Pop-Up Sprinkler Buying Guide

When looking at your options for buying pop-up sprinklers, choosing which one is right for you can be daunting.

This guide reviews the different types of spray bodies and the nozzles available for your Lawn and Garden sprinkler system. Let's get started:

What is a spray body, and why do you need one?

The spray body is what most people call a sprinkler in their system. It is just the housing that moves the water from the irrigation lines to the spray nozzle. Every manufacturer has their version of a spray body, and most have similar features. At DripWorks, we carry options from a four (K-Rain, Toro, Rainbird and Hunter) top of the line manufacturers. All the spray body options that we offer will accept standard spray nozzles.

In California, there is a requirement that states all spray bodies must have pressure regulation to reduce overspray and wasted water. Because of this requirement, all our spray bodies will have either 30 PSI or 40 PSI pressure regulation and come at a slightly higher cost for the added feature. All our spray bodies meet the WaterSense EPA criteria in California. Just look for the seal on our website.



Rainbird 1806SAMPRS

Rainbird 1806PRS

K-Rain offers a 6" spray body with a 4" pop-up height. The spray body has a built-in 30 PSI regulator to keep the outlet pressure and flow equal across your system. The operating pressure range for this body is 20-70 PSI, meaning the regulator kicks and starts reducing the pressure if your system is running at a pressure over 30 PSI. The inlet at the base is 1/2" female pipe thread. This spray body has WaterSense to meet EPA requirements and a heavy-duty return spring inside the body when the system shuts down.

The Toro 570Z is a 6" spray body with a 6" pop-up height. This spray body also has 30 PSI pressure regulation, a working pressure range of 20-75 PSI, and WaterSense to meet EPA requirements. The bottom inlet is 1/2" female pipe thread. A unique feature of this unit is the wiper seal that helps to eliminate flushing while the sprinkler rises. It also has a ratcheting riser for quick and precise arc adjustments.

DripWorks offers two options from Rainbird for spray bodies:

The Rainbird 1806SAMPRS and the Rainbird 1806PRS.

The Rainbird 1806PRS is a 9 3/8" tall spray body with a 6" pop-up. The unit features PRS and Flow Optimizer technology to ensure consistent performance throughout the watering zone and promote an even spray pattern. This spray body has a 1/2" female pipe inlet on the bottom and an optional side inlet in a 1/2" female pipe thread. The pressure range for this spray body is slightly lower than the K-Rain or the Toro bodies at 15-70 PSI but has the same 30 PSI regulation.

The Rainbird 1806SAMPRS is very similar to the 1806PRS. It does not have the optional side inlet, but it does have the added feature of the Seal-A-Matic check valve. This built-in check valve will prevent low-end drainage for systems with elevation changes of up to 14'. Once you have chosen a Spray Body next step is to pick a Spray Nozzle

When choosing a nozzle, there are four major factors to consider.

  1. Radius: The radius is the throw distance of the spray from the nozzle. This number will be a range because it will vary depending on pressure and adjustment. On most nozzles, you can reduce the set radius to the minimum radius if needed.
  2. Flow Rate- the flow rate is the volume of water that the sprinkler emits over a certain period of time. Most sprinkler nozzles provide a flow in gallons per minute (GPM). With adjustable nozzles, the pressure rating and radius setting will affect the flow rate. Information on how the flow changes can be found on the product's individual page on our website.
  3. Operating Pressure range- Each nozzle will have a range in which it will provide the listed radius and flow rates.

There are two types of spray nozzles: Fixed Spray or Rotary nozzles. Spinkler nozzles have a unique female thread size to match the male threads on the spray bodies. While some manufacturers create their spray bodies and nozzles to only fit with each other without the use of an adapter, all the spray nozzles that we carry with fit on any of the spray bodies options we also carry.

Fixed Nozzles

A fixed spray nozzle produces a fan of spray. This fan can be adjusted for arc by turning the top of the nozzle. The screw in the middle of the nozzle top is used to adjust the radius and the flow. DripWorks carries these fixed spray nozzles in Hunter and Rainbird's options.

Hunter Fixed Spray nozzles come in five radius options. These nozzles have an average precipitation rate of 1.5 inches per hour. The radius can be reduced by up to 25% by using the reduction screw. This reduction in spray radius helps to eliminate overspray in your system.

Rainbird Fixed Spray nozzles come in a full circle, half circle, or quarter circle option. These nozzles do not have adjustable arcs. There is an adjustment screw to reduce the flow and radius of the nozzle. The Rainbird nozzles are matched precipitation, meaning nozzles in the same series but with different arcs will have equal flow based on their arc. For example, the 10F (full circle) has a flow rate of 1.16 GPM, the 10H (half circle) has a flow rate of 0.58 GPM, and the 10Q (quarter circle) has a flow rate of 0.29 GPM. As the arc is reduced, the flow is reduced equally.

Rotary Nozzles

The spray pattern on a rotary nozzle is different than on a fixed fan spray nozzle. The rotary nozzle sends out fingers of water that rotates through the spray arc.


Rainbird Fixed

Rainbird Adjustable

MP Rotator

The Rainbird Fixed rotary nozzles come in a set arc pattern. The radius is adjustable with an adjustment tool. As a matched precipitation nozzle, when the radius is reduced, the flow is equally reduced.

The Rainbird Adjustable rotary nozzles also matched precipitation, but the arc can be adjusted within the arc range of each nozzle. These can be changed with the use of the Rainbird adjustment tool. The nozzle has a pull-up flush feature that efficiently clears any debris from the nozzle.

The K-Rain Adjustable rotary nozzles are available in three radius/ flow options. Each nozzle will have a range for the radius, and the flow is proportionate to that radius. K-Rain nozzles can be adjusted by hand, reducing the tools you need to maintain your sprinkler system.

The MP Rotator sprinkler comes in three flow rate options. Each flow rate option has three arc options. Each of these arc options is adjustable within the arc range. You do need a tool to make the arc adjustments for these nozzles. The radius on these can be reduced by up to 25%. As a matched precipitation nozzle, the radius reduces equally as the flow is reduced.

DripWorks also carries a line of MP Specialty nozzles for those odd-shaped or narrowly planted spaces. These come in a Left, Right, Corner, or Side option, creating a rectangular spray pattern. The corner nozzle has an adjustable arc from 45 to 105 degrees. All the other options have an adjustable coverage pattern and can reduce the radius by 25%.

DripWorks is available to answer any additional questions about your sprinkler system through our call center or our LiveChat feature. Representatives are ready to take your questions Monday-Friday from 8 am to 4 pm PST.