Newb to drip irrigation any advice appreciated

flipback23(9 SF Bay)February 24, 2014

Hi all,
I usually post in the pepper forum but due to the drought in Cali this year I installed a rainbird drip kit in my 3 raised beds so far.But I have a couple concerns/questions.

I have my system connected to my faucet via anti siphon connector to 25-30 psi regulator to which my 1/2 main line plugs into with an installed 1/6 gph flow control inside connector of 1/2 main.

From the 1/2 main I have 1/4 feeder lines to my drippers. The instruction book said not to use more than 150 gph worth of drippers on a single circuit. So I have a total of 117 gph drippers for all 3 beds.

But what I don't get is how is this saving me water. I can hand water my whole garden which is 7 raised beds and many containers in probably less than 20 mins total with a watering wand 2-3 times a week depending on weather.

The instruction guide says to water 2-3 times weekly for 2-4 hours depending on weather.

Now maybe Im not understanding the full concept/math of the drip system but 117 gallons of water per hour for 2-3 hrs sure sounds like a lot of water usage. And I know 20 mins of water is not even coming close to that much water usage. So where is the savings. Again I maybe missing the bigger picture or just not understanding how the drip system works.

So any info appreciated.
Rey

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lehua49

fb,

Please explain the second paragraph more in detail. I am not understanding 1/6 gph flow control and then hooking up 117 gph. Drip systems are made to save water for large orchards are farms and farmers don't have the ability to water manually. Drip delivers water to the roots zone with 90% efficiency versus overhead irrigation which is 50% efficient because of evaporation over a large area. For a farm this is big money and time savings. For a residence it is not that important unless you just want to forget about taking the time the water. Most of us enjoy watering and checking our plants. It is the part of pampering something that gives back in spades what you put into it. If you would like to do the math, I need to ask you some questions and get more details of your system. It sounds as if you have started off right, but like anything else it has to be fine tuned by trial and error until you can trust the system to do the correct thing over time. Let me know if you want to do the math to make sure your current system design meets your expectations. Aloha

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 9:06PM
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flipback23(9 SF Bay)

Lehua,
Sorry for the confusing description. And I was wrong the flow regulator is labeled 1/6 gpm. I Have attached a photo of everything that came with my kit in order of connection to faucet to main line.

And dont get me wrong I love watering my garden, but due to the current drought situation in California, I was trying to do this to save water. But I dont see how this saves me water based off the instructions I stated above.

For my 3 beds each has 15 1GPH drippers and 12 2GPH drippers. So times 3 comes out to 117 GPH of water. The manual for the kit states depending on weather when watering veggies it should be done at an interval or 2-3 times weekly for 2-3 hrs each time.

Thats where my questioning of saving comes into play. I feel that hand watering for 20 mins max, which includes turning off my wand to walk to my beds and containers uses less water than a dripper system running for 2-3 hours at a rate of 117 gph.

Maybe Im still explaining it wrong but I hope I clarified my concerns a bit better. And yes I do suck at the math lol.

This post was edited by flipback23 on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 14:56

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 2:53PM
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lehua49

fb,

Take a 5-gal bucket and time filling it up with the wand. Let me know what that time is. Your flow restrictor is 10 GPH so it would be difficult to energize all your drip emitters all at once. Do you have it split into zones and watered at different times? Can you pull off the main line to your beds and time filling up a 5-gal bucket with that line. The other part is, after the irrigation period, see if the water has reached all the plants. I wouldn't follow a manual but determine what your system is actually doing. The goal is get minimum water to all the plants and mot to just follow a manual. Check with other others on the veggie forums but I use about 0.5 gal per plant every 3 days or a gallon per week. This varies with maturity of the plant and heat of the day. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:36PM
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