Rainbird 42SA Vs 5000 : Complete Comparison Review

Rainbird makes a wide range of rotor sprinklers heads. Some of the rotor sprinkler heads they make are the Rainbird 42SA and the Rainbird 5000. The two share some similar features but also have some differences. For instance, their arc rotations are the same. They also deliver the same pressure. Their spraying distances are almost the same. However, the Rainbird 5000 delivers a broader spraying distance. Let us explore more of how the Rainbird 42SA fares against the Rainbird 5000.

Table of Contents

Rainbird 42SA Vs 5000: Comparison Table

Rainbird 42SA Rainbird 5000
Pop Up Height 4 inches 4, 6, or 12 inches
Spray Distance 26 – 38 feet 25 – 50 feet
Arc Rotation 40 – 360 degrees 40 – 360 degrees
Flow Rate 3 gpm 3 gpm
Weight 0.02 pounds 2.3 pounds
Build Material Plastic Plastic
Inlet ¾ inch bottom ¾ inch bottom
Dimensions 0.61 × 0.61 × 0.63 inches 7.5 × 3 × 3 inches
Pressure Range 25 – 65 psi 25 – 65 psi
Price Check Price On Amazon Check Price On Amazon
Rainbird 42SA
Rainbird 42SA
Rainbird 5000
Rainbird 5000

Rainbird 42SA Vs 5000: Design Features

The Rainbird 42SA comes as a 4-pack. The Rainbird 42SA comes with water-lubricated and gear-driven rotors. The Rainbird 42SA also has water-saving rain curtain nozzle technology. This is central to delivering heavy droplets that can withstand wind. Plus it also ensures the pattern of spray is uniform. The Rainbird 42SA has a protected closed case design. This offers solid protection to the sprinkler head, especially when using it in grassy, sandy, and other harsh environments. The Rainbird 5000 also comes as a 4-pack. The Rainbird 5000 has a heavier-duty retract spring. This ensures that there is positive pop-down. The Rainbird 5000 has a superior rain curtain coverage. This delivers more evenly distributed droplets over the whole area or radius. Both the Rainbird 42SA and the Rainbird 5000 come with nozzles already installed.

Rainbird 42SA Vs 5000: Arc Rotation

The Rainbird 42SA and the Rainbird 5000 have the same arc rotation. It spans from 40 degrees to 360 degrees. This means you have the option of setting the arc rotation anywhere along that range. You can preset them before you start operating them. Alternatively you can set the arc whilst they are in operation. What is important is to set arc rotation following the direction of movement.

Rainbird 42SA Vs 5000: Pop Up Height

This is an important rotor sprinkler head attribute. It is what determines how effective a sprinkler head will be in covering the respective lawn or grass. Ideally you would want a sprinkler head with a substantial pop up height. If the pop up height is short, the sprinkler can only effectively spray short or small grass. The Rainbird 42SA has a pop up height of 4 inches which is appreciable. The difference with the Rainbird 5000 is that of course it has a pop up height of 4 inches. However, there are also options to purchase the Rainbird 5000 with pop up heights of either 6 inches or 12 inches.

Rainbird 42SA Vs 5000: Spraying Distance

Spraying distance or coverage is yet another important attribute of a sprinkler head. The greater it is the better, especially if the area to be sprayed is big. Both the Rainbird 42SA and the Rainbird 5000 have spraying distances that can be adjusted. However, they are not necessarily the same. The Rainbird 42SA allows you to get spraying distance ranging from 26 feet to 38 feet. The Rainbird 5000 has a spraying distance range from 25 feet to 50 feet. This shows that the Rainbird 5000 exceeds the Rainbird 42SA up the spectrum when it comes to coverage.

Pros Of Rainbird 42SA

The Rainbird 42SA is generally quite easy to both install and adjust. You can actually do it yourself without having to engage a professional you would have to pay. The arc rotation is great in that you have adjusting options right up to the maximum. This enables you to get full coverage when need be which is a convenient feature. The Rainbird 42SA also has considerable water saving capability. This translates into cost cutting which is good for your pocket. The Rainbird 42SA is also cheaper than the Rainbird 5000.

Cons Of Rainbird 42SA

The Rainbird 42SA usually does not come with the adjustment tool. Thus you would have to find or purchase one; that can be inconvenient. The Rainbird 42SA has a fixed pop up height of 4 inches. This is limiting especially when you consider the Rainbird 5000 which has more pop up height options. Whilst the Rainbird 42SA does have good spraying distance or coverage, it gets eclipsed at some point by the Rainbird 5000.

Pros Of Rainbird 5000

The Rainbird 5000 has a much stronger or durable build quality. No wonder it tends to last quite longer than the Rainbird 42SA. The Rainbird 5000 also goes several steps farther when it comes to coverage. As in, it can deliver spraying distance of up to 50 feet. The Rainbird 5000 also comes with an adjustment tool which is a convenient setup. You also get a substantial warranty when you purchase the Rainbird 5000 i.e. 5 years. The Rainbird 5000 features good inlet size and a considerable pressure range. The same applies to the Rainbird 42SA since they both have similar inlet sizes and pressure ranges.

Cons Of Rainbird 5000

The Rainbird 5000 is somewhat sophisticated when it comes to installation and or adjustment. It can be quite hard for many people to install or adjust the Rainbird 5000. The Rainbird 5000 is more expensive than the Rainbird 42SA. The Rainbird 5000 is both bigger in size and weightier than the Rainbird 42SA. That of course explains it being more durable but that can be inconvenient in some ways.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing Rotor Sprinkler Heads

First of all you must appreciate what it means for a sprinkler head to be termed a rotor sprinkler head. This refers to how it operates. A rotor sprinkler head delivers rotating streams of water. As usual you have to consider the size of the area e.g. lawn to be sprayed. You also have to consider the type of soil and grass or lawn in question. Rotor sprinkler heads are ideal for areas that require heavy and regular watering. You must also know that rotor sprinkler heads work best with high water pressure.

Thus if your location cannot guarantee high water pressure, a rotor sprinkler may not be ideal. You must also factor in the water pressure of the rotor sprinkler head. It is best for its water pressure rating to be more than the intended spacing of the sprinkler heads. For instance, if the sprinkler spacing is going to be 20 feet, the rotor sprinkler head’s pressure rating must be more than 20 psi. These are some of the important factors to consider when purchasing rotor sprinkler heads.

Rainbird 42SA Vs 5000: Our Pick

Both the Rainbird 42SA and the Rainbird 5000 are great rotor sprinkler heads. They both possess some similar and convenient features. Overall, the Rainbird 5000 is the best pick. This comes as no surprise given the bigger spraying distance or coverage. The Rainbird 5000 is also quite durable; which is always a preferable aspect when making a purchase. The half a decade warranty is generous and definitely something you would want.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is The Difference Between A Spray Head Sprinkler And A Rotor Or Rotary Sprinkler?

Bear in mind that these are the two major types of sprinkler heads. A spray head sprinkler delivers water as a constant stream of water over a specific area. Then a rotor sprinkler head delivers water by rotating the stream over a radius. That is why spray head sprinklers are ideal for small areas whilst rotor sprinkler heads are best for bigger areas.

What Are The Benefits Of A Rotor Sprinkler Head?

A rotor sprinkler head enables water saving. This is because it uses less water and uses it economically. Plus it irrigates the respective more evenly. The mechanism of a rotor sprinkler head makes water application slow and systematic. This results in fewer losses from evaporation. Plus there is enough time for the water to seep into the soil without unnecessary and wasteful run-off.

What Is The Proper Water Pressure For A Sprinkler System?

This depends on a number of factors. For instance, the pressure of the available water source can be beyond your control. Then it is also possible to be in locations where there are strict water restriction regulations. However, the recommended water pressure range for sprinkler systems lies between 30 psi and 50 psi. The average water pressure is actually 30 psi – used for most sprinkler systems. To figure out the water pressure of your respective water source you can check yourself. You can use either a water gauge or a flow meter.

Where Should Sprinkler Heads Be Positioned?

The goal when positioning sprinkler heads is for the sprays to overlap. Thus the area or distance one sprinkler head covers must reach the next sprinkler head. This is typically referred to as the head to head layout. Additionally, the sprinkler heads ought to be positioned equidistantly in a zone.

What Is The Flow Rate Of Rainbird 42SA and the Rainbird 5000?

The Rainbird 42SA and the Rainbird 5000 both have the same flow rate. The rotors come with pre-installed nozzles with a flow rate of 3.0 gallons per minute. They are suited for water pressures ranging from 45 psi to 55 psi. This is the typical water pressure available for most residential locations. You have the option to remove and replace nozzles to achieve preferable flow rates depending on your needs.


The Rainbird 42SA and the Rainbird 5000 are both good picks. They share a number of similar and preferable features. Their price points are also not that far apart though the Rainbird 42SA is cheaper. This means if you are strictly looking for a cheaper option you can settle for the Rainbird 42SA. However, the smartest decision would be to settle for the Rainbird 5000. The additional spraying distance or coverage you will get will be worth the extra dollars. Plus the option is to choose from pop up heights or 6 inches or 12 inches make the Rainbird 5000 the best pick.

Rainbird 42SA
Rainbird 42SA
Rainbird 5000
Rainbird 5000