Friday, September 18, 2009

Drip Irrigation Systems and DIY Installation Guide For Enthusiasts

Installing a water-efficient drip irrigation system is very easy. A typical system consists of " plastic pipe that routes water from a hose spigot to trees, shrubs, and garden beds. The plastic tubing is fitted with small plastic nozzles, called emitters, at plant locations. Emitters are essentially mini-sprinklers, and they come in a variety of forms depending on the type of plant you need to water. If you're watering plant beds, assume you'll need 1 ft. of tubing with emitters for every square foot of plant bed space.

Your basic irrigation equipment come with only a few components, but can be augmented with pieces purchased "ala carte". You'll also need a punch for piercing the tubing and "goof plugs" for repairing errant punches. Tubing for drip irrigation is thin-wall flexible polyethylene or polyvinyl, typically " or " in diameter. Internal diameters can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it's good idea to purchase pipe and fittings from a single source.

Let's start to do it ourselves,

1. Connect the system's supply tube to a water source, such as a hose spigot or a rainwater system. If you tap into your household water supply, use a pressure gauge to check water pressure. If pressure exceeds 50 pounds per square inch, install a pressure-reducing fitting before attaching the feeder tube. A filter should also be attached to the faucet before the feeder tube.

2. At garden bed location, begin installing drip emitters every 18". You can also purchase " PE tubing with emitters preinstalled. If you use this tubing, cut the feeder tube once it reaches the first bed, and attach the emitter tubing with a barbed coupling. Route the tubing among the plants so that emitters are over the roots.

3. For trees and shrubs, make a branch loop around the tree. Pierce the feed tube near the free and insert a T-fitting. Loop the branch around the tree and connect it to both outlets on the T-fitting. Use " tubing for small trees, " for larger specimens. Insert emitters in the loop every 18".

4. Use micro sprayers for hard-to-reach plants. Sprayers can be connected directly to the main feeder line or positioned on short branch lines. Sprayers come in a variety of spray patterns and flow rates; choose one most appropriate for the plants to be watered.

5. Potted plants and raised beds can also be watered with sprayers. Place stake-mounted sprayers in the pots or beds. Connect a length of " tubing to the feeder line with a coupler, and connect the " line to the sprayer.

6. Once all branch lines and emitters are installed, flush the system by turning on the water and let it flow for a full minute. Then, close the ends of the feeder line and the branch line with figure-8 end crimps. Tubing can be left exposed or buried under mulch.

Autor: Ky Cheah

Cheah has been writing articles online for quite sometimes. His newest interest is in home renovation. Please visit his latest website that discusses home renovation products such as ceiling fans with lights and outdoor ceiling fan that most of the house will need it during renovation.

Added: September 18, 2009