Underground Sprinkler System Vs Above Ground Sprinkler System

Underground Sprinkler System VS Above Ground Sprinkler System

We all just want the best for our lawns and landscapes. That includes choosing the best water system to take care of them. Sprinkler systems are the go-to choices these days, and underground and above ground sprinkler systems are taking the lead.

5 Best-Selling Sprinkler Controllers With Remote

It is a tough choice, and to help you make that decision, we have here the Pros and Cons of each system.

Well, if you are ready, let us begin!

Underground Sprinkler System

An underground sprinkler system or in-ground sprinkler system is the most convenient, and they could provide even irrigation if they are designed and installed correctly. That is why it is still the usual top choice for most homeowners who want to have a beautiful landscape.

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1. Convenient

Once installed, they become the easiest way to water your landscape. You could leave it with its own devices because they could be programmed to run when and for how long you want it to run. You can make a programmed schedule and make it fully automated.

You could turn it off when it is raining. The programmed schedule would be on hold, and you could turn it back on whenever you want to.

2. Excellent for Watering at Night

Nighttime watering allows more water to get into the soil because no sun results in lesser water evaporation. These results in reduced waste of water and money.

With nighttime watering, you’re free to do your daylight activities in the yard without being interrupted by watering.

3. Less Trip Hazard

Since the water lines in this system are buried or underground, there will be less chance to get tripped over it and less chance for a lawnmower to strike it.


1. Pricier (cost more)

Just like they say, better things cause more. The same goes for this irrigation system. This system costs more than the other choices.

2. Could Result to Over-watering

This irrigation system usually has a programmed schedule. If you fail to turn it off when it rains, it might result in overwatering. If your programmed schedule is not suitable for your soil and plant, they could also result in overwatering. Make sure to schedule it properly.

(TIP: A WIFI controller is a good investment. It allows you to have control over the system anywhere you are. With a few clicks or taps, you could turn it on or off anytime with ease.)

Above Ground Sprinkler

As its name goes, it’s a sprinkler that is above ground. The simple type of this system is executed by connecting one end of a hose to a faucet/spigot and the other end to a sprinkler. You’ll just have to turn on your water, and then you’d have your irrigation.


1. You Could Choose Where to Water

It is easier to customize this system than the automated underground system. You can choose which sprinkler you want to attach your hose to. By doing this, you have control over which part of your lawn you want to get watered and which part you don’t want to.

2. Better for Your Health

Because this is more similar to manual watering, you would need to go outdoors for you to do this. The smell of a watered lawn and a stroll in the yard will give you exercise and great aromatherapy.


1. Needs More Time and Effort

You need to personally set up the sprinklers and monitor how long the sprinklers run in each area. You’ll have to take time to move them to be able to water your whole landscape. The bigger they are, the more time it would probably need to get this done.

2. More Water or Lesser Water

Unlike the underground sprinkler system, which could be fully automated, most above-ground water sprinklers do not have their timer. When you leave your sprinklers on for too long, there could be too much water. These could cause soil erosion and could damage your plants in the process. It could result in fungus and bacteria to build up in your soil and plant.

Manual watering could also result in too little water, especially when not correctly timed. You could also miss some part of your yard entirely when you use this watering system.

(TIP: You could get a faucet timer with digital control. It will do the timing for you. You’ll just need to set the timer, and then you’ll have your semi-automated system)

(TIP: Get a WIFI timer. It gives you full control of when to turn on or turn off your system with ease. It works the same with the underground sprinkler system.)

3. More Trip Hazard

Since the water lines are above ground, there is a higher chance that you would get tripped with this system.

How to Install the Sprinklers

  1. Have a plan. Before setting up the lawn sprinkler, have some form of plan. You will need to consult your building department to check whether there are certain restrictions concerning the installation of lawn sprinklers. You can measure the water pressure in your home water supply using a water pressure gauge.
  2. Connect one end of a garden hose to the water supply system through a faucet and the other to the sprinkler.
  3. Position the sprinklers. Connect a hose to every sprinkler. Hoses are available in different colors. You can get a dull-colored one if you prefer it to be invisible. You can have more than one sprinkler if your lawn is large. Position them strategically so that the entire lawn will receive water uniformly.
  4. Install timers. Buy a timer and hook it to the faucet, then connect it to the sprinkler. Set the period after how long it should go off, for example, after 30 minutes or 2 hours.  Make sure you follow the instructions on the timer. Different timers are operated differently.
  5. Flush the system. Turn on the water to the system. Open the valves manually to flush the system and then close them. Do this to all the valves.
  6. Test the system. Put on water to determine whether the system is dispersing water appropriately. If not, you can change the position of the sprinklers.


Drip Irrigation System

Water conservationists support this type of irrigation system. Instead of spraying water like the two previous systems, this works by dripping water. This system usually makes use of perforated PVC or foam tubing.

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1. Conserves Water

With this system, there is a significant reduction in water waste. This system works by dripping the water directly to the soil rather than spraying them, which results in lesser water wasted due to evaporation.

2. Excellent for Individual Plant Watering

You could easily adjust where you want your water dripping.

3. Lesser Chance of Over-watering

The amount of water in this system is very controlled. It reduces the chance of soil erosion and prevents damages like causing the disease to soil and plant due to over-watering.


1. Provides Small Amount of Water at a Time

This watering system takes a lot of time because it runs by dripping water. It could take almost half a day to water a landscape.

2. Visible Pipe System

In this system, exposed pipes are the norm, and they are usually semi-permanent when installed. Exposed pipes are not that eye-appealing, and they could also be damaged easily. You would need to check them from time to time to ensure that there are no clogs in your drip holes.

3. Not Advisable to Use for Large Open Areas

This system is more suitable for watering flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables, and similar.


Consider your landscape, the convenience you want, and the cost you want to invest. If you have considered all the angles and made your choice, you could hire someone to install your chosen sprinkle system, or you could try to do it on your own.

In the end, the best irrigation system is totally up to you.
So, go and make that choice, if you are happy and satisfied with it, follow your gut, then go with it!

Super Simple Sprinkler Irrigation System Installation complete process step by step, Drip Irrigation