Emitters are specifically designed using a turbulent flow path so a small droplet of water will flow consistently through the orifice in the unit. A series of properly spaced emitters or drip piping will thoroughly saturate the soil in a flower pot, planter box, shrub bed and even a turf area. Only an experienced certified drip irrigation contractor should be used to properly design and install this type of system to achieve proper coverage and precipitation required for the specific landscape and plant material. Pacific Lawn Sprinklers has been designing and installing Garden irrigation and drip irrigation systems for over 38 years and is well seasoned in the proper design, installation and maintenance required for a trouble free system. COMPONENTS:
The choices in drip and micro irrigation products are bewildering. Each manufacturer supplies a full line of drip emitters, misters, in-line emitters and not to mention stakes, fittings, pressure regulators flush valves , filters and many other accessories.
- Piping: Supply lines for residential drip irrigation systems vary between ½” and 1” in size. The lines are usually made of PVC piping or polyethylene. Individual emitters that are used mainly in flower pots and planters utilize an 1/8” poly supply tube (commonly known as spaghetti tubing) that can be easily hidden and installed out of site for a clean and neat looking Garden irrigation. Soil, rocks and decorative mulch can be used to cover up and hide the supply lines.
- Emitters: Emitters are available in many different shapes, sizes and colors that offer a variety of flow rates and pressure compensating choices for every project. Each one is color coded to identify it’s capacity. Punch in emitters are inserted into a supply line with a specialized tool and can be placed at specific intervals to achieve a desired flow rate or to supplement a particular area.
- Inline drip piping: a hybrid between a drip emitter and a ½” lateral supply line. The unique design has equally spaced emitters directly inside the piping that is produced at the time of extrusion (manufacturing). All the internal emitters have a turbulent flow design to help keep the emitter from prematurely clogging. This type of piping is packaged in coils of different sizes and flow rates that can be rolled out and staked to the soil then buried for a completely hidden an clean look. It is recommended to cover the lines with no more than 2”-4” of soil. Inline drip piping is available for a wide variety of soils and plant material. Designs for Garden irrigation may be for a clay soil requiring a .5GPH emitter, 1 GPH for loam and possibly a 2 GPH rate for sandy soils.
- Micro spray heads ( aka low volume sprayers):Micro sprayers utilize low pressure and narrow diameter supply line just like drip emitters. The sprayers will apply a fine fan like spray of water much like a larger lawn sprinkler head. They are available in a variety of patterns from 1 foot to 9 feet. They are ideal for Garden irrigation, green houses, greens roofs, green walls, hanging plants and mass grouped plantings. Micro spray heads should not be used in turf areas .
- Y Filter: A Y filter is probably the most important component in any drip irrigation system and is essential because the emitters outlets are so narrow that even turbulent flow emitters can be clogged by a few flakes of rust or other debris. New construction, older buildings and water main repairs will all stir up debris in the water lines and can affect the performance of a drip irrigation or micro spray system. That is why proper maintenance will require the checking and replacement of the filter cartridge. If a supply line has elevated or continued dirty water a parallel series of filters may need to be installed.
- Pressure regulator: Reducing the pressure from the supply line is required many times because drip irrigation and micro sprayers are designed to work on low pressure. A preset pressure regulator is installed on the supply line will step down the supply pressure and ensure the system will not be over pressurized or blow apart. Proper pressure is essential to delivering the manufacturer’s specific flow rates for each emitter and sprayer.