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Posted: 6/13/2016 2:58:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2016 3:00:08 PM EDT by NoVaGator]
I'm rehabbing my sprinkler system - did the controller this weekend - and need new popup heads for a number of zones.

Rainbird? Toro? Weathermatic? Hunter?

are they all the same?

are they all "consumables" that will be broken anyway?

Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:10:53 PM EDT
I am no expert on this but over the last 20 years I have used Toro,Rainbird and Hunter. Hunters are easier to work with for me. All adjustments are quite easy and they seem to be a superior product. My son just had a large system installed and used Hunters. With his Hunter heads you can shut off a single head with just a turn of the tool. Good if you need to blow them out for the winter. Just shut off all the heads except the last in the zone. I have some large zones on my property and will be replacing some heads with the Hunters like my son uses. If you have heavy shade and sun on one zone you can just shut off the heads that cover the shady areas a couple times a week. Helps preventing moss. Good luck, in ground sprinklers are a real time saver.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:13:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2016 3:16:45 PM EDT by johnh57]
Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
I'm rehabbing my sprinkler system - did the controller this weekend - and need new popup heads for a number of zones.

Rainbird? Toro? Weathermatic? Hunter?

are they all the same?

are they all "consumables" that will be broken anyway?

View Quote


We had ours put in maybe 20 years ago. All the original heads were Rainbird Maxi-paw pop-ups, I think we have 46 or 48 of them. I replace 4-5 of them a year now. Some are in areas where the lawn mower wheels run over them every time I mow, those get replaced more often that the others. Biggest problem I've had with them is the cap that closes them off when they're down has a cheesy little button that locks the cap to the sprinkler itself. The tabs molded into the sprinkler the cap button locks into break off easily. The only way to fix is to replace the guts of the entire sprinkler, which you can't buy. You have to buy an entire sprinkler and take the guts out of it.

I've been replacing them with Hunter gear drive sprinklers. I don't have any with more than a couple years on them so the jury is still out.

ETA: I think I've gotten pretty good service out of the Rainbirds really, but I want to try the gear drive sprinklers. Easier to sneak up on and adjust without getting soaked. The rainbirds are impact sprinklers and move along pretty fast. The gear drive turn much slower, and even I can get near them without getting soaked.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:18:56 PM EDT
I started going to a professional irrigation supply store (not homedepot), and buying what they recommended. The cost difference is minimal, but you're getting a professional grade product.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:20:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
I'm rehabbing my sprinkler system - did the controller this weekend - and need new popup heads for a number of zones.

Rainbird? Toro? Weathermatic? Hunter?

are they all the same?

are they all "consumables" that will be broken anyway?

View Quote

Gear drive last forever.

You'll be replacing impact rotor every few weeks.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:27:39 PM EDT
They keep upgrading that stuff every year. I'd go to a pro shop if you have one handy. Or order online.

Some of these new controllers sync with your smartphone. Newer sprinklers use different drop sizes and angles to minimize drift and evaporation.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:28:01 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By GreenBastard:

Gear drive last forever.

You'll be replacing impact rotor every few weeks.
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Originally Posted By GreenBastard:
Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
I'm rehabbing my sprinkler system - did the controller this weekend - and need new popup heads for a number of zones.

Rainbird? Toro? Weathermatic? Hunter?

are they all the same?

are they all "consumables" that will be broken anyway?


Gear drive last forever.

You'll be replacing impact rotor every few weeks.


Every few weeks?

Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:29:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2016 3:38:26 PM EDT by The_Punisher]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DeLuce:
I started going to a professional irrigation supply store (not homedepot), and buying what they recommended. The cost difference is minimal, but you're getting a professional grade product.
View Quote


This

Hunter PGP rotors and Toro 570 4" spray heads with fixed spray nozzles not the adjustable nozzles ( the spray pattern sucks on the adjustable spray nozzles).

Just say no to Weathermatic, Orbit, and Nelson. Rainbird spray heads and Hunter spray heads the nozzles are interchangeable.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:33:59 PM EDT
The Hunter Pro sprays and RAINBIRD 1800 SERIES are virtually identical. If you have a Keeling or STI store in your area, they are a wealth of knowledge.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:46:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2016 3:54:04 PM EDT by The_Punisher]
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Originally Posted By Doe_Nuts:


Every few weeks?

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Originally Posted By Doe_Nuts:
Originally Posted By GreenBastard:
Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
I'm rehabbing my sprinkler system - did the controller this weekend - and need new popup heads for a number of zones.

Rainbird? Toro? Weathermatic? Hunter?

are they all the same?

are they all "consumables" that will be broken anyway?


Gear drive last forever.

You'll be replacing impact rotor every few weeks.


Every few weeks?



Impact heads last just as long as gear driven rotors and they will pass larger solids if you're pumping from a dirty water source i.e.: canal, lake , etc. As long as you maintain around the impact heads so nothing can prevent the exposed moving parts from working.

However I pulled out some hard top Hunter PGP's from the early 90's last week. You can probably expect 6-10yrs out of a decent product.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:51:08 PM EDT
In for more info.

I have a 30 year old Rainbird system with the Maxi Paw heads. I've had to replace a couple of heads a year for the last 2-3 years, but most of them are the original sprinkler heads for plastic to last 30 years I'm impressed.

On the hunter gear driven systems, what all has to be replaced if I wanted to change over? I've just replaced with new Rainbird heads since all I have to do is dig around the edges and unscrew the old one and screw on a new one.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:52:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2016 3:59:36 PM EDT by Kilroytheknifesnob]
I used to work in commercial irrigation.

Buy Hunter or Rainbird, period. Orbit is consumer grade trash. Also, buy from an actual sprinkler supply house, not Home Depot. I love HD, but they're not going to have the stuff you need.

If you're specifically looking for spray heads, Rainbird 1800 series come in a few specialty variants you may find useful. There's a pressure regulating version which can help save water and improve coverage, and an enhanced seal version for sandy areas (SAM). For spray nozzles, I'm a big fan of the rotating spray nozzles. They have superior coverage, but will require longe run times.

PM me if you have specific questions.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 3:52:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
I'm rehabbing my sprinkler system - did the controller this weekend - and need new popup heads for a number of zones.

Rainbird? Toro? Weathermatic? Hunter?

are they all the same?

are they all "consumables" that will be broken anyway?

View Quote


I just spent 20 days over Easter at my dad's place in L.A. doing his 40 year old system that he, himself put in. 19 zones, ~200 sprinkler heads, half of them pop-ups and the other half fixed.

I use Superior valves (Orbits are junkers) and Toro PUs and sprinkler heads. I did buy some Rainbird heads because our maintenance guy installed some of them on risers for a couple of big rose bush beds. I didn't have lots of time with some rainy weather, so I kept them in place.

I've been maintaining it for 5 years and he had a stroke 3 Easters back, so he's out of commission.

I think Toro is the way to go. You can buy low pressure 5'-8' foot heads, but you really have to flush your system well before installing them, since they're restricted to begin with. I like the 15' 360* adjustable heads and even the 12', since you can dial them in and even lower the distance a bit.

Chris
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 4:00:05 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wm69:
In for more info.

I have a 30 year old Rainbird system with the Maxi Paw heads. I've had to replace a couple of heads a year for the last 2-3 years, but most of them are the original sprinkler heads for plastic to last 30 years I'm impressed.

On the hunter gear driven systems, what all has to be replaced if I wanted to change over? I've just replaced with new Rainbird heads since all I have to do is dig around the edges and unscrew the old one and screw on a new one.
View Quote


They should both be a 3/4" inlet at the bottom, so yes. Unless they are installed on flex pipe you may need some 3/4" riser extensions to make up a height difference.
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 4:16:04 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By The_Punisher:


They should both be a 3/4" inlet at the bottom, so yes. Unless they are installed on flex pipe you may need some 3/4" riser extensions to make up a height difference.
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Originally Posted By The_Punisher:
Originally Posted By wm69:
In for more info.

I have a 30 year old Rainbird system with the Maxi Paw heads. I've had to replace a couple of heads a year for the last 2-3 years, but most of them are the original sprinkler heads for plastic to last 30 years I'm impressed.

On the hunter gear driven systems, what all has to be replaced if I wanted to change over? I've just replaced with new Rainbird heads since all I have to do is dig around the edges and unscrew the old one and screw on a new one.


They should both be a 3/4" inlet at the bottom, so yes. Unless they are installed on flex pipe you may need some 3/4" riser extensions to make up a height difference.


They're on PVC. I guess water pressure drives the gear driven heads?
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 4:26:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2016 4:31:49 PM EDT by The_Punisher]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wm69:


They're on PVC. I guess water pressure drives the gear driven heads?
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Originally Posted By wm69:
Originally Posted By The_Punisher:
Originally Posted By wm69:
In for more info.

I have a 30 year old Rainbird system with the Maxi Paw heads. I've had to replace a couple of heads a year for the last 2-3 years, but most of them are the original sprinkler heads for plastic to last 30 years I'm impressed.

On the hunter gear driven systems, what all has to be replaced if I wanted to change over? I've just replaced with new Rainbird heads since all I have to do is dig around the edges and unscrew the old one and screw on a new one.


They should both be a 3/4" inlet at the bottom, so yes. Unless they are installed on flex pipe you may need some 3/4" riser extensions to make up a height difference.


They're on PVC. I guess water pressure drives the gear driven heads?


I hope the Maxi-paws are not side mounted.

Yep.

Link Posted: 6/13/2016 4:47:53 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By The_Punisher:


I hope the Maxi-paws are not side mounted.

Yep.

<a href="http://s1209.photobucket.com/user/The_Punisher__/media/1998E28D-1D8B-4F21-9716-F31277939002_zpshghe8n4e.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i1209.photobucket.com/albums/cc388/The_Punisher__/1998E28D-1D8B-4F21-9716-F31277939002_zpshghe8n4e.jpg</a>
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Originally Posted By The_Punisher:
Originally Posted By wm69:
Originally Posted By The_Punisher:
Originally Posted By wm69:
In for more info.

I have a 30 year old Rainbird system with the Maxi Paw heads. I've had to replace a couple of heads a year for the last 2-3 years, but most of them are the original sprinkler heads for plastic to last 30 years I'm impressed.

On the hunter gear driven systems, what all has to be replaced if I wanted to change over? I've just replaced with new Rainbird heads since all I have to do is dig around the edges and unscrew the old one and screw on a new one.


They should both be a 3/4" inlet at the bottom, so yes. Unless they are installed on flex pipe you may need some 3/4" riser extensions to make up a height difference.


They're on PVC. I guess water pressure drives the gear driven heads?


I hope the Maxi-paws are not side mounted.

Yep.

<a href="http://s1209.photobucket.com/user/The_Punisher__/media/1998E28D-1D8B-4F21-9716-F31277939002_zpshghe8n4e.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i1209.photobucket.com/albums/cc388/The_Punisher__/1998E28D-1D8B-4F21-9716-F31277939002_zpshghe8n4e.jpg</a>



Nope, mine all screw in from the bottom.


https://smile.amazon.com/Rainbird-Circle-Non-Portable-Maxi-Paw-Sprinkler/dp/B011TMU5KW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1465850829&sr=8-3&keywords=rainbird+paw
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 6:07:51 PM EDT
Ok, looks like I'll go with Hunter Pro Spray PRS40s with the rotator heads
Link Posted: 6/13/2016 7:13:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2016 7:16:33 PM EDT by johnh57]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wm69:
In for more info.

I have a 30 year old Rainbird system with the Maxi Paw heads. I've had to replace a couple of heads a year for the last 2-3 years, but most of them are the original sprinkler heads for plastic to last 30 years I'm impressed.

On the hunter gear driven systems, what all has to be replaced if I wanted to change over? I've just replaced with new Rainbird heads since all I have to do is dig around the edges and unscrew the old one and screw on a new one.
View Quote



The Hunter gear drives I bought screw right into the maxi-paw housing. Screw the guts out of the maxi-paw, screw in the hunter gear drive. Adjust degrees of turn, adjust spray, done.

Hunter PGP-ATR Impact Replacement
Link Posted: 6/14/2016 10:08:51 AM EDT
Awesome. didn't know such a thing existed.

It does look like these have different tips for different rates. What are ya'll using? I've got zoysia.
Link Posted: 6/14/2016 10:19:11 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
I used to work in commercial irrigation.

Buy Hunter or Rainbird, period. Orbit is consumer grade trash. Also, buy from an actual sprinkler supply house, not Home Depot. I love HD, but they're not going to have the stuff you need.

If you're specifically looking for spray heads, Rainbird 1800 series come in a few specialty variants you may find useful. There's a pressure regulating version which can help save water and improve coverage, and an enhanced seal version for sandy areas (SAM). For spray nozzles, I'm a big fan of the rotating spray nozzles. They have superior coverage, but will require longe run times.

PM me if you have specific questions.
View Quote



bingo
me too (long time in commercial irrigation)

for spray heads, Rainbird 1800 series (not the cheap shit sold in home depot, etc)

for rotor's, Hunter PGP's are solid, if you can get them, they are within a dollar or two, but Hunter I-20's, better head, WAY better nozzle.

I like Rainbird valves too, but the real key to valves is the wiring. Use 14ga solid wire (yeah, shit costs bank, I don't want to dig it up ever) and use good 3M underground connection sealants. (name escapes me at the moment). Electrical issues are where the big dollars come from in spinkler repairs. Use good wires and fix it forever.
Link Posted: 6/14/2016 10:32:25 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By wm69:
Awesome. didn't know such a thing existed.

It does look like these have different tips for different rates. What are ya'll using? I've got zoysia.
View Quote


I use the largest nozzle I can - but I need coverage. My sprinkler heads are roughly 35' apart. Heads that have less than 360 deg coverage use smaller nozzles so you keep close to the same amount of water on a given piece of ground. That didn't come out well - basically you need to figure out how many inches of water you want on your lawn. Use the appropriate nozzles. Since heads that have less than 360 degree coverage on an area will traverse that area more often, you need smaller nozzles if they are on the same zone as full 360 degree heads.

I went through and readjusted nozzles a couple years ago. I put a bucket out on the lawn in areas of the lawn that looked good, and buckets where the lawn was sunburned, and ran the system. Looked at the water level in the buckets and adjusted the nozzles in the sunburned area to get closer to the coverage of the areas that looked ok.
Link Posted: 6/22/2016 11:59:29 AM EDT
Interestingly enough, my sister just bought a house, and while I was mowing yesterday I saw a sprinkler head (same mini-paw Rainbird that I have). After looking around for a bit I found three manual valves buried in the flowerbeds, and after turning one on, heard hissing coming from the yard. Walked around looking for wet spots and dug up sprinkler heads all over the yard. Most were buried under 2-3 inches of dirt and grass, so obviously hasn't been used in awhile.

Water pressure wasn't enough to make most of them function, so guessing the system has leaks. Any way to find the leaks other than let it run and wait for water to bubble up out of the ground?
Link Posted: 6/22/2016 12:02:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/22/2016 12:03:11 PM EDT by spidey07]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wm69:
Interestingly enough, my sister just bought a house, and while I was mowing yesterday I saw a sprinkler head (same mini-paw Rainbird that I have). After looking around for a bit I found three manual valves buried in the flowerbeds, and after turning one on, heard hissing coming from the yard. Walked around looking for wet spots and dug up sprinkler heads all over the yard. Most were buried under 2-3 inches of dirt and grass, so obviously hasn't been used in awhile.

Water pressure wasn't enough to make most of them function, so guessing the system has leaks. Any way to find the leaks other than let it run and wait for water to bubble up out of the ground?
View Quote


For something like that I'd just call somebody. It's a pain in the ass. And I'm fairly handy and know my system, have replaced entire heads, etc.

Is there not a control panel somewhere to tell what zone to come on for how long? While we're talking panels, the Hunter one is the very best. Very durable and easy to use. My landscaping guys swear by all things Hunter.
Link Posted: 6/22/2016 12:47:23 PM EDT
I've got a newer 9-zone system with Hunter Pro-C controller and a mixture of MP Rotator nozzles and Pro-Spray nozzles. The MP Rotators take longer to water, but they are supposed to be more efficient. Time will tell on the durability, but it seems to be well engineered and easy to use equipment.
Link Posted: 6/22/2016 3:54:09 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By spidey07:


For something like that I'd just call somebody. It's a pain in the ass. And I'm fairly handy and know my system, have replaced entire heads, etc.

Is there not a control panel somewhere to tell what zone to come on for how long? While we're talking panels, the Hunter one is the very best. Very durable and easy to use. My landscaping guys swear by all things Hunter.
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Originally Posted By spidey07:
Originally Posted By wm69:
Interestingly enough, my sister just bought a house, and while I was mowing yesterday I saw a sprinkler head (same mini-paw Rainbird that I have). After looking around for a bit I found three manual valves buried in the flowerbeds, and after turning one on, heard hissing coming from the yard. Walked around looking for wet spots and dug up sprinkler heads all over the yard. Most were buried under 2-3 inches of dirt and grass, so obviously hasn't been used in awhile.

Water pressure wasn't enough to make most of them function, so guessing the system has leaks. Any way to find the leaks other than let it run and wait for water to bubble up out of the ground?


For something like that I'd just call somebody. It's a pain in the ass. And I'm fairly handy and know my system, have replaced entire heads, etc.

Is there not a control panel somewhere to tell what zone to come on for how long? While we're talking panels, the Hunter one is the very best. Very durable and easy to use. My landscaping guys swear by all things Hunter.


Nope, just three manual water valves like you'd have for a garden hose. You turn the valve on by hand, the sprinkler heads pop up.
Link Posted: 6/22/2016 4:06:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/22/2016 4:06:57 PM EDT by spidey07]
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Originally Posted By wm69:
Nope, just three manual water valves like you'd have for a garden hose. You turn the valve on by hand, the sprinkler heads pop up.
View Quote


Oh, so a pretty small system with 3 seperate zones on 3 manual water supply valves. Probably homeowner installed. Yeah, you could try to turn it on and hunt down the wet spots and dig the heads out or reposition them closer to the surface. You want them flush with the ground when retracted. I was thinking dozens of heads. I forget the maximum amount of heads you are supposed to have on a single zone to have adequate pressure.

Link Posted: 6/22/2016 4:11:52 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By spidey07:


Oh, so a pretty small system with 3 seperate zones on 3 manual water supply valves. Probably homeowner installed. Yeah, you could try to turn it on and hunt down the wet spots and dig the heads out or reposition them closer to the surface. You want them flush with the ground when retracted. I was thinking dozens of heads. I forget the maximum amount of heads you are supposed to have on a single zone to have adequate pressure.

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Originally Posted By spidey07:
Originally Posted By wm69:
Nope, just three manual water valves like you'd have for a garden hose. You turn the valve on by hand, the sprinkler heads pop up.


Oh, so a pretty small system with 3 seperate zones on 3 manual water supply valves. Probably homeowner installed. Yeah, you could try to turn it on and hunt down the wet spots and dig the heads out or reposition them closer to the surface. You want them flush with the ground when retracted. I was thinking dozens of heads. I forget the maximum amount of heads you are supposed to have on a single zone to have adequate pressure.




Hook a hose up to the water line that is going to feed your sprinklers. Time how long it takes to fill a 5 gal bucket and calculate your gallons per minute. Then you can figure out number of heads you can run on a single zone. Sprinkler heads will come with an approximate gpm rating.
Link Posted: 6/22/2016 4:44:20 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By spidey07:


Oh, so a pretty small system with 3 seperate zones on 3 manual water supply valves. Probably homeowner installed. Yeah, you could try to turn it on and hunt down the wet spots and dig the heads out or reposition them closer to the surface. You want them flush with the ground when retracted. I was thinking dozens of heads. I forget the maximum amount of heads you are supposed to have on a single zone to have adequate pressure.

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Originally Posted By spidey07:
Originally Posted By wm69:
Nope, just three manual water valves like you'd have for a garden hose. You turn the valve on by hand, the sprinkler heads pop up.


Oh, so a pretty small system with 3 seperate zones on 3 manual water supply valves. Probably homeowner installed. Yeah, you could try to turn it on and hunt down the wet spots and dig the heads out or reposition them closer to the surface. You want them flush with the ground when retracted. I was thinking dozens of heads. I forget the maximum amount of heads you are supposed to have on a single zone to have adequate pressure.



I have 6 zones on my Rainbird system. Like my sister's house, the sprinkler system is on it's own separate water meter.

My zones have a maximum of 6 heads on one zone. A couple of them have 3 or 4 heads.

One of hers has 6 and then a big ole sticker bush on top of either a 7th head or a leak (in the flower bed). The 2nd had 5 that I found. Third only had 3 that I could see, but it was getting dark so I didn't do a lot of searching on that one.
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