As you may have seen from our various gardening inspired posts, we've been extremely hard at work trying to keep all of our plants alive through the ridiculous heat spikes we've been experiencing. The pendulum of Mother Nature has been swinging quite far in either direction from week to week, and that's caused us to really stay on our toes with plant care.

Each day we ritualistically drag the hose around the back yard and water our garden, then we drag the hose up front to water the urns and around the tree. We've setup a soaker hose around the back flower beds and can turn it on and leave it, but we have no such luxury with the rest. But the thing that makes the job of watering move along quite nicely is the watering spray wand we picked up about two years ago.

Unfortunately, the wand we've been using is an inexpensive (read: easily damaged) spray head that we purchased in a garden center somewhere (but have no recollection of where we purchased it), and we've really put it to the test. The wand has surely seen better days, as it's started to leak and spray water in every direction from the base while in use. You can clearly see the random spray in the photo above and below.

The seal near the handle must have gone bad, because now water sprays in every direction, including right into the crotch area of the user's shorts. Whenever I typically come inside after watering, it tends to look like I've wet myself rather than the plants.

I've been hunting for a replacement sprayer for a little while, but feel like I've not come across all that many I really like.

There's the obvious standby of single spray style nozzles. It works as expected, do their job well, and tend to last a very long time. The fact it is made of zinc and not much else means that there aren't rubber or plastic parts to crack or age. But their major drawback is their single function per nozzle. You pretty much get the jet spray or a little trickle. Since we need it to water plants and wash the car, this means we'd be buying two or three different types or attachments, and then switching them out as needed for our purpose. That's just a bit of a pain.

I don't know why, but this good old zinc spray nozzle reminds me of my childhood. It seems like every single house had this same nozzle and we would endlessly drill each other in the face with the hose on hot days. Good times I assure you!

The last several spray nozzles we've bought have been the style that allows you to rotate the head to determine which setting you'd like to use. Rain shower, jet, center stream, flood, mist, etc., you can water in the manner you prefer to your heart's content. This solves the problem associated with needing multiple spray heads, but adding moving parts to any product adds a level of complexity that introduces the chance for failure. Personally, I think the trade off is worth it in this case, though I've found that the plastic spray heads tend to fail much more quickly than the aluminum ones.

We've actually been averaging about two solid years of use for each spray nozzle we purchase. After that magic two year window closes, our nozzle typically transforms from the watering stage coach into the pumpkin that sprays its user's pants more than the plants.

Our most recent purchase made one additional alteration over the old standby spray head and added a fair amount of length to the product as more of a spray wand. This is something I didn't think I'd care about in the least bit, but I ended up really liking it. The head was nearly a foot from the handle and trigger, and this really helped with everything from watering flowers to washing the top of our car.

Now that I've figure out what we really do and don't like, I'm searching for a wand type spray head that is possible a little more sturdy and offers just a little more throughput. Our hose usually puts out about 10-12 gallons per minute, but the nozzle is too often limited in this respect. It may be a law now (like 1.6 gallons per flush toilets) but I'm not sure.

I've found a few that look like good possibilities, but I'm sort of stuck on what to do.

I'd love your advice. If you have a spray head that you really like, we'd really appreciate it if you told us about it. It doesn't need to be the wand style or anything, just one you like. Or if you'd like to weigh in on which of the ones we're looking at look good to you, we'd also like to hear your opinion.

I guess if all else fails, I'll just move to the good old thumb over the end of the hose. At least you only tend to spray yourself in the crotch about 50% of the time rather than the current 100%.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Want to learn more about our first-hand experiences with other tools, devices or items used throughout our renovation? If so, check out our complete list of product reviews in our Toolbox Tuesday section

Note: We weren't compensated for this review. We simply want to share good products when we see them, and hope that learning from our mistakes can help save you time, money and frustration.

Comments 2

Comments

7/3/2012 at 4:00 PM
Couldn't find the one that we currently have on Lowe's website, but I really like it. It has the adjustable settings, is metal with a rubber coating, and (this is the best feature) has thumb control.

To make changing from our nozzle to soaker hose easier, I have installed a couple of brass quick-connections on them. They make it so much easier to switch things around.
bfish
7/4/2012 at 12:14 AM
I agree with Thad -- you gotta get the quick connects (male and female parts that screw onto the sprinkle wand and hose end, respectively; I guess this sounds kind of suggestive!). And as he said, brass ones, not plastic, preferably with some diagonal scoring of the male part to make the connection tighter.

Usually we just buy whatever the most solid-looking wand is that Walmart has and, like you, it lasts for about a year or two. We have a lot of them that have crapped out over the years and probably need to be thrown out.

There is a specialized watering wand for using with pots and hanging baskets. Dramm is a quality brand. It reduces the water pressure to a gentle shower. However, it's not suitable for squirting off cars, sidewalks, or dousing people. You would find this at a garden center, probably not at any big box stores.
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