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View Full Version : Fixed or Adjustable Spray Nozzles?


jbell36
07-12-2012, 08:08 PM
What do you guys prefer/install for spray nozzles? To me fixed nozzles seem obsolete these days, is there a good reason to use them over the adjustable nozzles?

greenmonster304
07-12-2012, 08:31 PM
Yes fixed arc perform much better than vans. Vans are the worst, I only use them if I absolutely have no choice.
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mrsteve
07-12-2012, 08:46 PM
I take out quite a few vans that are damaged. Not sure if it's mechanical (lawn crew) or overtightened. I used them some when they first came out because they had the 18' one. The other brands I don't have much experience with. Really like the Rain Bird undercuts in certain places where you need more up close watering. Weathermatic brass have a great pattern if you have the pressure and money.

bcg
07-12-2012, 08:46 PM
Fixed. I hate to have to use VANs, they have terrible DU, use more water and clog much easier. Only hacks use VANs where a fixed would work. I even stock the available TT, TQ and T fixed nozzles on the truck.

DanaMac
07-12-2012, 08:48 PM
VANs are water hogs. A VAN set to 180 degrees, will put out more water than a fixed arc. They pattern also gets distorted easily with dirt or debris.

jbell36
07-12-2012, 08:57 PM
i have a friend who works for a bigger company here in town and he pretty much said the same thing, especially with VAN's getting clogged more often...i had a feeling this was going to be the responses, although i was hoping they would get better responses, was thinking about using more VAN's when i run out of my current stock, might rethink that...

does anyone use all VAN's or does that seem to be the consensus?

greenmonster304
07-12-2012, 08:58 PM
The toro vans are the worst the rb are better but they break on the top.
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mrsteve
07-12-2012, 09:01 PM
i have a friend who works for a bigger company here in town and he pretty much said the same thing, especially with VAN's getting clogged more often...i had a feeling this was going to be the responses, although i was hoping they would get better responses, was thinking about using more VAN's when i run out of my current stock, might rethink that...

does anyone use all VAN's or does that seem to be the consensus?
Haven't use the HE van, but I've seen some in action. They have a better looking pattern, but may have the same problems as the others. Tried to buy a few today at Deere, but they said only Ewing has them around here.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-12-2012, 09:04 PM
Hate vans. The most important part of an irrigation system is that final spray to the landscape. In my opinion that has been going downhill for the sake of convenience. I've seen 50 year old brass nozzles that would put the current spray nozzles to shame.

Mike Leary
07-12-2012, 09:11 PM
Hate vans. The most important part of an irrigation system is that final spray to the landscape. In my opinion that has been going downhill for the sake of convenience. I've seen 50 year old brass nozzles that would put the current spray nozzles to shame.

Ditto. Any time you got to fool around with a adjustment screw, other than a fine-tune, you've screwed-up the design. I never used brass nozzles with adjustments, and rotors are the worst for guys fooling with them due to wrong application. :hammerhead:

jbell36
07-12-2012, 09:12 PM
Hate vans. The most important part of an irrigation system is that final spray to the landscape. In my opinion that has been going downhill for the sake of convenience. I've seen 50 year old brass nozzles that would put the current spray nozzles to shame.

i've only seen a couple brass nozzles around here but i will say it seemed like a very even smooth flow...

Duekster
07-12-2012, 09:53 PM
I keep Van's on my truck for one or two replacements on a system but If Iam actually doing something meaningful, I use MP's

Do not like standard Nozzles and vans less.

mitchgo
07-13-2012, 02:02 AM
Vans are horrible..

They throw out almost 2x the amount of water to it's counterpart

There DU is absolutely sh!t

They clog, become streaky, tops break and the color of the nozzle oxidizes so quick in the sun

I would say I have revived stupid contractor installs all vans to fixed nozzles ... Swapping a minimum of 500 nozzles if not 8 or 900 nozzles this season alone

It's rewarding to show the customer ... Oh my god I have a working system now.

Kiril
07-13-2012, 08:46 AM
I love my VAN's .... the ones call MPRotators.

Duekster
07-13-2012, 08:51 AM
I love my VAN's .... the ones call MPRotators.

exactly,

I carry some basic Van sizes for one or two head repairs so I don't stock a lot of garbage. If the client wants the system fixed and saving water, I sell MP's.

cjohn2000
07-16-2012, 11:35 AM
We will swap to VAN nozzles around our color spots on our commercial sites because they put out more water. I personally like Hunter VANs the best for easy adjustment and the color is protected and RB for their 18'. That being said I hate the old Hunter design that ends up, well I guess, "streaking".

grassman177
07-16-2012, 03:54 PM
i have used vans for convenience for many years, and did not like the older, finger cutting top edge adjusting hunter versions much better. i used vans because the put out more water, but are soooo prone to breaking, streaking etc i had enough. plus, they seem to auto adjust. i switched to the new pro hunter vans and will see how they do. they seem better built, with a nice pattern. also, the top adjusting ring is now thicker and ribbed and it makes it easier to use. i think it seems the fixed dont water quite the way i like, so i rarely use them. the quarters are the worst!! i swear they dont water a full 90, or if they do, then the concrete aint even close, therefor i use vans to match the area.

cjohn2000
07-17-2012, 01:10 AM
i have used vans for convenience for many years, and did not like the older, finger cutting top edge adjusting hunter versions much better. i used vans because the put out more water, but are soooo prone to breaking, streaking etc i had enough. plus, they seem to auto adjust. i switched to the new pro hunter vans and will see how they do. they seem better built, with a nice pattern. also, the top adjusting ring is now thicker and ribbed and it makes it easier to use. i think it seems the fixed dont water quite the way i like, so i rarely use them. the quarters are the worst!! i swear they dont water a full 90, or if they do, then the concrete aint even close, therefor i use vans to match the area.
Im with you on the 90's sometimes you need that little more arc on a corner. I always find it amusing when I go to turn down a van and the screw drops in and the top comes off {sigh} if only people could figure out what screen to use.

grassman177
07-17-2012, 05:29 PM
glad i am not the only one who thinks that. that is prob half the reason i use vans or some sort, better matches to turf and non turf lines. i have some toro fixed sprays on some systems, and they are horrible about getting enough water ont he edges of a 90 or 180 for ex. i use the vans to stretch the arc a bit more behind the head to cover along the edge better.

Wet_Boots
07-17-2012, 05:55 PM
If you have at least 30 psi at the nozzles, you should get good 90-degree patterns from fixed nozzles.

Dripit good
07-17-2012, 08:36 PM
Other than the bastard area a fixed can't do...vans suck.

grassman177
07-18-2012, 02:54 PM
that is why i switched to the new hunter ones, cuz rb vans do suck for durability reasons etc, but i still like the water pattern from them better, cuz i always want a bit more arc than what the fixed patterns give, almost always it seems.

i think as far as that goes, it is a matter of opinion, but durability issues are fact, along with water usage of course.

jbell36
07-18-2012, 07:14 PM
talked to a distributor today that sells all brands...his point was a lot of maintenance only tech's will mostly only stock van's so they only have to stock 7 nozzles as opposed to 36 or so, and new systems will be fixed because they are cheaper and the installer knows exactly what he needs at the time of the install...the clogging issue happens to both, and it seems if you close and open the vans a couple times that usually does the trick, a little easier than fixed...he did say they usually put out a higher GPM than fixed...but is that technically a problem? couldn't you just turn the time down on the clock?

jbell36
07-18-2012, 07:22 PM
he also said van's are better than when they first came out, maybe some guys still have that bad taste in their mouth...he seemed to think the rain bird's were the best, said they are very close anymore to the fixed GPM

DanaMac
07-18-2012, 07:30 PM
talked to a distributor today that sells all brands...his point was a lot of maintenance only tech's will mostly only stock van's so they only have to stock 7 nozzles as opposed to 36 or so, and new systems will be fixed because they are cheaper and the installer knows exactly what he needs at the time of the install...the clogging issue happens to both, and it seems if you close and open the vans a couple times that usually does the trick, a little easier than fixed...he did say they usually put out a higher GPM than fixed...but is that technically a problem? couldn't you just turn the time down on the clock?

Your distributor is clueless. The van nozzles do clog and become distorted more often than fixed nozzles. You know what that means? MORE CALL BACKS. Meaning I am going back more often to "close and open" just to fix the issue.

Higher GPM means the zone may be over stretched. If the installer figured 2 GPM for a 15'H, and used the same math using a VAN, then the zone is designed wrong. Lets say there are 10 heads at 2 GPM with fixed, totalling 20 GPM, and if a VAN puts out 1/3 more water (33%), that totals up to 26.6 GPM. If you only have 22 GPM to start with, you're screwed. Believe me, too many of us have "fixed" the all VAN zones. The heads may have 15-20 PSI with all vans, and swapping out to fixed can easily increase to 30-35 psi, and the heads pop up the full height. The heads now spray the full 15' instead of 12'-13'.

Use the correct product, not the easily stocked product.

greenmonster304
07-18-2012, 07:30 PM
[QUOTE=jbell36;4474836t said they are very close anymore to the fixed GPM[/QUOTE]

What does this mean?
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jbell36
07-18-2012, 07:36 PM
What does this mean?
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...that the rain bird VAN's ouput is very close to the fixed

jbell36
07-18-2012, 07:44 PM
i'm just trying to get everyone's opinions, i'm not arguing one way or the other...seems like the verdict is definitely fixed, and i do value the opinions on here...i wouldn't say my distributor is clueless though, he was in charge of the irrigation dvision for a huge very well respected company in Kansas City for 20 years and now he's the top salesman at one of the biggest distributors...

grassman177
07-18-2012, 08:24 PM
I admit, starting out as maint only does lend one to stock less nozzles (vans). but still prefer the tweaking one can do with them. I have changed many fixed out for vans to get better coverage ......it happens
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Wet_Boots
07-18-2012, 08:29 PM
While not giving them a total pass, I have occasionally made very good use of VAN nozzles from Rainbird. Sometimes from their higher trajectory. Sometimes when combined with a PCS screen, and opened to an arc not available as a fixed, for use by a curving driveway.

DanaMac
07-18-2012, 08:38 PM
Sure, there are a few times a van is needed. Angles just over the standard fixed. But designed correctly and you can make fixed work. Being strictly maintenance gives me the ability to see more of what works and what doesn't.
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Felco #2
07-18-2012, 08:42 PM
Agreed, sometimes these nozzles have their place here and there. But otherwise, the fact VAN's that are <12' do not have matched precipitation rates is a perfect reason not to use them. Just look at the charts, the PR's are all over the place. Mix and match a bunch of VAN's on a zone and wasted water is all but assured.

Wet_Boots
07-18-2012, 08:44 PM
The site where I used the VANs by the driveway has a zone of Hunter PS sprays. They don't hold their arcs all that well.

cjohn2000
07-19-2012, 12:31 AM
I would rather throw in a fixed nozzle, but the handiest VAN nozzles to have IMO are the 4' 6' and the 18' I know hunter makes the 17' Q H and A but Hunter's vans dont have the trajectory that RBs do. Its probably been said vut VANs look real pretty when you first install and adjust but pretty soon the pattern and the arc loses its consistency. The old Hunter design seems to have a tendency to turn into a full circle and then have to be replaced.

mitchgo
07-19-2012, 01:22 AM
Only time vans are good are less then a 90. Even then I try to use an end strip.

I would rather have overspray with a TT, TQ or full then a Van that has horrible DU, and over water usage

DanaMac
07-19-2012, 07:38 AM
I would rather have overspray with a TT, TQ or full then a Van that has horrible DU, and over water usage

I'm with you on this one. I'd rather overspray onto a sidewalk, into some areas of rock/mulch, or even a driveway, than use a van.
I have also replaced so many that are all screwed up, no matter how I turn the collar, it is still doing a distorted 360. Won't close down, won't unclog, won't do anything but 360.

jbell36 - my apologies. Clueless was probably the wrong word and not necessary.

Wet_Boots
07-19-2012, 07:52 AM
talked to a distributor today that sells all brands...his point was a lot of maintenance only tech's will mostly only stock van's so they only have to stock 7 nozzles as opposed to 36 or so, and new systems will be fixed because they are cheaper and the installer knows exactly what he needs at the time of the install...the clogging issue happens to both, and it seems if you close and open the vans a couple times that usually does the trick, a little easier than fixed...he did say they usually put out a higher GPM than fixed...but is that technically a problem? couldn't you just turn the time down on the clock?I'm still trying to figure out which 36 nozzles from the hundred or so I stock I would keep :confused:

DanaMac
07-19-2012, 07:58 AM
I'm still trying to figure out which 36 nozzles from the hundred or so I stock I would keep :confused:

Same here. I probably have 2-3 times that many configurations. Although I got away from stocking anything under 8', and I rarely even have too many of the 8' anyway. Anything that small and under has a very tine orifice, and they get clogged so much faster. Anything from 4'-7' in my truck is probably a used nozzle that I took out somewhere. Also, I only by the undercut style anymore, unless they don't make it in the configuration I need.

Wet_Boots
07-19-2012, 08:12 AM
I installed with 8's and 5's here and there, so I'm stuck keeping them around. It does reinforce the argument that I can charge five bucks for a nozzle, on account of the inventory costs me over a grand.

Duekster
07-19-2012, 08:18 AM
That is what I do too. Keep a selection of VAN's for quick repairs, if the client wants more than a broken head or missing nozzle fixed than I suggest the MP's. Sometimes retrofitting just one or a few stations at a time.

DanaMac
07-19-2012, 08:20 AM
It finally slowed down here, so we are doing some shop and vehicle work this week. We have a couple of buckets of used nozzles, that primarily are still good. With all the change outs to Toro Precisions or Hunter MPs, or changing to undercuts or the correct pattern needed, we have a ton of regular standard nozzles. Washing them out and trying to put some of them back in service if needed. Probably have a thousand or two of used nozzles. Thought about selling them on ebay, a pound at a time, as is. Pennies on the dollar just to get rid of them.

Wet_Boots
07-19-2012, 08:38 AM
If there's enough pressure, I'm not seeing any problems with the standard nozzles. Still haven't picked up the Toro Precision Nozzles. (I'd want to get the full inventory, and I'd never make a profit)

DanaMac
07-19-2012, 09:07 AM
For the Precisions, currently we carry 10, 12, 15 in Q/T/H/F. We are going to more of these than anything. They do need a little more run time, as they put out less water, but the coverage is so much better IMO. Also on weak/stretched zones they are awesome in fixing the zone to achieve proper pressure at the heads. I over bought a bunch this year when they were on sale.

I bid on a job that wanted to change out 2000+ standard nozzles to the Precisions. But I did not bid it competitively once I found out who was bidding it, and how many companies.

Dirt Boy
07-19-2012, 12:21 PM
I know some of you have far more experience than I do, but included are a few charts from RB.
So tell me what I'm missing here.
Looks to me as though it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

DanaMac
07-19-2012, 12:37 PM
I know some of you have far more experience than I do, but included are a few charts from RB.
So tell me what I'm missing here.
Looks to me as though it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

RB can put that in their charts all they want. I'm not saying they are lying, but it is inaccurate. I've done it often enough to see it first hand, in the real world, not in a chart, that the VANs put out more water. When a zone of all VANs will not pop up to full height, and we swap them out to fixed and they pop all the way, having 25-30 psi behind them, then the VANs are putting out more water.

The HE VANs may be different, haven't used them, and have not been on the market or available long enough.

Wet_Boots
07-19-2012, 01:28 PM
the 12 and 15 VAN nozzles are right in line with the fixed sprays, but the small VANs aren't

grassman177
07-19-2012, 01:50 PM
with that being said boots, that is the range i keep in stock, 12 and 15. also, like the RB 18 van. very useful.

seems that 15 is the most common size needed around here for sure. i have used some 8van a few times where it made sense, and seem to work well, but have not been checking up on them or anything, lol

i also started using more side strips, end strips etc instead of normal sprays. they do great for the 4 ft strips of grass between the curb and sidewalk. actually, i think in those areas, i have seen the best coverage from diagonal design rather than one sided. no one ever does both sides.