Standard Gravity Feed Drip Irrigation Kit for Dirty Water

Congratulations on your purchase of a Standard Gravity Feed Drip Irrigation Kit for Dirty Water from Drip Depot!

Please take a few minutes to read through these instructions and familiarize yourself with all the parts. For assistance with part names and details, you can print or view the list of parts included in your kit from the Kit item page on our website.

Drip Depot Irrigation kits are modular in design, as no two gardens are completely alike. Should you have any questions while installing your kit please feel free to email our Customer Support team. You may review some of our many resources in our Education Center, found under the "Learn" tab in the menu bar on our website.

Things to Note:

Gravity systems are unique in that they use natural water pressure from gravity to operate. Elevation creates water pressure, and adequate pressure is necessary for good uniformity. Changes in elevation affect pressure (psi) in this way: Every 2.31 ft in elevation change equals 1 psi change. So, for every 10 foot of rise you will gain 4.3 psi.

In systems with pressure below 4 psi, drip emitters will allow the water through, but they won’t be able to regulate the flow properly. Low pressures inherent in gravity feed systems with very little elevation change offer challenges that can only be met with items that are designed specifically for those conditions.

Dirty water can be especially challenging as small drip emitters can clog easily. The Dirty Water GRavity Kits contains ¼” barbed coupling valves to be used as drip emitters. The larger flow path in the valve does not clog as easily as the tiny orifices of standard drip emitters. The flow through each valve emitter can be controlled from fully closed to fully open, allowing you to set just the right amount of water to each plant.

Filtration is important in all irrigation systems. We recommend using at least a 150 mesh filter in any system using poly tubing and individual drip emitters.

The Drip Depot Gravity Drip Irrigation Kits do not include a backflow prevention device or a pressure regulator. A backflow preventer is normally used to protect a shared potable water source and the low pressures usually associated with gravity systems normally do not require a pressure regulator.

Your kit includes items you may not need for your specific design but are included “just in case”.

  1. Goof Plugs are included “just in case” you need to plug a hole that you punched into the mainline tubing that leaks or is no longer needed. Goof plugs are also used to close the ends of ¼” micro-tubing.

  2. A ½” tubing coupler is included “just in case” you need to couple two sections of ½” tubing together, such as when making a repair.

Installing your Gravity Feed Drip Irrigation System

Drip Depot Kits come standard with garden hose thread components for easy connection to a hose spigot or garden hose. Hand tighten only, no teflon tape or pipe dope required with hose threaded connections.

  1. The head assembly in the Gravity Feed Kit includes a filter and female hose thread tubing adapter. Attach the Hose Thread Filter to the water source. Ensure this item has the rubber washer seated completely down inside the female threaded connection prior to installation.

  2. Next, the Female Hose Thread Tubing Adapter is attached to the outflow side of the filter. Again, ensure the rubber washer is seated completely down inside the female threaded connection prior to installation. A helpful tip is to connect your mainline tubing to the tubing adapter prior to connecting to your head assembly components. Most tubing adapters have a female swivel end for ease of installation.

  3. Determine the best location for your ½” mainline to reach from the water source to near the last plant to be watered. The ½” poly is flexible and can be laid out with slight curves or “S” shaped zigzags if necessary.

    1. Lay out the ½” mainline tubing.

    2. Cut off any excess tubing.  

    3. Flush the line. Allow water to run through tubing to remove any debris that may be inside.

    4. Install the Tubing End Cap to close the line.

  4. Install the ¼” micro-tubing and barbed valves at each plant to be watered.

    1. Punch a hole into the mainline, near the plant, using the ¼” punch tool included in the kit.

    2. Cut a section of ¼” micro-tubing to reach from mainline to near the base of the plant.

    3. Attach a ¼” barbed coupler to one end of the micro-tubing, pushing the tubing all the way over the barb. Insert the barbed coupler into the hole you punched in the mainline. You should hear a snap or click once the barbed coupler is fully inserted.

    4. Attach the barbed valve to the other end of the section of micro-tubing.

    5. Snap the valve end of the micro-tubing into a Stabilizer Stake and push the stake into the soil near the base of the plant.

    6. Continue steps a - e for each plant.

  5. Once you complete the installation you can adjust the drip valves to the flow necessary for each plant.

Tips:

  1. Check the filter frequently to get an idea of cleaning frequency to avoid clogging.

  2. The drip irrigation tubing in this kit can be cut with ordinary household scissors, box cutters or tin snips. Making clean straight cuts assures clean leakproof connections.

  3. If you live in an area where the temperatures drop down to below 37 degrees Fahrenheit you must winterize your system. See our Winterizing Instructions for details.