question for experienced drip irrigation installers

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Grn Mtn, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    After this summers heat and the fact I put in a new mostly perennial landscape in my front yard, watering became a chore. I ordered a bunch of drip irrigation products from Drip Works. Now in my tests so far I see this as an awesome tool for my landscape business: Less time spent watering in new landscapes, better plant survivability, water conservation, etc = happier customer, more referrals.

    My questions are: What should I watch out for to make this idea work? Do you warranty it? Set up a maintenance plan? what kind of maintenance does it need? Do you have a favorite way of installing it? How durable is it if someone walks on it when its buried under the mulch?

    I'm trying 1/4" and 1/2" drip lines, misters, spray heads, pressure regulating drip emitters on 1/4" lines. Its weird but I feel like the plants aren't getting water because you don't see the mulch all wet, yet they are growing so I know its working.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts, Roald.
  2. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    since no one replied, I'm bringing it to the top again in hopes a fresh eye will see it. :help:
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,369

    Kind of a wide-ranging question. Lots of guys do drip with emitter line, which isn't a breakage problem. Other drip stuff is far more breakable. If you lay down the six inches of mulch that a Rainbird Xerigation manual specifies, you get a lot of protection. No drip installation will be as durable as ordinary sprinkler heads.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    If you own a landscape business and DON'T offer Drip irrigation installation I would say your a little wacky.This is speaking from Ca though and it's expected and very common here.
    It's not supposed to be constantly trampled upon when under mulch,If I put drip across a garden path or thru a natural walkway I put it inside SCH40 pvc and use jute-net pins to pin the pipe down and bury it to protect it from being damaged.Then bring it out the other side.
    The systems need to be blown out or drained by removing and end plug before freezing weather just as sprinkler systems do.Use a good quality backflow preventer made for drip and Y drip filter and check twice a year and show client how to check and clean their filter.I tend to stay away from pressure regulating emitters and use a pressure regulator at the start of the system.I try to not use 1/4"line if possible and only use it where the 1/2 OD line won't run close enough to the plant in question,or going into pots,patios,windowboxes, or if a plant or tree is so big I need to get an emitter to the far side.I pin down all my lines using a U type pin not the norm they sell as drip line pins.These systems are easily adapted to retro fitting off any sprinkler head tee or you can add a valve for it at the water source,and start it there,wired into the timer with it's own zone.
    That's best so you can regulate the watering to it.
    If there is no irrigation system then you can do a Drip system alone with a elect controller and valve,filter.Water pressure regulator,back flow preventer and line adapter and your line out ect.
    There is alot to learn that can't be covered here.
    I start at $1200.00 for a very small system and it goes up from there by size... labor alone

    You want to keep exposure to UV down and cover the line as much as possible,some companies bury it completely with the main line running under the root balls of new installations..This is bad and should not be practiced.
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Btw Sheshovel. I finally saw one of your shrubblers...

    The reasion I saw it is because I stepped on it and broke it.

    I'm underwelmed.
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

  7. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    fwiw, my selesman suggested i use 3/4 poly as the main line for the drip. his argument is then you don't hvae to worry about how far.

    i put hosebibs at the end of each run for blowouts. open 'er up, and let her go. shut it down, and get the last little bit from the 1/4 inch feeders.
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Had it been installed correctly you would not have stepped on it.Also mabey you should watch where you are walking in garden beds?
    My systems will be flowing without clog-ups or uv breakage for years after the ones that use obsolete emmitors will and they water the root zones completely,are fully adjustable and cleanable and don't drip themselves a hole and leave the far side of the plant dry as a bone and are easier to install and those are facts. :cool2:

    Are you sure the one you stepped on wasen't one of those cheap immitations that so many use?Did it have an arrow on top of the adjustable cap?
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    It said "Shrubbler" on the cap.

    I don't use punch in emmitors, those, like shrubblers, are fragile in my opinion.

    I use 1/4" emitter tubing in a ring around the plant. Nothing will break, and it waters the roots on all sides.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    That stuff clogs up with our water in one season of use.Thats with useing a filter.You wanna talk about fragile wait tell your client decides to work in the garden and pulls those little lines right out with a rake or a hoe.Or a gofer or ground squirrell or rabbit takes a bite outa them.

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