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As more communities face water restrictions, many people are discovering how simple and practical drip and low-flow irrigation can be. These systems are easier to set up than they may appear, and once installed, they not only conserve water, but they also save a lot of work – just think how much time and effort you spend over the course of the season winding and unwinding hoses, attaching and moving sprinklers, and so on. These systems are ideal for those who would rather pull weeds than haul hoses to water them.

Also known as micro-irrigation, drip and low-flow watering systems use much less water than conventional methods. They regulate the amount of water supplied, taking the guesswork out of watering rates, and they distribute water close to individual plants, so water goes only where it’s needed, soaking slowly into the root zone, and isn't wasted on walkways and weeds or lost to evaporation and wind. Not only are these methods extremely efficient, but they are also inexpensive, unobtrusive, and easy to install. Our free Irrigation Design Guide will help you plan the most effective irrigation system at the lowest cost.

 
   
To help you get started, we’ve assembled some basic kits covering a variety of situations. These kits are the easiest way to set up a complete system, but we also offer a full range of compatible components and accessories, all durably made to commercial-quality standards in the USA or Australia, leaders in drip irrigation manufacturing. These versatile and interchangeable parts make it easy to expand on any of our kits or to design your own customized system by following the simple steps outlined below. You can even adapt your system to changing seasons, crops or conditions, expand it to cover new areas, or completely reconfigure the system from year to year with surprising ease.

Planning the system well is the key to success, and the information here, as well as the tips in our Irrigation Design Guide, can help you plan and install an effective, customized irrigation system in any garden.
 
Planning Your System
 
 
   
 
   
 
   
Choosing Components
To plan any irrigation system, consult our free Irrigation Design Guide. Full of general irrigation and layout advice, it explains how the various components work, and can help you decide which emitters suit your needs. The product descriptions on these catalog pages, and the charts on pages 2 and 3, can also help guide your selection. Once you've chosen emitters, you can plan a hose system to supply water to them. For over 100', use 5/8" header hose; otherwise, 1/2" is fine.

Determining Your Flow Rate
To plan the system, it helps to know how much water flow is available. Time how long it takes to fill a 5-gallon pail with your faucet. If it takes 1 minute, the rate is 5 gallons per minute (300 gallons per hour); if it takes 2 minutes, it's 2-1/2 gallons per minute. Use the charts on pages 2 and 3 to see if you have enough flow to run the chosen emitters. If they take more water than is available, split the system into separate lines on timers set for different times of day.

Installing the Header Hose
A header hose is the main 1/2" or 5/8" diameter hose that supplies water from the faucet to the system. Using a faucet connector, attach a header hose long enough to reach the desired areas. Optional components, such as timers, can easily be added. If the pressure is over 30 psi (or unknown), use a pressure regulator for troublefree operation. To prevent blockage, a filter is recommended. T-connectors and elbows pressfit onto the header hose to make branches and 90° bends in the line. Finally, a compression end seals the end of the header hose.

Installing Feeder Lines
Feeder lines connect the header hose to individual emitters. With a hole punch, make holes at appropriate places in the header hose. The feeder lines fit onto simple one-piece connectors, which press-fit snugly and easily into the holes, without glue, gaskets or other parts.

Installing Emitters
All hose-end watering devices, such as sprinklers, soaker hoses, drippers, bubblers or misting jets, are called emitters. Adjustable emitters let you regulate the flow to fine-tune the watering pattern, while pressure-compensating emitters provide consistent coverage regardless of slope or hose length, which could otherwise affect water pressure. All our emitters attach easily to 1/4" feeder line without tools, adhesives or connectors. Cut feeder lines to length, position them and press-fit them into the emitters.
 
 

So, in summary, you will need the following as a minimum to set up a drip and low-flow line:

  1. a header hose (use 1/2" I.D. for runs under 100', 5/8" I.D.
    for longer runs)
  2. a faucet connector that includes a filter
  3. a pressure regulator (if your pressure is over 30 psi or unknown)
  4. a T-filter, recommended for any dripper system
  5. a compression end (to keep water from running out the
    end of the header hose.

Then install the emitters, either directly to the header hose or with 1/4" I.D. feeder lines.

 

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