How many drippers can I put on one run of tubing?
The number depends on the size of the tubing (1/4", 1/2" or 3/4") as each size of tubing has different GPH limitations. Another limiting factor in how many drippers you can use on a single run of tubing is the GPH rating of the drippers themselves. As an example, 1/2" tubing can supply 220 GPH in a single run, which means that one could put 440 .5 GPH drippers on a run of 1/2" tubing or 220 1 GPH drippers or 110 2 GPH drippers.
Can I expand my system?
Yes, all of our kits and parts are designed to be compatible so that as your watering needs increase you can add to your system easily. Just keep in mind the GPH limitations of the tubing you are using; if you exceed the GPH rating by expanding your system, you may need to create a second system or zone.
I want to use drippers, micro sprinklers and spray jets on the same line. Is it possible?
Yes, our landscape kits come with all of these components and are designed to run off one line. You can use any watering devices in combination as long as you keep in mind the GPH rule for the tubing you are working with. Note: Micro sprinklers and spray jets can eat up a lot of GPH.
Can I run my drip irrigation system 24/7?
The answer here is no because the faucet assembly parts (Pressure Regulator and Backflow Preventer) are not designed to be under constant pressure. If they are subjected to constant pressure, they will eventually blow out, resulting in the need to replace them.
How long should I run my drip irrigation system?
There is no set rule on how long to water using drip irrigation. It is really a guess and check method. There are two ways. The first option is turn on your system for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes dig down into the dirt around your plants and take a look at the capillary action of the soil. If you are not happy with the results, wait 45 minutes and repeat by increasing the runtime of your system. Check your soil again. Continue this process by gradually increasing the runtime until you are satisfied with the results.The second option is to choose a time that seems good to you and run the system for a few days. During this time, monitor your plants; if they look very healthy, then you are close to the required time. To maximize the efficiency of your system, you may want to slightly decrease the watering time each day until you notice a negative change. From that point, you know exactly where the sweet spot is for watering your plants. If the opposite happens and you notice right away that your plants look dry, then increase the watering time until they look healthy again. Factors that affect watering time are: soil type, temperature and humidity.
Is it possible to bury drip irrigation tubing?
Drip Irrigation tubing can be buried underground and/or covered by mulch. Keep in mind that burrowing rodents, like gophers, can chew through the tubing seeking water, and with it being underground, it is harder to locate the leak. If you decide to bury your tubing, keep an eye on your system to make sure everything is running properly; so if a rodent does chew through the tubing, you can spot the problem immediately.
What is the order that I should connect the faucet assembly parts?
When connecting your drip irrigation system to a faucet, we recommend the following order: Timer, Backflow Preventer, Filter, Pressure Regulator, 1/2" Swivel adapter or tubing adapter.
Should I use Pressure Compensating or Nonpressure Compensating Drippers?
Pressure Compensating Drippers have the following characteristics: They work at the stated GPH rating regardless of pressure fluctuation. Nonpressure Compensating Drippers have the following characteristics: Output can vary up to +/- 15% due to fluctuation in pressure.
Can I add a timer to my drip irrigation system?
Yes, any drip irrigation system can be automated. In fact, studies have shown that timer-automated drip systems are the most efficient as they eliminate forgetting to turn off the water an hour or a day ago. Beyond making the system more efficient, timers also save you a lot of time. Once installed and programed, you don't have to worry about watering your plants again.
What is Pressure Compensating?
Drip systems apply water to plants at very low flow rates. This minimizes evaporation losses and limits the water to the root zone of the plant by putting water where it counts. Pressure Compensating, or PC, is a term used to describe an emitter that maintains the same output at varying water inlet pressures. Therefore, PC drip emitters compensate for uneven terrain, length of supply tube and varying inlet flows. PC drippers facilitate controlled watering, as each drip emitter performs to a preset flow rate (e.g. 1 gallon per hour), allowing water emitted over a length of time to be easily calculated. This ensures more efficient watering, reducing the risk of overwatering or underwatering. A noncompensating drip emitter will have varying output flows at varying inlet pressures. Therefore, the flow will vary along uneven terrain, and each dripper will emit a different amount of water depending on its location on the supply line. The pressure to a drip emitter can vary due to the slope of the land and the length of the supply tube. If an irrigation system is installed down a slope, there will be higher water pressure at the bottom of the slope than at the top, and noncompensating drippers at the bottom will emit more water than those at the top. PC drip emitters will emit the same amount of water all the way down the slope, providing more even watering on uneven terrain. With all that in mind, don't worry too much about PC versus non-PC. Usually the difference in output between a PC and non-PC dripper will be in the 10% to 15% range. Unless your water is VERY expensive or you have a VERY large area to service, the PC versus non-PC issue is mute.
What is the difference between vinyl and poly irrigation tubing?
Vinyl irrigation tubing is made from flexible Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Poly irrigation tubing is made from polyethylene. They perform the exact same function. The inside and outside diameter of the tubing can vary slightly, but it is usually not visible with the naked eye and has no bearing on usability. Poly irrigation tubing tends to have a slightly longer lifespan than its vinyl counterpart. The primary difference between the two are that vinyl tubing tends to be more flexible than poly tubing. This can be either good or bad depending on your needs. Vinyl tubing can make tighter turns without kinking, but it can sometimes be more difficult to insert barbed fittings into it; opinions vary. At Drip Depot, we choose to use poly irrigation tubing for all our kits and applications. First, we feel that poly irrigation tubing is easier to work with, especially if you let it lay in the hot sun for a while before working with it. Second, we feel that polyethylene is a more stable polymer and, as such, is less likely to break down and enter the water stream. In the end, you should use whatever you feel comfortable with.
What are the limits and capacity of 1/4" tubing?
1/4" micro tubing should not exceed a run length of 30 feet and 30 gallons per hour (GPH).
What are the limits and capcity of 1/2" tubing?
A good rule of thumb for 1/2" tubing is the 200/200 rule: 200 GPH, 200 Feet, which means that you can run 1/2" tubing up to 200 feet maximum and draw up to 200 gallons per hour maximum. Those limits are very conservative; but if you stay within those limits, you are sure to have a working system.