Drip water pressure too high

Mikes1098April 6, 2013

I have read through many posts that sound exactly the same as my issue.... recently added a zone to my irrigation system dedicated to a small drip system for a raised garden. I am using 1/4" laser drilled soaker tubing. It is controlled with a rainbird automatic valve with a 30 psi pressure regulator and filter combo. When the system coming on the hose is jetting water at high pressure. So I am confident I am either getting to high of pressure or the pressure regulator is not working.... My question is -- what have people done to fix this issue? I have read many posts but nobody has explained how they solved it.

I have checked the water pressure at a hose outlet -- it was ~65 psi. I thing I am not sure about, is our house has 2 water meters one for the irrigation and one for the house... not sure if they are different pressures, pretty sure they come from the same main water line. I will attempt to remove the valve tomorrow and try to measure the pressure at the control valve itself.

Thanks in advance

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lehua49

Mike,

Does the hose outlet you checked come from your house? Do you have a pressure regulator for your house? Street pressure is usually 80-90 psi and can be as high as 120 psi. This pressure is harmful to water appliances, faucets and other valves in your house. You might have to install a pressure regulator to your irrigation as well. Auto-valves for irrigation can be damaged because of water hammer from high pressure and cause the low pressure regulators to malfunction. Aloha

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:17AM
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Mikes1098

I checked the second line today... apparently there is not pressure regulator in that line. The pressure topped out at just under 120psi when the valve was first opened and settled at just under 110psi. Clearly this is my problem.... is there a recommended pressure regulator that I can install just before the drip line control valve -- in the 3/4" pvc that will reduce the pressure to under 70psi? Thanks

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:07PM
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mike1059(8)

rainbird makes an inline regulater speciphicaly for dripline stations like you have installed. any irrigation parts dealer should be able to help you find the exact one you need.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Mikes1098

Upon mike1059's suggestion about rain bird having the valve I need, I investigated the pressure regulator I already had.... the recommended water pressure is 70 psi but it is good up to 120 psi.... heck their website does not even mention the 70 psi (that is in the paper work with the valve)...

http://www.rainbird.com/homeowner/products/drip/DripControlZoneKit-Inline.htm#.UWNpyTfJj58

So I tested the pressure after the regulator...bang on or close to 30psi -- which is good because I was not looking forward to adding another regulator. So the regulator is working even at the higher line pressure.... This leads me to the drip line itself... it is 1/4" orbit laser drilled every 6" -- I was expecting it to dribble out but is it suppose to mist or spray out? Is my line pressure suppose to be less than 30psi (the package did not really say anything about it)? I am curious if this is the difference between the laser drilled and the emitter style soaker lines. I even try reversing the soaker line, thinking maybe the arrows were printed on backwards... is there a chance the line is simply defective?

Thanks, Mike

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:24PM
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lehua49

Mike,

Glad you can got it to 30 psi with installing a home style regulator. Usually you use two in tandem stepping down as you go. You might put in a second inline drip pressure regulator and drop the pressure from 30 psi to 15 psi and see what happens. That 15 psi PRs are pretty inexpensive. GL JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:13PM
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mike1059(8)

As lehua suggests, the proper pressure for laser cut drip line is 8 to 15psi. Most emitters are inividualy regulated as well as certan types of 1/2" emitter lines.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:48AM
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Mikes1098

For those interested in the solution... my water pressure was 30psi all along but the laser drilled drip jetted water out 5+ ft away -- I suspect lehua13 and mike1059 are very correct in that if you use that style drip line you need water pressure 8 to 15 psi. Instead, I opted to try the drip line with .5 gph emitters molded into it every 6".... replaced all the tubing... turned it on... and it now works perfectly! For me this was simpler than trying to add another regulator. I am still very surprised how little technical info is out there on recommended pressures.... this thread was only place that gave a specific number for the laser drilled line.

Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 9:39PM
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