Rainbird 3500 Vs 32SA : Review And Pricing

Gone are the days when people would waste precious hours watering the lawn or the garden. Thanks to the Rainbird 3500 and the Rainbird 32SA watering any vegetation is just a matter of installing the sprinkler heads and setting the necessary angles and distances. These sprinklers are carefully crafted to cover every inch of land within the set radius and angles. This ensures even water rations for the vegetation hence eliminating dry patches in some areas and water logging in other areas. Both the Rainbird 3500 and the Rainbird 32SA however have their pros and cons, hence making them each suited for different applications and these will be discussed down below.

Table of Contents

Rainbird 3500 And The Rainbird 32SA: Comparison Table

Rainbird 3500 Rainbird 32SA
Product Dimensions 2.5 x 2.5 x  6.6 inches 6.5 x  19.75 x  20 inches
Style Rotary Rotary
Features 4 in. part/full-circle pop-up rotor sprinkler with Seal-A-Matic (SAM) check valve. Holds up to 7 feet (2.1m) of elevation change. Top adjust mount requiring only a flat-blade screw driver. 40-360 Degree Arc Part-Circle arc rotation and reversing Full-Circle rotation in one. Radius adjustment screw allows up to 35% radius reduction without changing nozzles. Adjustable 40-360 Degrees part-circle and reversing full-circle rotation one. Protected closed case design. Water lubricated, durable gear driven rotor designed for reliable operation and long life. True 4-inch pop-up height clears taller grass. Includes preinstalled 3.0 gallon per minute nozzle. 6 models with 32 feet to 50 feet maximum throw distance.
Weight 4.8 ounces 6.42 pounds
Sprinkler head inlet Half inch thread bottom Half inch thread bottom
Maximum flow rate 0.54 to 4.6 Gpm 3 Gallons per Minute
Material Plastic Plastic
Pressure range 25 to 55 psi 25 to 55 psi
Pattern 40 to 360 degrees 40 to 360 degrees
Option 3504-PC, 3504-PC-SAM and 3500-S-PC-SAM 4-Pack: 32SA/4PKS
Radius 15 to 35 feet 19 – 32 feet
Color Black Black
Price Check Price On Amazon Check Price On Amazon
Rainbird 3500
Rainbird 3500
Rainbird 32SA
Rainbird 32SA

Rainbird 3500 Vs 32 SA: Nozzles

One of the biggest differences between the Rainbird 3500 and the 32SA is that the Rainbird 3500 is a series or a group of professional Rainbird sprinkler heads which includes the 3504 model. The Rain bird 32SA on the other hand is an economic model and as such it only comes with the 3GPM nozzle when purchased. The Rainbird 3500 series on the other hand comes with an attachable nozzle tree with six superior performing rain curtain nozzles. These nozzles allow for a wider range of control over the sprinkled water distance and other characteristics. One major disadvantage of the 3GPM nozzle is that it consumes too much water. One other difference between the Rainbird 32SA and the Rainbird 3500 series such as the 3504 is that the 3504 features a protective rubber cap that keeps dirt out of the adjustment holes. The Rainbird 32SA adjustment holes can quickly fill up with dirt. The sprinklers however are carefully designed to flush out the holes with water so as to keep them clean from dirt. The 3 models of the Rainbird 3500 include the 3504-PC, 3504-PC-SAM and 3500-S-PC-SAM.

Rainbird 3500 Vs 32SA: Features

The Rainbird 3500 features a Seal-A-Matic (SAM) check valve that holds up to 7 feet (2.1m) of elevation change. This is good because it prevents puddling and erosion caused by low head drainage. The top head-adjust arc adjustment requires only a flat blade screwdriver to set to the required setting. The radius adjustment screw on the Rainbird 3500 is also a wonderful feature because it allows up to 35% radius reduction without the need to change nozzles. The Rainbird 32SA is water lubricated and features a durable gear driven rotor. The quick check arc/fast forward feature allows one to check or set the pattern while the sprinkler is running.  There are micro ramps on the Rainbird 32SA that directs a portion of the spray close to the head hence eliminating dry brown spots. The closed case design on the Rainbird 32SA is also one of its biggest strong points and is ideal for “creeping” grasses, sandy soil and other harsh surroundings. Thanks to the 4-inch popup height the Rainbird 32SA can easily clear taller grass.

Rainbird 3500 Vs 32SA: Prices

One of the biggest deciding factors for most people when deciding between the Rainbird 3500 and Rainbird 32SA would be price. The Rainbird 3500 costs $22.97 thanks to a 9% price reduction from the list price of $25.27 on the Amazon store. The Rainbird 32SA, 19 to 32 feet to on the other hand costs $11.57, which is a price reduction of 52% from the original price of $24.19.  The Rainbird 32SA can also be sold with a check valve and that would bring the cost to $20.40 on the Amazon store.

Rainbird 3500 Vs 32SA: Verdict

The choice of which is the best between the Rainbird 3500 and the Rainbird 32SA often comes down to individual preferences and often which sprinkler head is readily accessible on the market. The Rainbird 32SA is the cheapest of the two at $11.57 which is 52% off from the list price of $24.19, however if one wants to include the check valve the price can be as high as $20.40. The Rainbird 32 SA is also often sold without the tree of nozzles and comes only with the 3 Gpm nozzle which is rather not ideal for some people since it consumes to much water. The Rainbird 3500 on the other hand costs $22.97 which is a 9% price reduction from the list price of $25.27. The Rainbird 3500 however does comes with a nozzle tree with 6 nozzle options to choose from. It also comes in three optional units which are the 3504-PC, 3504-PC-SAM and the 3500-S-PC-SAM.

Rainbird 3500 And 32SA: Similarities

The make and build of both the Rainbird 3500 and the Rainbird 32SA are relatively similar, both the sprinklers have rotation angle of 40 to 360 degree. This allows the sprinklers to cover a wide range of area and ensures that fewer sprinklers are used to cover a plot of land. One can also swap out between the two sprinkler heads with much ease since both sprinkler heads use the half inch (20/27) NPT female bottom threaded inlet to connect to the sprinkler water lines. Both the models also are classified as the pop-up models and since they pop up to 4 inches (10.2cm), this allows the sprinkler heads to clear even the longer shrubs and grasses stems. It is wise however to note that the height is measured from the cover to center of the nozzle. Overall body height is measured popped down.

Rainbird 3500 Models

The Rainbird 3500 model range features a wide range of sprinklers and they are all suited for different purposes. The model’s name notation is often classified as 3504-S-PC-SAM-N. The 3504 denotes the 3500 series Rotor with 4-inch pop-up. The S stands for shrub while the PC denotes the rotation which is part circle. The SAM and N denote optional features where the SAM means Seal-A-Matic and the N Non portable Cover. Models can also include the 3500-S-PC-SAM-NP, the 3500-S-PC-SAM and the 3504-PC-SAM-NP. The Rainbird 3500 is also capable of precipitation rates of up to 0.37 to 0.83 inches per hour (9 to 21 mm/h). It can also cover a radius of 15 to 35 feet however thanks to the reduction screw, the radius can be reduced by up to 35% without the need to change the nozzles. Pressure rates of up to 25 to 55 psi (1.7 to 3.8 bar) and flow rates of 0.54 to 4.6 Gpm (2.0 to 17.4 I/m) are also easily attainable. Arc adjustment is also very simple and only requires the use of a flat bladed screwdriver. There is also an easily removable filter screen that works well for maintenance purposes.

Rainbird 32SA Features, Pros And Cons

One of the of the biggest benefits of using the Rainbird 32SA is that it has the ability to reach up to 19 to 32 feet of spray hence allowing one to cover a wider plot of land. It also allows a rotation of 40 to 360 degrees for all round coverage. For installation convenience the arc rotation is factory pre-set at 180 degrees however the angle can later be adjusted to suit one ‘s user requirements. The Rainbird ’s panted industry-leading rain curtain nozzle technology delivers a uniform, rotating curtain of large droplets of water that are good at resisting windblown over spray. One can also easily remove the filter screen for maintenance purposes. The dual action, positive-stop wiper seal is well suited for protecting the internal mechanisms from debris while at the same time ensuring positive popup and retraction. O-rings and seals are also designed into the Rainbird 32SA for extra protection in gritty water. It is also a huge positive that the self-adjusting stator does not need replacement when changing the nozzles. One downside though is that the nozzles are sold separately if one ever requires to switch out the nozzles for whatever reason.  The provided nozzle with the Rainbird 32SA also is only good for 3Gpm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now we will look into some of the Questions people ask about the Rainbird 3500 and the Rainbird 32SA

Are the nozzles included with the Rainbird 3500?

Yes, a tree of 6 nozzles is provided with the Rainbird 3500, one needs only to break away the nozzle from the tree and install it in the sprinkler head before tightening the screw and it’s all set.

How far does a Rainbird 3500 spray?

The Rainbird 3500 is a reliable sprinkler watering system for small to medium yards and can be adjusted to reach 15 to 35 feet from the sprinkler head. It also comes with a set of six nozzles that will let one direct the arc of the spray to where it is needed.

Does the Rainbird 3500 have a check valve?

The Rainbird 3500-S-PC-SAM 4 inch. 3500 Series Part/Full-Circle Shrub Rotor does come with the SAM check valve.

Is the Rainbird 3500 the same as the Rainbird 32SA?

Rainbird lists the 32SA as a commercial grade product while the Rainbird 3500 is seen as the professional grade of sprinklers. One of the differences is that the Rainbird 3500 comes with a tree of nozzles while the Rainbird 32SA does not.

Is there a way to adjust the starting point of the sprinkler on the Rainbird 32SA?

Yes, there is way, one needs only to push down the sprinkler head and turn it counter clockwise to the furthest left position. After doing this, use a flat head screw driver to adjust the screw on top until it stops on the furthest right point you want to water.

Do the nozzles used on the Rainbird 32SA increase or decrease spray distance for the sprinkler head?

The nozzles used on the sprinkler head don’t have much to do with the spray distance. There is a separate screw adjust for that. The nozzles are basically used to control amount of water (gallons per hour or flow rate) coming out of the sprinkler head. Tighten this screw down to reduce the spray distance.

Is the fitting ½ inch or ¾ inch on the Rainbird 32SA?

The fitting is ½ inch, the ¾ inch inlet is only found on the Rainbird 5004-PC or the 42SA+ for example. The 32SA uses the half inch however if one has a ¾ inch pipe one can still use these, one only needs to purchase reducer bushings. To find these reducing bushes google ¾ inch ½ inch PVC reducer Bushings.


In conclusion the Rainbird 3500 and the Rainbird 32SA are wonderful sprinkler options that are well designed to ensure an even spray when spraying the loan. They both feature 40 to 360 degrees of rotation and 4 inches of popup length that allows for greater flexibility and ensures it clears even the taller grass when spraying. The Rainbird 32SA is however cheaper and as such does not come with a nozzle tree hence it is advisable to only purchase it if one wants the 3Gpm nozzle. The Rainbird 3500 offers a wider range of nozzles for greater control of the water spray.

Rainbird 3500
Rainbird 3500
Rainbird 32SA
Rainbird 32SA