Choosing the Right Product
- How do I choose a pressure regulator?
Drip irrigation systems are designed to operate between 20 and 30 psi. Most household water systems are set between 50-70 psi (or higher). A pressure regulator is required to reduce the household water pressure down to the proper range for drip systems. When choosing between a 20 psi and 30 psi regulator, here are some guidelines:
- Non pressure-compensating emitters: Use 20 psi regulator.
- Fogger mister bubblers: Use a 30 psi regulator.
- Hanging Baskets: Use a 30 psi regulator
- Drip Tape: Use a 10 psi regulator
- How do I choose the right drip emitter (dripper)?
Drip Irrigation design is flexible. There is no perfect solution. However, there are a few guidelines to consider when choosing & comparing drip emitters. The first consideration is pressure compensating vs. non pressure compensating emitters. Pressure compensating emitters contain a silicone diaphragm that is designed to keep the flow rate consistent.
A pressure compensating emitter will deliver the stated flow rate (e.g. 2 gallons per hour) within a pressure range. The output of non pressure-compensating emitters will vary as the water pressure varies. If you plan to install the maximum number of emitters a mainline, you should consider pressure compensating emitters so that you don’t run out of water flow. Non pressure compensating emitters are designed to operate at 20 psi or less, so they should be installed with a 20 psi drip regulator.
Pressure Compensating Emitters
- Deliver the stated gph (gallon per hour) even if pressures range from 10-50 psi
- Works well with elevation changes
- Self-flushing to reduce clogging
Non-Pressure Compensating Emitters
- The output will vary with changes in pressure and elevation
- Less expensive than pressure compensating emitters
- Recommended pressure: 15-20 psi
Chart: Compare all drip emitters
Tutorial: Chosing The Right Drip Emitter
- Is a filter required?
While a filter is not required, it is highly recommended. Even the cleanest water has small particles in it that can clog drip emitters. Micro sprays are especially susceptible to clogging as the orifices in micro spray components are especially small. Debris can enter a municipal water supply if a mainline breaks or when there is new construction in the area. Well or lake water should always be filtered. Without a filter, you may need to manually take apart emitters to clean them and remove debris that would have been caught by an inexpensive filter. Compare and buy filters.
- Is all 1/2" poly tubing (drip mainline) the same?
The short answer is no. Poly tubing may be called “1/2 inch” by manufacturers and retailers but if you look closely you’ll find that the tubing has specific Outer Diameter (OD) and Inner Diameter (ID) dimensions.
Common OD dimensions are:
.700 inches (called “700") Black fittings
.620 inches (called “620”) Green-ringed fittings
.710 inches (called “710”) Blue-ringed fittings
.580 inches (called “580”) Yellow-ringed fittings
.455 inches called "455") Red-ringed fittings
We carry 700 poly tubing and Compression fittings. We also carry fittings and adaptors for many of the common tubing sizes.
If you want to know the size of your existing drip tubing, read What Size Is My Drip Tubing?