Rain Gun Sprinkler:
Are you thinking of buying the PERFECT raingun sprinkler?
If you are, you’ve come to the right place.
Raingun Sprinklers are for:
- Farmers who have tried furrow irrigation, but gave up because furrow irrigation is labor intensive and energy consuming.
- Farmers who’ve can’t afford the ordinary sprinkler irrigation systems.
- Farmers who find drip irrigation too complicated, or unsuitable for their farms.
If these describes you, welcome.
Here, I share my personal experience with raingun sprinklers—so that you know how affordable they are compared, how they work, and how they can make irrigating your farm a BREEZE.
If you are a farmer thinking of irrigation, click away from this post at your own peril.
In this Raingun Buyers Review, I discuss:
- Why I decided to use rain gun sprinklers, as opposed to others,
- Whether a raingun sprinkler worth buying?
- The short history of raingun sprinklers in Kenya,
- How rainguns sprinklers became the Number 1 irrigation equipment in Kenya
- Popular/ best raingun brands you can’t miss in in Kenya
- The average cost/price of rain guns in Kenya
- How Raingun Sprinklers are classified
- Efficiency of the rain gun Sprinkler
- Area/acreage that one rain gun sprinkler can cover
- What to consider as you decide to buy a rain-gun sprinkler
- The Complete rain gun sprinkler… miss any, and your raingun is a worthless commodity
- Crops you can comfortably irrigate with a raingun sprinkler
To jump to any Issue above click on it.
Ready? Continue reading.
My Experience with Raingun Sprinklers
It was exactly 2 years ago when I bought my first raingun sprinkler.
Just like you, I was TOTALLY green.
I did not know exactly what to expect from it when it came to performance and efficiency.
However, that did not discourage me from trying a raingun sprinkler.
I had tried other irrigation systems (like furrow and the ordinary sprinkler), but did not succeed as I expected.
As fate would have it, time had now come for me to try a new irrigation system.
Despite my fears, I went ahead and made my FIRST purchase.
All I was looking for was “A SIMPLE way to deliver irrigation water to my farm.”
Like anyone who tries a new thing or project, I was STILL full of doubt.
“Will this turn out to be a good or a bad buy?”
I reasoned with myself.
After much struggle, finally, I made the bold decision to make the purchase.
I one day, like a warrior who has been cornered, I walked into a shop and bought the raingun sprinkler kit.
When I look back, at the decision I took, am super happy. So if you decide to invest in a raingun sprinkler, I am confident you’ll be happy too.
This is the most comprehensive review about raingun sprinkler irrigation system.
It Contains Everything You Need to Know about Raingun Sprinklers.
It is a personal experience I got using the Magnar Raingun Sprinkler.
Plus, the technical details of a raingun, accompanying equipment and more!
I am super confident that, by the end of reading this, you’ll be capable of making an informed decision, as you decide to buy a raingun sprinkler.
This review is not about what I’ve watched on YouTube or what I’ve read online.
It is knowledge gained from the hard knocks university.
By reading it, it will help irrigate bigger land faster and easier than before.
Is a raingun sprinkler worth using?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES!
Rainguns are a great way of irrigating farms below 5 acres.
Rainguns discharge huge volumes of water per minute, reducing which reduces the time you need to irrigate a piece of land
They are easy to deploy and use.
You don’t need any engineering experience to start using them.
That can’t be said about dripline irrigation or the ordinary sprinkler irrigation.
Raingun sprinklers can work on uneven land because they shoot water 20 meters into the air which comes back line rain droplets.
That can’t be said for drip irrigation.
Driplines require that you have almost flat land for water to flow evenly from one end to another.
Now do you see why raingun sprinklers trumps others?
History of The Raingun Sprinkler
Farmers have always been looking for a system that is affordable, easy to use, and efficient.
When the technology was unavailable, farmers in Kenya were using the furrow irrigation system,
As technology improved, the very rich farmers adopted the ordinary sprinklers irrigation system.
In the late 90’s to early 2000’s driplines were introduced to Kenya by international flower companies.
Though driplines are very efficient in water use, adopting them became a challenge because of the expenditure and technical knowhow required.
Rain gun are a late entry into the irrigation game in Kenya.
The use of these sprinklers gained traction in Kenya from the year 2010. Therefore, I’ll be right to say raingun sprinklers is a new irrigation technology compared to the others mentioned above.
How rainguns sprinklers became popular in Kenya
Irrigation has always been a pain in the ass to many farmers in Kenya.
Very few farmers could afford to install a modern irrigation system.
Most farmers had to rely on an improved stone age irrigation system that consisted of:
- A petrol /diesel water pump, plus pipes. This combination delivered water from a river/dam source to the farm.
- Once the water got to the farm, it was channeled to plants using furrows.
This improved ‘stone age irrigation system’ required so much work and energy.
Irrigating land took days.
Surely there was need for a better irrigation system.
Luckily, the conventional (ordinary) irrigation system was born.
This system though less labor intensive, and more efficient (consisted of several sprinkler heads plus risers, plus main line, plus secondary line) all which made it damn expensive.
Only tycoon farmers could afford it.
Because of the huge cost of the ordinary sprinkler irrigation system, small farmers found themselves stuck at their ‘improved old stone age irrigation system.’
Next came the driplines irrigation system.
This system held the promise of saving water, and an efficiency rate of 98%.
But it had some major problems.
- It was complicated to install. Dripline irrigation requires many items and fittings. From the mainline, secondary lines, filters, water tank, driplines, and various fittings.
- It was expensive to deploy over a large area. Even installing the system on one 1 acre costs hundreds of thousands of shillings
- An ordinary farmer who has little technical education would struggle to install a drip irrigation unit for a 1-acre farm. He would require advanced knowledge on how to lay the driplines. Otherwise, water would not flow evenly throughout the entire farm
The Raingun Sprinkler Irrigation System Arrives into the Scene
So when the raingun sprinkler irrigation came, what farmers required was connecting the sprinkler direct to the mainline and you were good to go.
This simplicity of use and deployment made farmers fall in love with it.
Those who’ve used it have nothing but glowing praises for it.
That’s not all. All that efficiency and practicability came at an affordable cost
A complete Rain-gun kit currently costs less than KES 200,000/=
Efficiency of the Rain Gun Irrigation System
Raingun sprinklers discharge large volumes of water per hour.
You know what that means?
The sprinkler is capable of giving sufficient water to a target area.
You can adjust the sprinkler to irrigate a farm of any shape because you can adjust the angle of rotation.
Uniform coverage of water on the target area. Its water application efficiency is estimated to be about 80-90% on non-windy days.
Very good for plants like vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, parsley, managu, that respond positively to overhead irrigation.
High water discharge by the sprinkler creates a cooling effect on plants during hot weather
The major disadvantage with the system is that you require a lot of water
Crops that are near the center sprinkler tend to be overwatered.
Efficiency reduces dramatically when there is a strong wind. As the sprinkler head rotates towards the direction of the wind, the water is blown away to the other side.
More power required means you have to buy a more expensive pump which will be more difficult to maintain.
What to consider as you decide to buy a rain-gun sprinkler
First, you have to think about the size of the land you’ll be irrigating.
By doing this, you’ll buy a system whose capacity matches the size of your land.
Second, you’ll think about the range of the sprinkler.
The sprinkler range determines the number of times you’ll need to move the sprinkler before irrigating your land is complete.
Most cheap raingun sprinklers have a radius range of between 20-35 meters.
The higher the sprinklers irrigation range the more pressure it needs, thus the more powerful pump it needs.
How Raingun Sprinklers Are Classified:
Classification according to material used to make them
For example, we have:
- Plastic sprinklers and
Plastic raingun sprinklers are about 30-40% cheaper. They are light in weight thus can operate even at low pressures.
The only disadvantage with them is to do with their longevity.
Because they are made of plastic, they are prone to breaking and deterioration when exposed to the Suns UV rays.
- Metal (could be brass or aluminum) Raingun Sprinklers.
Brass/aluminum Raingun sprinklers last longer because they are made of metal. They can withstand rough treatment, falls, and wear and tear. The disadvantage of them is that they are heavier than plastics.
Thus they require high water pressures to drive them compared to plastic raingun sprinklers.
Classification according to range
- Long range sprinklers
- Short range sprinklers
Classification according to cost
- Low cost raingun sprinklers
- High cost raingun sprinklers
Area that one rain gun sprinkler can cover
A low range rain-gun sprinkler can comfortably irrigate a radius of 20M.
When you do the math, we find such a sprinkler irrigates an area of 1300 M2. This is quite impressive because it means with only 1 sprinkler, you can (accounting for downtime, and moving the sprinkler) take 5 hours to irrigate 1 acre of land.
Other Raingun sprinklers can irrigate a radius of 35 M, and 50 M. These sprinklers will cover a bigger area, but they would require high power pressure pumps.
Popular raingun sprinklers brands in Kenya
Magnar Raingun Sprinkler
Py 40 Raingun Sprinkler
The average cost of rain guns in Kenya
Prices range from KES 9,100 to KES 35,000/=
Complete kit of a rain gun sprinkler
- A high pressure water pump
- A 1 ½ inch raingun sprinkler head,
- 100-meter length HDPE pipe,
- Sprinkler riser 1 ½ inch Diameter and 4 feet long,
- 1 ½ inch bend,
- Tripod stand,
- HDPE pipe fittings for connecting joints.
Disadvantages/weakness of Rain Gun Sprinklers
Rainguns operate on this principle:
They shoot water into the air up to a height of 30 meters.
Water, then falls back to the ground like rain droplets.
When the wind is strong the efficiency of the raingun reduces dramatically.
Why? When the sprinkler rotates against the wind, the water is blown towards the direction of the wind.
The drop in efficiency is greater for those rain-gun sprinklers that do a radius of 50 M.