Installing Drip Tubing & Fittings
Drip Main line tubing, micro tubing, compression & barbed fittings
1/2" Solid Drip Tubing (main line) & Compression Fittings
The most common size of main line drip tubing is "700" - .700" O.D. (Outer Diameter) x .600" I.D. (Inner Diameter). It is often called simply "1/2 inch drip tubing". That said, not all 1/2" tubing is the same size. Confused? Read more about drip tubing sizes in our tutorial called "What size is my drip tubing?". This is the main feeder line for your drip irrigation system. It is used to create manifolds and branch lines. The maximum distance that you can run drip tubing will vary with the number of emitters you install and the spacing between emitters, but here are two conservative guidelines:
Maximum Run per circuit: 200 ft
Maximum Flow Capacity: 240 gph
Our Drip Tubing Maximum Run Chart (PDF) will help you compare different scenarios. The maximum run will increase if you use low-output emitters (1/2 gallon-per-hour). Increasing pressure regulator size from a 20 psi regulator to a 30 psi regulator will also extend the distance that you can run drip main line.
We carry the following sizes of 700 drip tubing:
Install drip tubing with compression fittings. The tubing is inserted into the fitting and requires no glue.
Use clippers to cut 1/2" tubing.
Installing a compression elbow
Installing a compression tee
Installing a compression coupler
Installing a compression end cap (threaded)
Installing a figure 8 end plug
Installing a goof plug. Also, called a "mistake plug", it is great for plugging small holes in drip mainline tubing. If you need to move an emitter or a 1/4" barbed fitting, just pull it out and replace it with a goof plug.
A 1/2" Flow Control Valve allows you to reduce the flow to a drip main line shut it off completely.
Connecting different sizes of drip tubing.
Use adapter compression fittings to join drip mainline tubing of different sizes. Note that colored compression rings correspond to tubing size. For more information on tubing sizes, read "What size is my drip tubing?".
700 (black rings) x 710 (blue rings) - DD-CCA700-710
700 (black rings) x 620 Raindrip (green rings) - DD-CCA700-620
700 (black rings) x 580 (yellow rings) - DD-CCA700-580
700 (black rings) x 455 (red rings) - DD-CCA700-455
Build your own compression fittings
You can easily convert a 1/2" slip PVC fitting to a compression fitting.
Apply PVC glue to 1/2" slip fitting
Apply glue to compression ring
Insert compression ring into PVC fitting
Finished compression ring installation
1/4" Drip Micro Tubing & Barbed Fittings
Also called "distribution tubing" or "spaghetti tubing", the most common size is .250" O.D. (Outer Diameter) x .170" I.D. (Inner Diameter) . It is available in Polyethylene (PE) "Poly" or Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) "Vinyl". 1/4" Vinyl Tubing is heavier than 1/4" Poly Tubing. Vinyl tubing more flexible and easier to work with, but is also more expensive.
This tubing is most often used to branch off from main line drip tubing to individual plants. Drip emitters are attached to the ends of 1/4" drip tubing and staked next to plants. Check out this tutorial to learn about choosing the best drip emitter.
1/4" drip tubing does not have the same water carrying capacity as 1/2" drip tubing. Keep the following restrictions in mind when using 1/4" micro tubing:
Maximum Run per branch: 50 ft
Maximum Flow Rate: 30 gph
We carry the following sizes of 1/4" drip tubing:
Install 1/4" drip tubing with barbed fittings. The barbs are is inserted into the tubing and require no glue.
Use scissors to cut 1/4" solid micro tubing.
Our Deluxe Hole Punch cuts a clean hole in main line drip tubing. 1/4" barbed fittings are inserted into the hole.
Barbed coupling attached to 1/4" micro tubing
Inserting barbed elbow into 1/4" micro tubing
Inserting barbed elbow into drip main line
A barbed cross connects 4 lengths of 1/4" drip tubing
To cap off 1/4" micro tubing, install a goof plug.
A bug plug will keep insects from crawling into 1/4" drip tubing while water flows freely.
A 1/4" Flow Control Valve allows you to reduce the flow to a drip line shut it off completely.
The 1/4" Flow Control Valve can also be attached directly to drip mainline tubing .
Last modified: September 21, 2011