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Bslater

Unregistered

1

Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 4:21pm

Drip System Installation

Hi,
I am trying to install a drip system on my raised bed garden, and am having a devil of a time with it. I plumbed it from a normal sprinkler valve which controls only the drip system. I have 3/4" pipe going to 2 beds. For now, I am only concerned with one bed. At the end of the piping, I have a DiG adjustable pressure regulator and then it goes to 1/2" polytube with .5 GPH rainbird drip emitters spaced every foot or so.

I have tried everything I can think of to get this system working, but without fail when I turn it on, the emitters spit out water for a second or so and then nothing. I am assuming its too much pressure, but I dialed back the regulator (which supposedly can handle 125 and lower to 12-60 PSi) as far as I can. I still get nothing out of the emitters.

I am so frustrated at this point because I have spent a significant amount of money on these products. Is there something I am possibly missing? Do I have to spend yet more money and get a low flow valve, even though a pressure regulator should accomplish the same result?

Any help or ideas would be appreciated, I am at my wit's end!

Thanks,
Brian

HooKooDooKu

Supreme Member

2

Thursday, March 12th 2009, 10:57am

Spitting out water on startup is to be expected as any air in the line gets purged. But after that, the water should begin to trickle out of the emitters. It can be very difficult to see that the emmitters are actually putting out water. You may have to lift the emitter off the ground so that you can see the water dripping onto the ground. After all, keep in mind that these emmitters are putting out one half gallon of water PER HOUR.

If the system truely isn't working, the only cause I can think for that would be if you have too many emmitters such that you are trying to put out more than say a total of 150 gph, or if your pressure wasn't high enough (for drip, I believe you want the pressure to be between 25psi and 50psi), or the emitters are too far away from the water source (i.e. you shouldn't have more than 150' of drip tubing between the 3/4" supply pipe and the last emitter).

Bslater

Unregistered

3

Thursday, March 12th 2009, 12:03pm

Thanks for reply.

There is definitely no water coming out of the emitters, and the length of tubing is fairly small (12x4 raised bed). When I was building the system, I would install 5 emitters or so, and try it out... I have probably 30 or more now.. but no matter how many I had, it would never work. The only time they sent out water was upon opening the valve, and about 1 minute or so after closing the valve... seems to me to be pressure related, but I can't imagine that its too much with a regulator on it..

Thanks!

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,460

Location: USA

4

Thursday, March 12th 2009, 3:44pm

Speculation

Hi Slater, this is total speculation. I think it's possible you're doing something backwards. Perhaps the valve is installed backwards or the pressure regulator. Do you have a filter that could be totally clogged with debris? I don't know what a reversed regulator would do. Never seen it done. If you think it's a pressure issue maybe you're turning the regulator all the way up instead of down. Regulators work the opposite of what most people think. Clockwise increases the pressure. Have you uncapped the end of the dripline to see if water gushes out with the valve on? If nothing comes out then backtrack til you find the source of the problem.

Bslater

Unregistered

5

Friday, March 13th 2009, 5:44am

Thanks, I thought that as well. I checked the pressure regulator and the arrow is in the right direction. I also have uncapped the polytube and water came out at a good clip. Even, in my frustration, I yanked out an emitter when it was pressurized and needless to say, I got plenty wet! :)

What would a reversed valve do? I didn't install it, so I guess thats a possibility, its not something I even considered. I even tried going from my first regulator, through a long garden hose, and into a second regualtor and the water coming out was still pretty decent.

I will definitely doublecheck the regulators.. it says on the screw to turn counterclockwise to reduce pressure and clockwise to increase, but I might as well try both ways to ensure I am not misunderstanding.

Thanks for the reply!

Bslater

Unregistered

6

Friday, March 13th 2009, 5:46am

Just to clarify, when I tried the second regulator, I was talking about the water flowing out the end of the regulator. I don't have the parts I need to connect back into the polytube at that point. I wish they made a 3/4" MPT to 3/4" MPT connector! If they do, I can't find it anywhere!

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,460

Location: USA

7

Friday, March 13th 2009, 3:19pm

Emitters

I beilieve it to be the emitters themselves. Maybe they're installed backwards. Possible buy an emitter you can manually adjust then you can visually adjust it how you like. The fitting you described is definetly available. Keep looking.

HooKooDooKu

Supreme Member

8

Friday, March 13th 2009, 7:22pm

I was starting to think the emmitters too. When everything was first installed, did you flush the tubing before installing/running the emmitters? Is there a fine mesh filter? It doesn't take much to clog the tiny pores of the emmitters. Filtration is required, and if there was dirt in the lines that didn't get flushed out first, it's possible that all the emmitters have become clogged... maybe not likely, but since water is obviously getting to the emmitters, there is either a problem with the emmitters or not enough water pressure getting to the emmitters.

Bslater

Unregistered

9

Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 8:35am

The emitters seem to work fine when first pressurized and when its turned off. Once the line reaches full pressure, that seems to be when they stop working. I do not have a mesh filter on the system though, and I know thats a problem. I am thinking maybe in my last ditch effort I should just buy a low-flow valve/filter combo and replace the existing valve. I don't want to spend another $50-60 on the system, but I am running out of options. :)

Thanks!

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,460

Location: USA

10

Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 11:49am

New emitter

There's a distinct possibility buying a new valve wont fix your problem. Low flow doesn't mean lower pressure. You have a pressure regulator on the system already. You do however need a filter. Without a mesh filter there's a possibility that ALL of your emitters have debris in them. I suggest you swap out a couple of emitters with new ones and see what happens. Something with a higher flow. I've found that the higher GPH emitters work better and don't clog as easily. ------

Here's what ALWAYS makes my customers happy. Nobody has ever complained. They're hands on and simple to adjusted to the flow you want. They don't clog as easily in my opinion.

http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/06-011-Adjustable-Drip-Emitters-Barb-p/06-011.htm

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "mrfixit" (Mar 18th 2009, 12:04pm)


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