And How Did You Tie Corvettes Into Sprinkler Nozzles?

Life is good. You just bought your first Corvette with all the features: 6.2 liter 430-hp LS3 V8, Bose® audio system, head-up display and, to top it off,  Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC radial tires for off-road mudding! Race track here we come!

Life gets better! You just moved into your dream home: ocean view, indoor pool, master chef kitchens (two, so you don’t have to walk too far), a personal theater furnished by Home Theater Gear, a private elevator and, out back, your own personal outhouse!  Time for a party!

In any system all parts must work equally to achieve the desired results. Let’s trade the Baja Claw tires for Goodyear Eagle F1 Run-Flats and see if we can’t get some plumbing into your new mansion.

Nozzles are the final and one of the most critical parts of your irrigation system. It does not mattop of a sprinkler nozzleter how good the system is; putting in the wrong nozzle will make it ineffective and a money waster.

Understanding nozzles is simple. For one, the notes you need are written right on top. It’s like having the answers to your history test on the same line as the question.

Look at the top of a standard nozzle. You’ll see three things: a number, a letter and some lines. On this sample the “10” means 10 foot radius, the “H” means Half Circle, or 180 degree coverage, and the line indicate the spray area. This notation is standard throughout the industry. A full circle nozzle has the distance and pattern but no line marks.

Specialty Nozzles

There are nozzles designed just for gardens and small areas. These are strip nozzles. Their patterns are as shown below.

sprinkler nozzle strip pattern diagram

Variable Nozzles

Variable nozzles are just that: variable. They can adjust spray patterns from 00 to 3600. Marking on these are usually the radius and either A for adjustable or VAN  or simply arrows pointing in both directions. These are excellent for small or unusual angles. To adjust you just turn the top ring or the side ring, depending on manufacturer.  Extremely versatile.

variable arc nozzles spray pattern diagram


Every manufacturer has specialty nozzles. Some are low angle, some are low flow, some have different nozzle design. Each has its benefits.  All, however, fall back to the same basic descriptions: they all have a radius/distance marking, they all have a pattern description.


There can be a great deal of difference in the amount of water two nozzles from different companies put out. For example a Hunter 15’ full pattern standard nozzle at 30psi puts out 3.72 gallons per minute (GPM). A Toro Precision series, same radius, pattern and pressure, puts out 2.31gpm.  That is a difference of 1.41gpm per minute.  Both fit a need and have a specific purpose. However, you do not want to mix the Hunter and the Toro on the same zone. You will either over or under water one area.

It is important to stay with the same manufacturer on nozzles to keep the same precipitation rates.

One Final Note

Most nozzles are female thread and will swap brand to brand without a problem. Some nozzles are male thread and are for certain brands only. Female thread tends to dominate the industry but make sure of what you have before you purchase replacements.

sprinkler nozzle threads

Every thing is good. You have the right tires, an actual indoor privy and perfect coverage for your yard.