A sprinkler riser is simply set of fittings and a pipe that is used to connect the sprinkler head to the lateral pipe of a sprinkler system. A lateral pipe is the piping that runs from the sprinkler valve to the sprinkler head. Since most pipes are buried underground, a connecting pipe needs to be installed vertically to connect the water supply to the sprinkler head. This connecting pipe is the sprinkler head. Here are some of the most common types.
Simple Pipe Risers or Nipples
A nipple is a simple short section pipe. This does not only refer to sprinkler risers, but to any other short section pipe used in a variety of applications. A simple pipe riser is the least expensive type of sprinkler riser. It can be made out of metal, PVC, or any other material used to manufacture pipes. Metal nipples have a longer life span and are a lot harder to break. Poly cut-off risers can be a good option for a cost-effective lateral pipe to sprinkler head connection. This type of riser is cheaper than metal or PVC and can be easily fitted to the sprinkler head even without using a thread sealant.
Swing Joint Risers
Swing joint risers allow sprinklers to move slightly. Mostly professional plumbers use this type of riser. Because the riser allows the sprinkler head to move slightly, it prevents any incidences of breakage caused by stress. It also allows easier adjustment to the location of the sprinkler head. One example of a swing joint riser is the flexible arm swing riser. This riser has a flexible pipe that has two ells that attach to the sprinkler head and the lateral pipe. This riser is not designed for rotors so be careful when choosing which risers to install.
Another example of a swing joint riser is the rigid arm swing riser. This riser is more durable than the one with a flexible arm and is designed for rotor sprinkler heads. A rigid arm swing riser can have two ells or more. Double swing risers have two ells found at the rigid arm’s bottom and are best used for sprinklers that are elevated above the ground by a pipe. Triple swing risers have three ells that provide better quality of service than that of double swing risers since it provides flexibility of direction to the sprinkler head. There are also quadruple swing risers that allow sprinkler heads to move in any direction. This is the most flexible of all swing risers.
Flexible risers look more like flexible electrical conduits. This type of riser is made up of a flexible pipe that is both durable and affordable. However, it is only meant to be used as a riser for small sprinkler heads. The material used to manufacture the product cannot withstand very high water pressures.
Before purchasing a sprinkler riser, make sure to choose which one best fits the sprinkler head on the sprinkler system. Risers are not designed equally so make sure to choose wisely.