If you are wondering what the color of your sprayer nozzles means, you are not alone. I have been there. There are many different colors and sprayer nozzle types and after years of working with sprayer tips, I can provide you with some guidance.
When it comes to the flat fan sprayer nozzles used on sprayer booms, the color indicates the flow capacity of the nozzle. This is often referred to as “nozzle size” and is generally expressed in gallons per minute (GPM). All flat fan nozzles that are the same color will produce the same GPM at the same pressure. For example, two nozzles that are blue will both produce 0.30 GPM at 40 psi, while two red nozzles will produce 0.4 GPM at 40 psi.
If you still have questions, don’t worry, let’s take a closer look at the reasoning behind sprayer nozzle colors.
Flat Fan Spray Nozzle Color Code
There is an ISO standard that specifies the color code used for flow rate identification of nozzles used on boom sprayers typically for the ag and turf industry. Each company that manufactures sprayer tips for crop care or other ag and turf sprayers follows this color code.
Sprayer nozzles are small, and the numbers are often hard to read, especially with chemical residue or wear. This color standard helps make it easy to identify the different sizes despite these conditions.
This chart shows the different colors of flat fan sprayer nozzles, the nozzle size it represents, and the flow capacity at 40 psi:
Nozzle size is an important factor when determining the application rate of a sprayer. If you want to learn more about nozzle sizing, check out this post about using sprayer nozzle charts.
Sizing Non-Flat Fan Sprayer Nozzles
There are exceptions to the rule. For example, flood tips, boomless nozzles, and adjustable nozzles do not follow this color pattern. They may have different colors to indicate sizes but there is no universal standard to follow. Each manufacturer will provide the nozzle capacity information.
One type of spray nozzle that does not follow the flat fan color code is the adjustable nozzle used on lawn and garden sprayer guns/wands. Because there is no standard for this type of nozzle you must find the nozzle size information for the specific brand that you have.
This can be easier said than done. Many companies that make hand sprayers, backpack sprayers, and other lawn & garden sprayers will have their own nozzles made specifically for their equipment. If they include a flat fan nozzle then you can bet it will follow the color code shown above.
However, if your sprayer comes with an adjustable nozzle, like the one listed below, there may be no indication on the nozzle what size it is. Many of the owner’s manuals that come with these sprayers do not include this information either.
When I asked one retailer for the flow rate on the adjustable nozzle they sold, they simply said:
“The other nozzle is adjustable, so that rate will vary with the setting and PSI”.
While this answer is correct, it does not provide a specific range of flow rates. Without a nozzle chart, you won’t know the nozzle flow capacity before you purchase it. You would need to test each nozzle after you purchase it to determine the flow capacity.
For this reason, I prefer the TeeJet adjustable spray nozzles. They will work on most spray wands, read this post to find out more about how to adapt these nozzles to your wand, and they have very clear nozzle size information.