Sprinklers: Rotor vs. Spray


Sprinklers are handy for home and industrial use. There are different types of sprinklers, rotors, and sprays. Before you buy a sprinkler, you need to identify where and how you intend to use it. Factors like area size of where you plan to install it, as well as water pressure, are some of your top considerations.


Though there are different types of sprinklers, rotors, and sprays, it is easy to identify which one will work best for your needs. Sprinklers with spray head gushes water in steady circular patterns that you can adjust. The position of the water being sprayed can be adjusted to 45°, 90°, 180°, and 360°. This type of sprinkler sprays water in a pattern similar to how a normal showerhead does. Water is evenly distributed in low-pressure and in raindrops or mist form. It is commonly called as, sprays or sprays heads.


As for rotor sprinklers, this type sprays water in a circular motion while continuously rotating. The impact sprinkler is attached to a body that does the 360° turn. It requires higher water pressure. Rotor sprinklers can be a bit noisy while being used. It forms sounds such as tic-tic-tic and took-toook-took.


There are two types of rotor sprinklers, impact, and gear-driven rotors. Impact rotors rise about 4 inches to the surface when activated. It sprays uniform circular patterns in slow motion. Some impact rotors produce semi-circle sprays of water, commonly used for corners or sidewalks. It is cheaper in terms of price but requires periodic maintenance. As it rises on the ground, an opening easily catches dirt, mud, water, and small pebbles. All these could block the operation of the rotor. That is why you need to check and clean it on a regular basis.


A gear-driven rotor normally costs 3 to 4 times more than an impact rotor. However, it can cover larger areas, so you’ll be buying less number of gear-driven rotors. It works by having water pass through a wheel or fan causing the sprinkler to rotate. It also rotates faster than a spray head. The best thing about a gear-driven rotor is it doesn’t have an opening where the dirt or debris can enter. It requires less cleaning and maintenance too.


Ideally, the spray head is used when a person wants to monitor his/her lawn and plants on a regular basis. It is best for spaces not more than 18 feet. Spray heads are bestsellers among homeowners and hobbyist gardeners. It costs less but is very efficient in saving water. Most spray heads can be installed on a DIY (do-it-yourself) basis too. On the other hand, rotor sprays are for areas ranging 18 feet or bigger. It is commonly used in golf courses, mansion gardens, and open-parks.


Now that you know that there are different types of sprinklers, rotors, and sprays, you can pick your choice depending on your need.