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Friday, July 6th 2018, 11:18am

“Where’s Our Water,” A Homeowner’s Drip Irrigation Mystery

Howdy, Foax!

Down here in the Great Sovereign (and Hot!) Confederate State of Georgia (very near Tara), the wife and I sought to provide water to $250 worth of containerized plants while awaiting fall planting. All seemed fine for a few days, then we left for a week. Had it not rained during our absence, we’d’ve lost ‘em all, and upon investigation, we discovered a mystery that we cannot understand.

Here’s the layout: we hooked up ten plants to the house water supply, followed in series by a water hammer arrestor, a single-outlet hose timer, a faucet connection kit (150 mesh filter + backflow preventer + 25 psi regulator + adaptor for 1/2" tubing), and a 12-foot, standard 1/2” black feeder hose with ten 16"-21” spaghetti hoses variously sporting 0.5-, 1-, and 2- gpm emitters, each staked and capped with an insect excluder, and the whole sealed with a cap at the very end of the 1/2" tubing. The entire system was at ground level, save for the 1/4" spaghetti hoses, each of which was raised vertically some 8” – 12” from the ground.

After we returned from our trip, we determined that none of the emitters were functioning, although the water was on. We tested the timer, and found it working fine. Suspecting an obstruction somewhere in the line, we started with the 150-mesh filter, but it too was functioning. Thinking it impossible, we checked the emitter-bug excluder for obstructions, but there were none. Finally, supposing that air in the tubing might somehow be blocking the passage of water, I uncapped the end of the 1/2" tubing, and got a full flow of water. More than this, the emitters started dripping perfectly at the same time. On recapping the end of the 1/2" tubing, however, all water from every emitter stopped completely.

Can anyone please tell us what we’ve overlooked?

Thanx & Best Regards,


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