Drip Irrigation Tips & Tricks
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Use Teflon tape on pipe threads
For a water-tight seal
Always use Teflon tape with pipe-threaded fittings. Wrap Teflon tape clockwise 4 - 5 times around pipe threads. Hose-thread fittings use a hose washer to make a water-tight seal.
Check hose washers on hose-thread fittings
To ensure water-tight seal
Over time, hose washers can compress or deteriorate, causing fittings to leak. Check garden hoses and fittings for a flexible hose washer. Replace brittle or worn washers. Insert a hose filter washer for a little added filtration in your hose or drip poly tubing. If the fitting still leaks, try adding a second washer. For pipe threads, use Teflon tape.
Upgrade Your Drip Hole Punch & Save Time
A clean cut makes it easier
Some drip irrigation hole punches are shaped like a pencil and simply poke a hole as they push through the drip irrigation tubing. They require more force and can slip off of the drip tubing before they make the hole. The Super Punch (shown here) has a squeeze handle and is only $9.90. A less expensive option is our Deluxe Hole Punch which has a sharp, circular cutting edge. It's comfortable, easy on your hands, and costs only $3.60.
Determine Your Soil Type Before Selecting A Drip Emitter
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil type influences water penetration and runoff. If soil particles are tightly packed (clay soil), water can pool on the surface and eventually flow away from the plants. Water flows quickly through sandy soils. Select low output emitters (1/2gph, 1gph) for clay soil and higher output (2gph, 4gph) for sandy soils. View "Choosing the right Drip Emitter".
Cold Weather Trick for Drip Tubing Installation
Dip the ends in warm water
In cold weather, it helps to dip 1/4" or 1/2" poly drip tubing in warm water for a few minutes. Warm water will soften the ends of the drip tubing before installation. The drip tubing will go onto the fittings easier. Give it a shot the next time you are working with solid drip poly tubing or soaker hose dripline.
Threaded End Caps Make Winterizing Easy
Unscrew cap to flush or drain drip tubing
Install Micro Spray Fittings With a 5/16" Nut Driver
Save wear & tear on your fingers
Adjust Water Flow to Garden Boxes With a Flow Control Valve
1/2" Valve fits over mainline tubing
These drip irrigation valves are great when you have garden boxes or drip areas that you may want to turn off seasonally. You can reduce the flow or shut it off completely. 1/2" Flow Control Valves are installed just like a compression coupler.
Fix Little Holes With a Goof Plug
Doubles as a 1/4" end plug
If you make a mistake and poke a hole in the wrong place on a drip line, insert a goof plug (small barb). If the hole gets worn and leaks a little, pull the plug out and use the large barbed end. Goof plugs are also used to plug the end of 1/4" micro tubing.
Control Water Flow to Flower Pots With This Little Valve
1/4" Flow Control Valve inserts into micro tubing
If you use a drip irrigation system to water hanging baskets or flower pots, put a 1/4" flow control valve on each pot. You can reduce the drip irrigation flow or shut it off completely. It's handy if the pot is has not yet been planted and you don't want to water it.
Check lawn brown spots closely
Disoloration is not always a sign of under watering
Often, overwatering will cause grass to look sickly. Check the soil moisture before making adjustments to your watering schedule. If your lawn has brown spots, it may need fertilizing, aeration, or disease control.
Watch for runoff
Check sidewalks and driveways
Save water in cooler weather
Make Seasonal Adjustments
Create your watering schedule based on mild weather conditions for your area. In most cases this will be in early spring. From there you can use the “Seasonal Adjustment” feature on your controller. For example, in the summer you can increase your overall watering duration, and in the fall you can decrease it.
Fix Big Holes With a Coupler
If a goof plug won't do the trick
If you have a hole in a mainline poly pipe that is bigger than a goof plug, a compression coupling is the fitting to use. Make a clean cut and insert the two tubes into each end of the coupler. No glue required.
Got bugs? Add a bug plug.
Keep insects out of 1/4" tubing
Also called an insect plug, a bug plug lets water out and keeps insects from entering and clogging the tubing. It is inserted into the open end of 1/4" micro tubing.
Sloping Property? Use Pressure-Compensating Emitters
Drip emitters with consistent output
A Paper Clip Quickly Cleans a Hole Punch
Insert the wire to clear the tool
A good hole punch will actually cut a tiny circle out of the drip irrigation tubing. The plug of drip irrigation tubing can be removed from the cutting edge of the punch with a paper clip. Push it through the cutting end to clear any plastic debris.