How to Find a Great Misting System

misting system cooling down a patio in the evening

If you already understand how a misting system works

and have an idea of what you want, it will help you to know a few things about shopping for that system.

Shop for Experience

Use this site to make some basic decisions about your cooling needs and get a general idea of the misting system you want. Then, unlike some other cooling options, shop by supplier: manufacturer / system designer / retailer / wholesaler for a system, instead of shopping for individual parts or units.

Unless you enjoy DIY projects, you can avoid some headaches by purchasing all parts of the system from the same supplier. They are responsible to make sure all their parts work together and have a stake in the proper working of the system because their reputation depends on it. If their system doesn't work properly, you have some recourse by taking it up with that supplier. If you work with different suppliers, you have no recourse in that regard.

Make sure you understand the descriptions each supplier uses for their parts and their systems. For example, one supplier describes their system as "High Pressure -- up to 100 psi". By the definitions of this site, that would be Low pressure.


One supplier says their system yields a "fine mist" of 50-80 microns. By the definitions of this site, that would be a coarse mist that could get things wet. Yet another may describe their system as having "Very quiet operation". Without some kind of measurement or demonstration, this could be as "quiet" as a truck.

These may be perfectly effective systems, but you need to know exactly what you'll be purchasing to be assured it will work the way you expect. Most suppliers simplify their descriptions to avoid confusion. The detail and data involved in some of the high-end misting systems can be truly dizzying. If you need more information than they offer, ask the supplier. Make sure you have enough information to make a decision you're comfortable with.

The supplier needs to be honest about the system's limitations. Only by being aware of the limitations AND the abilities can you decide which system, which supplier is right for YOU. Suppliers generally won't take returns, so make sure you know as much as possible about the system and the company that sells it.

The best suppliers will really work with you, whether it's in person, over the phone or the website, or with informative packaging that includes contact information. They know there are some important variables to be aware of. They know you'll have a lot of questions. Many of the decisions you must make are judgement calls and a matter of personal preference. Make use of their experience. It is invaluable. Keep in mind the supplier's integrity is as important as the system's integrity.

System Integrity

There are only a few different parts used in a basic misting system, but they all need to be rated for the same range of water pressures. For example, Low pressure lines (pipes, tubing) won't work with a High pressure pump. The high water pressures can damage the lines and the connections. Then you'd have to take out all the Low pressure lines and replace with the compatible High pressure lines, making sure it will work with your existing nozzles and fittings. So before you buy be sure all parts of the system are rated to work with the same range of water pressures.

Kits or Custom

Misting system attached to umbrella

An advantage of misting system kits is that compatible components have already been collected. You first decide on your cooling needs and budget and which water pressure range you want to use. From there you decide among kits fitting your needs. A kit contains an assortment of components that have been pre-selected to work in a certain pressure range. Some systems, usually Low to Medium pressure, can be purchased right off the shelf of your local hardware store. Others can be selected online with a wide range of options. You can install many of these yourself (better if you have someone helping you, though). It does take some careful planning (which a supplier will help you with) and a bit of work, but installation could generally be done in about a day or two.

  • Kits typically include:
  • A certain number of nozzles
  • A certain length and diameter of water supply line in a specified material
  • All fittings needed to assemble a system of a pre-set size and water pressure
  • An end plug
  • A certain number of line mounts
  • A pump, if needed
  • Installation & operation instruction manual
  • Warranty information
  • Contact information for installation and operation help and advice.

The supplier may offer no options for the simplest systems or many options for a much more customized system. These options, of course, should be rated and sized to work with the kit you've selected. Some of these options can be added at a later time.

  • Typical options might include:
  • Filters, gauges and valves for the pump
  • Line material
  • number of fittings, mounts, nozzles
  • Nozzle orifice and features
  • Reservoir size on portable systems

It's reasonable to assume all components in a kit will be rated and sized to work together. But mistakes can happen. Review your order before you place it, after you place it, and when you receive it to make sure the parts are compatible with each other, and that they are exactly what you ordered.

Questions to Consider

  • Here are some questions to consider asking potential misting system suppliers. You may not need to ask all of these, or you may have a few of your own.
  • How long have they been in business manufacturing / designing / installing?
  • Do they have special experience in any particular applications, such as residential, industrial, sports, commercial, resort, restaurant, agricultural, etc.?
  • Do they have special experience with any particular kind of misting system, such as permanent, portable, Low- Medium- or High pressure, etc.?
  • Where is their business located? Will they install in your area?
  • Who will measure for the system -- You? Them? Another installer?
  • Who will install the system -- You? Them? Another installer?
  • Do they have references for a licensed and bonded installer in your area?
  • Is the cost of installation included in the price of the system?
  • Whoever installs it, what should you do if you have problems with installation?
  • Is there a warranty on any part of the system?
  • What does the warranty cover? What are its limitations?
  • How does installing it yourself affect any warranties?
  • What should you do if there are any problems or questions with the system after it's been installed?
  • Do they have a help line? What days and hours is the help line available? What's the wait / response time?
  • Do they have references you can contact?
  • Do they have any systems / installation in your area that you can see?
  • How do you get replacement parts?
  • Do they have a maintenance plan?
  • If the system is being shipped to you, what carrier will be used?
  • What will shipping charges be?
  • When can you expect to receive it?
  • How will it be packaged? In one box or several? How heavy will the box(es) be?
  • What should you do if components are missing or damaged?
  • What is their return policy?

You can work with a well-chosen supplier to decide if you need a standard or custom system. Together you can determine what your needs are and the best way to address them. Not all companies handle custom systems though, so understanding misting systems and your needs will help you decide which company is best for you. There's not much point in paying for an exotic system you simply don't need, or in being disappointed in a system that just doesn't measure up to your needs.

The drawback to shopping for a supplier is that they cannot tell you about other companies' systems. So it's wise to contact more than one supplier. We are developing a misting system suppliers page that will tell you about different misting system suppliers and help you get in touch with them.

Warranties

Companies can only offer a warranty on the physical components they sell you. They can advise you and give you all kinds of help, but they can only warranty the items themselves -- not how they're put together, installed, maintained (unless you have a maintenance contract with them) or operated.

A typical warranty covers any "defects in workmanship and materials" for a certain period of time, usually one year from the original date of purchase. These warranties require that you install, maintain and operate the system according to their manuals / instructions.

The pump may have a separate warranty, typically one to three years from the original date of purchase. This is the most expensive of all the components, and a warranty on the pump can be very valuable. Generally, the longer the warranty the better quality the pump. Be careful to take care of the pump according to the manual in case you need to make use of its warranty.

A misting system warranty won't cover damages from "abuse", "improper" installation, maintenance or operation. Some companies exclude "defects due to acts of God or natural disaster". Many companies won't honor the warranty if you try to fix the component yourself, or if someone other than "authorized trained personnel" attempt to fix it.

But remember, this only applies to what the warranty covers -- workmanship and materials on components. Damages or losses are usually limited to the purchase price of the defective components.

If a defect develops, contact your misting system supplier. They can advise you if repair or replacement is covered. You will likely need to show or send a receipt to make a claim. Don't rely on your supplier for a record of the sale -- keep your receipt in a safe place.



Interested in learning even more?

  • To learn more about other outdoor cooling solutions that use evaporation, see our page on evaporative coolers.
  • To compare misting systems with other outdoor cooling solutions, visit our comparison page.

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