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WARNING: If you have one of these sprinklers and it is working fine - moving back and forth as it should (even if it hesitaites or stutters) DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ADJUST THE ARC as you could damage the acient gearing mechanism.

I have four of these sprinklers and not one works any more. two came to me not working to start with, another I messed up long ago, and the fourth tries to work but wont re-reverse direction after a successful sweep left then right.

I have researched the patents and studied the drawings and determined that it might be possible to set the arc into "negative" values: the left return stop is beyond the right return stop and vice-versa, esentially preventing the mechanism from ever engaging the trip tabs.

moist o matic wave sprinkler This page is about the Moist O'Matic Wave Sprinkler, the only in-ground oscillating fan-spray type sprinkler ever made as far as I know. Moist O'Matic Incorporated of Riverside, CA was created by Ed Hunter in 1952 and was aquired by The Toro Company ten years later, having made revolutionary advancements using plastics and new designs to make water-efficient sprinklers, valves and control systems. As of this writing Hunter Industries continues to offer irrigation equipment.

As a child I was facinated by a number of household gadgets; from vacuum cleaners (see my Friendly Vacuum Accessories website) to Eletronics to built-in Sprinklers. I first saw a Wave sprinkler when I was about 7 years old. I remember seeing this sprinkler while walking to school one morning and wondering what it was. A quick detour over the lawn gave me a glimpse of what I later remembered as a big, square metal plate in an odd section of the lawn. It was just that one time and I had never seen it operating again.

moist o matic wave sprinkler Over the years I would occasionally remember that unusual sprinkler while walking or biking down that street. In those travels I would see more common in-ground sprinklers watering the lawns on that street, even at the house where I believed the enigmatic sprinkler to be. As time passed and the yards were re-landscaped, I came to believe that it had been replaced and eventually wondered if I had imagined it all those years ago.

One day, about 15 years after first seeing that sprinkler, I happened across a garage sale on that street. The memory of that mysterious sprinkler came back to me and I had a feeling that this was the house. I doubled-down on my inspection of the items for sale hoping that the sprinkler might be among them, though not certain about what I was looking for or even if I was at the correct house. There wasn't anything at the yard sale that was a sprinkler of any kind.

I asked the home owner about the sprinkler, describing what I could remember of it. He was not the original owner of the house, having only moved in five years earlier - but he knew what I was talking about. I felt the excitement and delight building within myself and did my best to conceal it, certain now that it must have shown on my face. The owner knew about it but didn't know how to turn it on and figured that it had been disconnected when a newer system was installed. He sold me the sprinkler right from out of the ground for a few bucks.

moist o matic wave patent So now I had this unusual sprinkler and it was not what I thought it would be. It was much smaller than I had remembered and it was made entirely of plastic. The top had a strange looking slot in the top that did not make sense to me at first and through it I saw an even stranger spray nozzle. I was used to fan-type sprinklers having a row of holes in a line that bowed to make the spray fan out. This had a cluster of holes

Another 20 years (including 10 watching ebay) and I happen to now own an original, entire installation kit: pipe, valves, and instructions included.

The Wave Sprinkler is unique in that it uses a diamond-shaped nozzle to deliver a flat fan of water through a narrow slit in its cover. I will be adding to this page as time permits, including pictures of my very own, complete Moist O'Matic Wave Sprinkler installation kit that I happened to aquire.

moist o matic wave sprinkler working pic 1 moist o matic wave sprinkler working pic 2
moist o matic wave sprinkler parts pic 1 moist o matic wave sprinkler parts pic 2 moist o matic wave sprinkler parts pic 3 moist o matic wave sprinkler parts pic 4 moist o matic wave sprinkler parts pic 5 moist o matic wave sprinkler parts pic 6 moist o matic wave sprinkler parts pic 7 moist o matic wave sprinkler parts pic 8

Hunter Industries, a privately owned company that employs about 1,200, was founded by Edwin J. Hunter, a legendary inventor and entrepreneur and plastics advocate. Hunter experimented with a tensiometer-based moisture sensor that automatically controlled irrigation. In 1952, he formed Moist-O-Matic Co. Hunter envisioned irrigation applications for thermoplastics at a time when all sprinkler heads were made of brass. Toro Co. purchased Moist-O-Matic in 1962 and retained Hunter as director of design and development. In 1981, he founded Hunter Industries as a new business, developed a popular rotary sprinkler and created gear-driven rotors, controllers, valves, sprays and accessories. He retired in 1994 and died in 1998 at the age of 80.

The Moist O'Matic electro-mechanical hydraulic controller could be programmed for 14 days for 11 pipe runs. You could preset each run's days, hours, and duration. A sensor known as a hydrostat was available with the system and was buried in the ground to sense when the soil's moisture was low, triggering the unit.

  1. The USPTO lists the Moist O'Matic Trademark Serial #71674608 as Expired as of 9/17/1996
  2. The USPTO lists the Toro Moist O'Matic Trademark Serial #72264615 as Expired as of 11/21/2008
Q&A that I have found and may be useful to some.

I have an ancient Toro 4 station Moist o Matic system. There are five black rubber tubes coming from the control box then buried in ground (even though there are just 4 stations). This one black tube has been cut somehow and whenever I use the sprinkler this cut tube poors water out leaving that area of my yard always wet and my shrubs look awful. Finding a sprinkler repair service that is even willing to look at this old system is next to impossible. I've been told all I can do is have it taken out and whole new system put in. Who has that kind of money. I'll keep trying to figure out a solution.

It is a Hydraulic/Pressure-drop Controller system. 4 tubes run back to the actual valves somewhere out in the lawn or near a water tap on the house and the fifth tube that is cut is a "bleed line." When the controller activates one of the 4 lines, it allows water to flow up the tube from the valve and should drip out the bleed line. This causes a drop in pressure at the valve which lets water go to the sprinkler. You can get tubing at a hardware store to extend the drip line away from your shrubs. Cut off an inch of the bleed tube and use it to size the new tube, thinking that the old tube can sinply slip inside the new with a tight fit. The water from the bleed line should be a trickle, not gush out of the tube. If it is gushing, then the remote valve is probably defective.