Rotor heads are a common selection when installing sprinkling systems. Also known as gear-driven sprinklers, they are very useful, especially when there are large, open, and fairly square areas to be covered. There are many types of sprinklers, two of the most common being rotor heads and spray heads. The biggest difference between a rotor head and a spray head is the movement. Spray heads are stationary and spray just one specific area of the yard.
Rotor sprinklers rotate, as the name implies, and can be adjusted to change the width of the spray. Although spray heads will water the area faster because of the concentrated nature of the water, the rotor heads are able to cover more area.
As mentioned before, rotor sprinkler heads rotate to cover a large area of your lawn, garden, or whatever area stands in need of watering. The nozzles can adjust to various patterns ranging from 5 degrees to a full 360-degree circle. The sprays for residential rotor sprinklers typically reach up to 40 feet, although it will range from approximately 22 to 40 feet in length. The sprinkler rotors have larger holes where the water exists than the spray heads, which can lead to less frequent clogging. You can purchase rotor sprinkler heads with varying gallon per minute capabilities. Also, you can easily swap out different nozzles once the base of the sprinkler head has been installed. This allows for simple adjustment to any width, distance, or stream size that will best fit your area.
Rotor heads work well for downward sloping areas and areas that have nonabsorbent soils. They are more efficient in such areas because of the low application rate at which the water flows. If a spray head were to be used in such areas, it could cause for over-watering of the soil and the excess water will run off, wasting your time and money.
Although rotor sprinklers tend to clog less frequently than spray heads, they do require quite a bit of maintenance. At the first of every season it is advised to go and check each of your sprinkler heads to ensure they are set up correctly and there is nothing obstructing the spray. There are two main types of rotor heads (1) stream (also known as Gear Drive) and (2) impact rotor heads. Both of these sprinkler rotor types require a high amount of pressure, which could prove problematic if your area does not provide for high water pressure. There is typically more water pressure in commercial areas, so you will want to check on your level of water pressure if you are installing a sprinkling system in a residential area.
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