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How to Adjust the Rainbird 5000 Sprinkler Head

Home maintenance often goes beyond the walls of your house. If you’re fortunate enough to have a lawn or garden, you’ll know that keeping it lush and green requires a well-functioning irrigation system. A crucial part of this system is your sprinkler heads, precisely adjusting sprinkler heads for Rainbird models like the Rainbird 5000. This post will guide you through the rainbird sprinkler head adjustments, ensuring your lawn gets perfect hydration.

The Rainbird 5000 Sprinkler Head

Checking the Rainbird 5000 sprinkler in my garage

Rainbird is a globally recognized brand, particularly known for its high-quality irrigation equipment. When it comes to sprinkler heads, one of their standout models is the Rainbird 5000. This particular model is known for its high durability, impressive efficiency, and best of all, it’s user-friendly for homeowners who like to get their hands dirty in home improvements.

The Rainbird 5000 is a rotor-type sprinkler head, designed to deliver water evenly across your lawn or garden. It can cover a large area, with an adjustable spray radius ranging from 25 to 50 feet. This means whether you have a small backyard or a sprawling lawn, the Rainbird 5000 can meet your irrigation needs.

One of the standout features of the Rainbird 5000 sprinkler head is its adjustable arc. This means you can adjust your sprinkler’s area, from a minimal 40-degree segment up to a full 360-degree circle. This flexibility allows you to customize your irrigation system according to the specific needs of your lawn or garden.

Another nifty feature is its patented Rain Curtain™ Nozzle Technology. This technology ensures that the water is distributed evenly, providing more consistent watering compared to traditional sprinkler heads. This uniform water distribution promotes better plant growth and a healthier looking lawn.

In terms of maintenance and adjustments, the Rainbird 5000 is a gem. Its user-friendly design makes it straightforward to adjust the spray distance, rotor height, and arc, which we’ll explore in the upcoming sections. Having a clear understanding of how to change rainbird sprinkler heads can save you time, and water, and ultimately, contribute to the health of your garden or lawn.

Remember, understanding your Rainbird 5000 isn’t about becoming an expert overnight. It’s about familiarizing yourself with its functions and knowing how to make the necessary adjustments when the time comes. With this foundational understanding, you’re one step closer to mastering the rain bird 5000 adjustments.

Tools You’ll Need To Adjust the Rainbird 5000

When it comes to making the necessary adjustments on your Rainbird 5000, you don’t need a treasure chest of tools. The beauty of Rainbird’s design is in its simplicity and ease of adjustment.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Rainbird adjustment tool

This specialized device is the hero in your Rainbird 5000 adjustment tale. This tool resembles a flat-head screwdriver, but it’s unique due to the cross-like shape at its end. This tool will help you pull up the sprinkler head and make all necessary adjustments. If you find yourself frequently tinkering with your sprinkler system, investing in one of these tools will save you time and hassle. You can find them at most places that sell Rain Bird products, including Sprinkler Warehouse, for under $5.

Flat-head screwdriver

If you don’t have a Rainbird adjustment tool, don’t fret! A simple flat-head screwdriver can also do the job. Just keep in mind it might be a bit more challenging without the pull-up feature of the Rainbird tool.

Head holding tool

Rain Bird also produces a head holding tool. This accessory is not absolutely necessary but can make the process more comfortable, as it holds the sprinkler head up while you work on it.

Shovel or garden trowel

This tool may come into play if your sprinkler head has sunk too low into the ground over time. You’ll use it to dig around the sprinkler head and adjust its height.

In addition to these tools, you’ll need a bit of patience and perhaps a willingness to get a little wet. Remember, the goal of adjusting sprinkler heads in Rainbird style isn’t just about watering the lawn; it’s about ensuring that each blade of grass gets the right amount of water for optimal growth. Equipped with these tools and knowledge, you’ll be ready to dive into the process of adjusting Rainbird sprinkler heads.

Step-By-Step Guide to Adjusting the Rainbird 5000

The complete Rainbird 5000 sprinkler

Adjusting your Rainbird 5000 sprinkler head might seem like a daunting task, but trust me, it’s as simple as turning a screw. And don’t worry, I’ll be with you every step of the way. Now let’s dive in!

Adjusting the Arc of the Rotor

  1. Turn on the System: Brace yourself for a bit of a sprinkle; we’ll need the system running for this process. Adjusting the Rainbird 5000’s arc needs to be done while it is active. You can think of it as a fun way to cool down on a hot summer’s day.
  2. Check the Current Arc: Stand behind the water spray and gently move the rotor head from side to side to identify the current arc limits. When you turn the head to the left and right, the points at which it stops are the start and end of the arc, respectively.
  3. Set the Start of the Arc: Here’s where you need to be a bit firm but gentle. To adjust the starting point of the arc, turn the rotor head to the starting point. Then, ever so gently, force the rotor head to turn to the desired new starting point. This sets the new start of your sprinkler’s arc.
  4. Locate the Arc Adjustment Screw: You can find this on top of the rotor head, at the back. Most heads will have a plus sign on the left side and a minus sign on the right side. Insert your adjustment tool or flat-head screwdriver into the slot here.
  5. Adjust the Arc Adjustment Screw: Adjusting Rainbird 5000’s arc involves turning the screw. To narrow the arc of the rotor, turn the screw counterclockwise. To widen the arc, turn the screw clockwise. Adjust and test the arc by turning the rotor head again until the arc ends at the correct point.

Adjusting the Spray Distance

  1. Choose the Right Nozzle: This process involves selecting a nozzle slightly larger than the distance you want the water to cover. For instance, if you want a reach of 32 feet, you’d pick a 35-foot nozzle.
  2. Remove the Current Nozzle: Use your adjustment tool to lift the head of the rotor. Unscrew the radius adjustment screw located at the front of the top of the rotor (it’s usually inside an arrow that points in the direction of the spray). Turn this screw counterclockwise until you can remove the nozzle.
  3. Insert the New Nozzle: Position the new nozzle in place, then tighten down the screw by turning it clockwise. Now, let the sprinkler head go because you’ll need to turn on the system to make the finer adjustments.
  4. Turn on the System and Adjust the Spray Distance: Now it’s time to turn the water back on. Gradually adjust the radius adjustment screw until you achieve the desired spray distance. Turning the screw counterclockwise will decrease the distance, while turning it clockwise will increase it.

Adjusting the Height of the Rotor

  1. Dig Around the Sprinkler Head: Use a shovel or garden trowel to gently dig around the sprinkler head. Be sure to keep the grass to the side as you’ll need to replace it later.
  2. Carefully Adjust the Sprinkler Height: If your rotor has sunk a lot, you may need to add a bit of dirt to the area. Sometimes, just pulling the rotor up slightly will cause the surrounding soil to naturally fill in underneath.
  3. Replace the Soil and Grass: After adjusting the height, carefully replace the soil and grass. It’s okay if the grass sits slightly higher than the surrounding area – it’ll settle over time.

And voila! You’ve successfully navigated how to adjust the Rainbird 5000 sprinkler head! Pat yourself on the back, because your lawn is now on its way to achieving the perfect water coverage it deserves.

Troubleshooting Common Rainbird 5000 Problems

Don’t you just hate it when your Rainbird 5000 is doing its dance, and suddenly it starts limping? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! I’m here to help you address these pesky issues. Here are some common problems you might face and their respective solutions:

The sprinkler Head is Not Rotating

Problem: Your Rainbird 5000 is stuck in one position and isn’t rotating as it should.

Solution: First, check for physical obstructions. Debris can sneak into the most unexpected places, so check around and inside the rotor head. If you find any obstacles, simply clear them out. If the issue persists, you might need to replace the internal gear drive.

Water Spray is Too Weak or Non-Existent

Problem: Water isn’t reaching as far as it should, or perhaps it’s not spraying out at all.

Solution: First, check your water pressure. If that’s not the issue, inspect the nozzle for clogs. Use your adjustment tool to remove the nozzle and clean it out. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it might be time to replace the nozzle or adjust the spray distance.

Water is Pooling Around the Sprinkler Head

Problem: Water is not dispersing evenly and is instead collecting around the base of the Rainbird 5000.

Solution: Adjusting a Rainbird sprinkler head that has sunk too low will often solve this issue. Follow the steps outlined above to correct the rotor’s height. If pooling continues, you may need to consider regrading your lawn for better water flow.

Sprinkler is Spraying the Wrong Area

Problem: The Rainbird 5000 is soaking your sidewalk, driveway, or neighbor’s cat (again!).

Solution: This usually happens when the arc of the rotor needs adjustment. Follow the step-by-step guide above to adjust the arc and keep the water on your lawn where it belongs.

Remember, if the issue with your Rainbird 5000 adjustments persists, you may need to replace the entire unit. But before you do, be sure to consult with a professional to ensure there’s not a simple fix you’re overlooking. Happy gardening!

Rainbird 5000 Frequently Asked Questions

How far does a Rainbird 5000 spray?

The Rainbird 5000 can spray between 25 and 50 feet or 7.5 and 15 meters, depending on the nozzle installed. The distance is adjustable using the radius adjustment screw.

How many Rainbird 5000 sprinklers should I have per zone?

The number of Rainbird 5000 sprinklers per zone depends on your water pressure and flow rate. A general rule is to have 5-6 sprinkler heads per zone. Consult a professional for an accurate calculation.

How do I adjust my Rainbird 5000 left stop?

You can adjust the left stop by physically moving the entire sprinkler head. Turn the head to its current left stop, then gently force the head further to the left to the desired starting point.

How do I replace my Rainbird 5000 sprinkler head?

Turn off your water supply first. Then, dig around the existing sprinkler head, unscrew it from the riser, and remove it carefully. Screw the new Rainbird 5000 head onto the riser, adjust the height, and replace the soil.

How do I adjust my Rainbird 5000 sprinkler head distance?

Use the radius adjustment screw to modify the spray distance. Turn the screw counterclockwise to shorten the range and clockwise to extend it.

How do I clean my Rainbird 5000 sprinkler head?

You can clean the sprinkler head by first removing it using an adjustment tool. After removal, rinse the head with water and clean the inside with a brush if necessary.

Which Rainbird 5000 nozzle should I use?

Choose a nozzle based on the desired spray distance. If you want the water to spray 32 feet, for example, choose the 35-foot nozzle.

What’s the difference between Rainbird 5000 and 5004?

Rainbird 5000 is the series, and 5004 is a specific model within that series. The 5004 model has a pop-up height of 4 inches.

How do I choose Rainbird 5000 nozzles?

Choosing the correct nozzle depends on the distance you want the water to reach. Nozzles come in 5 feet increments. Select a nozzle that is slightly larger than the required spray distance for the best performance.

Why is my Rainbird 5000 not rotating?

This could be due to a physical obstruction or a problem with the internal gear drive. Start by checking for debris in and around the rotor head. If it’s clear and the issue persists, consider replacing the gear drive.


As we wrap up our guide on how to adjust the Rainbird 5000 sprinkler head, we hope we’ve been able to simplify the process for you. So, here’s to green lawns, water conservation, and mastering the art of sprinkler adjustment!

Remember, home improvement is not just about what’s inside your house. A well-watered and healthy lawn is the first thing people notice about your home. So, keep the grass greener on your side, and adjust your Rainbird 5000 as needed. Happy gardening!

Last Updated on July 18, 2023

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