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Thursday, January 27th 2011, 10:28am

Interchangable water delivery (drip/sprinkler)

Im an installing a new irrigation system ~3acres for market veggie gardens, pasture grasses, and fruit trees. I'm tryiin gto think ahead about my operation and would like to pose a question. I plan to do a lot of crop rotation with those crops being watter either through drip or sprikler systems. I have the pressure and and flow to accomodate both in my differnt hydro zones and am installing irritrol adjustable pressure regulators on each zone so have control over each one.

My question - is there an easy/good way to predesign or install an interface that will allow me interchange my drip system with sprinklers as my crops rotate from year to year.



Supreme Member


Tuesday, February 1st 2011, 2:11pm

I think your biggest issue is going to be finding a simple way to remove drip tubing.
From what I've seen, drip irrigation companies are not much into their systems being taken apart.

As an example, I once purchased some of the Rain Bird Easy Fit compression fittings:
They were super easy to connect. But the connections were permenant.

Now sure there are all sorts of swing joint assymblies, or just all types of fittings that allow you to connect drip tubing to standard pipe threads. But they are not easy to disconnect. Again, usually the fitting is designed to stay permenently attached to the hose. So at a minimum, you would have to unscrew all the connections each time.

Now the thing I found to make drip irrigation tubing easy to replace was this product as Lowe's:
It is basically a drip fitting that screws onto the drip tubing (with the other side screwing into standard pipe threads). This made replaceing the drip tubing as easy as a few turns (one set to unscrew the old and a few more to screw on the new).

Now sure, you could say that that's all you have to do with any pipe threads. But with normal pipe threads, you have to take the time to use teflon tape to seal the connection. But this fitting didn't need tape ON THE DRIP TUBING side.

But this still isn't going to be an easy solution for you either, because the screw piece does work by having the screwn threads bite into the drip tubing. So sure it's good for a few cycles. But repeated use would quickly destroy the end of the drip tubing.

Of course, pretty much the same can be said for all the irrigation sprays. Nothing seems to really be made for quick change out. Sure things could be screwed and unscrewed, but that requires new teflon tape and time for each one.

Now the one idea I do have, depending upon your situation, is to maintain both drip and regular irrigation "IN THE FIELD". Basically, have the controller's supply water to an area, but once you get to the "area", use a Tee fitting and a pair of ball valves. One end of the Tee and ball valve would supply water to the drip tubing, while the other would supply water to the irrigation sprays. When you're ready to switch over from one to the other, you go out to these ball valves out at each of the zones and turn off one system and turn on the other. The basic idea is to have two fully functions systems, but rather than doubling the control valves and pipe to get from the valves to the zones, you use ball valves to share that part of the system.




Saturday, February 12th 2011, 11:16pm

Swivel fittings make all your problems go away.


Supreme Member

Posts: 493

Location: Seattle


Sunday, February 13th 2011, 2:49am

Swivel fittings make all your problems go away.
Hey there he is!!




Saturday, February 26th 2011, 6:23pm


Thanks for the input. Ill look into the swivel fittings, as it seem quite a bit less complex than setting up two complete delivery systems in the field.

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