Bucket test

How many sprinklers your system can run at one time depends on how much your home can supply. Your flow rate will determine the total number of pop-up sprinklers you can use at any one time. Different pop-up sprinklers will have their own flow rate. Similarly, drip lines contain emitters which distribute water at a certain rate (typically 2 l/h). The bucket test will also tell you just how much drip line you can run on one zone.

An easy way to calculate your flow rate is by doing a bucket test. All you need is your garden tap, a standard 9 litre bucket and a stopwatch. Before you start, make sure you measure your water flow at times of peak water usage. If using a tap timer or pressure reducer, make sure you measure the flow with the device fitted.


Asset 5

Calculating your flow rate

  • 1. Place a 9 litre bucket under your garden tap, and turn the tap on full boar.
  • 2. Using a stopwatch, time how long it takes the water to reach capacity.
  • 3. Enter your results in the fields below to calculate your flow rate:
How many seconds did it take to fill the bucket?
How many
seconds did
it take to fill
the bucket?
What size was your bucket?
What size
was your

(In litres)

Your flow rate:*


Litres per minute
*The calculator takes off 20% to allow for friction loss in the irrigation system

Water pressure/water flow

Water pressure and water flow are two different things. ‘Water flow’ is the number of litres per minute comes out of the tap or pipe, while ‘water pressure’ is the amount of force applied to that water. Typically, we would use the bucket test to measure the water flow and use this to estimate the water pressure. For this reason, a safety margin is deducted from the water flow test to make sure enough water is available.

Water automation

Before you get started with your irrigation system, you need to decide on how you are going to automate the watering. With a large range of tap timers and fully automated options, it’s important to consider how frequently you’ll need to water, how many zones and outlets required. Let us help you select the right automation solution.

After choosing your type of water automation, find out which irrigation system will suit you.

Select the type of area you want to irrigate: