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In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Irrigation Direct will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 27th & 28th. Website orders placed after 3pm Wednesday, November 26th, will be shipped on Monday, December 1st. (Pacific Standard Time). Pallet and Drop Ship orders may ship next day (Excluding Saturday & Sunday) Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

Choosing the Right Drip Emitter

Four Tips

Four things to consider...

 

1. Pressure-Compensating vs. Non-Pressure-Compensating Emitters

First determine whether or not you need pressure-compensating emitters. They cost a little more but are the best choice for picture of pressure compensating emittermany applications. If your landscape has elevation changes (hills, dips, etc.) go with pressure-compensating emitters. They have a diaphragm inside which maintains the same water flow through the emitter even if the elevation (and pressure) changes.

 

The PCE Series is our best quality pressure compensating emitter.

 

Presssure compensating emitter installed with micro stake Pressure compensating emitter installed on 1/2" drip tubing 1/2 gph (gallon per hour) best for Clay Soils (hard)
1 gph best for Loam Soils (normal)
2 gph best for Sandy Soils (loose)
Self-flushing
Inlet pressure can vary from 14.58 - 58 psi

 


The TC Series "Turbo Style" is our most economical pressure compensating emitter.

 

Presssure compensating emitter installed with micro stakePressure compensating emitter installed on 1/2" drip tubing

     1/2 gph (gallon per hour) best for Clay Soils (hard)
     1 gph best for Loam Soils (normal)
     2 gph best for Sandy Soils (loose)
     Easy to take apart & clean
     Inlet pressure can vary from 10 - 40 psi

 

 

picture of a non-pressure-compensating emitterIf you install non-pressure-compensating emitters in the example above, the emitters on the higher elevations will distribute less water than those at the bottom of the slope. Non-pressure compensating emitters are a great choice for flat landscapes and with gravity-fed drip systems.

 

The TAE Series "Flag Emitter" is our most economical emitter.

Non-Presssure-Compensating emitter installed with micro stakeNon-Pressure-Compensating emitter installed on 1/2" drip tubing

     1 gph (gallon per hour) best for Clay Soils (hard)
     2 gph best for Loam Soils (normal)
     4 gph best for Sandy Soils (loose)
     Easy to take apart & clean
     Must operate between 15 - 20 psi for stated output


2. Drip vs. Spray

Not all drip emitters "drip". If you want to water a broader area, consider a stream or spectrum spray. They are adjustable so you can dial-in the exact spray distance that you require. The output ranges from 0 - 24 gph.

 

Stream Spray EmitterA stream spray emitter distributes water like fingers in either a 360° or 180° pattern. They are adjustable with a radius up to 18 inches. Barb connections allow you to attach them directly to mainline drip tubing. Also available on a 6 inch stake (threaded base too, see "Micro Jets" section below).

 

The SR Series "Stream Spray Emitter" is adjustable with barbed connector.


Adjustable stream bubbler on drip mainline tubing

     Full Circle Diameter from 6" - 3'  Adjsutable stream spray (half circle) installed on drip mainline tubing
     Half Circle Radius from 3" - 18"
     Removable top for cleaning
     Twist cap to adjust stream



 

The SR Series "Stream Spray Emitter" on 6 inch stake.


Adjustable stream bubbler on stake - full circle

     Full Circle Diameter from 6" - 3'  Adjustable stream bubbler on stake - half circle
     Half Circle Radius from 3" - 18"
     Removable top for cleaning
     Twist cap to adjust stream



 

Spectrum Spray Emitter

Spectrum Spray Emitters deliver water in a fine spray with a 360° umbrella pattern. They are good for ground cover, seed plantings, and annual flower beds where you don't want the soil to be dry between plants. Barb connections allow you to attach them directly to mainline drip tubing. Also available on a 6 inch stake (threaded base too, see "Micro Jets" section below).

 


The SM Series "Spectrum Spray Emitter" is adjustable and comes with barbed connector & 6 inch stake (threaded base too, see "Micro Jets" section below).

Spectrum Spray (full circle) installed on drip mainline tubing

     Full Circle - barb Dia. to 5.5 feet  Spectrum Spray on stake - half circle
     Half Circle - stake Dia. to 5.5 feet
     Removeable top for cleaning
     Twist cap to adjust spray




 

Adjustable Micro Jet Sprayer

Micro Jet Sprayers & Micro Stake Assemblies are another choice for watering small flower beds and ground cover. All micro spray products feature 10-32 threads which allow them to be easily screwed into micro stake assemblies and rigid risers (shown below). If you have a lot of micro spray products on one drip line, the total water output can add up fast. Be sure to plan for the maximum output of the products you are using so that you don't run short on flow if you need to open them up all the way. See the chart at the end of this section for micro jet flow rates.

 


The Micro Stake Assemblies are available in 12" and 20 inch lengths.

Micro Stake Assembly with sprayer attached to drip tubing

     12" Stake Assembly   Threading fitting into micro stake assembly
     20" Stake Assembly  
     18" micro tubing attached
     Barb connector included

Micro Stake Assembly

 

 

 


Rigid Riser Extensions can be used to increase the height of  Micro Stake Assemblies. They are available in lengths of 8", 12", and 18".

Rigid Riser Extension for Micro Stake Assembly

    8" Rigid Riser Extension   Threading rigid riser into micro jet stake assembly
   12" Rigid Riser Extension
   18" Rigid Riser Extension
    Riser threads into the top of stake

 

 

 

 

Micro Sprayers come in many configurations. The flow rates for micro sprays can add up fast. See the chart at the end of this section for micro jet flow rates.


1/4 circle adjustable micro spray & riser extention

1/2 circle adjustable micro spray & riser extention

 

 


Full circle adjustable rotary spray & riser extention

Full circle adjustable micro spray & riser extention

 

 

 

Adjustable Stream Bubbler Full Circle:                       Adjustable Stream Bubbler Half Circle:

 

Half circle adjustable stream bubbler & micro jet stake

Full circle adjustable stream bubbler & micro jet stake

 
 
                                          Adjustable Spectrum Spray Full Circle:
 

Full circle adjustable spectrum spray & micro jet stake

 
1-Piece Micro Sprays are available in Full (360°), Half (180°), & Quarter (90°) Circle patterns. We offer two color-coded outputs Full circle 1-piece micro spray on riser extension (red & blue). The blue orifice is smaller (0.040") and distributes less water than the red orifice (0.060").Half circle 1-piece micro spray on riser extension

 

 Half circle (0.040") micro spray - wateringHalf circle (0.060") micro spray - watering

 

2 Piece Micro Sprays made up of bases and caps. Base output varies and caps determine the spray pattern: Full, Half & Quarter (Links to all models below photo):
 Half circle cap & green base on riser extension

Full circle cap & green base on riser extension

 
 

 

Full circle cap on riser extension - wateringHalf circle cap on riser extension - watering


MICRO SPRAY CAP & BASE PERFORMANCE
Black Base, .030" Opening (DD-MSB30)
Arc Pressure Radius Diameter
Flow
  psi ft
ft
gph
DD-MCF
10 - 10.2 4.7
360 Degrees
15 - 13.4 5.9
   20 - 14.7 6.9
25
-  15.6  7.8
  30 - 16.4 8.6
DD-MCH 10 4.4 - 4.7
180 Degrees
15 5.0 - 5.9
  20 5.4 - 6.9
   25 5.6 - 7.8
30  6.7  - 8.6
DD-MCQ 10 4.4 - 4.7
90 Degrees
15 5.7 - 5.9
   20 6.6 - 6.9
25 7.2  -  7.8
  30 7.7 - 8.6
Blue Base, .040" Opening (DD-MSB40)
Arc Pressure Radius Diameter
Flow
  psi ft
ft
gph
DD-MCF
10 - 13.4 7.0
360 Degrees
15 - 15.8 8.9
   20 - 18.2 10.5
25
-  19.6  12.0
  30 - 20.4 13.3
DD-MCH 10 5.2 - 7.0
180 Degrees
15 6.0 - 8.9
  20 6.4 - 10.5
   25 6.6 - 12.0
30  7.0  -  13.3
DD-MCQ 10 4.7 - 7.0
90 Degrees
15 6.1 - 8.9
   20 7.6 - 10.5
25 8.2  -  12.0
  30 8.6 - 13.3
Green Base, .050" Opening (DD-MSB50)
Arc Pressure Radius Diameter
Flow
  psi ft
ft
gph
DD-MCF
10 - 17.4
11.5
360 Degrees
15 - 21.1
14.5
   20 - 22.5
17.2
25
-  23.3  19.5
  30 - 23.8
21.5
DD-MCH 10 5.7 - 11.5
180 Degrees
15 6.6 - 14.5
  20 7.2
- 17.2
   25 7.8
- 19.5
30  8.4  -  21.5
DD-MCQ 10 5.8
- 11.5
90 Degrees
15 7.4
- 14.5
   20 8.4
- 17.2
25 9.1
 -  19.5
  30 9.6
- 21.5
Red Base, .060" Opening (DD-MSB60)
Arc Pressure Radius Diameter
Flow
  psi ft
ft
gph
DD-MCF
10 - 18.4 16.3
360 Degrees
15 - 22.6 20.0
   20 - 25.7 23.5
25
-  26.3  26.0
  30 - 26.7 29.0
DD-MCH 10 6.7 - 7.0
180 Degrees
15 8.1 - 8.9
  20 9.5 - 10.5
   25 10.1 - 12.0
30  10.6  -  13.3
DD-MCQ 10 6.4 - 7.0
90 Degrees
15 8.1 - 8.9
   20 9.4 - 10.5
25 9.8  -  12.0
  30 10.8 - 13.3

 

3. Retrofitting an Existing Sprinkler System

Sprinklers can be converted to drip in a number of ways. Pressure compensating bubblers and emitters can be attached directlypicture of 6-outlet drip bubbler to 1/2" threaded risers. Simply unscrew the existing sprinkler or shrub head and replace it with the emitter or bubbler. Our 6-outlet drip bubblers allow you to run 1/4" drip tubing to up to six plants. The bubblers come with one outlet open. You can cut the tip off of closed outlets with a utility knife. They deliver a lot of Picture of single-outlet emitter for sprinkler retrofitwater and are a good choice for deep-watering trees.

The single-outlet emitters are best for watering individual plants. Both emitters and bubblers can be installed at 90° angles by using a Marlex elbow, as shown in the photos.

 

4. Drip Emitter Tubing vs. In-Line Emitters

Drip Emitter Tubing has drip emitters extruded into the tubing itself. It comes in rolls of 100 feet or more. It is used in row plantings, Close up of 1/2" Drip Emiter Tubingvegetable gardens, and anytime that a long, even-spaced run is required. It can be purchased with 1/2 gph or 1gph emitters at a variety of spacings and comes in 1/4" & Close up of 1/4" Drip Emiter Tubing1/2" (700) tubing sizes.  The emitters in the 1/2" tubing are pressure compensating. They will maintain the same water flow regardless of fluctuations in pressure.  The 1/4" emitters are non-pressure compensating. The water flow will vary with fluctuations in pressure. This makes it a good choice for low pressure and gravity fed systems. It is easily wrapped around trees, shrubs, borders, & flower beds. Install in rows for small vegetable gardens, raised planter boxes, and window boxes.

 

Use scissors to cut 1/4" tubing and clippers to cut 1/2" tubing.



 

 

 

 

 

 



1/4" Drip Emitter Tubing (Soaker Line) is available in the following configurations:

100 foot roll of 1/4" drip emitter tubing

100' roll, 1/2 gph emitters, 6" spacing

100' roll, 1/2 gph emitters, 12" spacing

 

Install with 1/4" barbed fittings. Since the emitters in 1/4" drip emitter tubing are non-pressure-compensatings, the output of each emitter with vary with changes in pressure. We recommend installing a 20 psi regulator.

 

1/4" Drip Emitter Tubing - Operating Specifications

Pressure     Flow Rate Per Emitter

10 psi                0.39 gph
15 psi                0.47 gph
20 psi                0.56 gph
25 psi                0.63 gph
30 psi                0.69 gph

 

1/2" Drip Emitter Tubing (.700" O.D x .600" I.D.) is available in the following configurations:

Roll of 1/2" Drip Emitter Tubing

1/2 gph emitters, 12" spacing - 100' roll

1/2 gph emitters, 12" spacing - 400' roll

1/2 gph emitters, 18" spacing - 100' roll

1/2" gph emitters, 18" spacing - 400' roll

1 gph emitters, 18" spacing - 400' roll

1 gph emitters, 18" spacing - 400' roll

 

Install with 1/2" compression fittings. Since the emitters in 1/2" drip emitter tubing are non-pressure-compensatings, the output of each emitter saty the same, even with changes in pressure.  They are self-flushing and clog resistant. We recommend installing a 20 psi regulator or 30 psi regulator, and a filter with 120 - 150 mesh screen.

Emitter Tubing Guidelines
Tubing Size & Emitter Spacing Pressure Compensating Emitters? Max psi Max Run per branch
Max Run Total           (1/4" is fed from 1/2" mainline)
1/4" Tubing - 6" spacing 1/2 gal/hr
No 30  19 ft
200 ft
1/4" Tubing - 12" spacing 1/2 gal/hr No 30  33 ft
400 ft



 
1/2" Tubing - 12" spacing 1/2 gal/hr Yes 50*   450 ft
1/2" Tubing - 18" spacing 1/2 gal/hr Yes 50*   500 ft
1/2" Tubing - 18" spacing 1 gal/hr Yes 50*   350 ft
* We recommend operating at 20 - 30 psi    

 

Pressure Compensating Emitters

  • Deliver the stated gph (gallons per hour) even if pressures range is 10-50 psi
  • Works well with elevation changes
  • Self-flushing to reduce clogging

Non-Pressure-Compensating Emitters

  • Output will vary with changes in pressure & elevation
  • Works best with flat landscapes
  • Excellent for gravity-fed drip systems

1/2" Compression Fittings

  • Recommended pressure: 10-30 psi
  • Max pressure: 60 psi

 

In-Line Emitters

If you don't have a long run or you have uneven plant spacings, you can make your own custom drip emitter tubing with in-line emitters. Simply cut 1/4" micro tubing to the desired lengths and attach it to the barbs on either side of the in-line emitter.

 

 

 

Compare All Our Drip Emitters

Still not sure which type of emitter to buy? This handy chart should help: Compare all drip emitters.

Last modified: September 21, 2011


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