Water Efficient Sprinklers

High-Efficiency Sprinklers and Sprinkler Nozzles Guide

When it comes to keeping your yard watered well, having a system that is properly designed, installed and also maintained can help to keep your lawn green without it turning brown. It will also help you save and conserve on water. Having an automatic watering system will help your landscape maintain a lush appearance using the least possible amount of water. Just changing the sprinkler nozzles that your existing system uses can help you to save water.


There are numerous options for you to choose from, with each of them having numerous benefits. You will want to make sure to choose a nozzle and sprinkler that works the best for your situation. However, there is one thing that they all have in common, which is matched precipitation rates (MPR), which is the speed that water is applied to a certain area. Our customers, in my experience, average saving 10 to 15 percent in water usage by utilizing high-efficiency nozzles. Minimal misting is one of the key benefits offered by high-efficiency nozzles. It results in less water getting lost to evaporation. When it comes to traditional nozzles, evaporation might cause homeowners to lose 10-20 percent of water due to the fact of water droplets being so small that they don’t ever hit the ground. Older nozzles might leak once the sprinkler system has been turned off. However, check valves are featured on new technology that create a leak-proof and strong seal once the sprinkler heads have popped down.

The main goal and primary benefit of MPR sprinklers is preventing water waste due to run-off while still making sure that adequate moisture is received by the area. The plant materials get watered at a rate that is slow enough for allowing water to penetrate the soil so that runoff is reduced. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of different sprinkler systems:

MP Rotator by Hunter – This nozzle line features an adjustable radius and arc, ranging from a 5-foot strip up to a 35-foot radius. The nozzle comes with its very own protection mechanism for keeping the nozzle clear and free of debris whenever the nozzle isn’t being used.

Toro Precision Rotating Nozzle by Toro – A proven gear drive powers this nozzle. It delivers multi trajectory, multi stream, wind resistant patterns. It has an arc of 45 to 360 degrees, which you can adjust by using the adjustment tool or by hand. A consistent rotation speed is delivered by the gear drive mechanism no matter what the water pressure level is. And it prevents the nozzle from stalling in low pressure situations.

Rainbird R Van – The distance and spray pattern can be adjusted easily by hand without needing to have any tools. You can adjust the arc from 45 degrees to 270 degrees, and depending on which model you choose the distance can range from 13 feet to 24 feet.

There are a couple off excellent options for you to choose from, if you prefer spray nozzles over rotators:

Rainbird HE Van – These nozzles are available in 15, 12, 10 and 8 foot radii. It adjusts from 0 up to 360 degrees. This is the only currently available variable arc spray nozzle where the flow changes with the arch in order to maintain matching precipitation rates over all models. All of the guess work is taken out of achieving a clean spray edge pattern.

Toro Precision Spray – A patented H20 chip technology that has no moving parts is used. It results in each of the spray nozzles in the precision series creating one or multiple oscillating high frequency streams in order to achieve the desired radius and arc. A more uniform, larger droplet size is generated by the H20 chip, which results in consistency over the irrigated arc.

High-efficiency nozzles can help customers decrease their water bills, reduce water usage, and provide more consistent, better coverage, which can translate into more attractive landscapes and lawns. For contractors, high-efficiency models don’t cost a lot more and provide superior watering coverage. That results in there being fewer callback for having to continue to readjust inconsistent sprinkler systems, which can really kill profits.

When irrigating with automatic sprinklers, your irrigation timer should be programmed so that waters using 2 to 3 short cycles instead of one long time period. In between cycles, let the water soak into the ground. Nearly all irrigation professionals use cycles for watering turf. For example, if 15 minutes is the amount of time you usually use for watering, trying water for 4 minutes, then wait a half hour or more to allow it to soak in, followed by another 4 minutes, wait for another 30 minutes, then water for 4 minutes once again. You have now watered for 12 minutes in total instead of 15 minutes. Even with this total reduced watering time, there is still a good chance the appearance of your lawn will improve substantially. The main reason why cycling is such an effective system is due to the fact that nearly all types and brands of sprinklers apply water at a much faster rate than it is able to soak into the ground. So after only running for about 5 minutes, a majority of the water starts building up on the top part of the soil and simply runs off to a low area in the yard or into the gutter. When you cycle the irrigation it gives enough time for the water to soak into the ground, which reduces the amount of water run-off as well as the number of wet spots in your lawn, which is where lawn diseases originate.

For bushes and shrubs, switch over to drip irrigation. Compared to sprinklers, it is around 20% more water efficient. They are reasonably inexpensive and easy to install. Drip irrigation is 90% efficient as well in getting water delivered to where it is most needed. By contrast, sprinkler irrigation is only around 63% efficient. Once your irrigation system hardware is operating in an efficient manner, it is also very important to get up a good irrigation schedule. Watering needs change along with the seasons, so your irrigation schedule should also. Many landscapes get watered all year long at the same level, which adds unnecessary amounts of water for months on end. So you need to only water when actually needed.