Drip Irrigation System Buying Guide
Save Time, Water, and Money This Summer!
What to know when buying a drip irrigation system
A drip irrigation system is a great way to conserve water, save money and maintain the plants around your home. This Do-it-Yourself sprinkler system design project can be completed within a weekend.
Buy components from the same manufacturer to ensure compatibility or buy an entire-system kit and work your way up to your own customized system.
Soaker hoses are the simplest way to create drip irrigation. These garden hoses have tiny holes along its length to allow water to drip out. While cost effective initially, this option uses more water than a drip system.
Kits combine the components you need for specific applications. You can find kits to create systems for vegetable gardens, flower beds, container plants and landscape plants such as trees and shrubs. Some kits allow you to expand the system as your irrigation needs grow. Other kits provide repair parts or let you convert pop-up sprinklers to drip irrigation.
Be Sure To Buy These Important Parts For Your System:
Backflow preventers or anti-siphon devices prevent the irrigation system’s water from re-entering your water supply and contaminating your drinking water when the system is turned off, and a requirement in most areas.
Pressure regulators or reducers make home water pressure compatible with the drip irrigation system. Without these devices the typical home water supply has too much pressure for a drip irrigation system.
Filters prevent debris from clogging the tubing and emitters. Some pressure regulators have built-in filters.
Watering your plants properly:
Emitters insert into the tubing and discharge the water into the soil or onto plants. A gallons per hour (GPH) rating indicates the flow rate. The flow rate you need will vary depending on the type of plants you’re watering and your soil type. Emitters have a rating for the maximum water pressure they can accept, noted in pounds per square inch (PSI). Pressure compensating emitters deliver a constant flow rate even if the water pressure varies. Turbulent flow emitters feature a design that helps prevent clogging. Drip irrigation systems can include drippers, bubblers and misters.