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Tuesday, April 9th 2013, 10:14am

Drip Irrigation System

We have been contemplating a sprinkler system and have decided to start adding drip irrigation first (hooking it up to the hose bibs) and then adding the hard-piped sprinkler system later this year/next spring. We will set the drip irrigation in the large mulched beds of trees, shrubs and perennials and set them up so that they can be added to the hard-piped sprinkler system when it is installed. How should we setup such a system? Should we run a regular garden hose from the bib to the mulch bed (area where we plan on running the drip line into the sprinkler system in the future)? What kind of tubing/piping should we use as the laterals?
Below is a rough draft of the system as I envision it:
1. Close to the hose bib run a small piece of hose attached to manifold/shut-off valve that branches off into a number of different connections. One of the branched lines will be for general use and the other(s) will be for the drip irrigation.
2. After the manifold valve, a pressure reduced and filter will be installed. I don't plan on a backflow valve as the hose bib has an anti-siphon feature.
3. A section of garden hose from filter and pressure reduced to start of mulch bed (drip irrigation).
4. Laterals running along edge of mulch beds (or down the middle). Not sure if laterals should be PVC,poly tubing, vinyl tubing, or PVC flex tubing . Laterals will be 1/2" I think.
5. 1/4" tubing running from lateral to plant. Not sure if I can run 1/4" to more than one plant or not. Also not sure what tubing to use ( poly tubing, vinyl tubing, or PVC flex tubing, drip tubing). I plan to use maually placed emitters at each plant.
Please let me know if this plan makes sense. I don't mind spending extra money to make the system the most efficient and durable that it can be. Any and all suggestions are welcome!


Wednesday, April 10th 2013, 7:12am

After research, I am wondering if it would be better to use microsprayers rather than emitters? Some of our beds are rather wide and long (25' wide by 75' long for example - see pictures above) and will be filled with perennials along with the already planted shrubs and trees. These beds are a work in progress (I've planted over 150 containers of perennials using the winter sowing method which I plan on planting this spring). I think the microsprayers might give me better flexibility and be less maintenance then the emitters. However, I am concerned about the disease/fungus issue with the microsprayers and not sure how much less efficient the microsprayers are. Any and all suggestions/comments are welcome!


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Location: Metro NYC


Wednesday, April 10th 2013, 9:56am

To be honest, the interest of pros in helping do-it-yourself-ers falls right through the floor when they read the words "I don't plan on installing backflow prevention"

For your information, turning an anti-syphon hose bib into a water source for an irrigation system is effectively destroying its limited backflow prevention capabilities. You need the same backflow preventer that a traditionally plumbed system would employ.


Wednesday, April 10th 2013, 10:12am

While I understand your skepticism, the reason I posted on this forum was for feedback and advice. I am trying to learn and was unaware that the anti-siphon on a hose bib isn't sufficient. My intention on posting was to try and better understand how to make an inexpensive, effiecient, safe, quality drip/micro system. Going forward, what type of backflow valve would be best and least costly for such a drip system, with the assumption that I will be incorporating this system into a permamnent sprinkler/drip system using a reduced pressure zone backlfow valve this fall/next spring. Thanks in advance!

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