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Tuesday, August 5th 2008, 4:46pm

Can I mix and match rotor/spray heads?

My back yard is all rotor heads and they do a great job.

I have one station of my yard that is all spray heads. But the spray is so fine, a lot of it seems to get lost in the wind or be tiny droplets that don't really get past the top of the grass blades.

Can I install rotor heads on that station instead to get a better and heavier stream...or does that affect water pressure or anything? Or should each station be all rotor/all spray heads? Or can I mix/match depending on the location/patterns of the yard?

It's a system installed 20 years ago that came with my house, Rain-Bird I think.


Supreme Member

Posts: 482

Location: Houston, Texas


Tuesday, August 5th 2008, 5:38pm

The simple answer is no. You can not mix spray and rotors on the same zone. You may want to ask your self, "why do you think they designed it with spray heads for that area?", Is the reason behind the spray still valid? If so , maybe your spray nozzles need to be replaced, maybe your pressure is too high. Rotors generally need 50 PSI to function correctly and spray heads generally need about 30 PSI to operate correctly. You may need to reduce pressure at the head. This is probably enough to think about for the first post.

Good Luck
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Big Dog

Active Member


Wednesday, August 6th 2008, 6:02am

You may want to consider MP rotors on your spray heads, if you have at least 18' wide section in that zone you could use rotors and cap every other head, depending on the spacing of the spray heads


Supreme Member


Wednesday, August 6th 2008, 1:28pm

You don't mix rotors and spray heads on the same circuit because they have a huge difference in precipitation rates. A typical rotor might have a precipitation rate of 0.25"/hour, while a typical spray might have a precipitation rate of 1.5"/hour. Based on those figures, areas watered by the spray heads will get 6 times as much water as areas watered by rotors. When the rotors and spray heads are on separate circuits, you match the precipitation rates for the two circuits by running the rotor circuits longer than the spray head circuits.

As has been suggested, the problem might be high pressure at the heads. If that is the case, you just need to reduce the pressure to that one zone. If you have valves with flow control, you can easily reduce the pressure to the one zone by turning the flow control knob on the valve until the sprays stop misting. Another option is to replace the spray heads with ones that have pressure regulators built into them. As an example, if your existing spray heads are using standard Rainbird 1804 series pop-ups, you can buy Rainbird 1804 PRS pop-ups. Then just replace the 'guts' of the old pop-ups with the new PRS pop-ups (reusing the existing nozzles of course). The 1804 PRS is the same thing as the 1804, except the stem has a 30psi pressure regulator built into it. If you think this might be the option to follow, you can "test" the idea with minimal cost by trying to replace just one pop-up. If that fixes the problem for that one head, then you replace all the heads.

As also suggested, you can swap out the existing nozzles with MPRotator nozzles (they basically are rotors that fit on a spray head). But if high pressure is the reason for the misting, the MPRotators will not perform optimally either. As with the heads, you can purchase a single MPRotator nozzle (about $8) and try it out (but the only place I know you can get one of these locally would be a EWING if you have one in your area).

Worst case, you could install a pressure regulator after the valve on this one circuit. They make PVC pressure regulators that are designed for 1" and 3/4" PVC. But since that solution requires that you dig and cut into the pipe, you might want to test that fix first by finding an alternate way to adjust the pressure. The simplest thing I can thing of is to slowly close your master shut-off valve while the circuit is running (you might need two people and radios/cellphones if the spray heads can't be seen from the shut-off). At first, you won't notice any difference, but eventually, the shut-off valve with begin to pinch off the water supply having the net effect of lowering the water pressure. If you can adjust the pressure this way so that spray heads perform adequately, then installing a pressure regulator or replacing the valve with a valve with flow-control should fix your problem.


Starting Member


Monday, December 29th 2008, 1:09pm

Rotor Choice Help

I have a Toro system with rotors for the front yard. I need help in replacing one of the rotors. I installed paver stones around a flower bed where one of my rotors is located. The two paver stones are a total of 6" high and the current rotor can not clear them. What model/type will pop-up 8-12 inches to clear this height? I only need about 15'-20' of distance off of this head with 90 degree rotation. Would like the head to start flush to the ground for aesthetic reasons. Thanks.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,298

Location: Metro NYC


Tuesday, December 30th 2008, 6:33am

Once you identify the existing head, look for a high-pop version of the same thing. Or you could just raise the existing head.


Supreme Member

Posts: 482

Location: Houston, Texas


Tuesday, December 30th 2008, 10:08pm

they have 12" versions of the rotors go to a professional irrigation supply house and order 1.
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