There are some that must be set not only above ground but higher than the highest sprinkler. Others can go either way so it's a matter of personal preference. I have mine in a box under the surface, mostly because there was on good place to put it above ground that would not be in the way of mowing. I also pull it out in the fall and store it indoors for an extra measure of protection against freezing. Now days, a hunk of brass like that above ground might be a theft waiting to happen.