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Irrigation Product Listings & Reviews
Rainbird 1800 Series Spray Heads
This is Rain Bird's top of the line spray body series. It features a 3 or 5-year warranty dependent upon where you buy it (standard or "trade" warranty). The Rain Bird 1800 series has a co-molded wiper seal that is the envy of the industry. Almost every other brand has to some extent copied this wiper seal. I feel the 1800 is marginally the best spray sprinkler in the industry (in other words it might last a little longer than others, but not significantly enough that I would exclusively use the product). The Rain Bird 1800 series has a very good reputation.
Rainbird lists out each available option as a separate product, rather than giving you a base product and a list of available options for it. For example the 1804-SAM head is simply the standard 4 inch pop-up spray body supplied with the optional "SAM" check valve pre-installed. In some cases you will actually buy the base product and the option package separately and then install the "option" yourself. The nozzles are usually sold separately from the bodies.
Be careful with the pop-up models that pop-up less than 3". They will not raise the nozzle above the grass and the water will hit the grass. I suggest a 3" high pop-up for short-mowed grass like Bermuda grass. Grasses like rye, bluegrass, and fescue need a 4" pop-up height. For Zoysia and St. Augustine grass I would suggest a 6" pop-up height. I personally use a 4" pop-up with Bermuda grass and a 6" pop-up with all other grasses. For shrub beds I use a 6" pop-up if there is no groundcover or a very low variety. A 12" pop-up is best for all other uses.
All models are available with numerous options, as listed below in the features section.
- PA-8S; Shrub style body.
- 1802; 2" pop-up body.
- 1803; 3" pop-up body.
- 1804; 4" pop-up body.
- 1806; 6" pop-up body.
- 1812; 12" pop-up body.
- Minimum pressure: 15 PSI
- Maximum pressure: 70 PSI
Features noted (optional) do not come standard with the product and must be specifically requested when ordering. For a description of each of the features below click here.
- Wiper seal.
- Spring retraction.
- Filter screen.
- Ratchet mechanism.
- Matched precipitation rate nozzles.
- Color coded nozzles.
- Universal female thread nozzle.
- Check valve (optional).
- Pressure Control Discs (optional).
- Pressure regulation (optional).
- Side inlet.
- Non-potable water markings (optional).
- Vandal Resistant (optional). This feature that makes the sprinkler more vandal resistant. A lock screw must be loosened with an Allen wrench in order to remove the cap. I have used these in prison recreation yards where we have to deal with lots of bored people sitting around with nothing better to do than to disassemble the sprinklers. Add -VPC to the part number to include a vandal resistant cap.
- Riser Extension (optional). Let's say you installed your landscape using 6 pop-up bodies in the ground cover areas. But several years later you discover that the ground cover has grown 10 inches tall and is now blocking the spray from the sprinkler. This adapter installs on the sprinkler pop-up riser under the nozzle and extends the nozzle another 6 inches higher. Thus in the up position the nozzle will now be 12 high. Of course in the down position the nozzle will still be 6 inches above the body. If someone kicks the riser extension, it pops off to prevent accidents. It can be screwed back on a few times, however it will wear out if repeatedly kicked out. These extensions are a handy quick fix approach to problems with irrigation in maturing landscapes. These are purchased separately from the sprinklers, the part number is 1800-EXT.
- 1/2" thread adapter. This adapter replaces the nozzle on a pop-up sprinkler. It allows any item with 1/2" female threads to be attached to the pop-up sprinkler in place of the normal nozzle. I keep one of these adapters in my tool kit so that I can connect a pressure gauge to the sprinkler and test the water pressure at the sprinkler head. They can be hard to find at stores, often it is necessary to special order one. The part number is PA-80.
Manufacturer's Performance Data:
For available nozzles and nozzle performance data click here.
Text and Images by Jess Stryker unless noted. Copyright © Jess Stryker, 1997-2011. All rights reserved.