Sprinkler Nozzle Recommendation

So, I am not getting more interesting in my sprinkler system since installing the Rachio. I have lived in the house for 3 years, and there is an area I would like to improve.

The system is 5 zones, 1 rotor, 4 spray. The current spray nozzles are the run of the mill rainbird 180 degree 10’. I want to swap them out to something new to hopefully get better coverage. I am thinking the Rainbird U-series spray, Toro Precision spray, or Hunter MP Rotors.

I don’t really care about efficiency as I pull from the lake, what I want is even coverage and reliability.

Rainbird is the most economical, Toro about 3x Rainbird, and Hunter about 6x.
I have 10’ spacing, so I don’t require extra long throws, and I believe pressure isn’t an issue.

This is my side hill that needs help. I don’t know if it is a bad head in the area, or scorched earth. It isn’t grubs although it kinda looks like it.

I tried other sites, but nobody really compares rotor to spray, and with Rachio runoff isn’t really an issue now. Thoughts?

There are other ppl more qualified to recommend heads. I just wanted to chime in and recommend you pull that dead grass off with a thatch rake.

First off, make sure you have the correct nozzle pressure at your heads ( 30 psi ) If not, install a pressure regulator at you valve or dig up your spray bodies & replace them with SAM-PRS.

My vote for nozzle change would be the Toro Precision Nozzles. They have been tested & perform very well for a spray.

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I liked the Toro Precision, and that was the direction I was leaning, but wasn’t sure it was worth the premium. From reading the literature, I don’t think I am suffering from any of the issues that rotators solve.

I was also looking at the Rainbird HE-VAN, which they have a direct comparison to the Toro Precision, and have the bonus of adjustability for some of my irregularly shaped areas.

As for the dead section, I dethatched last year, but was delaying (procrastinating) until I got the sprinkler head thing figured out.

It could also be a fungus. If you look closely to the grass you might notice some “Red Thread”. This is a spring/early summer fungus that will grow out, or, you could treat it with a fungicide from Home Depot/Lowes ect.

To eliminate a bad head you could run the zone manually for 5-10 minutes and watch to see how they are all performing.

I am a sucker for RainBird. I believe they perform better for longer than some of the other brands. I would suggest the U-Series. These would give you better coverage closer to the head.

EDIT: Yes, I actually use adjustable (HE-VAN) everywhere. They do cost a little more but I prefer to make the minor adjustment.


That’s a good nozzle too & if you need to adjustable arcs, probably a better solution. Still one of the biggest issues I’ve seen is due to too high of pressure & misting. That will hose your coverage.

Thanks, that sounds like a viable solution and means I can just keep a couple extra heads on hand for issues.

Would you suggest the 8-10’ radius with no restriction, or the 10-12’ turned down a bit?

I would go with the HE-VAN 12.

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Depends on your spacing.

Just upgraded all my fixed popups to matched precip rotors, used the Krain mini pros. A couple suggestions:

  • Check with your local utility, I got a $5 repate for each sprinkler by using a model with a check valve. Also got rebates for Rachio Iro and a rain sensor.
  • Your existing sprinklers probably have 1/2" risers. A lot or rotors are 3/4" so consider this when you upgrade. The model of rotors I used is 1/2" so no adapters were required.


My water comes from the nearby lake, so no utility bonus.

Also, I am referencing “rotating” nozzles, not rotors where are two different animals (I believe I have my terminology correct).

I like the MP Rotors. Provides good even coverage for me.

I think you should get some catch cups and check your actual coverage.

You’re using lake water, so likely not metered? Overwater and see if the brown spots get green?

Do you have good soil depth?

I wasn’t going to deal with catch cups until I installed some new heads. Or perhaps the cups will tell me what heads I should install?

No meter on the water, you are correct. Just some electricity. To overwater should I just add a fixed 10m a day cycle, or modify my flex daily?

I am not sure what you mean by soil depth. I did my mason jar sample for the area and it came out as sandy loam.

Catch cups will tell you if your chasing the right problem.

If your using flex daily, you could reduce the efficiency setting to increase the watering.

I ask about soil depth, only because I have an area that looks like that. If I stick a screwdriver, shovel, etc into the ground it hits rock within inches. I hope the rest of the world has topsoil, but its the first thing that comes to mind for me.

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I’m not sure if I’ll go,with red thread, I,can’t see it there.

Could be takeall or brown patch. But I agree it could be fungus.

I would say throw headway g. It’s more expensive but it hits 2 biochemical sites.

@Dub9 I went through a similar exercise a couple of months ago. If you have some time you can scan this post to get some ideas:

Going to the MP Rotators was a huge improvement for me, but I’m sure some of the others you mentioned have the same benefits. Do consider that any rotators will have a much longer run time due to the lower flow rate than fixed heads. For me my run times increased by about 4x. If you have a dig needing to use the space it may be an issue, but if not you might saved quite a bit do to less runoff due to better control, and a better efficiency due to less missing as stated @ronjonp.

As a professional I have used all of them except the he van, but I have heard positive reviews from one of my suppliers. I would not recommend the toro precision as I have had issues with them clogging easily. MP Rotator will work fine, but if you have good pressure and flow I couldn’t justify the added expense.


Some suggestions:

  1. Check water ptessure. If the water pressure I’d more than 40 psi the spray pattern of the spray nozzles will explode. If high water pressure install pressure regulated spray bodies that regulate pressure to 30 psi
  2. Not good to mix sprays and rotors because they have different precipitation rate.
  3. Install Toro Precision nozzles (female or male thread) with pressure compensating disc. They have output of 1 inch per hour.
  4. Remove rotor and replace with additional spray bodies for matched precipitation.

Brown areas usually caused by low pressure, high pressure or heads spaced too far apart. I suspect you have high water pressure.

You can buy an inexpensive orbit pressure gauge at home Depot or buy a hunter mp spray head checker and buy a pressure gauge to screw into the head checker. I think you are a contractor so you can get these things at Ewing, Longhorn, Horizon, Site One, etc in the north Texas area if that is where you are located. I installed the Toro Precision nozzles and 1800 Prs heads and my coverage is outstanding now.

The Toro Precision nozzles are remarkable. They have an oscillating spray pattern and I have never had a clogged noZzle. If you are a homeowner check sprinkler warehouse.

I have already found the Sprinkler warehouse. I have spent a lot of time there. LOL.

Not a contractor, just trying to get my lawn tuned up. My one zone has 4 rotors on it, that is all. The other zones are only spray (Rainbird 10H or 10Q). There are no mixed zones.

Do the Toro Precision come with the compensating discs, or is that a different part number?
I am a bit concerned with clogging of them though, with the late water.

It looks like I could switch out my bodies to Rainbird regulating and HE-VAN nozzles for the cost of a Toro Precision.

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