Sprinklers are irrigation devices, which means they are utilized to bring water to areas, typically land, when needed. There are several varieties of sprinklers, each with varying spray patterns that are designed for different watering purposes. Golf courses, corporate out lots, farms, residential yards and gardens utilize sprinklers to water plants, grass, or crops in times of draught. Sprinklers utilize varying amounts of water pressure to spray in different patterns at different forces and distances.
For larger masses of land, such as golf courses and farms, automatic irrigation sprinklers are usually installed. Many large-scale residential yards also use automatic sprinkler systems for watering. Typically, these types of sprinklers are buried underground along with the plumbing that supplies their water source. Through the use of electricity and hydraulics, automatic sprinklers can be controlled from a central location and may be manually controlled or set to automatically engage and water specific areas at specific intervals. These types of sprinklers are equipped for higher water pressure than others.
Other forms of sprinklers are the lawn and garden variety. Oscillating sprinklers are the most common type of sprinkler used for residential watering. They are typically constructed of plastic, with an aluminum spray arm that rotates back and forth. The oscillating action is created simply by water pressure from an attached garden hose, working very much like a water turbine. Oscillating sprinklers usually have a knob setting that allows for selection of a few varying spray patterns. There are other various lawn sprinkler designs, all of which work in conjunction with a standard garden hose and water spigot.
While sprinklers mostly apply to watering areas of land, there are also residential and commercial fire sprinklers. Mostly used in commercial buildings, fire sprinklers are installed in the ceilings and are able to detect fire and smoke. If a fire sprinkler system detects smoke or heat from flames in the room, they automatically engage and spray water into the room as a pre-cautionary measure against the fire.