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Misting Nozzles, Misting Systems And Their Many Uses

Updated on December 26, 2010

Misting nozzles are the crucial part of a misting system that converts water into a fine misty fog through high pressure. The holes in these nozzles are exceptionally small with the size of the water droplets produced measured in microns. When the water passes through the misting nozzles a process known as flash evaporation occurs which effectively vaporizes the water. What is left is a cooling mist that has proven to be useful in a number of industries (see below for more information).

Misting fans are valuable pieces of equipment that come in very handy in greenhouses and other horticultural set ups. They are also used for evaporative cooling, livestock cooling, dampening down dust and for concrete curing. The are also very handy for use with outdoor misting fans to cool people during sporting events or while at work in the summer heat. They work by sending fine mists of water through nozzles set up to spray into the path of a fan, the misted water then is then directed onto whatever is placed in its path.

An essential part of any misting fan is the misting nozzle through which the water is pumped. These misting nozzles can be removed and replaced if they are broken or if they become clogged and are available in various sizes, angle ranges and can operate at different PSI levels ranging from 30-250. They generate a high pressure mist that is both refreshing and welcome.

Brass Misting Nozzle
Brass Misting Nozzle

Depending on how strong you need the cooling or misting effect to take place will determine the amount of water you will need to be passing through the misting nozzle. You may also have a range of different uses for your misting fan.

The fan with mist may be required for a fine mist inside a greenhouse so that the conditions become more humid and then there may be a requirement for the fan to be used outdoors where it will act as a cooling device. In this case the level of water to be sprayed will be much greater. In this instance you may replace the misting nozzles capable of delivering the water at 29 PSI with nozzles that have a capacity of 130 PSI.

Misting nozzles are not only required for industrial type jobs. The fog that is produced as a special effect on stage at the theatre is done though these misting nozzles at their finest setting. In fact, as the mist that is produced gets finer and finer it can more accurately be defined as a fog and the term fogger mister is often used while the nozzles may be known as fog nozzles. 

If you were wondering what the price of misting nozzles is, the answer is pretty reassuring. You can get them for less than a couple of dollars per nozzle depending on the quality of the nozzle and the number that you buy. It is possible to buy misting nozzles in packets of 4, 8 or more and you will receive a discount for doing so.

Of course, the quality variations will also affect the price you are going to pay. A top of the line brass misting nozzle is going to cost a lot more than plastic misting nozzles, but then you can expect your brass misting nozzles to last a lot longer too. 

Ceramic Misting Nozzles

There are a number of different types of misting nozzles available to buy in terms of the materials used in the construction of these little devices. Possibly the most common type is the brass misting nozzle which consists entirely of brass and will give you reliable performance for years.

For a particularly fine mist the tendency is to go with a ceramic misting nozzle. These may be entirely ceramic or they might be made with a brass or stainless steel coating and a ceramic insert. The size of the droplets that a ceramic mist nozzle would be capable of may be as small as 1-3 microns compared to the 7-10 microns that a brass mist nozzle might be capable of. By producing smaller water droplets the required water pressure to achieve flash evaporation is reduced.

An added advantage of using a ceramic orifice is that there is less wear than with other materials making a misting nozzle made with ceramics a more long lived product. The ability of these misting nozzles to produce a fog or mist that instantly atomises is that much greater making the misting system that uses them more efficient. The likelihood is that these nozzles are going to cost a little more but they should be anti-drip nozzles that will last for a long time.

One of the problems you may encounter when using misting nozzles is that the orifices through which the water passes are very fine and can easily become clogged. Each misting nozzle has a filtration system to catch fine particles, filtering them out down to a size of 5 microns. The better misting nozzles might even come with a double filter system where the first filter will remove particles down to 5 microns in size and the second will filter down to 1 micron.

Misting nozzles are usually very low maintenance items that rarely need to be attended to. You may have to check them for possible clogging once or twice a year. Cleaning them every so often can avert any potential clogging problems.

In order to achieve evaporative cooling without wetting the bodies that are in the misting fan’s path you need high pressure pumps and very small openings in your misting nozzles. Forcing water through these very fine openings creates a micro-fine fog that quickly evaporates into the air. The higher end misting fans and systems are capable of producing these non-wetting fogs and the nozzles that come with them will be of a superior quality too.

The above video gives a good explanation of exactly how mist systems work and the uses that they can be put to. 

How To Clean Misting Nozzles

One of the important things to remember if you have a misting system that is not going to be in use for a length of time is to remove the misting nozzles. If there is water left to sit in the system a deposit can build up inside the line and this will affect the operation of the nozzles which can become clogged by the smallest impediments.

If you want to effectively clean your misting nozzles because they aren’t performing the way they should, you can remove them from the line and place them in a container of a vinegar solution that is slightly weakened with water. Alternatively there are mist nozzle cleaners available such as the Orbit Arizona Mist nozzle cleaner that will also prove effective in loosening any debris.

Leave the nozzles soaking overnight and then, when you remove them give the heads a light tap with a screwdriver to help loosen things even more. Another swirl around in the solution should remove any remaining deposits.

Never use pins or nails or any other kind of hard metal object to clean out the hole of the misting nozzle, this will only damage it and render the nozzle ineffective. The water mist nozzle is a delicate piece of equipment and needs to be treated as such. A light brush with a suitable brush should be enough to remove the type of build up you will see in these items.

Outdoor Patio Misting Systems

Trying to create a pleasant place to sit during the worst of the summer heat can be a difficult task and finding somewhere outdoors is even more difficult. The technology that utilizes evaporative cooling has been adapted for use at the domestic level to make patio mist systems available to everyone.

Patio misters have the capacity to provide a reduction in the temperature of around 30 degrees, all you need to do is install them at a height of at least 10 feet off the ground so that they get a sufficiently wide coverage. The system operates by going through a process known as flash evaporation caused by a combination of the size of the water droplets produced by the misting nozzles and the pressure at which the mist is generated.

These systems, which may also be referred to as patio cooling systems or patio mister systems, work though a water line that is installed around the area that you want cooled. This may be a patio, it may be an outdoor barbeque area or it may be around the pool, wherever it is there should be a water source nearby to provide the water for the system.

A patio misting system is a low-pressure system that consists of the mist line, a filter to prevent clogging, misting nozzles (choose brass misting nozzles), a shutoff valve, mounting clips and hose connections. You should be able to get mist lines of various lengths to cater for larger or smaller areas that you require to cool. There are a number of different companies who produce these systems so you may have to shop around before you find the system that you feel most comfortable with. The main problem you may find with a patio mist system has to do with the mist nozzles and their successful operation. This is where you should ensure that the nozzles you buy are the best quality possible. Plastic mist nozzles are available but the brass nozzles are more durable and reliable for long-term use.

Outdoor patio misting will ensure that you will be able to enjoy the outdoors in the summer months in comfort. Not only that, your guests will particularly look forward to your parties and get-togethers knowing that their comfort is assured.

If you are looking for a good quality brand for a misting system that you can rely on, take a look at the Misty Mate products. They have been used in a wide variety of situations from the luxury home outdoor settings to high class restaurants.

Misting Nozzles and Dust Suppression

On some work sites the control of dust is an ongoing problem due to the health risks surrounding respiratory complaints and visibility issues. An effective way of suppressing dust is by means of a misting system which produces a dust control spray. It has been found that by reducing the size of the droplet diameter and the increasing the number of droplets produces more effective surface wetting.

By spraying a fine water mist into the air it is possible to capture airborne dust particles. When the water droplets and the dust particles collide they form agglomerates. These agglomerates get heavy and are forced to the ground. The ideal size of a water droplet to be most effective as a dust suppression agent is the same size as the dust it must suppress.

The misting nozzles used in the suppression of dust are the most important factor in how effective the system is. The droplet size distribution from the nozzle is the most important variable and will vary depending on the type of dust suppression that is required. Airborne dust capture requires very fine droplets and requires a fogging nozzle that produces an extremely fine mist with droplets ranging in size from the sub-micron level to micron.

Misting Nozzles and Mining Dust Suppression

Dust suppression is an important requirement in the mining industry to control the amount of airborne particles that are floating around the site. The importance of controlling fugitive dust is necessary for employee safety as well as equipment protection and using misting nozzles as dust control methods should be a practice followed by the majority of companies rather than the minority.

Misting nozzles are utilized for a variety of applications of dust suppression in the mining industry, particularly the coal mining industry. These applications include: conveyor dust suppression; crushing dust suppression, underground haul road dust suppression; material transfer dust suppression; machinery dust suppression.

All aspects of the mining process raises potentially dangerous levels of dust and without the different types of dust suppressing technology it would virtually impossible to see while working. The kinds of equipment that operates on mining sites include air assisted atomiser nozzles that use a combination of water and compressed air to generate a fine mist that is propelled further than normal. Cluster nozzles that are made up of multiple misting nozzles to produce a larger mist cloud than could be achieved with individual nozzles. Finally there are the general purpose spray nozzles that can be operated under low pressure to provide a wetting mist that can be used to ensure dust is not produced at the various stages of the mine production.

Straight misting is not enough for some mine sites with further technological features added to the process. In some cases the performance of the misting dust suppression is enhanced by the inclusion of an ionic wetting agent in the water. This dust control chemical has the effect of creating an additional bonding agent that is added to the process so that the dust particles and the water mist droplets have a better chance of combining together.

It may also be necessary to provide large scale dust suppression at the above ground mine operations. Fogging has begun replacing baghouse collection systems in coal mines after baghouse fires and explosions could be connected to the method. The use of dry foggers has proven to not only be effective in suppressing coal dust but it has also provided a safer environment.

This is not new technology. In fact fogging systems have been demonstrated as a cost effective method of controlling fugitive dust since the 1980s. Not only does fogging quickly suppress dust it has been shown to be the most cost effective dust suppression method available.

Misting Nozzles and Humidification

One of the problems in the food industry is the storage of fruit and vegetables for any length of time. A large proportion of fruit and vegetables are comprised of water and if the outside conditions are dry the rate of evaporation is fast leaving you with produce that deteriorates rapidly.

In order to keep the produce at its peak for longer a misting system is used to maintain a high humidity. This humidity brings the moisture level in the surrounding air up to a level that is comparable to that of the moisture levels of the produce itself. Also this misting system will provide further protection by cooling the surrounding air temperature which will help to preserve the food.

This kind of humidification is also used by the winemaking industry in barrel rooms where long term storage of wine takes place. Barrel rooms are ideally humid places to avoid the loss of wine through evaporation. Wine barrels are made of oak and they are designed to allow the wine to breathe as it ages and develop its complex tastes and aromas.

Misting Nozzles In the Greenhouse

A greenhouse misting system is an effective way of controlling the humidity levels in a greenhouse and is a vital way of controlling the health of the plants within. The ideal humidity to maximize growing conditions in a greenhouse is 50% to 70% and maintaining that level ensures that the plants do not become stressed. It is the water misting nozzles of the system that hold the real key to the success of the system and these misting nozzles can be replaced with smaller or larger nozzles depending on the sized water droplets that are required.

Without a misting system the humidity level would fluctuate with the temperature with higher temperatures lowering the humidity level. A sudden drop in the humidity can cause plants a great deal of stress, so much so that the plants could die. A misting system will control the humidity level at all times, if the level must be higher it is possible to increase it by increasing the water mist flow.

The fact that the water droplets are so small is the crucial factor behind the effectiveness of the system. If the water droplets were the standard size they would be too heavy to remain in the air for very long and would fall to the ground where they would cause little effect on the humidity level throughout the greenhouse. The tiny water droplets from a fine mist nozzle are only around 10 microns in size which allows them to float around the greenhouse until they evaporate. Their presence in the air for an extended length of time increases the humidity to the required level and the plants thrive.

Well set up greenhouse misting systems not only increase the humidity level in the greenhouse. They should also be able to detect when there has been enough water sprayed into the air and can automatically deactivate. This might happen at night as the temperature cools or on days when the humidity level is already high enough.

The greenhouse mister can also be used to introduce fertilizer to the plants be adding the liquid fertilizer solution to the misting system along with the water. As the misting spray is dispersed into the air, so is the fertilizer and the plants are able to be fed as the fertilizer comes in contact with the leaves and is absorbed.

Evaporation is an ongoing process wherever moisture and heat is present and this is certainly the case in the greenhouse. If the plants are left without a mist system they will quickly dry out between watering. To ensure that the necessary moisture is still available to the plants contained within, the greenhouse mist system should operate and, as long as it has been installed correctly, it will distribute the required moisture evenly throughout the entire greenhouse.

Livestock Misting Fans

One of the most difficult aspects of rearing livestock in the hottest weather conditions is the problem of keeping them safe through the hot weather. The hottest days can be lethal for some animals if they are left out to combat the worst of conditions and even if they survive they will not be putting on the weight that will bring a good price for the farmer. The answer for the farmer may be to invest in low-cost outdoor misting systems.

The misting fans can be employed to reduce the chance of cattle or horses suffering heat stroke with the process, known as evaporative cooling, capable of reducing the temperature in the immediate area by up to twenty degrees. The misting system may be powered using portable cooling fans with misting nozzles attached to disperse pressurized water into the atmosphere. The amount of water used is quite small but the results are dramatic with the temperature drop proving life saving.

For a relatively small outlay the livestock breeder is able to save his animals without having to go through a much more costly process of transporting them to a safer environment thanks to livestock misting fans and the misting nozzles attached.

Take a look at the high-pressure misting fan pictured here which is a Blitz High Pressure Misting Fan by Big Fogg. This misting fan utilizes eight misting nozzles that are placed around the fan on a stainless steel ring. This is a high quality system that is capable of operating at up to 3500 psi.

Other Agricultural Cooling Benefits

The importance of agricultural cooling extends beyond simply trying to ensure that the livestock is comfortable. Studies have shown that animals under heat stress do not put on as much weight as animals that remain at a constant temperature. For the farmer trying to get the highest price for their stock, growing the biggest, healthiest animals is the aim of the game.

Similarly, for dairy farmers it is a known fact that cows that are kept cool will produce more milk than overheated cows. For many years the process of wetting down the cows while they are in the feed line has been part of the milk production process. The problem is that creating this kind of wet environment is not particularly healthy. Installing a misting system that uses flash evaporation to cool the immediate environment yet it remains dry.

These portable misting fans are invaluable not only for the fact that they provide necessary cooling that can be moved to the places where they can do the most good but also because they can be used in conjunction with one another to form a larger portable misting system. This means that a greater area can be covered without too much trouble.

Mosquito Misting Systems

Misting nozzles are one of the key components in an outdoor misting system used to control mosquitoes.

There are an increasing number of households that are installing residential misting systems that are dedicated to the control of mosquitoes and other insects. This requires a certain level of understanding as to what is involved when you use a misting system to control insects. This means finding out the types of pesticides you will be using in the misting system, for a mosquito misting system you will be using pesticides that contain pyrethrins and permethrin. The thing to remember is that not only are the pesticides toxic to mosquitoes but also to beneficial insects such as bees, ladybugs and butterflies too.

A mosquito mist system is not hazardous to the health of people and pets that may come into contact with the spray because the pesticide is only present in the environment for a short period of time meaning that long term exposure is not expected. The important factor that could change this is if the misting system is used excessively.

Here are some safety considerations when installing mosquito systems:

  • The maximum daily application rate should be strictly adhered to
  • The misting nozzles should be directed towards the target area and away from areas where cooking or eating will take place as well as water sources such as swimming pools and fish ponds
  • The misting nozzles should be positioned below 10 feet from the ground to minimize the amount of drift that will take place
  • Sensors should be installed in the system to ensure the mosquito spray system does not operate during rain, high wind or when people are present.

The Subtle Difference In Fog Nozzles

One of the ways in which misting nozzles are used is as part of a fogging system. Whereas misting nozzles may produce water droplets that are large enough to wet the ground and surround area, a fogging system assumes that the water droplets are so super fine that they will not be overly wetting. The name fogging nozzle can be interchanged with misting nozzle to talk about the cooling and dust suppression systems that are used in various circumstances.

A fogging nozzle is the kind of equipment used by fire fighters when they attempt to put out fires. The fine water droplets are applied to the fire with the theory being that the surface area of the small water droplets will be more effective at smothering the fire.

Fog nozzles produce water droplets in a wide arc to gain greater coverage and there are two styles available, namely automatic fog nozzles and manually adjustable fog nozzles. It is important to note that these fire fighting fogging nozzles are significantly different to the fogging nozzles employed for humidification and cooling purposes. To give you an idea of how different these nozzles are an image of a firefighting fog nozzle has been provided here.

Misting nozzles are vital for the effective application of numerous functions from providing an outdoor cooling system to the arguably more important functions on a commercial level. It uses technology that has been around for quite a long time and has developed to the point where it is extremely reliable.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What is the flow rate of a misting nozzle? Very good article but that piece of information plus water usage of a typical patio cooling system would have made the article more complete.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have been advised to change my misting nozzles from a 4 to a 2 because mine are currently wetting the ground too much in my patio. However, I am told the cost of a #2 is about 5.00 each whereas the #4 are about 5 for $4.00. I cannot find any site where the nozzles are explained using the #2 or #3 or #4 terminology. Also, would I be better using fogging nozzles for my small patio area? I have 23 nozzles approx 9-10 feet height around my small paio/pool area?

    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Misting nozzles are a great way to cool down a greenhouse or a backyard party. Thanks for the insightful information hub up...

    • profile image

      Misting Fan 

      8 years ago

      Great hub! Thanks for sharing. I love gardening and think that misting systems are amazing.


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