Installing Microsprinklers

Adding Microsprinklers

Microsprinkler systems for containers and small planting areas are often referred to as "drip" irrigation. Correctly installed, these systems make it easy to deliver the right amount of water to plants.

A backflow-prevention device keeps irrigation water out of your household water supply. A filter prevents tiny openings from getting clogged. Water is carried to the vicinity by 3/4-inch supply hose, and 1/4-inch distribution tubing delivers it to the containers. You may want to add a timer to turn the water on and off automatically.

If you intend to bury water lines or install a larger system, check local codes and discuss your plan with an inspector.

Prestart Checklist

Time
Several hours to connect a simple watering system for five or six containers

Tools
Groove-joint pliers, screwdriver, tubing cutter, hole punch, hammer

Skills
Making simple plumbing connections

Prep
Draw up your proposed system and show it to an irrigation retailer or mail in a form to a sprinkler manufacturer

Materials
Microemitters and sprayers, 3/4-inch supply hose, 1/4-inch distribution tubing, connectors, caps, stakes, clips, clamps

Step 1

To connect to a hose bib, start with a dual shutoff Y-connector so you can still connect a standard hose. Add an antisiphon device to prevent backflow and a filter. Connect the 3/4-inch supply hose with a compression fitting.

Step 2

Run the hose to the area to be watered and route it past the containers using push-in compression tees, elbows, and couplings. Cut the hose with a tubing cutter. Install an end cap at the end of the run.

Step 3

To connect 1/4-inch distribution tubing to the supply hose, first poke the hose with a hole punch. Push a connector into the hole and slip the tubing onto the connector. If you make a mistake or change your mind, push a "goof plug" into the hole you no longer want to use.

Step 4

Choose among a variety of heads, such as bubblers and sprayers. In most cases, the head slips onto the end of the tubing and the tubing connects to a stake that is driven into the soil. Some heads have adjustable sprays.

Step 5

Position the emitters so the water sprays midway between the leaf canopy and the soil. Turn the water on and reposition the heads for the best watering. Use plastic clips to hold the supply and distribution tubing in place.


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One Hour or Less

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