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Old 11-27-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
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Default Drip irrigation valve confusion

Can anyone out there advise me on this? I put in four hop plants this fall and am planning to install a little drip system for them next spring. I've done lots of web serfing and think I get it except for the valve. Apparently low flow is a real issue with these solenoid-operated diaphragm valves typically used for irrigation systems. Because I am only watering four plants, my flow will be extremely low. I'm thinking I will have two 0.5 gal/hour emitters for each plant, so that is 8x.5/60=0.07 gal/min. When I look at drip irrigation valves at places like Rain Bird, even the low flow valves have a listed "bottom-of-the-range" of .2 gpm. If necessary I can extend this thing to the rose garden and increase my design flow, but I digress...
Now, to add to the confusion, I saw a thread on this very forum that described using one of these all-in-one timer/valves (hose-end timer) that you would install on a hose bib and connect your drip main to the discharge and it can be programmed for whatever you want your watering schedule to be, same as you would do with a separate controller connected to a valve.
They seem to indicate these will work for sprinklers and drip systems alike.
So, how does this thing avoid all the issues that plague the valve designers?

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:35 PM   #2
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I have my whole drip system on a standard rainbird timer and 3/4 inch valves. The system came with pressure regulators. Seems to be working great. This is the 4th year its been installed with no problems.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:45 PM   #3
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Look in to getting pressure compensated emitters or try a drip line made by netafim, which have them standard. It has emitters every 12 inches and you can place it in a grid in your planting area. Also, when using drip, be sure to set it up in a loop so that you get equal water distribution.
If you are planting in pots, then you can just have a blow off emitter to help regulate pressure at the end of the line set to go into a bucket or something and you can use that water elsewhere.

-your friendly neighborhood irrigation professional
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