Here is an explanation of the different parts that Rainbird and Hunter make and how they differ.
The leading manufacturers of sprinkler parts in the residential market are Rainbird and Hunter. They make hundreds of different parts for the industry, but the most commonly used parts for a residential sprinkler system are the following:
- Control Box
- Spray Heads
- Spray Head Nozzles
- MP Rotary Nozzles
- Rain Sensors
In my opinion, the important thing to consider is what tier of product the contractor is supplying. Each of these companies manufacturers a value-line, middle-of-the-road line and a high-end line. I think, if you live in an area which experiences long cold winters or tough soil conditions, then you would be penny-wise and pound foolish to not buy the high-end line. The plastic shells are thicker, the springs are stronger, and the seals are tighter. It is well worth the extra couple hundred dollars.
Here is Rainbird’s high-end lineup:
- Rotors: The Rainbird 5004 rotor is the most popular rotor head in the world. It has the Rain Curtain technology which does a fantastic job of evenly distributing the water from the rotor head to the ground.
- Valves: The Rainbird DV100 has the lowest warranty/return rate of any valve in the market
- Spray Heads: The Rainbird 1800 series spray head is a very well built spray head
- Control Box: The Rainbird ESP is a well-built control box with a lot of bells and whistles
Here is Hunter’s high-end lineup:
- Rotors: PGP is a reliable, well-built rotor
- Valves: Hunter’s jar top valves are easy to work with
- Spray Heads: Hunter Pro Spray Heads aren’t built as well as the Rainbird’s and the heads tend to stick in the upright position
- Control Box: Hunter’s Pro C Pro-C is a nice control box