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In this article

  • Recommended run times for different sprinkler types
  • Perfect your sprinkler run times to avoid overwatering
  • Help with identifying the type of sprinklers you have in your garden

Did you know different types of sprinklers have different watering rates? Knowing what kind of sprinklers you have on each station will ensure you set optimal run times so your garden gets the water it needs while avoiding overwatering.

What type of sprinklers do I have in my garden?

Before you set the run times on your irrigation system, you should check what type of sprinklers you have in your garden.

The common types of sprinklers found in home gardens include pop-up or fixed spray sprinklers, rotary sprinklers, gear drive rotators and dripline sprinklers. Each type of sprinkler will water at different rates, which can make it tricky to know how long you should be running your irrigation at each station.

Recommended sprinkler run times for your type of sprinkler

The recommended amount of water a garden with sandy soil needs is 10mm. So how long is that in terms of sprinkler run times?

These run times are simply suggestions based on how long it generally takes each sprinkler type to distribute a standard 10mm drink of water to your garden. We recommend experimenting with your own system to get the right run times for your garden.

Setting the right amount of time to water your lawn or garden will ensure you’re only using what you have to, which means you’re saving water and money!


A pop up sprinkler watering lawn
Pop up or fixed spray sprinkler.

A rotary sprinkler watering lawn
A rotary sprinkler. 

A gear drive rotary sprinkler
A gear drive rotary sprinkler.

A dripline sprinkler
A dripline sprinkler. 

Micro spray sprinkler
A micro spray sprinkler.

Suggested sprinkler run time based on sprinkler types

Sprinkler type Typical watering rate per hour Suggested run times
Pop-up or fixed spray sprinklers 35-45mm 13-16 minutes
Rotary sprinklers 10-15mm 40-60 minutes
Gear drive rotary sprinklers 10-20mm 30-40 minutes
Dripline sprinklers 15-20mm 30-40 minutes
Micro spray sprinklers 35-45mm 13-16 minutes

Need more assistance?

Watch the video/s below for more information about how long you should be running your sprinklers. Alternatively, contact your local waterwise garden irrigator for more advice.

Pop-up/fixed spray sprinklers

Rotary sprinklers

Gear drive rotator

Dripline sprinklers

Waterwise product advice

Waterwise products can help you reduce the amount of water you use in your garden. With support from Smart Approved WaterMark, we have developed an endorsement program. The program provides an opportunity for approved products to feature the waterwise logo on their packaging, making it easy for you to find water efficient products for your garden.

Find waterwise sprinklers