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New Member

Posts: 10

Location: Falls Church, VA


Tuesday, April 28th 2009, 6:58pm

Recommendations for drip systems?

I will be putting drip systems in four areas around my house, and have some questions on brands of supplies as well as which way to go on a few things.

I have two "square foot" gardens - both are 24" x 12', divided by lathe into 1x1 squares, each of which contains a plant. I was thinking of drip lines for these areas.

1. Any problem with that?
2. Do I need the 1/2 lines v. the 1/4 lines?
3. Is the Rain Bird tubing at $36 significantly better than the DIG at $22?
4. What type of cap goes at the end of a 1/2 drip line?

I'd like connectors that are easy to work with for the 1/2" poly main and lateral lines.
5. Does anyone have recommendations for easy fit v. compression v. lock nut fittings?

6. Recommendations for brands of pressure regulator?

7. Anyone have experience with the DIG 6 outlet adjustable drip emitter? Seems like having little dials would be really convenient since my pots and plants are all different sizes. thoughts?

8. I'm missing where the filters go in the system. Some of the multi-outlet emitters have filters, but some don't; where does the filter go and any recommendatins?

Finally, the


Supreme Member


Wednesday, April 29th 2009, 9:57am

Based on my limited personal experience with drip stuff, I would say that when it comes to things like tubing and connections, no one company is "better". After all, it's all pretty thin, and all of it is going to work at the low pressures of a drip system.

It's sort of the same thing when it comes to connectors. They all are going to work, you just have to find the one with the features you want/need. As an example, rainbird came out with this system of connectors. It's great for contractors because it allows you to basically build a wide array of connectors with a minimum set of pieces. It also goes together very quickly. But if you ever want to change anything... forget it. It seems once you put a male fitting into a Tee connector, that fitting is never coming out.

As for 1/4" line, you only want to use tubing that small to feed a single plant. So you basically need 1/2" tubing to get water to the general location of the plants, then use 1/4" tubing to get water from the 1/2" to the plant. From there, you have to decide which is easiest for your situation. Do you run one 1/2" tubing to the center of the garden and then seperate 1/4" lines to each 1x1 square (sort of a spagetti setup that can make maintainence a pain as I understand it), or do you run the 1/2" tubing along the length of the whole garden and run several short runs of 1/4" for that final connection from the 1/2" to the plant.

Generally, multi-outlet emitters are not recommended... again because of the spagetti of tubing that usually results. If you can live with that aspect, the only other thing to consider is your emitter. If you are using "typical" drip emmitters, the emitters are rated for a certain gph (gallons per hour), usually 1/2, 1, and 2gph models are available. Because the emitters themselves limit the water, having individual controls is meaningless. Instead you vary the amount of water to each plant by varying the size (1/2, 1, 2 gph) and number of emmitters watering a single plant.

Unless EVERYTHING is being sourced by multi-outlets that have the built in filters, the filter goes at the start of the system.
If this is fed from a garden hose, you usually connect the backflow, pressure regulator, and filter all at the hose bibb. You usually have to pay attention to how the manufacturer has set the order of these, because they can and usually will have different types of threading. When it comes to plumbing, there are two standard types of thread, standard hose threading, and standard pipe threading. Your hose bibb will use a male hose threading (MHT). So obviously what ever connects to the hose bibb must have female hose threading (FHT). But after that, the components might mix and match hose threading and standard plumbing threading, and of course they can do female vs. male connections is a variety of ways. It's just when you go to put it all together, you have to pay attention to not only the sex (male vs female) you have to also pay attention to the thread type (hose vs. pipe). WARNING: 1/2" hose threads and 1/2" pipe threads are very similar. Especially when you are talking about plastic pieces try to connect to a metal hose bibb, the pipe threading will fit on hose threads for a turn or two. Beyond that, and something gets torn up. But when looking at both together, it's easy to see which is which. The angle of the threads (i.e. the steepness of the spiral) is much more steeper on hose threads than pipe threads.
It this system is fed from an automatic irrigation system, there are kits that include a valve, pressure regulator, and filter.
In any case, the filter basically goes at the water source.

As for caps, again, each manufacturer does it different. Some fold the 1/2" tubing and have a simple clamp that keeps it folded. To drain, simply remove the clamp and open the fold. Others have caps that are connected just like other connectors (like Tee and elbows). Again, it's sort of up to you. The only caviot would be to make sure the connections work with the drip tubing. The 1/2" drip tubing can be slightly different in size from one manufacturer to the other. Some connection fittings will work over a small range of different pipe sizes... others do not.


New Member

Posts: 10

Location: Falls Church, VA


Thursday, April 30th 2009, 4:50am

Thanks for the detailed reply. Based on your recommendations, I'm going to change quite a bit of what was on my shopping list for sprinklerwarehouse.


New Member


Wednesday, May 5th 2010, 6:37am

When it comes to putting in the emergency shut off valve try to avoid the 'gate valves'. These are attractive because they are so cheap but you get what you pay for and the tend to wear out and leak a lot quicker. Spend the time and effort on getting a "ball valve", "disk valve", or "butterfly valve" instead. They last much longer. Also consider going online for irrigation equipment parts as it can save you time and money if you can just order what you need directly.



Posts: 2,337

Location: USA


Wednesday, May 5th 2010, 2:06pm

Thanks for the link Percy. I'll be sure to tell all my farmer friends there's a new fantastic online site specializing in agriculture. For the rest of the world. Here's a good site to check out.

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