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Rotators Vs Sprays

The most popular pop-up sprinkler nozzles are the Hunter MP Rotators and the Rain Bird R-Van's. This type of sprinkler nozzle is referred to as a rotator; it has finger streams of water shooting out, which then rotate around the head of the nozzle. In comparison to the spray head nozzles, these use a typical fan type spray to cover the area.

The significant benefit in the rotator sprinklers is that they use less water and have a lower application rate, ensuring there is no water runoff. Using less water per nozzle will enable you to run more at a time you are therefore saving money in having no runoff and reducing the number of zones required.

Hunter MP Rotator


The MP Rotator's are installed onto any conventional spray head body or shrub adapter. Transforming them into high uniformity, low precipitation rate sprinklers with matched precipitation at any arc and any radius.

Rain Bird R-Van


The R-VAN's engineered to deliver the most efficient coverage while making installation and maintenance faster and easier. The R-Vans work on the same principles of the MP Rotators.


Spray Nozzles

Spray Nozzles were the traditional spray head that was used in the past. It has a fan spray pattern with smaller droplet sizes. Hunter and Rain Bird both have their variations of spray nozzles. The nozzles are adjustable from shut off to a 360-degree spray pattern. Simple to adjust with twisting the top and no tool required.


Rotator Nozzles

Hunter MP Rotator Strip Nozzles


  • Application rates are lower resulting in a better absorption rate by the soil
  • Bigger droplet size doesn't get affected by the wind as easily as the sprays.
  • Lower water usage per nozzle means more nozzles running at the same time
  • Less water used per nozzle = fewer zones needed = saving money
  • A more significant range of throwing distances means fewer sprinklers to cover an area.
  • Fewer zones = decrease in install time, less pipe required, smaller controller needed, fewer fittings.
  • Less expensive once you combine all of the factors.
  • More even coverage in throw


  • Price per nozzle is higher
  • different nozzles are required for different arcs
    • MP Rotator = 90-210, 210-270, 360
    • R-Van = 45-270, 360

Spray Nozzles

Hunter Pro Spray Pop up Sprinkler Bodies


  • Price per nozzle is cheaper
  • Spray nozzles will do from 0 degrees to full 360 degree pattern
Rain Bird Variable Arc Nozzles


  • Uses a lot more water per nozzle
  • Higher water consumption, means fewer nozzles running at one time
  • Fewer nozzles able to run at one time means more zones required to cover an area
  • More zones required = more fittings, more sprinklers, more pipe, bigger controller, increase in install time.
  • More expensive once you combine all of the factors.
  • Water waste is higher due to being susceptible to wind
  • Easy to over water
  • Not as even in coverage
  • Smaller throw distances

Water Usage Comparison


A 4m x 4m Lawn would use 4 x MP100090 throwing 4m each at 90 degrees

MP100090 @ 90 degree = 0.68 L/m per nozzle

0.68 L/m x 4 nozzles = 2.72 L/m

All four sprinklers running at the same time will be using 2.72 litres per minute.


A 4m x 4m Lawn would use 4 x HSN15A throwing 4m each at 90 degrees

HSN15A @ 90 degree = 2.53 L/m per nozzle

2.53 L/m x 4 nozzles = 10.12 L/m

All four sprinklers running at the same time will be using 10.12 litres per minute.

If you had only 10 litres of water coming out of your house tap, you would be able to run 14 x MP1000 @ 90 Degree nozzles at 1 time, In comparison to the Sprays where you would be pushing 4 nozzles.

With this calculation, you can quickly see how the spray nozzles may be cheaper initially, actually cost you a lot more in pipe, valves, controllers, etc.


  • Older systems installed using spray heads that now have a loss of flow can easily interchange to Rotators, to improve efficiency.