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Tuesday, September 16th 2014, 1:09am

Toro Precision Spray Nozzles vs RainBird HE-VAN Nozzles...and general sprinkler selection help

I've done lots of research to design a brand new sprinkler system for my home and I'd really appreciate help selecting the "best" type/brand/model sprinkler for my situation. I'd love to gather some information/opinions on the RainBird HE-VAN Series Nozzles and Toro Precision Spray Nozzles since those are the two I'm most heavily looking into. However, I'm still very much open to other ideas so feel free to suggest other spray nozzles, rotors,rotary nozzles, or whatever you think is most appropriate for my project.

Some relevant information about the property:
  1. My back yard has a wooden fence and hitting it with any significant amount of water isn't acceptable.
  2. The property has lots of irregularly/organically shaped beds that I plan to water with drip irrigation so I'd like to minimize over-spray into these areas from the turf sprinklers.
  3. A few of these beds and even the occasional tree are right in the "middle" of the turf. This provides obstacles for the turf sprinklers and essentially breaks up the turf into smaller/irregularly shaped sections.
  4. As a result of the last two points, I've got my fair share of irregularly shaped turf areas that are 5, 8, 10, and 15 feet wide. For the most part, I'm not dealing with wide open areas.
Some relevant information about my goals/preferences:
  1. I'm obsessed with optimization. I want to minimize water usage, minimize wet spots, and minimize dry spots.
  2. As a result of the first point, I'm very concerned with things like high uniformity, low scheduling coefficient, etc.
  3. I believe lower precipitation rates are generally a good thing.
  4. I believe that you get what you pay for, so I'm not afraid to spend more for a better product.
  5. I'm not afraid of longer run times from lower precipitation sprinklers.

I started by looking at rotors but have shied away from them because during planning their large radius made it very difficult to get solid head to head coverage and they had a tendency to hit my fence, beds, and obstacles in the middle of the turf.

I looked at rotary nozzles like the Hunter MP Rotator because of their claimed efficiency but shied away from them because their radius was problematic, there were concerns about debris clogging the nozzle, and CIT found they had DUs around 55% or so despite Hunter's claims to the contrary. Even so I haven't eliminated the idea of using these products because I'm still in research mode.

I'm leaning towards the idea of using sprays primarily because their small radius is conducive to my sometimes confining turf areas. Even so I was somewhat worried about the higher precipitation rate and the susceptibility to wind/misting hurting their uniformity/efficiency.

When comparing the Toro Precision Spray Nozzles to the RainBird HE-VAN Series Nozzles, I was leaning towards Toro because:
  1. Toro offers a remarkably consistent precipitation rate across all radii and arcs. Virtually every permutation is 1.00 inches per hour. The RainBird had more variability especially between the 8 foot model (1.76) and the 12 and 15 foot models (1.58 ).
  2. As alluded to in the previous point, RainBird's precipitation rate was 58-76% greater than Toro. Generally I think lower precipitation rate equates to less run off and higher efficiency so I favor Toro.
  3. Toro's smallest nozzle has a 5 foot radius compared to RainBird's 8 foot. The ability to use a smaller radius is particularly attractive for my more "confined" areas of turf.
  4. I don't believe Toro has any moving parts for their nozzle while RainBird does. I assume that makes Toro more durable/reliable.
  5. Toro's range of acceptable pressure is slightly larger than RainBird which again makes me believe it may be more durable/reliable.
  6. Toro's nozzles are more expensive and you usually get what you pay for.

That isn't to say RainBird didn't win in a few areas of the comparison:
  1. The ability to adjust the RainBird nozzle, by hand, from 0-360 degrees was particularly appealing for my irregularly shaped turf, minimizing over-spray into the beds, and reducing water usage. The Toro nozzle has a fixed arc with 30 degree increments from 60-360 which is reasonable but not ideal.
  2. The slick marketing of RainBird's videos was very appealing but at the same time I'm wary of qualitative assertions from a biased source.
  3. In a RainBird video they show their sprinkler running side by side with a Toro. It certainly "looks" like the stream produced from the RainBird nozzle was more complete/uniform (particularly right in front of the nozzle) than that of the Toro. However, I've read that an untrained human eye isn't particularly good at this type of comparison.
  4. In a RainBird video comparison they claim/show their nozzle producing a thick stream with larger water droplets relative to the Toro which would lead to more uniform coverage during windy conditions.
  5. In a RainBird video they site an independent study from CIT where RainBird had a DU of 77% & a SC of 1.2 while that same study found Toro had a DU of 76% & a SC of 1.3. On the other hand I'm hesitant to trust hand picked studies provided to me from a bias source. I was also unnerved by the fact that if you read/watch RainBird's promotional material enough you'll find them site slightly different statistics from CIT and I'm not sure why there would be a discrepancy.

I apologize for the wall of text, hopefully some of you were able to make it through! Again I think I'm trying to decide between the Toro Precision Spray Nozzles and the RainBird HE-VAN Nozzles so any input regarding that choice would be especially appreciated but really any information, opinions, suggestions, or finding inaccuracies/errors in what I've posted would also be appreciated. Thanks!!!

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "EdLaFave" (Sep 16th 2014, 1:16am)


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Posts: 4,102

Location: Metro NYC


Tuesday, September 16th 2014, 9:10am

If you must have the most precisely distributed water, then go with 100 percent drip for the entire property, both lawn and beds.


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Tuesday, September 16th 2014, 11:01am

Thanks for the suggestion, that option never occurred to me. I'll spend the next couple of days researching the topic, if you have any links to particularly good resources I'd love to give them a read.

At first thought it gives me heartburn since I assume it'll require me to replace all of my sod, potential problems in the future may be hard to detect/fix, and lots of fertilizers/pesticides/etc like to be watered in so they don't remain in contact with the grass blade which may be impossible in this setup.

Even so, it is a good idea that I'll further investigate. Thanks!

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