The first obstacle for beginner snow makers is choosing the correct nozzles for their snowgun. This guide is to help the novice snow maker select the best nozzle for their configuration. You should already have an understanding how the snow gun works along with air and water components. Gauges on your pumps and snow gun are very helpful and can properly diagnose any issues you encounter.
Some snow makers make their own nozzles by drilling holes into pipe caps. This can be okay for your nuc nozzle, but never for your bulk nozzles Even if you are on a budget we highly suggest not wasting your money trying to make your own. Nozzles can cost only a couple dollars a piece which saves time and frustration making your own.
The most common type of nozzle snow makers use and Snowpacked recommends are MEG nozzles. They usually come in two sizes, 1/4” NPT and 1/8” NPT. Your snow gun should use 1/4” NPT fittings. These nozzles have a male thread, which will screw into your female T's on your snow gun. If you built your snow gun with 3/8” pipe you will need 3/8” x 1/4” reducing bushings. Always use a couple wraps of teflon tape when installing your nozzles.
The two most important factors to remember when choosing a nozzle are flow rates and spray pattern. The flow rate chosen depends on your specific equipment. For example, if you have a pressure washer that has a flow rate of 2.2 GPM (Gallons per Minute) then you would want your bulk nozzles totaling 2.2 GPM at your desired pressure. The higher flow rate of the nozzle, the larger the droplet size.
Spray patterns are a personal preference and usually measured in degrees. A nozzle with a degree of 25 will produce snow in a narrow V pattern and have a longer throw. A nozzle with a degree of 45 will make snow in a wider area, but not as far.
How do I match my flow rate with my bulk nozzles?
You can find out how many nozzles you'll need by using our calculator here. The entered value for flow rate is the nozzle flow rate. The desired pressure is the pressure you want to achieve with that flow rate. Your operating pressure will be determined by the nozzle configuration on your snow gun. We suggest using 500 psi as a desired running pressure. The larger the orifice of your nozzles, the lower your snow gun running pressures will be. If your pressure washer has an unloader valve, the pressure can be adjusted. If not, then you must adjust your snow gun pressure with the correct nozzles. We created a tool to help you choose nozzles found here.
How do I find what size nuc nozzle i'll need?
Your nuc nozzle is determined by the volume of air your compressor produces mesured in cubic feet per minute. Most manufacturers place a label on the tank stating the specifications, for example 5.4 Cfm @ 90 psi.
How do I read nozzles?
MEG nozzles are categorized by a special number which includes the spray pattern and flow rate. The first two or three numbers are your spray pattern. The last two numbers will be your flow rate. Here are some examples.
1. If you saw 2504 on a MEG nozzle you would know that the nozzle has a pattern of 25 degrees, and a flow rate of .4gpm. If your pressure washer is less than 4.0gpm you would probably never need an XX04 nozzle.
2. If you saw a MEG nozzle with 6509 you would know that it has a spray pattern of 65 degrees and a flow rate of .9gpm. This nozzle would never be used for a bulk nozzle as the droplets would be too large for snow making. Instead it would be great for a nuc with an air compressor that is 8 Cfm @ 90psi, and is using bulk nozzles that are smaller degree than 65XX, preferably 45XX or 25XX.
Where can I get these nozzles?
There are many suppliers on the web that sell MEG nozzles, as well as your local specialty pressure washer/car wash store. You'll see snow gun manufacturers selling these nozzles for prices almost ten times higher than if you were to buy straight from the source. These manufacturers will also sand off the numbers to prevent customers from Googling the information. On the web we suggest Kleen-Rite Corp. Their prices are great, shipping is crazy fast, and they almost always have them in stock. Simply enter the nozzle you're looking for in the search, “2504 meg” and you'll find them.