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Drip Irrigation Tutorial


What is Drip How to Start Purchasing Parts Maintenance Troubleshooting Tips

Installation Head Assembly Laying Tubing Drippers Sprinklers Flushing Tubing Ends Testing 1. Basics What is Drip? Drip irrigation has its roots in agriculture, where in many parts of the world it was the only option available for harsh climates with limited water supplies. Its development depended on advancements in polyethylene tubing, and its growth was most rapid in arid and drought-plagued regions. Beginning in the late 1960's farmers discovered that by using drip irrigation they could increase yields while lowering water use. The 80's saw drip irrigation making the transition into commercial landscape with mixed success. In today's market, drip irrigation is well-trusted and used extensively in agriculture, and is actively utilized in commercial landscaping and residential gardening. Drip Irrigation is the slow application of water directly to the plant's root zone using "drippers", which are also referred to as "emitters". Maintaining an optimum moisture level in the soil at all times results in less water lost to the sun and the wind. No water is wasted on non-growth areas, and the root zone is maintained at its ideal moisture level, combining the proper balance of water and air for a very efficient irrigation system. Unlike drippers, "microsprinklers" throw the water over a wide area, and are designed to be used in areas where drippers are not practical, such as large areas of ground cover or flowerbeds. Like drippers, microsprinklers have many of the same benefits, resulting in abundant foliage and less water use. Low volume irrigation offers some key advantages and benefits to both contractors and homeowners. We now know that drip irrigation is the precise and slow delivery water to plants' roots.

Conventional irrigation systems rate sprinklers and bubblers in gallons per minute. Drip irrigation flow rates are in gallons per hour not per minute, because of the low flow from each emitter. For example a lawn sprinkler may be rated at 1 to 5 GPM (gallons per minute), or 60 to 300 GPH (gallons per hour). A drip emitters are usually rated at 1-4 GPH (gallon per hour); a microsprinkler might be rated at 15-45 GPH (gallons per hour). With conventional watering systems, water is lost through run off or evaporation, or blown away by wind, or wasted on non-growth areas. Using drip irrigation, water is absorbed slowly into the soil, directly into the root zone, and no water is wasted on non-growth areas. By placing water just at the root zone of the plant you can water much less and not as often. This method causes the water to be pushed deeper into the soil and helps to promote the plants' roots to grow downward and not just laterally, as they would with shallower watering. The very low flow of water from outlets on a drip system also enables you to water a much larger area from a single water source. Less water usage equals a larger single watering zone. Another advantage of using a low flow drip system is that you do not need high pressure to supply the drippers and microsprinklers. Most drip systems are recommended to run at about 15 to 30 PSI (pounds per square inch). For comparison most houses have water pressure of anywhere from 40 PSI to 60 PSI. The benefit is that you do not have to worry about large pressure drops in your household water flow just because the irrigation system has turned on; for example you will not notice if the system goes on when you are in the shower! Because of this low pressure, drip systems can use tubing and other components that do not require glue, clamps or hard-to-connect components. In fact, most components of a drip system can be moved or reused. This is explained in more depth in other sections There are other details about drip irrigation that make it the only sensible way to water your landscape but here we have provided only a broad overview. To see all the details scroll back up to our main help menu and check out the other sections. How to start We have made an outline below with what we think are the best steps to help you start your drip irrigation project. Please understand that all applications are different and we cannot make this section absolutely perfect for all situations. If you do not find the exact information that pertains to your application, read through this section anyway and you should be able to figure out what you will need to do for your particular needs. Most of all remember this should be fun and relaxing so don't get stressed trying to figure out every little detail. Almost all of the components of a drip irrigation system can be taken apart and reused if you make a mistake. So relax and enjoy!! If you really get stuck drop us a line via E-mail and we will be more than glad to help you out!




Lengend: small shrubs, flowers and groundcover vegetable gardens potted plants trees and large shrubs Water Supply o The first step in planning a system is figuring out the watering zones. To do this you must take inventory of the available water supplies which will feed your zones. (Each watering zone is a complete drip system connected to a water source. The zones may be connected to a multiple zone manifold) If you have a single water source on the back of your house and you need to supply water to 4 watering zones in the front of your house you will have to do some serious considering of your options. Most of the time you will have at least one or two water supplies fairly close to your planned drip system(s). Rules of the Road No matter what else we all have to obey the laws of physics so here we will explain the limitations you can run into. Obey these rules and you will never go wrong! o Rule 1: You cannot exceed your water supply! If you only have 100 gallons per hour (GPH) of water supply (example only) then you cannot make one system/watering zone that uses 200 gallons per hour (GPH). Just

common sense! What we can do in this case is to make more than one watering zone from the same water source ? divide and concur! Rule 2: You must have some water pressure, but not too much! This is for all you gravity feed people. Please take the following link to read our gravity feed section. Now back to pressure. Most homes have between 40 to 60 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). This is just fine for a drip system, in fact it is more than you want but this is good! On a drip system we always want to have the pressure between 20 to 30 PSI. For this we have preset pressure regulators . More on this later... Rule 3: Only a certain amount of water can flow through a given size pipe at a set pressure! This one sounds serious but it is simple and one of the numbers/rules to memorize. As an example, our .700 size polytube at 25 PSI can have only 220 gallons per hour (GPH) flow through it. So even if your water source can supply more the polytube cannot support it. This means that if you have a preset pressure regulator (which is 25 PSI) you can only have a maximum flow rate of 220 GPH from each polytube. This is important because all the water outlets (drippers & microsprinklers) cannot exceed this maximum flow of 220 GPH. All of our products have flow rates listed so it is easy to add up the total water usage from each emitter and microsprinkler. Rule 4: You cannot go an unlimited distance on a single polytube! Even if you have a single dripper at the end of a line you cannot run any distance you want. This is where the laws of physics get in the way again! For every "X" amount of feet you run the polytube (or any pipe) you will loose a certain amount of pressure due to "Friction Loss" (don't ask about friction loss only engineers need to know this stuff!). So anyway you have to obey the maximum line lengths allowed, these are listed for almost all the drippers and microsprinklers we sell. Check the individual products information page to see these. Just as a note, for gardens and landscape applications you should never run into this. You will exceed the maximum flow of 220 GPH first.

Keep these rules in mind and you should have no problems in planning you system. Calculating your water supply. o To plan your system correctly you will need to find out your available water supply (how many gallons per hour your system produces). To do this, follow these steps. 1. Turn on the water supply all the way 2. Place a 5 gallon bucket in the water flow for set amount of time. We will use 30 seconds as an example. 3. At the end of 30 seconds take the bucket out of the water flow. 4. Turn off the water supply. (we know, but..........we gotta say this!) 5. Check the bucket and estimate the amount of water in it. Or measure it with a gallon milk jug. 6. We will use an example ? Let's say 1/2 of the bucket is full, remembering that our bucket holds 5 gallons......1/2 full must be close to 2.5 gallons. Take the amount of water in the bucket and multiply it out so you will know how much it would have been if you left the bucket under the water flow for a full minute. In our example we have 2.5 gallons in 30 seconds, or half a minute. Because we want the number of gallons per minute we use the calculation 2.5x = 5 gallons. If we had gotten 2.5 gallons of water in 15 seconds then we would have done 2.5 gallons x 4, because 15 seconds is _ of a minute. 7. Take your answer from step 6 (above) and multiply it by 60. Our example would be 5 x 60 = 300. The 60 is for 60 minutes because we want to find the Gallons per Hour (GPH) total water available. In our example we have 300 gallons per hour (GPH) available for our system.

Examples: Gallons bucket 1/2 Gallon 1 Gallon 1.5 Gallons 2.5 Gallons of water in the Seconds the water ran To for multiplier 5 Seconds 10 Seconds 15 Seconds 30 Seconds 605 = 12 6010 = 6 6015 = 4 6030 = 2 figure Equation (.5 x 12)(60) = 360 GPH (1 x 6)(60) = 360 GPH (1.5 x 4)(60) = 360 GPH (2.5 x 2)(60) = 300 GPH

Now be aware - if water was being used in another area from the same water source, we would have to anticipate that the actual available water supply will be a little less. This would be the case if someone takes a shower or washes clothes. Generally, this should not really affect us, but keep it in mind if you decide to take your system to the maximum. You should always allow some leeway here! Making your watering zones o Now that you know what amount of water supply you have and the basic rules of physics that limit you you're ready to start planning your watering zones. As we touched on above, a watering zone is a single drip system supplied by a water source. You can have multiple watering zones supplied by one main water source. This is accomplished by using a manifold to regulate each individual watering zone. You will have to determine if you can open and run more than one watering zone at the same time by how much water supply you have on the water source feeding the manifold. Most times you will want to open/run only one watering zone at a time. From your water supply or manifold, your single watering zone will be limited by the amount of water that can flow through the size polytube you use. We will use the most common size of .700 O.D. (outside Diameter) as our example. The limit on this polytube is 220 GPH. Now to see how much of an area you can water with your single watering zone, you must step back and take a look at how you will water each plant or area. It is a good idea to make a drawing of your plants and their location (roughly). Mark next to each plant on the drawing in pencil the flow rate of the dripper(s) or microsprinkler you plan to use. In this way you can then add up groups of plants and make sure the total flow needed will not go over the amount you can supply (220 GPH). Of course if the above was the only thing to estimate or figure it would be just too simple! Now we will expand a little bit more on another factor. One of the other factors to keep in mind when planning your zones is the watering duration. We will not get too deep into this right now, but it does matter when setting up zones. Each zone will be watered for a set amount of time. With this in mind it is wise to divide your zones into plants that will need the same amount of water on the same frequency. The watering frequency would be how often the watering zone would be turned on, for example, once every three days. Some plants will like this and others would die by not getting water often enough. With this in mind you will need to divide up your plants into groups that should be watered with the same frequency. A good example would be a row of shrubs, like privets, that

could be watered once every three days for two hours (example only). Compare this to flowers that need water every day. As you can see these two different groups should not be on the same watering zone because you will either waste water by giving the shrubs too much or the flowers will die......not good in either case. Using the two examples above, plan out the different zones as close as possible so they make sense to you. Remember it is up to you and what you like - along with what your plants like. No matter what is suggested, if you like it and the plants do well.....then do it! Also make sure to look at the next section which will help you decide on either using of microsprinklers or drippers. Drippers or Microsprinklers? We need to start this section off by letting you know it is up to you and what your plants like. There is no exact answer on whether to use microsprinklers or drippers on particular plants. We will suggest what is most common, but the last word is yours and that of the plants. We know of growers that only use drippers on palm trees (we are in San Diego, of course) but one of our employees has found that on his property some grow better with microsprinklers.......go figure! o Common usage is as follows. Shrubs, larger plants and some trees do better with drippers while ground cover, smaller flowers, flowerbeds and some trees with shallow root zones like microsprinklers. o The good and the bad The good thing about using microsprinklers is that they cover a large area all at once without having to place a ton of drippers in polytube. The bad thing is that they can water more area than you need, which can promote weed growth. o About Drippers. Drippers come in two basic styles: pressure compensating (PC) and non-compensating. Pressure compensating (PC) drippers will give you the same amount of water flow within a range of pressure. A dripper will be rated something like this: will give 1 GPH between 15 and 55 PSI. Pressure compensating (PC) drippers are made in a way that they can automatically flush themselves out during startup and shutdown, to a certain degree of course. This equates to a longer lifespan and more constant flow during the lifetime of the dripper. These drippers should be used on larger systems where the goal is to maximize the amount of polytube length and total drippers on a single line while maintaining a very close flow from each dripper. They are also better if slight elevation differences occur in the system. These drippers are more expensive than other types. Non-compensating drippers will give you the same amount of flow depending upon the pressure at each dripper. In other words the higher the pressure the more flow the dripper will give. The lower the pressure the less flow the dripper will give. These drippers cannot self flush and need very good filtration to work well over a longer period of time. The life span is less than the compensating drippers and elevation differences cause pressure differences that will cause drippers to give slightly different flows. These drippers work well for smaller systems where water quality is good and no elevation differences occur.

About microsprinklers Microsprinklers are rated by the water flow, the wetting area in diameter or radius and also the degree of spray it gives. The diameter is the distance across a full circle. The radius is the distance from the center of the circle to the edge. The degree of spray is the portion of a full circle it will water. a 360 sprinkler is a full circle. A 180 is a half circle and a 90 is a quarter of a circle. Microsprinklers come in all different flow rates and diameters from the very small to the very large, along with various degrees of spray. You will have to match up the microsprinkler with the area you wish to water by evaluating the diameter and the degree of the spray it gives plus the amount of flow needed for the plant. Note that some microsprinklers have a set degree of spray and some have interchangeable heads to adjust to other degrees or spray patterns. Most of the time, if the sprinkler has these interchangeable heads we include all of them with the purchase of the sprinkler. AND there are also adjustable sprinklers that you can adjust the degree of spray yourself without changing parts. AND there are also adjustable sprinklers for the amount of flow you can have.

Whew! That's enough for here.

Purchasing your parts Start Small We suggest too many customers that the best way to start out is to install a single watering zone first. This way you familiarize yourself with the components and see how everything works together. Remember that drip irrigation has a very small learning curve but it all starts when you actually begin installation! If you try to design a complete drip irrigation system on paper, you will very quickly get lost in the details trying to plan it all without ever installing something. Actually working on a small section will give you experience and confidence; it is really much easier to install then we are making it sound! Starting the project will also let you see how the products work and will help you plan the needs of the rest of the landscape. Of course, it will also show you what other products you need to buy to complete the system. A really good way to start installing a drip system is as follows.

1. Purchase the items needed for the first section ? we suggest starting with one of our complete kits
such as K009 which contains everything you need from the spigot to the end of the line. A complete large drip system for shrubs, trees and groundcover. 2. At the same time purchase one or two different drippers, microsprinklers or other components you anticipate using in other areas. 3. Install the first section and get it complete and working correctly. 4. Find a place where you can install the other components used elsewhere and test them to see if they will be right. By doing the above you might see that things work a little differently than expected and save yourself from purchasing large quantities of items that may not really work perfectly for your application. Believe us we are also being selfish here as this helps to cut down on returns, helping us to keep prices low for you! In this case we help each other.

Complete Kits Our complete kits are a very smart way to introduce yourself to drip irrigation. Each kit has all the components included to simply hook the system up to a hose bib and start watering. With these kits you can install just the items which you need or everything that is included. You can also add other items later that can be purchased individually. This is the easiest way for a beginner to get started! Knowing that all the needed items are included gives you piece of mind and being able to expand and add too the system later makes it an all around smart choice.

What Do I Have to Have? Making sure you have all the components for your system is always important! There is no easy way to address this but we thought we could make a simple list suggesting some basic points to check on your list. Remember each system uses specific components so we cannot list all the individual part numbers, only the areas to check.

1. Head

Assembly or Manifold. Be sure to check our Head Assembly section and then next walk through the parts one by one checking the water inlet thread type and the water outlet thread type. There is nothing more frustrating than having the correct parts only to find out they have the wrong thread types on them and they cannot be assembled. We know because this has happened to all of us. Other things to make sure you have included with a Head Assembly are as follows. 1. Water Connection - You must make sure the water source will connect with the correct thread types. 2. Backflow ? Some city codes require the use of a backflow device. This keeps the irrigation water out of the drinking water supply for the house. This is especially important if you plan on adding an automatic fertilizer applicator/filter. 3. Filter - A must have! This keeps debris out of the drip system and helps maintain clogfree drippers and microsprinklers. 4. Pressure Regulator - Another must have! Pre-set or adjustable, this maintains the water at the ideal pressure (PSI)... if the PSI is too high it can blow the heads and drippers right off the system! 5. Polytubing Adapter - You must be able to connect from a threaded fitting to polytube compression fitting! 2. Mainline tubing and fittings. You can use anything from 1/4" microtube (if doing potted plants only) all the way to 1" polytube. Most homeowners will be using 1/2" polytube as a mainline; make sure you get enough tubing

3. 4.

5. 6.



along with all the fittings for your layout. We do suggest (and not just to make sales) you purchase one or two extra of each fitting you anticipate needing. You will find that during installation there can always be changes due to unforeseen factors. Being short one or two $0.55 pieces is more than frustrating!! Stakes Something which is not critical, but very helpful in laying down your polytube and keeping it in place. Emitters & Microsprinklers . Always double check to make sure you have enough of each - and even a couple extra. You would not believe how many times all of us have either lost a couple of these or added a few while installing a system. polytube Punch This hurts sooooo much when forgotten. Remember that a nail will not work and can cause major leaking!! This is important with a system that regulates water like a drip system! Microtube & 1/4" Fittings If you use microtube connected to the 1/2" mainline polytube you have to use some kind of 1/4" fitting! Also remember to get the small microtube holding stakes S003 or S005 so the ends do not get moved around from where you place them. Goof Plugs Well it is not critical if you have these or not but if you do not have them..........don't GOOF! These are used to seal holes made by the polytube punch. If you want to move a dripper use one of these to seal the old hole. Our model number is SF007 for a strip of ten (10) individual plugs. Line Ends We must close off the ends of the lines! We have the A006 Figure "8" style and the LF013 a Compression End Cap style.

There's So Much! (I know I'll forget something!) Nobody's perfect! There can always be something forgotten from an order and we understand this just as good as the customer. If you check the list above for the basic components you should be alright. We do suggest to taking note of our suggestions throughout this section to purchase one or two extra of certain items, we say it from experience! The other thing to keep in mind is the next section on freight costs. Shipping a whole bunch of items together in one order is very cost effective. Shipping just one or two small items is not cost effective at all. If you are missing one or two items try and add them to an order for your next area, if not we will be more than glad to send them out but a minimum freight charge is $3.50 via USPS Priority Mail.

Maintenance Winterizing The only time you need to do anything for winter is if your area freezes or has hard frost. What you need to worry about is the water freezing in any of the components. To fix this all you need to do is empty out the water from your system, this can be done any number of ways. Much of how you do this depends on your system configuration and your own preferences. Here are some basics. First you will want to open something on your head assembly or to disconnect it if you will be taking it inside for the winter. This is done to allow air into the system to replace the water you will be draining out. If you have a controller on your head assembly we would suggest taking the complete assembly inside a garage or storage area. Next open all the 1/2" polytube line ends and allow the water to drain out. If this will not drain all the water you can use a LOW PRESSURE air hose or you can even blow into the tube to push out the remaining water. You do not need to get every little bit of water out, just so the hose is empty. Remember water expands when it freezes, so it could split the tube if enough is left inside.

Once you have all the water out, replace the line ends so the ends are sealed, you do not want dirt getting in through the ends. If you have removed the head assembly to be stored inside, you need to seal off the polytube end that was attached to the head assembly. Like before, we want to make sure no dirt will get into the system. If you do not remove the head assembly make sure to drain out the filter canister, valves and other components which may hold water. In the spring, make sure to flush out the system just like a new system. By doing so you should have no problems. Filtration Filters should be checked and flushed on a regular basis. How often you should do this depends on how much debris your filter takes out of the water, in other words how dirty your water is. When your system is new check after a few days to see what kind of dirt has been caught in the filter. If there is really nothing go ahead and check again in a month or two. Just make sure to take out the screen and rinse it out under clean water when it needs it. This will keep your system running smoothly for a long time. Remember filtration is one of the most important parts of a drip system, treat it as such! Drippers Drippers really do not need any kind of regular maintenance. There are models which come apart and can be cleaned. To do this take them apart and rinse under clean water. For stubborn dirt use an old toothbrush. Sometimes drippers will just get clogged up with hard water deposits or dirt and it almost always is easier to replace them. Most drippers will give you a few years of good service before any kind of problems arise. For example, we have very hard water here in San Diego and in our experience we have had drippers working for 6 years or more! Microsprinklers Microsprinklers are like drippers, as they do not require any special maintenance unless there is a problem. One of the things you will run into most often is the need to adjust the spray direction if they have moved. The other thing may be hard water deposits on the deflectors or nozzles. With some sprinklers this residue can be cleaned off, and others may need to replace occasionally. This does not mean you will have to do this every year or even two; it all depends on your water quality. Just check how they work every once in awhile. Controllers Controllers need very little beyond taking them inside during the winter and checking the condition of the batteries. We suggest replacing the batteries every year just to make sure they will always be good. The health of your plants is worth the small investment! Valves Valves can be affected by debris in the water which could collect over time. This can be fixed by disassembling the valve and cleaning it. All the valves we sell can be taken apart and cleaned. We do suggest using the "blow-a-part" drawing in the instruction manual or finding the information page for the valve you purchased. This will show you the way the parts go back together. BE CAREFUL!! There are some very small parts and all of them are needed to make the valve work correctly.

Troubleshooting Head Assembly Most of the problems with head assemblies have to do with installing components in the wrong order, with wrong thread combinations or because the component was installed backwards and the water flow direction is wrong. Of course there is always the chance of a defective product. If you check all of these things you can figure out most of the problems yourself pretty easily.

1. Pressure





Regulators Pressure regulators seem to have only a few things which happen to them. The reason there are not many is because of the high quality components we stock. We have seen lesser quality products with many more problems, which we refuse to sell. Breaking: This can happen if you try to screw the preset regulator on really tight, don't! The regulator is made of two pieces that are sonically wielded together. If you try to tighten a preset regulator too much it will crack, that's it, no doubt about it! So don't use tools ? only tighten the pressure regulator with the strength of your hands. Leaking: There is a small hole in the side of the preset regulators which is needed for the unit to work properly. Sometimes you will see a little water drip out and this is normal. If you get a steady stream out of this hole try to seal it with your finger then let go. Do this a few times and see if it stops it. Most times this will work; it is just the new diaphragm seating with a little help from you. Also try turning on and off the system a few times. If you cannot get the leak to stop check the water flow direction! If the water flow direction is correct and the above tricks do not work contact us because it is defective. Take note: defects are far and few between! One of the solutions proposed above will likely solve the problem. Backflow Devices The backflow could have some water leak out of it during normal operation; once again it should not be a large amount or a steady stream. If this happens try turning the system on and off. Also check for the correct water flow direction. Be careful when you install the backflow because if you try to tighten it too much it will crack, too! Take note that when the system is turned off and the pressure drops the backflow will open up and release water. If your system tubing is above the level of the backflow then you will get quite a bit of water coming out of it. This is how the backflow works and is part of the normal operation. Filters Filters should have no problems ? just be sure to use enough Teflon tape on the threads for connections to components which DO NOT have "O" rings or rubber washers. Three to four wraps of the Teflon tape should work but a few more, if needed, are OK too. Just try not to overdo the tape as an excessive amount can cause the components it is screwed into to break. Be sure to keep the tape out of the water passages as they can break free over time and plug the filter. Once again make sure the water flow direction is correct! If the filter leaks from the center of the body, try to tighten it by screwing it together. If this does not work open it up and check to make sure the large "O" ring is installed. If the cap on the bottom leaks, try to tighten it and also look for a washer in it. Valves As always check the water flow direction. This is the most common mistake made. There should be an arrow molded into the body of the valve on the outside of the threads. Also check the section below for controllers. If you have leaks at the water connections try using a little more Teflon tape and always make sure you are using a component with pipe threads! Be sure to keep the tape out of the water passages as they can break free over time and plug the valve. Polytube Connectors Be really careful that you are using the correct thread combination here; this is a common problem because of the different types of polytube connectors. Remember there is hose thread and pipe thread connectors. Also make sure the compression end is the correct size for the polytube you are using. We carry multiple tubing and connector sizes so match them up correctly. All fittings are rated by the outside diameter of the polytube. If you need help feel free to contact us!

Filtration Filters should be checked and flushed on a regular basis. How often you should do this depends on how much debris your filter takes out of the water, in other words how dirty your water is. When your system is new, check after running it a few days to see what kind of dirt has been caught in the filter. If there is really nothing, go ahead and check again in a month or two. Just make sure to take out the screen and

rinse it out under clean water when it needs it. This will keep your system running smoothly for a long time. Remember filtration is one of the most important parts of a drip system, treat it as such! Drippers Drippers really do not need any kind of regular maintenance. There are models which come apart and can be cleaned. To do this take them apart and rinse under clean water. For stubborn dirt use an old toothbrush. Sometimes drippers will just get clogged up with hard water deposits or dirt and it is almost always is easier to just replace them than to clean them. Most drippers will give you a few years before any kind of problems arise. For example, we have very hard water here in San Diego and in our experience we have had drippers working for 6 years or more! Microsprinklers Microsprinklers are like drippers as they do not require any special maintenance unless there is a problem. One of the things you will run into most often is the need to adjust the spray direction if they have moved. The other thing may be hard water deposits on the deflectors or nozzles. On some sprinklers you can clean this off and others may need to be replaced occasionally. Occasionally does not mean every year or even two, it all depends on your water quality. Just check how they work every once in awhile. Controllers Controllers need very little beyond taking them inside during the winter and checking the condition of the batteries. We suggest replacing the batteries every year just to make sure they will always be good. It is worth the small investment! Valves Valves can be affected by debris in the water which could collect over time. This can be fixed by disassembling the valve and cleaning it. All the valves we sell can be taken apart and cleaned. We do suggest to use the "blow-a-part" drawing in the instruction manual or to find the information page for the valve you purchased. This will show you the way the parts go back together. BE CAREFUL!! There are some very small parts and all of them are needed to make the valve work correctly. Fertilizer Applicators We will be the first to admit that we are not 100% up on all the troubleshooting techniques for the fertilizer applicators and will be working with the manufacturer to expand this listing. Most of the information which will help you is in the instructions provided with each unit. Comparing how you have installed your unit with the instructions should be your first step in troubleshooting. Just remember the fertilizer is released very slowly. Soaker Tape & Dripper Line Soaker tape should not have many problems; the biggest thing is good filtration to keep the drippers from clogging. The drippers cannot be replaced and nothing can be inserted into the tape walls. The most common problem with tape is with longer single lines. Here there is a tendency for the line to "Snake". This is where the line will be laid out straight and then after a day or two the line is not straight but curvy with drippers no longer next to plants. This is caused by the expansion and contraction of heat and cold. To keep this from happening place a wooden stake about a foot past the end of the row and use twine or string to tie the end of the tape to the stake. This will hold the line in place. Be careful how tight you make this. If done when it is hot the tape will be at its longest and when it gets cold the tape will shrink. If it is tied too tight the contraction of the tape can pull the main line toward the stake. Use a happy medium and think about having the mainline staked down also. Dripper line can have the same "Snakeing" problems which can be solved the same as the above solution for soaker tape. We would suggest that with dripper line you look into using one of the flush valves to keep fine sediment from building up in the lines.

Misting We have not had much experience with the misting products yet so our troubleshooting tips are few at this time. We would suggest looking through the information provided on the individual product pages. This information will provide most of the information we now know. As we use our own systems and come up with any information we will add it here. The best piece of advice we can offer is to make sure and use a 200 mesh filter for the misters. The water outlet orifices are very small and need good filtration. If you do have a problem with a mister clogging the misters can be taken apart and cleaned.

Tips Head Assembly Watch your thread combinations!! Make sure you put together the same kinds of threads. These can be pipe thread or hose thread. These two types are not compatible and one will strip out if forced together. Check the water flow direction on each component! Water must flow in the correct direction for most items to work at all. Items that should be mounted in a certain direction will be marked somewhere on the body. Use only Teflon tape to seal connections. Only use Teflon tape on components where neither one has an "O" ring or rubber washer. Do not over tighten! Hand tight should be just fine on most items. Test for water flow on the head assembly before connecting to the polytube. Head assemblies will leak some water. Head assemblies are not recommended for indoor use unless drainage is provided in case of leakage or component failure!!! Any head assemblies connected directly to a hose bib/hose faucet should be supported by something to help keep the weight of the assembly and water inside it from breaking a component. Check our valve assemblies for connecting with a hose.

Filtration Clean the screen inside the filter as often as needed. Having too much debris on the screen will hinder the water flow or block it completely. With extremely dirty water you might need to use multiple filters. For example, you would start with a course filter to gather the large debris, and then use a filter with a more fine mesh screen to collect smaller pieces of dirt. In some cases this may not even work and you should check into an automatic flushing filter. Contact us for more information. Use only Teflon tape for the threaded connections. On filters with a 3/4" MHT (Male Hose Thread) flush cap you can replace the cap with our A020 Ball Valve . This makes it easy to flush the filter. All of our stock filters have the MHT cap. For non-stock you will need to check the model for the correct thread type. Filters can be mounted in any orientation, up, down or sideways. To flush the best when using the flush cap, more dirt will be expelled if the filter body is facing down. Make sure the water flow is in the same direction as the arrow on the filter. To clean the filter screen, try using an old toothbrush while rinsing under clean water. If you place fertilizer inside the filter, make sure to clean the screen after the fertilizer has been used up. The fertilizer will leave some residue on the screen. Always make sure to drain the filter before any winter freezes!


It does not matter how drippers are mounted on the polytube but we have found that mounting them on the side works best. Having them on the side allows for water to spill out easy and keeps hard water deposits from collecting as quickly. It also allows you to visually see the water flow which makes inspection easier. If you mount the dripper on the bottom facing into the dirt it could allow for dirt to get into the dripper. If your drippers squeak on start up it is just the air in the system escaping.....nothing to worry about. Always follow the maximum line length charts for the drippers you use. Going beyond these parameters will give you poor performance from the drippers. Drippers are color coded for flow rates. This allows you to easily see what flow rates you have installed. If you have elevation differences on your system use the pressure compensating (PC) model drippers. If the elevation differences are major you need to check the pressures at different elevations. The pressures need to be within the drippers pressure rating for them to work correctly. If the pressures are too great you may need to split your system into zones of smaller elevation differences. Try not to space drippers closer than 12" apart on 1/2" polytube.

Microsprinklers When installing microsprinklers, try to have the system installed and working. With the water turned off install your first microsprinkler. Turn the water back on and see exactly how much area it covers. From this point you will have a much better idea of the spacing needed on the remaining sprinklers. We like to install about three or four after the first and then turn the system back on to test the coverage. Remember you can always move them later if needed by plugging the hole with a SF007 Goof Plug . Take care when placing sprinklers so they will not be blocked by future growth of plants right next to them. We suggest using the thicker walled tubing of .160 x .270 like our T008. This helps hold the sprinkler better. Try to always place sprinklers facing away from buildings, fences and walls so these objects won't be stained by the water over time. If using sprinklers in larger potted plants face the sprinkler downward using a S001 clip stake. Check that you purchase the correct stake for the sprinkler you will be using. Wind can affect the spray from microsprinklers. Try to water during a part of the day when there is normally no or very little wind.

Controllers Follow all the instructions provided for programming and maintenance. Take inside during harsh winter weather. This applies only to areas where it freezes. Batteries can last over 1 year and sometimes up to two years. We suggest replacing them every year......we do it for the health of our plants! Batteries will last depending on how often the controller cycles on and off valves. More cycles equals less battery life, fewer cycles equals more battery life. Make sure to keep all covers closed. If you have a multiple zone controller you can cover the wire connections with Vaseline to repel any moisture. This is the single best thing you can do to extend the life of the controller. The battery compartment has an "O" ring to seal it so these connections do not need any Vaseline. Single station controllers have no connections outside the sealed areas and need nothing applied.


Install a filter before the valves. If your valve works fine for an extended period of time and then stops it may need to be cleaned. If you take it apart to be cleaned make sure to use the exploded drawing provided in the instructions or on our web site. There are many small pieces and "O" rings which must be installed correctly for the valve to work. If your yellow puppet inside the bayonet has come out and you are not sure which direction it goes back just remember that the spring side faces downward or toward the valve. The small clips on the side of the puppet are to hold it in during assembly and can be used or not, it will not affect the operation. The biggest single reason for a valve not working after reassembley is because of a missing "O" ring between the bayonet and the valve. This "O" ring is very small so be careful!

Fertilizer Applicators Please follow all directions supplied with your unit. Small details matter with these products. Always install the fertilizer applicator AFTER a backflow device! Only use 100% water soluble fertilizer.

Soaker Tape & Dripper Line On long lines of soaker tape stake down the mainline and the line end to keep it from snaking due to expansion and contraction. Use good filtration and consider using a flush valve on line ends to increase the life span of drippers.

Misting Use a minimum of a 200 mesh filter screen for misting systems. Try to mount misters high enough so the mist does not fall directly onto people. You want the mist to evaporate before falling on someone. Try to mount misters on the perimeter of an area to be cooled. The humidity in your area will define how well a misting system works to cool an area. Places with high humidity will not have as great a cooling effect as places with very low humidity. Installation Your head assembly Basic Components The components of a head assembly can be few or many depending on the needs of your system. The most common are shown in the drawings below. Use these drawings as a starting point for your basic needs. These drawings all show the head assembly connected to a hose bib. By using a different backflow devise or one of our adapters you can connect to just about any threaded water source connection. Typical Hose Bib Assemblies A. Parts starting from hose bib--- A 1) Anti-siphon device with hose threads #A015 2) Pressure regulator with hose threads #A013 3) Swivel adapter X .700 poly #LF003


B. Parts starting from hose bib--- B 1) Anti-siphon device with hose threads #A015 2) Pressure regulator with hose threads #A013 3) 3/4" in-line "Tee" filter #F001 4) Swivel adapter X .700 poly #LF003

C. Parts starting from hose bib--- C 1) Battery operated hose end timer #9001EZ 2) Anti-siphon device with hose threads #A015 3) 3/4" "Y" Style Filter with hose threads F300 4) Pressure regulator with hose threads #A013 5) Swivel adapter X .700 poly #LF003 What It Does The head assembly has the job of making the water ready to use by a drip system. The first thing is to make sure that any water that enters the system stays there. This is the job of the backflow device. The backflow keeps any water which passes it from going back into the water supply lines. This becomes very important if your water supply is your house water! This is very important if you use fertilizer in your drip system. You would not want any fertilizer in the water you drink! We could have an automatic control valve. In this case, the anti-siphon device should be installed after the battery-operated timer, as shown in illustration C. One of these will let you turn the water on and off automatically. This is more important than most people think. Drip systems when operating are not as easy to notice as conventional sprinklers because all that is coming out is a small stream from each dripper. You would not be the first person to leave a drip system on for a couple of days by mistake! And no, you do not leave drip systems on all the time!! Caution here! Leaving the system on for extended periods of time may cause damage if located in an area where excessive water can do harm. The third item would be the filter. You may think that drinking water has got to be fine.....you drink it anyway, right? Not really. Even household water can have small particles in it that you do not notice and are big enough to plug drippers. If you notice most faucets in your house have what is called an "airator", which is just a screen. If you ever take one of these out you will most likely find larger particles than you expect. Filters become more important on older homes because of the possible buildup of sediment in the

water Be safe and use a filter!


The fourth item in line is the pressure regulator. Most household water pressure is anywhere between 40 PSI to 60 PSI with some homes even higher. Most homes have a pressure regulator before the water goes to the piping inside the house, which is usually set between 40 to 60 PSI. Note that a drip system works best with water pressure of 20 to 30 PSI. There are a few reasons for needing less pressure. First is that the outlets, like drippers and microsprinklers, are made to work the best between these pressures. They need to regulate water to a small area trying to wet the area quickly. The second reason is because all the drip components do not use glue or clamps. If you allow high pressure in the system you will have problems with drippers and fittings popping off. In some circumstances you could need a little higher pressure. This is most common when you will be running PVC pipe from your head assembly to a distant location; it is a common experience to a pressure drop due to the long run of PVC. By the time the water delivered by the PVC pipe reaches the drip components, the pressure could have dropped to an unacceptable pressure. For this we offer adjustable pressure regulators. Fifth is the polytube adapter. This part simply changes over from the threaded fittings of the head assembly to the Spin Loc or compression type fittings that connect polytube. These could be for 1/4" microtube all the way up to 1" polytube. See our polytube fittings page for the .700 size and our 1/4" microtube size. Water Flow Issues You must pick the correct size head assembly components for your water flow needs. Most homeowners will do just fine with 3/4" size head assembly components but this is an issue to be aware of and there are some tricks we can offer also. The 3/4" size here refers to the components that make up the head assembly as mentioned above. This is the size of the water passage in each of the components. Valves are rated by the pipe size they connect to, as do all the other components. A 3/4" size head assembly will allow only a certain amount of water flow through it at a given pressure. At a certain point it will not allow any more through no matter what pressure is pushing the water. The real limitation is not always the size of the head assembly, but the size of the pipe it flows into. Case in point: We have told you the limitation of the .700 size polytube at 25 PSI is about 220 GPH (Gallons Per Hour). Now the 3/4" size head assembly will allow more than this but it will not matter.......unless! Unless you can divide the water coming out of the 3/4" head assembly into two (2) different .700 size polytubes *BEFORE* it is reduced down from a 3/4" size water passage. Just in case we lost you here it is again. The head assembly is 3/4" and the .700 polytube is smaller - so if we can divide the flow while it is still flowing through a 3/4" size opening we can actually supply more than the 220 GPH to a single watering zone!! To do this we would use part #LF009 which is a 3/4" FNPT swivel x .700 compression x .700 compression fitting. This means that the LF009 has a water inlet of 3/4" in size and divides it into two (2) . 700 size water outlets. This allows you to have two .700 polytubes coming from a single head assembly with a maximum flow rate of 1,560 GPH on our 3/4" DC solenoid valve. Please remember this is a specification maximum and not a "real world" maximum. You will have other components which may not allow this type of maximum flow, as an example one of our 3/4" stock filters only allows "up to" 720 GPH. You will also still only be able to have 220 GPH flowing through each .700 polytube so your "real world" maximum would be 440 GPH anyway. These numbers will also be constrained by your available water supply. This would be your "Bottom Line" maximum flow. However this does show you a way to get the maximum out of a single head assembly however.

If you will be using a head assembly and connecting it to PVC on the water outlet side make sure the head assembly components are all the same size as the PVC so you can get the maximum flow allowed. This situation could be needed if you have very large areas to water which can all use the same watering frequency and duration. You would have a main line of PVC and connect to it in different locations to run polytube. Just remember that the available water supply will always be your base limitation and you cannot exceed this no matter what! Also take note that if you have a 3/4" size supply line it will do no good at all to have a 2" size head assembly........just sort of makes sense! There are many other points we could make here but this will do for all but the commercial grower. Multiple Zone Assemblies / Manifolds Multiple zone manifolds are just multiple head assemblies which draw water from the same water source. What makes this special is the fact that more than one zone is run off a single water supply. This in itself does not seem so special but when you combine this fact with the fact of only using a single backflow and a single filter it adds up to some saved $$'s......Ahhh now your reading closer! You can combine this money saving option with more savings if you automate the manifold using a single 4 station DC controller to operate up to four DC valves or a 6 station AC controller to operate up to six AC valves! To really understand this check our valves page, then look at some of the info pages for the pictures of manual and automated assemblies. This picture here will give you an idea but seeing them all will help you understand even more. This picture is a 4 valve automated manifold which can connect to a garden hose or PVC, model VA006 . As you can see it would weigh quite a bit and even more filled with water so please do not even think of attaching it directly to a hose faucet, something will break before you even turn on the water! The only real issue we need to address here is the available water supply. You can only have as many valves open (running) at one time as you can supply with the available water. We normally suggest only running one at a time to be on the safe side. Putting A few basic rules and tips. It Together

1. Any male threads that go into another part, which *DO NOT* have a washer or "O" ring need to have a few wraps of Teflon tape applied to them. 2. Only use enough Teflon tape to seal the threads, three wraps are enough for most but if leaks occur more can be applied. Be careful, too much Teflon tape can cause components to crack! 3. Only hand tighten components! Most components only need to be hand tightened, sometimes a quarter turn applied with a wrench is OK but be extremely careful! 4. Check the water flow direction on all items. All items that need to be installed in a certain direction will have an arrow molded into or printed onto the body of the part. Look carefully, some can be hard to see. Common parts where direction matters are backflow ,pressure regulators ,filters and valves . 5. Always have the backflow as the first component! 6. Always have the pressure regulator *AFTER* any automated valve! 7. Only connect a fertilizer applicator *AFTER* the backflow!! 8. Always help support a head assembly which connects directly to a hose faucet. Place a brick(s) or cinder block(s) under it to take the weight off the hose faucet. 9. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use plumber's putty, paste or anything other than Teflon Tape!!

10. Never use indoors unless drainage is available in the case of a component failure!! 11. Pressure regulators and backflows can and will leak some water during normal operation! Howver a steady stream is not normal in either situation. (Check our Troubleshooting section for more details) Testing Testing your head assembly It

To test your head assembly you should have it connected to the water supply and the water supply on, leave the connection to the drip system off. Turn on the assembly and check the water flow. Not much to see here! If the water flows through strongly it should be fine. Next connect the drip system and turn on the assembly. This time check for leaks and make sure your drip system is flowing water from all the drippers and microsprinklers. If this is the first time turning on the water to the drip system, make sure to leave the line ends off to flush the entire system of any dirt which may have entered during assembly. Then close off the line ends and check for leaks at the head assembly while making sure the drippers and microsprinklers are working, also. Using The joy of a completed job done right! It

If you have a manual head assembly you will need to turn the water on and off by hand. If it is a multiple zone assembly you will have some type of ball valves for each zone and again you will have to turn them on and off by hand. It is a good idea to write down a schedule to refer to. Plants will always do better if watered on a regular schedule with the same watering duration each time. If you have an automated head assembly, single or multiple, your job will be much easier. Set the controller for each watering zone to water the frequency you like and the duration. That's it! TIP: You should play around with the watering frequency and duration to find the best combination for the plants on each zone. Just remember it is better to start with too much water and cut back slowly until you see the plants look stressed, then increase it just a little. As the plants grow they will need more water so keep this in mind also. Keep in mind that what a plant needs to survive is less than what it needs to grow vigorously. If maximum growth is what you want then make sure to give the plant more water than what you would give for it to just survive, check with a local nursery to see what they suggest for a particular plant in your location.

Laying out tubing Tips Before You Start This whole section might seem like a lot of nothing at first glance. You may be surprised at just how much information will be given here and how the simple job of laying out your tubing relates to many other things on your system. As always planning beforehand is very important and knowing a few tricks helps also. 1. Warm the tubing in the sun before you start. Polytube is flexible, but it is even more so as it gets warm. Having the tubing warm in the sun is quick because it is black and collects the heat. Even on cool sunny days it will warm up more than the air temperature. Once the tubing is warm it will lay flat much easier and you will not have to fight with it. It will also need fewer stakes to hold it in place. Once the tubing is in place and has been there for a few days it will form to the shape it is in and not want to twist or move anymore.

2. Unroll the tubing!!! We cannot tell you how important this is. If you just pull one end out of the coil without unrolling it you will have many "kinks" in the tubing and these are very hard to get rid of! Remember kinks in the tubing will block the water passage and if bad enough will not allow any water past them. Take the coil of tubing and place one end under a large rock or cinder block where you want the end to be. Then roll the coil of tubing along the ground. This will allow the tubing to be dispensed the same as it was coiled at the manufacturer which helps avoid making kinks in it. You can also hold the coil in your hand and unroll it as you go. 3. Have a good sharp pair of pruning shears to cut the tubing with. You need to make good clean cuts on the polytube. Also make sure your cuts are square and not angled. This will make inserting the polytube in fittings much easier. You may think of using a knife.......not a good idea, we have tried and we were lucky to come away with all our fingers! 4. Grab a cinder block to hold one end of the tube as you lay it out, small bricks or stones also help when placed on the tube where you need to make a turn. Use the S006 1/2" tubing holder stakes to hold the tube in the final position; they can sometimes pull up easily on the initial laying of the tubing, too. Be patient and push them down again. Soon they will hold the tube without assistance. 5. Always lay out lengths of polytube longer than you think you need. Once you do the final adjusting, still leave the ends longer than needed until all drippers and microsprinklers are all installed, tested and you are happy with the system layout. Then cut the ends at the final length. This can lessen the "frustration" factor by about 10 points! Make sure to give yourself extra tubing at the head assembly, also. (Another 10 frustration points gone, sometimes more!). Landscaping Layout This section talks about laying tubing in an area of mixed plant types and trees. This is the general layout most homeowners will have. When making your zones, try to have all the same types of plants on the same zone. Sometimes this just does not work and you will end up with different types of plants on a single zone. There is nothing wrong with this, but you need to take your time when laying out the tubing. What you are trying to accomplish here is the most economical way to lay out the tubing. This means you want to have the 1/2" polytube lay next to as many plants that need drippers on them as possible. It is better to have most drippers inserted directly into the 1/2" polytube. This prevents us from having a spider web of 1/4" microtube laying all over the ground ? saving time, money, and frustration points! Make sure to use Tee's and elbows wherever you need them so you get as many plants watered with drippers in the 1/2" polytube as possible. Remember not to get crazy about this, not everything can always be done with just the 1/2" polytube, but it is best to do as much as you can with it. If you will be using some microsprinklers along with drippers, try to have a section of the 1/2" polytube in the general vicinity of where the sprinkler will be. The sprinkler can be several feet away from the 1/2" polytube because it will connect with a bit of 1/4" microtube anyway. This is covered more in depth in the "Microsprinkler" section of the tutorial Once you feel you have the tubing laid out as close as possible, walk along or follow with your eyes the entire length to see if you can spot anything that looks wrong. After this you will need to flush the tubing. After flushing the tubing, place drippers and microsprinklers as needed. As you install the drippers and microsprinklers place S006 1/2" polytube holder stakes in the line to keep it from moving. This will keep the drippers in place next to plants. If you run into plants the 1/2" polytube cannot reach, use a bit of 1/4" microtube attached to the 1/2" polytube to reach the plant with a dripper in the end of the microtube. Use a S003 or S005 1/4" stake to keep the 1/4" microtube and dripper in place next to the plant. Vegetable Garden Layout Most often, a vegetable garden is planted in parallel rows. This makes the layout of our drip system very easy. What you do is run a single mainline along one end of all the rows and place a Tee in the mainline at

each row. You would then run the tubing down each row. This concept applies to *ALL* the different types of tubing, 1/2" Dripper Line ,1/2" Soaker Tape ,1/4" Dripper Line and 1/4" Laser Drilled Soaker Line . There are some special layouts which apply to each of the different types listed above but the concept of the initial layout remains the same, you want to supply each row via a main line. Mainlines If you have a very large vegetable garden you may run into the limitations of the maximum flow allowed on a single 1/2" .700 polytube of 220 GPH. If so, you can change the mainline to a larger polytube or even PVC. In this case you will want to have a mainline size no larger than what can be supplied by your water source. In very large applications it becomes necessary to use a large head assembly and mainline. In this way you can supply water not only to many more rows but also have much longer individual rows. This is getting away from the homeowner aspects, but it is handy to know as some of our customers do pretty large vegetable gardens. 1/2" Dripper Line Dripper Line can be done just as described above, but two other ways could be used, which are just variations on the same theme. The first is to make what is called a "closed system". This would have your row connected to the mainline at one end, run down the row and then loop back running up the next row to attach back into the mainline at the start of the second row. This method is used mostly for very long rows to help keep the pressure up. It is not something needed for most homeowner systems. The second is to run each row with a flush valve at the ends. This again is used most often where the rows are very long and there also is worry of sediment accumulating over time. Make sure that each dripper will be next to the plant to water. You will need to stake down the line ends so that heat and cold do not cause it to move because of expansion and contraction of the tubing. 1/4" Dripper Line This is a much smaller diameter size tubing so the maximum line lengths are much less than with the 1/2" size tubing. It should only be used for shorter single runs. The nice thing about this is that the water flow can be in any direction so laying down the lines takes no special care on the flow direction. Make sure that each dripper will be next to the plant to water. You will need to stake down the line ends so that heat and cold do not cause it to move because of expansion and contraction. 1/2" Soaker Tape Once again this is used with the same mainline layout. The main difference between Soaker Tape and other Drip Lines is that the tube walls are much thinner. This allows the tube to "collapse" when there is no water pressure. This is important because you can take this tube up at the end of the growing season and store it much easier than normal polytube. For the purpose of installation, though, you must be careful not to make anything but the most gradual turns with this product. If the turn is enough, the tube will kink and stop the flow of water. This tube is also the most prone to expansion and contraction, so make sure to stake down the line ends to keep the tube from snaking and drawing away from the plants. 1/4" Laser Drilled Soaker Hose This product will allow the shortest single line lengths of all the above products. Where this product may do the best is to circle individual plants like pumpkins or squash, which grow not in a closely planted row but much further apart. You can run solid 1/2" polytube down the row and come off of it with a 1/4" fitting. Then circle the base of the plant with the laser drilled hose. This will give you a good amount of water all around the plant. Densely Planted Crops Many people are now using planting methods that place plants closer together than before, maximizing the production per square foot of garden space and minimizing the penetration of weeds. In this situation, you would not do well trying to water each individual plant, it would be silly if not impossible. What you would want to do in this instance is to soak the entire area, not individual plants. To

accomplish this you will need to have the drippers no more than 8" to 10" apart. What this means is not only having the drippers close together in each line but to also have the rows closer. Here are a few tips on doing this. The common rule on any type of dripper line is not to have the drippers closer than 12" inches together. If they are closer they can have the performance affected. strange sentence, I suggest removing it. You can find some special order tubing with the drippers down to 8" apart, but this is not the norm. To get by this effect we can still use the 12" spacing, but the lines need to be placed closer together. It is also helpful to alternate the starting position of the first dripper in the line row for row in a staggered set up. The first row would have the dripper 12" from the mainline and the next row would only have the first dripper 6" from the mainline. In this case if you make a grid with row lines spaced about 10" apart you should be able to wet the entire area. Some of this depends on your soil type; sandy soil needs closer spacing while very good loam type soil needs lesser spacing. You will have to do a little testing to see exactly what works in your conditions. Remember this may not be practical on very large areas so if this is the case microsprinklers may be a better choice. Trees & Shrubs Trees and shrubs are by far the easiest to lay out but there are a few different ways of doing it. Here are the most common. 1. For shrubs that are planted close together like a hedge, the best way is to run your 1/2" polytube is along the base of the plants and install a dripper next to each plant. Or if they are very close you may want to just place a dripper between each plant. 2. For shrubs that are separated by more distance you should start by running the 1/2" polytube close to them. You have the option to either place a dripper directly into the 1/2" polytube next to the plant, or you can circle the plant with the 1/2" polytube and place two or more drippers around the plants base. If circling the plant and using more than one dripper be aware of how much water this will give the plant in the duration your system will run. Use lower flow emitters if you need to. 3. For trees much depends on the size of the tree and you need to keep in mind the future growth of the tree. For some trees it is common the run the 1/2" polytube near them and then to use a microsprinkler to water a larger area. You may also decide to use just drippers rather than microsprinklers. With drippers you will need to circle the tree's trunk about midway between the outside leaf canopy and the trunk. The drippers will be evenly spaced around the circle so the entire area will get water and not just one side. There are two methods to circle the tree with 1/2" polytube. The first is to place a 1/2" tee in the mainline passing the tree. Then circle the tree with the 1/2" polytube starting from the tee. Next, place an A006 line end at the end of the polytube circle. You should make sure to circle the tree about 1-1/2 times to allow you to expand the circle as the tree grows. This is a very easy method allowing for future growth and the adjustment of the polytube as needed. This method will use more components, but the trade off is worth it most times. The second way is to take the mainline and circle each tree as you go. This will not allow for future expansion of the polytube if the tree will be growing a lot, but if the tree is mature already your just fine! This way you will save on the extra fittings needed in the above example. Potted Plants This subject could be a section on its own! The basic concept is the same as any of the layouts with 1/2" polytube......with the exception that drippers can only be placed at the *ENDS* of the 1/4" microtube! Then the dripper is placed in the pot. This fact is important so please remember it! Now there are some exceptions, but very few, and you will read about them below.

Concept Because potted plants are much smaller and more contained then garden plants, you will use much less of 1/2" size polytube. It can still be used for a mainline, but all the feeder lines going to individual pots will likely be 1/4" microtube with a dripper on the end. You can use a complete system of just 1/4" microtube but remember there are limitations! Limitations of using 1/4" microtube ONLY for potted plants: 1. Maximum flow through 1/4" microtube is 35 GPH (Gallons Per Hour) This will limit you to 70 - 1/2 GPH drippers or 35 - 1 GPH drippers or 17 - 2 GPH drippers ect. 2. Try not to exceed about 75 ft. of 1/4" microtube. 3. You will still need all the normal head assembly components! System Layout Using 1/2" Polytube When using the 1/2" polytube as the mainline you have the increased water flow; to go up to 220 GPH. This will likely allow you to water all your potted plants on a single watering zone. To do this make a normal head assembly and run the 1/2" polytube as the mainline so it will go somewhat close to all the potted plants. By close it could be 20 ft. away, but be aware you will have to run the 1/4" microtube from the mainline to each pot. Keep this in mind and you will see what the best route for the mainline is. Here again, not to confuse you but remembering the maximum flow of 1/4" microtube at 35 GPH, you can water multiple pots from one connection on the 1/2" polytube mainline. You would connect to the 1/2" polytube with a SF001 1/4" barb or Tee and then use SF003 1/4" tees to split the microtube to each plant. (see 1/4" fittings ) System Layout Using 1/4" Microtube The layout for microtube is the same in principle but the system on a whole will be smaller. You will need to use 1/4" Tees where you want to tap into the 1/4" mainline. This is all very flexible and really only limited by the total flow of 35 GPH, the total distance of the microtube of about 75 ft. and your imagination! Notes: 1. On any of the above layouts you will need to place the drippers on the end of the microtube in the pot. Use a S003 or S005 microtube holder stake to keep it in place in the pot. 2. If your water supply line or any of your main lines are *HIGHER* than the drippers the water in the higher tubing will drain out through the drippers! 3. If any of your system is higher than your backflow the backflow will drain the water out when the system turns off!!

Advanced Topics! If what has been mentioned above suits your needs you can skip this section because it will be long and involve individual products and how they can be used. It may touch on something that would work for you so feel free to read on! It's your time!! Microsprinklers & Spray Stakes You can use microsprinklers in larger potted plants. This is used commercially in what is called the "Pot in Pot" system. To use a microsprinkler in a pot you can do it the conventional way by pointing it upwards or you can do it like the "Pot in Pot" system and point the sprinkler downwards. To point it downwards you can use a S001 clip stake and just turn the sprinkler upside down and clip it on the stake. This works nicely because you can adjust the height of the sprinkler to spray a larger area of the pot. We would suggest using model MS006 or MS001 for this purpose. Another item that could be used would be the D031 or D032 which are adjustable drippers, the D032 comes on a stake so it would not be able to work upside down.

Spray stakes are like sprinklers but work a little differently. Inline Emitters Inline emitters are just that. They are placed "inline" on 1/4" microtube. this means that the microtube goes on the water inlet side and another piece of microtube goes on the outlet side. This allows the emitter to take and despense the water it needs and allow the remaining water to pass along down the line to another emitter. You can place several emitters in a row to create your own custom soaker line. Why we mention this here is because it works very nice in larger potted plants allowing you to wet a larger area in an equally dispersed pattern around the plant. They will give less water than a microsprinkler so this could be an advantage. Please note that these emitters are directional! This means that you need to place them with the water flowing only in one direction. Some customers have told us that they have larger square or rectangular beds in containers. These also are good conditions to try the inline emitters or the below 1/4" Dripper Line. Laying rows of either one will allow you to soak the entire area depending upon how close you place the drippers and the lines. 1/4" Dripper Line & 1/4" Laser Drilled Soaker Hose Pretty much the same applies to both of these as the above in-line emitters except they are already assembled. The 1/4" dripper line can have the water flow through it in any direction. The 1/4" laser drilled soaker hose is directional, so you must install it with the water flowing in the right direction. Make sure to pay attention to the maximum line lengths for both of these products; 1/4" microtube cannot flow as much water as the 1/2" so the lengths are limited depending on the flow rates and the spacing of the drippers. See the specification pages for each of the products, all the info will be there. Hiding Tubing Most of the time when running tubing to potted plants it will be on patios, wooden decks, porches and on concrete patios. In these locations the biggest concern is to hide the lines. Here are a few tips! If you have a wooden patio you can hide both sizes of tubing fairly easy. Try to run the tubing along inside edges of the framework buy using our "C" Clamps A004 and A005. These clamps have a nail in them to go right into wood and will hold the tubing in place. By using these and by using elbows on the tubing you can keep it really tight along the wood Another neat trick, if your deck is raised, is to go underneath with all the lines and then come up through a slot on the decking or drill a small hole right where each pot is located. Some pots have drain holes in the bottom and we have one customer who came from under the deck, through a slot in the decking and into the pot from the hole in the bottom. He then ran the tubing up to the top of the pot and placed his dripper / sprinklers. You cannot see anything!! If you have a concrete patio it is much harder to hide the tubing, but one trick is to run the 1/4" polytube along the bottom of the house walls where the concrete deck meets the house. To hold it in place, one customer used some type of caulking. The polytube was fixed to the concrete patio by placing a dap of calking every 1 ft. or so and then pushing the tube into it. When the caulking dried it held the tubing in place and the customer said he might try to paint the tube at some point. In this case take note that we have both black and brown color microtube! Make sure to get the closest match. Another customer purchased the brown microtube and ran it up under the eves of his house bringing it down in the corners of the house to the potted plants. He used the C clamps to hold it up on the eves.

Installing drippers Tips Before You Here are a few things to make your experience with drippers easier!


1. Always





use a Punch made for drip irrigation tubing (See Punches) The barbed end on a dripper, which goes into the 1/2" polytube, needs an exact size hole. This is so it will seal correctly and not leak. Good punches will take out a small round piece of the polytube so the dripper will seal well without leaks. Punches that have sharp points push through the tube and do not cut out this piece of the tube wall. Punches that are dull can tear the house causing drippers to leak around the stem. Sometimes dull punches leave a flap of plastic inside the tubing, which can obstruct the water inlet on the dripper. Drippers, Emitters?? Same thing just different words, we will use both interchangeably. Many people will tell you we are wrong on this and it does not matter, we obviously disagree! Some drippers are *made* to have tubing placed on the outlet side, these are made for a specific purpose and the performance specifications reflect this. In-line drippers are one of these types and have a totally different design than your common dripper. We feel that on most of the common drippers it is better to place them on the end of 1/4" microtube. The only additional part this causes you to use is a $0.06 to $0.10 1/4" barb. Buy quality products! Please note that the difference in the cost for drippers is because of a good reason! You get what you pay for! If you are doing a small system then the lesser cost drippers will work fine for you. If you are doing a large system, have hard water, have elevation differences or need to use the longest possible single line lengths, invest in the more expensive pressure compensating (PC) models. They are worth every penny in extra cost! NOTE: Our pressure compensating (PC) drippers are some of the best you can buy! We have the agricultural quality drippers marked on the product lists. These drippers are field proven over years of actual use and are sold around the world. Testing results are one thing, but real world usage is another! Follow the guidelines. Some guidelines may not seem important, but there are reasons. Try to always follow the guidelines of maximum line length, operating pressures and dripper spacing. Smaller systems can get by ignoring some things but if you are maxing out your system follow them guidelines! Use Filtration!!! (See Filters) No matter what you think, a $7.00 or $10.00 filter will be worth its weight in gold! If you use one you will never really appreciate it, if you do not use one you will pay later! Different Types of Drippers There are two basic different *types* of drippers and many different *styles* of drippers. o Types of Drippers (See Drippers) The two types of drippers are "Pressure Compensating" (PC) and "Non-Compensating" 1. Pressure Compensating (PC) Drippers will allow for a steady flow rate between a rated low pressure (PSI) and a rated high pressure (PSI). This flow may not be exactly the same throughout the rated pressure range, but it will be very close. The pressure range will normally be around 10 PSI to 50 PSI (give or take a little). Most of these types of drippers will also include a "self-flushing" mode upon startup and shutdown to keep sediment from collecting in the dripper. The drippers do this by using a silicone diaphragm to actively regulate the flow of water. What makes these drippers so different is that they will allow a much longer single line length because of the wide pressure range they deliver at such a close flow rate. 2. Non-Compensating Drippers will allow a higher flow rate at higher pressures and a lower flow rate at a lower pressure. The flow range is about the same as the compensating, but the flow difference between the high end and low end is not as close as the compensating type. This is because they use what is called a "turbulent flow" method of regulating the water flow. The water has to pass through an intricate labyrinth passageway to exit the dripper, which helps to

regulate the flow rate. There is nothing wrong with this style of dripper and if you have smaller systems they will work just fine. If you have a larger system, the unregulated flow can quickly tax the water source and max out the line. Styles of Drippers There are as many styles of drippers as there are different applications! One of the most common and oldest is the button style dripper. Then you can get into some of the others which are Flag, In-line, adjustable, Pot, Multi Outlet along with many others. Some of these can be made in both compensating and non-compensating styles. Some are made to be taken apart and cleaned, while others are made to install flushing capabilities on the 1/2" polytube. There are many styles, and each manufacturer has a different name or model which they say is unique.........they are all drippers.

Not to scale Shown left to right: Button Dripper, Flag Dripper, Pot Dripper and Multi-outlet Dripper. Installing in 1/2" polytube As we mentioned above, you should use a punch made specifically for this purpose. The proper punch will make the correct size hole so the stem on the barbed end of the dripper will fit tight and seal correctly. For this reason, please DO NOT use a nail, or other device, to make the holes in your tube. The punch is where it's at! Every dripper has a water inlet and a water outlet. The water inlet has a small stem coming from the dripper which ends with a barb. This barb helps to hold the dripper in the tubing while the stem is what the tubing wall seals against. This is why the hole needs to be an exact size. (Don't forget that punch!) The water outlet can be a hole flush with the body of the dripper or a small stem protruding out from the dripper body. On some models the outlet may even be barbed. To actually install the dripper, use a punch and make a hole in the 1/2" polytube. When using a hand punch, hold the tubing in one hand to place pressure on the opposite side from the hole. Push the tip of the punch against the tubing and twist it back and forth while pushing. This helps the tip of the punch to cut through the tubing and not just rip through it. Like we mentioned in the tips section, the better punches will actually cut out a hole in the tube. Now take the dripper and push the barbed end into the hole made by the punch while still supporting the opposite side of the tubing with your hand. Push the dripper in until you hear a "Pop" or "Snap" sound. This will mean the barbed end has gone past the tubing wall. If the tubing is very warm you may not hear anything but just "feel" the barb push past the tubing wall. After a few times, you will get the hang of it.

Installing in 1/4" Polytube To install in 1/4" microtube you just push the barbed end into the end of the microtube. If you have a hard time with this you may always dip the barbed end of the dripper in some liquid dish soap. This will help it slide in easier. Even better than the soap is to fill a cup with hot tap water and let the microtube ends soak until they get soft. Then insert the barbed end and let the tube cool before moving it around much. We have found this to be the best way because when the tubing cools it shrinks around the barb very tightly. If you have to take a dripper out of microtube *never* cut the tubing off! If you nick the barb on the dripper it will leak when re installed. Work the dripper off the microtube by pulling and moving it back and forth. You can also pry the microtube back using your fingernail. Once the dripper is off the tubing, you will need to cut the tubing back about 1/2" so the end which had been over the barb is gone. The barb deforms the tube end and if you just install a dripper in this end again it will not hold well......trust us we have done both! Replacing Drippers Like we mentioned above about the ends of 1/4" microtube, when a dripper is removed the barb will have deformed the microtube and you should cut off about 1/2" before placing another dripper or the same one back in. For 1/2" polytube you can just pull out the dripper. Try to pull it straight out, otherwise it may "rip" or "tear" the tubing around the hole. You can just pop another dripper in the same hole but make sure to test the seal by looking for leaks after the water has been turned on. If there is leaking, it is best to take out the dripper and install a goofplug to seal the old hole. Then make a new hole within a couple of inches and install the dripper. When using a goof plug to seal a hole, note there are two ends on the goof plug. The smaller end is the correct size to try first, but if the hole has been ripped or enlarged this end may leak. In this case take it out and use the large end. When doing this the best way is to get a pair of pliers and grip the goof plug by the small end. Then while supporting the back side of the tubing, push the large end straight into the hole. In our experience this will seal all except the most badly damaged holes. If this is the case your only alternative is to cut the tubing on each side of the hole, then install a coupling. Multi-Outlet Drippers Most multi-outlet drippers are made as conversions from conventional irrigation systems. The models we carry all connect to 1/2" male pipe thread, which is your common sprinkler riser type. In simple terms, they screw right onto an existing sprinkler riser taking the place of the sprinkler. Because they are replacing the sprinkler they need to take the place of watering many plants in the area covered by the old sprinkler. This is why they have multiple outlets. Another difference of these multi-outlet drippers is that you connect 1/4" tubing to the dripper and run it to each plant without placing anything except a stake on the end of the microtube. Depending on the amount of outlets and the flow rates you can water just a few plants or many. You will need to install a model which has the right amount of outlets for each area. To install one of these multi-outlet drippers, first remove the old sprinkler. Then turn on your water to flush out any sediment in the lines. Next clean the threads on the riser. Then place a few wraps of Teflon tape on the threads and screw the dripper on the riser. Run microtubes from the outlets on the head to your plants and use a microtube holding stake on the end of the microtube at the plant. Turn on your water and check for leaks at the base of the head on the riser and the flow from each of the microtube ends.

Note the directions about the model you have because some can be adjusted, some can have outlets turned off and others may need to have the barbed connecters purchased separately. Troubleshooting Most of the troubleshooting tips have been mentioned above but here are a few more. 1. If you are using pressure compensating (PC) drippers and the flow from them seems to be too much, or not enough, upon the first start up do the following. Place your finger over the water outlet to stop the flow of water and then let go. Do this several times quickly until the flow returns to normal. This happens because sometimes when first used the diaphragm may not seat correctly and it just needs to be "kicked" in a manner of speaking. You may also have this flow problem if dirt gets in the lines and this procedure may help. 2. If on any type of dripper the flow is nonexistent or very little, try the above trick. If that does not work make sure the dripper is pushed in all the way and that you have made a "clean" hole in the 1/2" polytube. Some of the punches which just have a sharp point and just pierce the tubing will leave "flaps" of the polytube inside that can block the water inlet of the dripper. We have also had situations on our own systems where we thought the hole was punched and the dripper was installed correctly, but the dripper never actually went all the way through. Try to pull on the dripper; if it comes out really easy.......it was not all the way in. Make sure to look at the hole in the polytube also. 3. If everything from the above items is checked out OK and there is still very little or no flow then we would be inclined to think of dirt in the lines. Try to flush the lines again and/or blow back through the dripper. If you are using flag style drippers, take them apart and clean them. 4. If drippers are popping off the1/2" polytube check that the barb has been pushed all the way into the tubing. Check to make sure the hole has not been ripped or enlarged. Check your system pressure!! Are you using a pressure regulator?? Is the pressure regulator working correctly?? 5. If you have large elevation differences and only drippers popping off the system are on the lower elevations then you will need to change your layout so the elevation differences are not so extreme. 6. If drippers are popping off 1/4" microtube, check to make sure the dripper is pushed all the way into the end of the microtube. Try cutting off about 1/2" of the microtube end and reinstalling the dripper. Is the barbed end of the dripper pushed all the way into the microtube? Are you using a pressure regulator? See the other items in #4 above. 7. If drippers are clogging frequently try flushing out your system again and check your filtration......you are using a filter right?? 8. Drippers whistle upon start up. This is normal and is cause by air in the lines. Nothing to worry about. 9. No water comes out of any drippers......turn on the water! (LOL! We had to say this ? we have all done it sometime!)

Installing microsprinklers Overview Here are a few things to help you understand how microsprinklers work and why!

Microsprinklers give a spray of water that has droplets much smaller than conventional sprinklers. This allows the water to be absorbed into the ground without causing runoff. Microsprinklers are normally used in areas of densely planted groundcover where placing individual drippers at each plant just would not make sense. Microsprinklers are also used for trees which have a shallower root system or where the placement of drippers around the tree is prohibitive. Some of this is choice and some is economical good sense. One sprinkler at a tree is much easier to maintain and initially install than many drippers encircling the tree. Note that when using microsprinklers on trees there will be weed growth because the sprinkler will water a wider area. Microsprinklers work under the same low pressure that drippers use so in a landscape installation you can use both drippers and microsprinklers on the same lines. Be aware that microsprinklers have much higher flow rates than drippers (and cover a wider area) so make sure to calculate your total water usage as you plan, otherwise you make exceed the 220 GPH max flow of the .700 OD polytube. Because microsprinklers work under the low pressure they cannot always spray the water the same distance as high pressure conventional sprinklers. Microsprinklers do use a few tricks to overcome this. When microsprinklers spray a *pattern*, which is really the amount of a circle they cover, they use different methods to direct the spray. When doing a full circle, which would be a spray pattern of 360, microsprinklers sometimes use what is called a "spinner". This spinner uses the force of the water to make itself turn very quickly and this helps to "throw" the water an extra distance. Not all sprinklers use this method but in a nutshell, the ones with the larger rated diameter sprays normally do this. The best example would be our model MS004 & MS005 sprinklers. Other sprinklers, even when doing a 360 pattern, do not use this method because they do not spray in such a large diameter. When sprinklers do not use the "spinner" method to spray such large areas or if they only spray a part of a circle, like a half circle (180) or a 1/4 circle (90), they use a "deflection" method. The "deflection" method works by sending a stream of water out of a nozzle which is very small and increases the velocity of the water. The stream then hits the deflector and it is redirected to the spray pattern, as designated by the deflector. Make a note that this is why a sprinkler that uses the "spinner" to get a large 360spray pattern may have quite a bit smaller distance in the 180 or 90 pattern. Some sprinklers come with only one spray pattern, while others have interchangeable "deflectors" so you can use whichever pattern you like. A good example again is our MS005 microsprinkler. If a sprinkler has interchangeable deflectors we will normally mention this and sell all the deflectors with the sprinkler. Some sprinklers can also be adjustable and when they are the adjustment can be for the flow or the pattern. When the sprinkler is adjustable for the flow, this will also affect the distance or the spray. More flow equals more distance......up to a point. Make sure to check the rating for distance. If a sprinkler is adjustable for the spray pattern, it will normally not affect the distance. This would not apply to sprinklers with the interchangeable deflectors; they are not classified as "adjustable". Stakes for Microsprinklers Just as with conventional sprinklers you need to elevate the sprinkler above the ground and any obstructions so the spray will have a clear path. Microsprinklers can use a few different methods to do this. The most common stake used is the "Clip Stake". This stake is 12" to 13" long and is pushed into the ground about 3". The sprinkler which is attached to 1/4" microtube (more on this below) is then pushed into a holder on the stake. To make this more clear, the stake has a slot on the side which the microtube snaps into and the sprinkler sits right above this on the end of the microtube. This allows for the use of the clip stake with just about any sprinkler regardless of the sprinkler design. Like we said "just about" any sprinkler. Some sprinklers must use a stake designed just for them and these are well marked in our

sprinkler section. Because the clip stake can work with so many different microsprinklers it should always be the first one to consider, it could almost be called a "universal" stake. The next type of stake would be a "Spike" stake. Some sprinklers are made to fit right onto this stake while others need an adapter. A example of this is our model S002 Spike Stake which works with the sprinkler model MS004 & MS005. These sprinklers have a mounting made to fit into the spike stake directly without the need for an extra adapter. If an adapter is needed on a sprinkler that should use the spike stake it will be either included or noted very clearly. Another type of stake (if you could call it that) is a Pop-Up sprinkler base, our model S004. This sprinkler pops up when pressure is turned on. Do not get confused with lawn type pop-ups. This pop-up cannot go flush to the level of the ground! It is made to be buried about 1/3 to 1/2 of the body in the ground with the remainder above ground. The extension coming out of the body is about 9" and has the sprinkler mounted on the top. This allows you to use sprinklers in ground cover that might grow too high for a sprinkler on a normal fixed stake to clear. The Pop-up sprinkler would then be hidden when not in use, but will rise above any ground cover when turned on so the spray from the sprinkler will clear the plants. The Pop-up is supplied water by a 1/4" microtube connected on the bottom of the body; this will connect to any 1/2" polytube mainline. One of the least used in landscaping, but still valuable in certain applications, is called a "Semi-Rigid Riser". This is a very thick walled and stiff piece of 1/4" microtube that has a barb in one end for connecting directly into 1/2" polytube. The other end is open and you would install the sprinkler here. We carry these in only a 6" length as model A003. Spray Patterns & Diameter Spray patterns refer to the portion of a full circle which the sprinkler will cover. There are normally 3 patterns. 360 is a full circle, 180 is a half circle and 90 is a quarter circle. Also, some sprinklers will have a "strip spray" which sprays a narrow degree area on opposite sides of the sprinkler. The diameter is the distance across a circle from one side to the other. When a sprinkler is rated as a 10 ft. diameter it means that the water will wet a circle 10 ft. across one side to the other. Sprinklers can also be rated by the radius of the circle which is the distance from the center to the outside. Flow Rates Flow rates are the same as with drippers and are rated in GPH (Gallons Per Hour). Sprinklers will normally have a much larger flow rate than drippers. Ranges we know of off hand go from 7 GPH all the way up to 32 GPH. One thing to keep in mind on the flow rates is to compare them against the diameter the sprinkler gives. Almost always, the larger the diameter sprays the higher the flow rate. This means that the actual amount of water placed in a given area within the spray pattern can stay pretty close between the higher flow and larger diameter sprinklers as the lower flow and smaller diameter sprinklers. This is not always true, but for the homeowner it is close enough to keep as a rule of thumb. What this means to you is that you can intermix large diameter and small diameter sprinklers while watering the same amount of time and the water placed on the entire area should be close to the same. Flow rates also affect the water particle size when it leaves the sprinkler. Very low flow sprinklers can give a very fine spray which could be dispersed by a wind or strong breeze. This is something to keep in mind with all microsprinklers and the time of day you have them on. Connecting & Installing Almost all microsprinklers connect to 1/4" microtube with what is called a threaded connection. They have a water inlet stem like a dripper but instead of a barb they use a thread on the stem to hold them in place. Just as a disclaimer here microsprinklers can be placed in 1/2" polytube directly.......but this is very much the exception so we will concentrate on using 1/4" microtube. To get started we should talk about the differences in 1/4" microtube. The normal microtube used with drip systems can also be used for microsprinklers, but! There is also a thicker walled microtube made just

for connecting microsprinklers and their "Threaded Connections". We mention the threaded connections because the thicker walled tubing is a little stiffer and this helps hold the sprinklers better. The normal 1/4" microtube has an inside diameter of .156" and an outside diameter of .245". The thicker walled microtube has an inside diameter of .160" by an outside diameter of .270". Because of this thicker wall on the tubing there is less chance of the sprinkler working itself loose due to extreme heat or higher pressure. We mention the higher pressure because in some situations using an adjustable pressure regulator and long lines you could have higher pressure at the start of a line. This is mostly in commercial applications, but many homeowners have multiple fruit trees which might run into this problem. One more tidbit on the thicker walled tubing? As of this writing we only carry the thick walled microtube in model T008 tubing precut in a 24" size, longer coils should be available at a later date. Custom cut lengths are available on orders of 1,000 pieces or more. Contact us for quotes. All the sprinklers we sell which have tubing already attached use the thicker walled tube. To actually make the connection from 1/2" or larger polytube you will first use a 1/4" connector barb model SF001. This barb will have one end fit into a hole in the 1/2" or larger polytube made by one of our punches. The other end will fit into one end of the microtube which runs to the microsprinkler. You will then run the microtube to the sprinkler and connect it. Using one of the staking methods mentioned above you can place it in the correct location. You should try to keep the 1/2" polytube sort of close to where the sprinkler will be placed. If you start to run the microtube from the 1/2" polytube too far, you can run into pressure drops that will affect the performance of the sprinkler. We suggest going no more than 3 or 4 feet with the microtube. You can go farther, and if it works for your application that's fine. When installing the microsprinkler into the 1/4" polytube, screw it in until the tube meets the base of the sprinkler. Try not to screw it in too much because you will strip the threads made in the microtube wall and this will weaken the hold of the sprinkler. If you need to replace a sprinkler make sure to cut off about 1/2" of the end of the microtube. When the sprinkler is threaded into the microtube it causes the microtube to expand slightly and it is better to get rid of this small piece and start new. Troubleshooting Very little flow comes out of the microsprinkler nozzle. This is caused by some kind of blockage of the water to the microsprinkler. First check to make sure your flow is getting to the microsprinkler itself. Disconnect the microtube from the microsprinkler and turn on the water. If you get a good flow of water then there is dirt or some blockage in the microsprinkler itself. With some microsprinklers you can blow into the water outlet and push the debris back out. You should also look into the water inlet and outlet to try and spot something. If you cannot clean out the debris you may have to replace the sprinkler, this is why we always suggest flushing the lines well before start up and using a good quality filter! If you disconnect the tubing to the microsprinkler and you do not get much flow the problem is either in the connection to the mainline polytube or the mainline polytube itself. Check to make sure that the hole in the polytube is made all the way through and nothing is blocking the water inlet of the 1/4" barb. You can try blowing back through the microtube. This may dislodge debris blocking the barb. When I change from a 360 pattern to a 180 or 90 pattern, the distance of spray is much less than before. This is normal and is mentioned in the above section "Overview" on the top of this page. All my microsprinklers give what seems like a very weak flow and do not come near the rated diameter. Check your sprinklers flow rates and add all the flow rates together. Make sure you have not exceeded your water supply flow rate or the rated flow rate of the 1/2" polytube you are using. This is a common mistake and will give you very little flow from all the sprinklers. You may also want to check your 1/2" polytube and make sure there is not a kink or partial kink in it. I keep finding sprinklers which have popped off the microtube. This can be caused by not using the thicker walled microtube, animals running through the irrigation and

kicking off the sprinklers or high pressure. Check your pressure regulator or if not using one install one. The animal thing sounds far fetched but one of our employees ran into this with a dog running through the planted area and kicking the sprinklers, occasionally knocking one off. We could not figure this out at first and thought they were popping off for other reasons. Our employee then saw his dog actually knock one off.......stranger things happen! No animals, pressure is good and I use the thicker walled microtube. But some sprinklers still pop off. Try taking the sprinkler off the microtube and cutting off about 1/2" of the end which had the sprinkler in it. Make sure when reinstalling the sprinkler not to screw it on too far and strip the threads the microtube creates inside the microtube wall. The sprinkler wobbles around when running. If using a clip stake make sure the sprinkler is all the way down to the "clip" on the stake which holds the microtube. If you are using models MS004 or MS005 microsprinklers then you must use stake model S002. No water comes out of any microsprinklers......turn on the water! (Ahhh we had to say this!)

Flushing the System Overview The single biggest step in getting your drip system to work correctly will be starting it up the first time! This is where you can "make it or break it". The worst thing that can happen to your drip system is to get dirt into it. Dirt can enter the system very easy when installing so getting this dirt out correctly before you start the system is very important. By following the steps and suggestions below you should be able to have a clean system to start with. Flushing Your System 1. First we must check the head assembly. Depending on your configuration of components and water supply connection, a few things may vary but the idea is the same. We need to make sure water flows through the head assembly OK. To start make sure that your connection to any polytube on your system is DISCONNECTED! We do not want to send any water into the drip system yet. We will want to see water coming directly out of the end of the head assembly. This will ensure that all the head assembly components are working and installed in the correct water flow direction. You will only need to turn on the water for about 5 seconds. Take note that the water will come out with a good amount of force even using a pressure regulator, this is normal. The pressure regulator does not regulate the flow, only the pressure on the system side. 2. After you have tested the flow take apart the filter and check to see if there is there is any dirt in it. If there is try turning on the head assembly again for a little longer and then check the filter once more. If more dirt has been caught in the filter you might want to disconnect the head assembly and flush the water supply line some. This is more common in a system where the head assembly is connected to a PVC supply line. Hose faucets coming directly from your house should not have this problem. 3. With the head assembly test completed successfully you need to reconnect the polytube to the head assembly. 4. As we have mentioned before, it is best to connect all the 1/2" or larger polytube and flush it BEFORE placing any drippers or microsprinklers on the system. 5. Now go and open all the 1/2" or larger polytube line ends, make sure you open all of them! 6. Turn on the head assembly so water flows through the system. 7. Let the water flow until it runs out clear and clean, a few minutes should work. Note: If you have multiple line ends the majority of water will only flow out of one line end (water will find the route with the least resistance). Close this line end first and then find the next line end where the water flows and close this one off. Keep doing this until all line ends are closed. Make sure to let enough water flow through each end so any dirt will be flushed out.

8. Now turn off the water and install all your drippers and/or microsprinklers. 9. With all your drippers and microsprinklers installed open all the line ends again and turn on the water. 10. Repeat step #7. This will make sure to get out any pieces of the polytube and/or dirt which might have fallen inside the tubing when punching holes. 11. Now go back along all the tubing and check each dripper and/or microsprinkler to make sure it is working correctly and not leaking at the connection.

Tubing ends Overview Line Ends! What's the big deal?? So, I close off the end of my line! Well we have below a few little details about line ends and what else can be placed on the line end that may help you out.

System Line Ends Basically a line end closes off your 1/2" or larger polytube , it's basically plug. But there are many more things which come into play with line ends. Most of these never need to be addressed for normal landscape situations, but they are available to you so we will go through them here. NOTE: If your looking to close off a 1/4" microtube line, use one of our Goof Plugs, model SF007. There are two different "styles" of line ends.

Model Figure "8" style

figure Model LF013Installing hose end Compression style The first is a simple "Figure 8" hose end our part #A006. This is just two rings attached together. One end slips over the 1/2" polytube and is pushed down about 12". You then "fold" the tube back over (as shown in above picture) and slide the tube end into the other open ring. What this does is to crimp the tube over and by doing so blocks the tube. You may not think this works but beleive us, it works just fine! There is also no problem taking these off and replacing them as often as needed. The second method uses a compression style fitting like our model LF013. This will allow you to open the line end may be a little easier than the "Figure 8" method, but the difference is minimal. The reason for using the second method is the ability to use a few add-ons which can be attached directly to the LF013 to check pressure at the line end. This can be important if you have a very big system and need to check for the correct pressure. You can also see if the pressure is high enough to add on to the existing system. If pressure is low and you need to increase it consider replacing a preset pressure regulator with an adjustable model A021. This will allow you to increase the pressure at the head assembly just enough so the start of the system will have around 30 to 35 PSI and the end to have 20 to 25 PSI. These pressures should all be within the limits of the drip system and allow for slightly larger systems. You need to keep in mind the flow limitations still of the size polytube you use. As we said normal landscaping systems may not need this, but it is handy to know it is available. We also feature model LF054 which is an automatic flush valve. This flush valve acts as a normal line end closure but when the system is first turned on it allows some water to flush out any fine sediment which may have settled in the polytube. It also opens and flushes after the system is turned off. By using these flush valves it can help to increase the life of your system. The LF054 is for the .700 size polytube but larger sizes are also listed.



Testing the system Once you have flushed your system, and installed all the drippers and microsprinklers, you will need to test to make sure everything is working properly. All this really involves is turning on the system and walking along it checking that all the connections are leak free, drippers are dripping and microsprinklers are spraying. To get into it a little more you should first check all the 1/2" polytube fittings and line ends to make sure none leak. Normally the only leak you would see is a dripping or a small spray coming out of the fitting. This can be caused by a nick in the compression end or a nick in the outside of the tubing wall. First try to push in the tubing just a little or on Spin-Loc styles try to reinstall the tube. (After you turn off the water of course) Now check all the drippers to make sure the barbed connection to any 1/2" polytube or 1/4" microtube is not leaking. Also check the flow coming out of the dripper. Drippers with the same flow rate should have close to the same visible flow coming out. Sometimes on start up, pressure compensating (PC) drippers will spit a little then adjust down to the correct flow. Give this a few minutes to happen because of air in the line. If the drippers give very little flow or much more flow compared to identical models and flow rates try the following: place your finger over the water outlet to seal off the water flow, let the pressure build up for a couple of seconds and then let go. Do this a few times quickly and then see what happens. 99% of the time this will work, all you have done is to help seat the diaphragm inside the dripper. If drippers leak from connections to 1/2" polytube or 1/4" microtube try making sure the dripper is pushed in all the way. You can also try taking it out and reinserting it. In the worst case you can take it out, seal the old hole and make a new hole for it. Next check the microsprinklers for flow and coverage. Remember flow will depend on your pressure so this is a variable; it may not always exactly match to rated flow numbers. The only problem with flow should be a plugged sprinkler caused by dirt. This you will have to clean out. If the sprinkler is not spraying perfectly where you want it just move it or aim it a little differently. If you need more help check the troubleshooting section.

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