Retrofitting Existing Sprinklers with Drip Irrigation
Pressure Compensating Emitters
Option 1 - Threaded Bubblers and Emitters
Replace each sprinkler with pressure compensating drip bubblers or emitters and run 1/4” tubing from the riser to your plants. Single-outlet emitters allow you to run 1/4" drip tubing to individual plants. With a 6-outlet drip bubbler on top of a 1/2” riser, you can run up to 6 1/4” drip tubes from the bubbler.
The drip emitters and bubblers operate at 10 psi - 40 psi. Check your water pressure before installing. If your pressure is 40 psi or less, you are good to go. If not, you will need to install a pressure regulator.
There are three drip emitters available: 1/2 gph (red inside), 1 gph (black inside), and 2 gph (green inside). The barbed tip accepts 1/4" drip micro tubing. To install, simply remove the sprinkler from the 1/2" threaded riser. You can screw the emitter directly onto the riser or add a Marlex elbow as described below.
Installation Tip: Use a Marlex Elbow for 90 degree turn
To run the 1/4" tubing parallel to the ground rather than straight up off of the riser, use a Marlex Elbow. This allows the tubing to run flat on the ground and avoids a trip hazard.
STEP ONE: Thread Marlex Elbow onto cut off riser.
Use Teflon tape on pipe threads.
STEP TWO: Thread Emitter onto Marlex Elbow.
STEP THREE: Push 1/4" drip micro tubing onto barbed end of Pressure Compensating Emitter
COMPLETED ASSEMBLY: 1/4" tubing can now be staked next to plant
Pressure Compensating Bubblers
There are up to 6 outlets available on each drip bubbler. Each small outlet distributes 6 gph (black), 10 gph (red), or 20 gph (green). They ship with one outlet open. Cut the tip off of outlets as you need them (see below). To install, simply remove the sprinkler from the 1/2" threaded riser. You can screw the drip bubbler directly onto the riser or add a Marlex elbow as described below.
Installing a Marlex elbow and bubbler
Insert filter (included)
Install Bubbler and attach 1/4" micro tubing
Cut tip off of the outlets you want to use (see below). Run tubing to plants and stake into place.
Installation Tip: Use a utility knife to open bubbler outlets
Use only the outlets you need.
STEP ONE: Cut off the outlet tip.
It may be safer to screw the bubbler onto a 1/2" threaded riser for cutting.
Hold the bubbler against a hard surface and away from your body.
Place the blade against the outlet that you want to open.
Wiggle the blade back-and-forth while applying firm pressure.
STEP TWO: The tip of the outlet will cut off cleanly and is now ready for 1/4" drip tubing.
Micro Spray Adapter
Option 2 - Micro Jet Sprayers
Replace sprinklers with drip micro spray fittings. Swap out the sprinkler with a drip micro spray adapter. The adapter will accept threaded micro spray fittings.
The adapter threads directly onto a 1/2" riser. Micro jet fittings thread into the top.
Micro Jet/Spray fittings operate best between 10 psi - 30 psi. Check your water pressure before installing. If your pressure is 30 psi or less, you are good to go. If not, you will need to install a pressure regulator.
These spray fittings come in a variety of configurations from fixed patterns and outputs to adjustable spray and stream options. Click on any of the micro sprays below for product details.
Micro Spray Adapter Threads onto 1/2" Riser
Micro Sprays Thread into Adapter
One-Piece Micro Spray / Adjustable Stream Spray / Adjustable Micro Spray / Adjustable Rotary Spray
Adding Drip Tubing Supply Line
Option 3 - Cap Sprinklers & Add Drip Regulator to the Supply Line
Cap off all of the sprinklers and add a standard drip system with 1/2” drip tubing and drip emitters. You can leave your irrigation valve in place. Just add a drip regulator, filter and swivel adaptor to the existing PVC line. From there your can add drip mainline tubing and drippers or emitter tubing. We carry a selection of adapter fittings (like the one below) that will help with most connections.
An MH9 adapter elbow (with male hose threads) is glued onto 3/4" PVC pipe. The inline filter, drip regulator, and swivel adapter are then attached.