flow rate of 6 to 12 gallons per minute. 

The sprinklers are incredibly quiet, too, so you won’t need to worry about the time of day you are using them! Why not let your grass have an early morning drink?

The rain curtain feature was a firm favorite with customers, ensuring that no patch of grass is overlooked! It also offers more natural hydration; no longer will your grass feel neglected by the rain!

The hose-end timer is professional-grade and allows you to control the sprinklers remotely.

Some customers did note that their timers did not last as long as other parts of the system needed replacing. Thankfully this was not a widely reported issue, so you should have no trouble!

Customers were impressed with how long the sprinkler system worked without any issues. Some customers were experiencing three years of trouble-free use; you won’t need to be regularly purchasing sprinklers with this set! 

The adjustments are easy to make as well; customers found they needed to spend little time doing this to achieve a customized sprinkler set.

For those after a great sprinkler system that will work for most gardens, Rain Bird has got you covered!

Pros

  • Everything you need to get started
  • Great for lawns up to 3,000 square feet
  • Professional timer included 
  • Easy to install 
  • Rain curtain ensures your lawn is entirely covered.

Cons

  • Some customers found the timer not to last as well as the other components of the set.

More time to browse? Check out our other great choices below!

EDITORS CHOICE: Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with TwinTouch Width Control & Flow Control, waters up to 4,500 sq.ft. - XT4200-IN

For those after ultra-control of their lawns water, the Melnor XT Turbo is the sprinkler system for you! 

The sprinkler has a range of 4,200 square feet, making it an excellent choice for most lawns, and its 3-way adjustments mean no patch of grass will be unwatered again! You can control the range, width, and flow of the water to perfectly tailor it to your needs. 

The sprinkler features plenty of precision nozzles, all rubber, and featuring clog-resistant technology to ensure the water reaches your lawn smoothly and evenly.

The sprinkler uses an infinity drive turbo motor, too, enhancing its ability to run smoothly without causing any puddling damage to your lawn. 

The twin touch feature allows you to adjust the sprinkler’s width; whether you have a narrow or wide lawn, it's bound to suit your garden!

Especially when combined with the Zoom control, which allows you to adjust the overall watering area. You can zoom in on a small patch of newly seeded grass or a flower bed. The ability to customize makes this an excellent choice!

Some customers found that the plastic controllers snapped after a few uses meaning they struggled to control the sprinkler. This issue was not widely reported, so it is unlikely that it will happen to you.

If it does, be sure to contact customer support, who will be more than happy to assist you!

If you are looking for a reliable sprinkler that can be controlled with ease, then Melnor’s Turbo sprinkler is the one for you! 

Pros

  • Affordable 
  • 18 clog-resistant precision nozzles 
  • Turbo drive motor provides long-life use 
  • Adjustable 
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Some customers found the controllers snapped after a few uses.

BEST VALUE: Orbit 58911 Complete Yard Watering Kit

Orbit 58911 Complete Yard Watering Kit, Green

Orbit’s complete yard watering kit ensures an easy installation that will keep your grass hydrated with minimal effort from yourself! 

The kit is installed with no digging at a reasonable price, saving you from getting your hands dirty. The kit will turn your outdoor faucet into a 4-station sprinkler system that should be suitable for a wide range of gardens and sizes. 

What’s great about this system is that there is an option of eight different watering durations ranging from 1-240 minutes; you can program the sprinklers.

You can tailor the water to your needs and make adjustments based on the weather forecasts. The rain delay feature is an excellent addition, allowing you to delay the cycle from 24-72 hours, avoiding the dreaded overwatering and squelchy mess! 

The sprinklers are easy to control, with one dial for all the basic programming you may need to do. Customers found the system easy to program and the range of watering options great for their different needs, i.e., watering plants. 

The timer can get quite hot in high temperatures, so it is advised that you keep the timer out of direct sunlight as much as possible to keep it cool.

Some customers had difficulty doing this based on the configuration of their gardens. It is worth considering where the timer will be placed when purchasing your kit. 

Orbit’s reasonably priced kit is an excellent option for those after an easy installation process and the ability to control your sprinklers with ease!

Pros

  • Easy to install with no digging required
  • Wide range of watering durations available
  • Rain delay setting is useful.
  • One dial control makes it easy to use 
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • It needs to be kept out of direct sunlight.

RUNNER UP: Melnor 95548-IN Multi-Adjustable Garden Above Ground Sprinkler System

Melnor 95548-IN Multi-Adjustable Garden Above Ground Sprinkler System Kit, Watering Set

For those after an affordable sprinkler system kit, Melnor has the one for you!

The system features three sprinklers and two hoses, allowing you to create a sprinkler system that best suits your needs. 

The sprinklers are fully adjustable, allowing you to water in the areas that need it. The hoses are 15-inches each and are incredibly durable, and can be placed anywhere, allowing you to tailor your system perfectly to your needs.

The ability to adjust 360 degrees provides incredible versatility, which is popular with customers. 

Customers also enjoyed how easy the system was to install and use, with some citing they were set up in as little as 5 minutes!

The ability to use sprinklers individually when the others are capped was a feature customers also enjoyed, as they could truly customize their sprinkler systems. 

Melnor’s system is excellent for small gardens or flower and vegetable gardens, with maximum coverage of 1,800 square feet. The watering is relatively gentle and better suited to those after a light coverage. 

Melnor’s system does not come with a timer like other systems on the market do, but they can be purchased separately and attached to your faucet to control the sprinklers this way.

As the system’s cost is so low, it won’t be too much of an added expense, but one worth considering when purchasing this system. 

You won’t need to worry about any issues with this sprinkler system, as Melnor’s 2-year warranty backs it. Should you experience any problems, they will be able to sort them quickly! 

Melnor’s sprinkler system is a fantastic option to consider for those with small gardens or specific areas they want to water without leaving a big hole in your wallet!

Pros

  • Affordable 
  • Three fully adjusted sprinklers allow you to water the needed areas.
  • It can be customized easily. 
  • Great for smaller gardens or flowerbeds
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • A timer is not included and has to be bought separately. 

RUNNER UP: Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, 8 Zone 3rd Generation, Alexa and Apple HomeKit & Rain Bird WPCONN10 Waterproof Grease Cap Wire Connectors, 10-Pack, Pack of 10

With there being so much talk about the Rachio 3, we could hardly leave it off the list, could we?

Before we get into the review, it is worth noting that you would need to purchase sprinklers separately or use your existing sprinklers, which can be an added cost. 

The controller and waterproof connectors are an excellent option for those looking for seamless integration and remote control of their sprinklers! The Rachio 3 has a whole host of fantastic features, especially the weather intelligence plus. 

The feature automatically skips watering to avoid your lawn being overwatered, the options such as rain skip, wind skip, and freeze skip allows you to customize your watering cycle at all times. 

Possibly the best thing about the Rachio 3 is that it can be controlled from anywhere with its handy app!

Simply download it to your smartphone to run your sprinklers, view schedules, and observe your water usage. You can also control the controller through Alexa or Apple, allowing hands-free use from wherever you are in the house. 

It runs on WiFi, so be sure to place it within range, and you should experience no issues! The installation is easy and works with 99% of sprinkler systems.

You should be up and running in 30 minutes or less, with no tools required! If you struggle, the app’s tutorials are easy to follow and are super user-friendly. 

The wire connectors that come with the controller are waterproof and filled with silicone gel to ensure your wires are protected.

They are easy to install and provide long-lasting connections between your wire and controller. Simply insert the wires and twist the cap to secure them! 

These connectors are also UV resistant and can withstand voltage surges up to 600V, so that you can use this worry-free!

The one-step installation saves you from getting messy and makes the transition to a smart system seamless! Customers found the controller easy to use, and the weather intelligence feature, in particular, was a firm favorite. 

The Rachio 3 can also help you save up to 50% on your water bill thanks to its weather intelligence and ability to measure the water used. Not only does it keep your lawn nourished, but it helps your bank balance too!

If you are looking to hook your sprinklers up and have complete control no matter where you are, then the Rachio 3 should be in your basket! Just remember to get some sprinklers too! 

Pros

  • Weather intelligence automatically skips watering on rainy days.
  • Connects to Alexa or other home devices for remote control
  • It helps reduce your water bill by up to 50%!
  • Super fast to install and can use any existing sprinklers.
  • Waterproof wire controllers ensure long-lasting use.

Cons

  • You will need to purchase the sprinklers separately. 

Best Residential Sprinkler System Buying Guide

Not too sure what makes a great sprinkler system? Our buyer’s guide will help you there!

Which type?

There are a few different types of sprinkler systems that you can use in your garden. Let’s take a look at those now to help you make the right decision for you.

These can be used with integrated timers or a smart controller; just check with the brand before purchasing.

Rotary Sprinklers

These tend to have a horizontal spray around their center, which can be adjusted. These are often used in in-ground automatic sprinkler systems as they pop up quickly from the ground. They are also quieter than an impact sprinkler. 

Rotary sprinklers usually have less reach than other sprinkler systems but are a good option for small to medium-sized lawns. 

In-ground Automatic Sprinklers

These sprinkler systems will need to be installed underneath your lawn, with many options available for DIYers. The design features pop-up sprinkler heads that can be programmed to ensure your lawn is well-looked after. 

In-ground automatic systems can be a pricey option, but they range in size, so you are bound to find one suited to your lawn. 

Impact/Impulse Sprinklers

Impact or impulse sprinklers shoot horizontally around its center, offering circular coverage. You can adjust this on the sprinkler, and it usually makes a clicking sound as it rotates. 

These have the furthest range and are often used to keep Golf courses hydrated. 

Oscillating Sprinklers

These are made of a tube that moves back and forth to create an arc-shaped spray that resembles the rain.

You can customize the shape, but generally, these are great for a large rectangular style lawn. 

Stationary Sprinklers

These sprinklers will shoot water straight into the air, with water falling in a round or square pattern around the sprinkler.

They work best with smaller lawns as they do not offer a massive amount of flexibility. 

Traveling Sprinklers

These sprinklers use a hose that rolls over your lawn as rotating spray arms shoot water around its path.

Traveling sprinklers are an excellent option for those who have irregularly shaped lawns, as you can control the pattern to ensure all of your grass gets watered. 

Smart Sprinklers

Smart sprinklers use WiFi and work with smart home devices to program your sprinkler system. They offer you complete control without coming into contact with the sprinklers, a bonus for many people. 

Look out for controllers certified by the EPA WaterSense program, as these can entitle you to a rebate on your utility bill.

The increased control can often save you money as less water is being consumed, making them an environmentally friendly option. However, these can be expensive to purchase, so it is worth weighing up all options before purchasing. 

How much?

When it comes to residential sprinkler systems, it can be challenging to know how much you should be spending. The price can vary dramatically depending on the brand, and it’s added features.

Be sure to set a clear budget and stick to it as best as possible to avoid any nasty surprises at the end of the month! 

When setting your budget, it is worth considering what you want from your residential sprinkler system. For example, if you want a WiFi controlled system, your budget may need to be extended to accommodate.

However, with so many great sprinkler systems at affordable prices, there is sure to be a sprinkler system for every budget!

Frequently Asked Questions

Get your last-minute queries answered here!

Do I need a smart controller?

Smart controllers have increased in popularity over recent years, and it is no wonder why. They can reduce your water consumption by as much as 50% in some places, saving you money and being better for the planet! 

However, they are expensive and often require you to purchase your sprinklers separately. Many also run only on WiFi, which can be an issue if you have no internet or your range does not reach the controller’s location.

They can be great investments, and the ability to control the sprinkler system remotely is always a plus!

It’s worth considering whether a smart controller would suit your needs and could be afforded in your budget, but it is not a necessary purchase to make. 

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