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What are Professional Grade Parts?

What's "pro grade" mean anyway?
Everybody wants you to think their parts are "pro grade", and there isn't an official definition of what "pro grade" means, so there's a lot of room for retailers to make claims that are confusing. Professional grade parts (sometimes called commercial grade parts) are sold by commercial distributors directly to professionals who install irrigation systems for a living. These parts are rarely sold in retail stores and usually sell for a lot more than retail consumer grade parts. Because we offer professional grade parts at a discount, you can buy these superior quality parts directly from us at about the same price you'd pay for the lower quality retail stuff.

Want to see some of the highest quality irrigation parts available? See our on-line catalog.

What makes pro-grade parts different?
Because professional irrigators are very familiar with the sprinklers, controllers and valves available, they know quality parts from personal experience. They know junk too, and they see it every time they go to the big discount hardware stores. You may find retail grade parts made by the same manufacturers, and they may even appear the same on the outside, but there are important differences described below. At Travis Irrigation, we believe that if you are educated about the features of the products we sell, you'll agree that professional grade parts are the way to go. Check out our case study below where we crack open "identical" retail and pro grade parts to see the differences!

The information given on this page is current to the best of our knowledge. It is based on our experience, and on observations made while analyzing the construction of supposedly "identical" consumer and professional grade versions of the same parts. Since products change, and different products are marketed in different parts of the country, we can't guarantee that you will see these same differences. You can, however, easily verify if the retail parts in your area are missing the professional grade features by opening the retail parts and seeing for yourself, or by looking for the telltale external marks described in the case studies below!

Case Studies:

Case study #1:
Rain Bird DVF or CPF valve... who cares? You should!

Rain Bird sells an excellent professional grade plastic valve, the 100-DVF series and another Rain Bird consumer grade valve with virtually identical appearance is sold through retail outlets as the CPF-100. What's the difference? See for yourself:

Distinguishing features of two popular Rain Bird valves:
100-DVF Pro Grade valve CPF-100 Consumer Grade valve
Photo of Rain Bird 100-DVF (Pro Grade) valve Photo of Rain Bird CPF-100 (Consumer Grade) valve
100-DVF Pro Grade valve CPF-100 Consumer Grade valve
Inlet of valve: Inlet of valve:
Rain Bird 100-DVF (Pro Grade) valve inlet Rain Bird CPF-100 (Consumer Grade) valve inlet
100-DVF Pro Grade valve CPF-100 Consumer Grade valve
Diaphragm close-up: Diaphragm close-up:
Rain Bird 100-DVF (Pro Grade) valve diaphragm Rain Bird CPF-100 (Consumer Grade) valve diaphragm

A summary of the differences:

They both work fine initially, but for how long? Small particles of rust and other debris found in most water systems can cause the consumer version to fail while the commercial version is resistant to this problem.

Case study #2:
Hunter PGP rotors vs. the retail competition

Hunter rules the professional rotor market simply because their products are excellent. Hunter rotors have an incredible nozzle selection which allows you to pick precisely the flow rate you want. That's very important not only to balance the flow rate of sprinklers watering different arc settings (such as quarter, third, half, three quarter, and full circle), but it also lets you choose the smallest practical nozzle size, increasing the number of sprinklers on each station. Hunter has 12 standard (free) and 7 optional low angle nozzles for the PGP, while the competition has only 3 or 4 nozzles available. If you need an arc other than 90°, 180°, 270° or 360°, you can't match flow rates with the competition's nozzles. If you are using a standard arc, but wish to adjust the radius, again you find there is no nozzle which can match the precipitation rate, forcing you to waste water. You won't have either of these problems with Hunter's excellent nozzle selection for the PGP. If we ever find a consumer rotor that is even close to the PGP in features and performance, we'll post the information on this page! In the meantime, we feel there is no competition for the PGP in retail stores.

We hope you are interested in professional grade parts for your sprinkler system. A professional irrigator would install these parts at your home if they were doing the job. If you install consumer grade parts you are not installing a comparable system! By obtaining professional grade parts at discounted prices from our catalog, you can install the same parts the pros use for about the same cost as consumer grade parts.

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