View Full Version : Why not use VAN nozzles????

Green Sweep
04-01-2006, 07:36 PM
I started up a Bob Evan's restaurant on Friday. This system was installed last year by a competitor. This guy actually does a real nice job on head placement, spacing, zoning, etc. The plumbing connection was up to code & proper, the controller was mounted neatly along with a zone chart. My only complaint was his nozzling of heads. There was no rhyme or reasoning to his rotor nozzles. He had some 90 deg heads as 3.0 & with 180 deg. heads with 2.0's. Matched precipitation? It looked as if he just grabbed the heads out of the truck without looking at GPM's.
My biggest complaint was his pop up head nozzles. Every window at the restaurant was getting DOUSED until I had the opportunity to change nozzles or deflect them. Every nozzle on this 14 zone system was a RB 10H, or a RB 10Q. There are so many circular & curved beds and the 10H's were just over spraying everywhere including onto vehicles & patrons, and the 10Q's were missing plants. WHY NOT USE RAIN BIRD VANS?? Is this not precisely what they were designed for? In talking other irrigation contractors, VAN nozzles is almost a bad word. Do you guys use VAN's, or Toro or Hunter's equivalent. If not, why???


04-01-2006, 07:39 PM
Bad word? ive had good success with van's.

As far as the window seals go- sometimes you can just tone down the nozzle without having to replace them by using the adjustment screw

I havent had much luck with toro adjustables, toro fixed nozzles either. I installed them for 10 years and got fed up with them.

04-01-2006, 08:53 PM
We use both Rain Bird VAN's and Irritrol. Irritrol makes the best nozzle on the market. You have to try them.

04-01-2006, 09:01 PM
Vans are all I have ever used. When you figure out how many stinking nozells you need to carry it is just easier to carry the assortment of vans that you can adjust to the exact angle. It saves time in the long run.

04-01-2006, 09:04 PM
I've had good success with VAN's also. I love being able to put the water exactly where I want.

I do know an irrigation guy who refuses to use them. He swears a 10 VAN at 180 degrees puts out way more water than a 10H.
I believe the screen you use makes a big difference. He may be right if he's using improper screens but I believe the specs in the book match up exactly when you compare.

Even if there is truth to his reasoning I would gladly give up that extra head per zone if I could get more control.

04-01-2006, 09:51 PM
Heck, I use VANs all the time. They are a great problem solver. I often use them in places where a Q or H would work fine. I can't say that I have had any real problems out of them.

Dirty Water
04-01-2006, 10:18 PM
Vans work great for between 30 or so degree's and 180...In my opinion 270's look crappy and its better to use a TQ nozzle, same with 360's.

They also clog easier, we use the finer filter (blue)

04-01-2006, 11:26 PM
We use VANS in odd shaped areas where fixed pattern nozzles will not work. VANS do have greater precipitation rates than the same throw of an MPR nozzle but sometimes you have to use them. That's what thy're there for.
If you have really curved beds sometimes microsprays are better.

04-02-2006, 10:11 AM
I do not like using the VAN nozzles. They use more water than a fixed spray nozzle - I don't care what the charts say, they do. I've changed out zones with all VANs that weren't working well, to fixed nozzles, and the heads would finally pop up all the way and spray the intended distance. The zones were still a little stretched, but changing the nozzles allowed them to work.

The spray pattern also gets distorted easier on the VANs. Just opening and closing the collar seems to clear it up, but I shouldn't need to do that.

04-02-2006, 10:29 AM
I don't like the spray pattern of VANs..but I do use them when necessary. I prefer a fixed pattern nozzle over any variable arc nozzle.....for the reasons suggested by Dana.....poor spray pattern, higher gpm.....

04-02-2006, 10:30 AM
I will use them when necessary, but now exclusively.

04-02-2006, 10:45 AM
I prefer the fixed spray pattern nozzles.
Have had too many problems with adjustables of changing pattern coverage to clogging more and needing to clean out spray patterns.
They also use more gpm than fixed nozzles.

04-02-2006, 10:48 AM
Yes they do seem to clog up easier

04-02-2006, 11:06 AM
Rainbird VAN nozzles have their uses, but I prefer a fixed pattern, when it fits. Maintaining matched precipitation is one reason. I do sometimes employ a 15VAN in a 3/4 pattern, when I want its higher trajectory.

One trick you can do with VANs is to combine them with the PCS screens, and get distance control without having to throttle down the nozzle. This is a way to squeeze a bit more coverage from a fixed amount of water.

I had one rework of an system where this came in very handy, because the static water pressure mysteriously dropped after I did my measurements and started the work. The few remaining Hunter sprays came out in favor of 1800s with PCS screens, and VANs along the curved driveway. That reduced consumption enough to allow the sprays at the end of the zone the pressure they needed to cover.

04-02-2006, 07:19 PM
Unfortunately you installers don't get much feedback from the lawn maintenance crews. The rainbird VANs are easily damaged if a trimmer hits them and for the ones that are lower they break with time. The return springs snaps them off after a couple years. Switch to the Hunter adjustable they have more meat and seems to be lasting longer.

Flow Control
04-02-2006, 11:11 PM
One trick you can do with VANs is to combine them with the PCS screens, and get distance control without having to throttle down the nozzle. This is a way to squeeze a bit more coverage from a fixed amount of water.

Thanks for the tip

Critical Care
04-03-2006, 12:05 AM
I wonder if anyone else has noticed that with the Hunter adjustable nozzles that the pattern is skewed a bit?

As an example of what appeared to be going on when I tried them, I'd adjust a nozzle to 180 degrees, but the half circle pattern (which it should be) wouldn't be uniform. If I remember correctly, the radius from the adjustable side was less than the fixed. That was something I really really did not like.

Maybe I just got a bad batch, eh? But I haven't gone back to them since then.