What Components Are Used in a Drip System?
Here at DripWorks, customers sometimes ask us what components are needed for drip irrigation. The answer to this good question really depends on your situation, the crops you are growing, where you live and other factors. Here is a general guide to help you better understand what’s available.
Setting up an irrigation system is never a “one size fits all” project. A long list of possible components makes up drip irrigation systems. In addition, there are many types of drip systems. Depending on your purpose for using this water-saving method of irrigation, you will want to use different parts. I will categorize the various types of components according to how they are used.
If you have seen a drip system, the first thing you probably noticed was the mainline tubing. This flexible, low-density polyethylene tubing is the foundation of a drip system. The most common size of mainline tubing is 1/2-inch. But in cases where the watering requirements (and water supply) for what you are growing require a larger size, 3/4-inch and bigger mainline tubing are available.
Whatever the size, this tubing can be run hundreds of feet from the faucet to the far reaches of your yard. You can lay it out in a straight line, along a fence, in a flower bed or around trees and bushes. You can punch emitters or sprayers into this strong but pliable tubing as needed.
Easy Loc connectors offer an easy way to have maximum design freedom for your system. You will find all the styles you need to control and direct the flow to where you need it. The ease of using these fittings and their reliability are their main benefits. These fittings are available in more than 20 styles. You can choose what best suits your needs and taste, of course. But the standard ones used in most systems are the Female Swivel Hose Start, the “T” and the Coupler. Also, very popular are the 90-Degree Elbow, the Full Port Inline Valve and the Male Hose End with Cap.
Aqua Traxx Drip Tape is perfect for row crops and raised beds. If you drive through California’s Central Valley, you will notice commercial row crops are mainly irrigated by drip tape.
Here are some reasons why:
- Low-cost, effective watering for row crops and raised beds
- Superb watering efficiency, uniformity, and clog-resistance
- Ideal for above ground, mulched or buried applications
- Great for low-pressure systems; works down to four psi
- Requires only 155 mesh filtrations
- Typically lasts up to seven years if buried; it should last two to five years above ground, where the sun and elements will take their toll
This 1/2-inch tubing has factory-installed, pressure-compensating emitters inside the tubing every nine, 12, 18, 24 or 36 inches. It can water evenly over long distances, up and down hills or around trees. Emitter tubing greatly reduces installation time for your system. This type of tubing is ideal for fruit trees, ornaments, shrubs, and large cannabis plants. It lasts a long time and is perfect in a landscape situation or for plantings along long fence lines. The ideal pressure range for this product is 10 to 50 psi.
Ideal for small and medium-size garden beds or containers, this type of dripline is made in the U.S. for dependable quality. The 1/4-inch diameter tubing has emitters factory-installed every six, nine or 12 inches. This micro tubing is flexible and easy to use. It delivers water evenly at pressure up to 30 psi and down to two psi. We use it here at our DripWorks demonstration gardens for ornamental perennial flowers, vegetables, and shrubs.
Drip emitters are the best-known and most-used component of a drip system. A myriad number of types and brands of emitters is available. To make your selection simpler, emitters can be divided into two categories:
1: Non-pressure compensating emitters. With this type of emitter, the higher the water pressure coming from your faucet or valve, the higher the flow will be coming out of each emitter.
2: Pressure-compensating emitters. These are ideal for achieving even water distribution when your drip irrigation system runs long distances. They are a good choice when you are planting in long rows or when you are dealing with uneven or hilly terrain.
When a larger amount of water is necessary for fast-growing, thirsty plants or a larger flower garden or ground cover, sprayers will emit a much higher amount of water over a larger area than emitters. Sprayers are a natural choice for lawns and other similar applications. There are adjustable sprayers, directional sprayers, non-adjustable sprayers and adjustable circular sprayers and pressure-compensating sprayers.
Screen filters remove sediment and debris that can clog a drip system. Many backyard gardeners commonly use home garden filters to ensure the emitters or sprayers do not get clogged up. For more demanding tasks, larger filters with stainless steel screens are available. These are the best-engineered filters. They are built to withstand constant high pressure. If you are getting your water from a live body of water such as a river, stream or pond with algae or other organic matter, an easy-to-clean disc filter is the way to go.
There are several types of timers that will ensure your plants, crops and flowers get the regular watering they need when they need it. You can “set and forget” an automatic timer to make sure your plants will be watered when and where you want. You won’t even have to be there, so you can sleep in, run errands or even go on a vacation.
Simple to program and install where you need them, these timers typically use one nine-volt or two AA batteries that will last an entire season.
Remote-Controlled Bluetooth Timers
These timers allow you to operate and program your timer from a remote location. Easily set up and operate one of these high-tech timers from your phone or any Bluetooth-enabled device.
Multi-Station Battery Timers
With the ability to program up to 12 stations, you can use these commercial-grade timers for multiple areas that are too remote for an AC timer. This type of timer has a sturdy, waterproof housing that will stand up to the weather.
This category of parts delivers important nutrients to your plants while the irrigation system is running. You can set up these injectors inline so that when the timer starts the irrigation cycle, a precise amount of fertilizer will be carried into the main irrigation line. This type of system fertilizes your garden with the nutrients the plants need to grow heathy and strong. Fertilizing this way will take the burden off you because it practically runs itself. It will also make your garden the envy of everyone. Be prepared for lots of comments and compliments and maybe a few questions too.
Recommended for backyard gardeners but able to take care of very large growing areas, this injector can be filled up with a dry or liquid fertilizer. It will be metered out slowly every time the system turns on, ensuring just the right amount of nutrients get delivered to plants at the right time.
As water passes through this unit, it draws fertilizer into the line. The Mazzei is incredibly reliable and easy to use. It has a pressure range of 20 to 100 psi.
MixRite Injector for the Professional Grower
This injector is precision-made in Israel. It is ideal for injecting either organic or synthetic fertilizer. This injector is the easiest commercial fertilizer injector to clean and maintain.
This list of components is easily and clearly presented on the dripworks.com website. You can Chat with live reps, read the Drip Planning Guide, watch the How-To Videos or talk to a helpful sales rep here at 800-522-3747.