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Spray Pop-ups

PurpHaze

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Visalia, CA
We all know that there are many good spray heads out there and we probably have our favorites and our dislikes. Our district has pretty much used Toro 570s over the years and it doesn't pay to change from a maintenance standpoint; i.e. it's easier to carry one sprinkler and one nozzle tray when you have the potential problems of THOUSANDS of these spread out over 40 different sites. It's quicker and more cost effective (time!) for us to just gut the old sprinkler and insert a new one into the existing body.

However, over the years we've had systems designed by landscape architects lacking "trench time" where typical 3-row spray pop-ups were placed in areas say 30' wide. I'm looking at rehabilitating these areas by capping off the middle row and every other side row (only an example) and installing MP Rotator nozzles on the existing spray pop-ups.

But, here's the problem. Out of all the sprinkler types we use the pop-ups are the most likely to stick and get sheared off by a mower or line trimmer. We know that there are many factors involved in this sticking problem including (but not limited to) spring strength, scoring of the pop-up riser, non vertical attitude of the sprinkler, soil composition around the sprinkler, sprinkler head depth, amount of thatch, etc.

What experiences have you had and which spray head would you recommend as far as reliability of retraction over the long haul? I have the authority to change sprinkler types (i.e. we've gone from Toro rotors to Hunter rotors over the past ten years and we still have plenty of Toro 640s in the ground) even if it means it would take 20 years to eventually change them all, and by that time there will be other sprinklers on the market.

Reliability of retraction is the key I'm looking for.

Thanks.

Hayes :blob3:
 

Wet_Boots

Banned
Location
metro NYC
It's no big secret. Rainbird invented the co-molded wiper seal, and they've had the lead in head retraction ever since. Whatever issues their sprinkler heads may have had, retraction wasn't among them.
 

Luke in Nebraska

LawnSite Member
I see plenty of rainbird 1800's that don't retract. And can anyone tell me why rainbird sells those piece of crap spray heads that have the white rectangles on the outside. I can't think of any other head I hate more than those. I will not even install those if the customer tries to give them to me. It always makes me laugh when they tell me they have no pressure. I'll turn the station on and they have got 20 15F on a system designed for 12's.
 

jerryrwm

LawnSite Bronze Member
Luke in Nebraska said:
I see plenty of rainbird 1800's that don't retract. And can anyone tell me why rainbird sells those piece of crap spray heads that have the white rectangles on the outside. I can't think of any other head I hate more than those. I will not even install those if the customer tries to give them to me. It always makes me laugh when they tell me they have no pressure. I'll turn the station on and they have got 20 15F on a system designed for 12's.
Number one Luke those are Homeowner grade heads available at the Box stores. They are pieces of junk, but the homeowners like 'em cause they're cheap.

Number two, there is not a sprinkler manufacturer out there that makes a fool proof spray head. Every brand of head will stick at some point. Some more than others. Anybody remember the HIT Pro series? Or the Irritrol HS heads? They were mower blade magnets, with a retraction spring about the strength of a ball point pen spring.

Jerry
 

Grassmechanic

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
S.E. Michigan
jerryrwm said:
Anybody remember the HIT Pro series? Or the Irritrol HS heads? They were mower blade magnets, with a retraction spring about the strength of a ball point pen spring.

Jerry
Hee hee, I remember those. Give me an 1800 anyday. :waving:
 
OP
PurpHaze

PurpHaze

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Visalia, CA
jerryrwm said:
Number one Luke those are Homeowner grade heads available at the Box stores. They are pieces of junk, but the homeowners like 'em cause they're cheap.

Number two, there is not a sprinkler manufacturer out there that makes a fool proof spray head. Every brand of head will stick at some point. Some more than others. Anybody remember the HIT Pro series? Or the Irritrol HS heads? They were mower blade magnets, with a retraction spring about the strength of a ball point pen spring.

Jerry
"mower blade magnets": I like that one! :p

You can add the original Hunter spray pop-up to that list also.
 

Aran

LawnSite Member
jerryrwm said:
Number one Luke those are Homeowner grade heads available at the Box stores. They are pieces of junk, but the homeowners like 'em cause they're cheap.

Number two, there is not a sprinkler manufacturer out there that makes a fool proof spray head. Every brand of head will stick at some point. Some more than others. Anybody remember the HIT Pro series? Or the Irritrol HS heads? They were mower blade magnets, with a retraction spring about the strength of a ball point pen spring.

Jerry
How long ago were the Irritrol HS heads a problem? I have been using them exclusivly for about 5 years. Approx. the time Toro bought Irritrol. The HS and 570 are now identical except for the shaft and nozzle. You can put HS guts in a 570 can. So far I have had no problems with the head. I also agree about the Quality of the Rain Bird 1800, I was installing that head when I started 17 years ago.
 
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