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jjrbus 04-04-2010 07:34 AM

DIY irrigation
I am going to put in an 80 foot row of Areca palms here in SW FL.

I've looked at ready made systems and am thinking they are pipes/tubing with holes in them. Why can't I run a 1/2 or 3/4 inch pipe and drill a small hole by each plant? I don't need timer's or anything fancy, I just want to get some water to the plants when it is dry without standing there with a hose.
Any input, advice, comments or wise cracks greatly appreciated. JIm

AllanJ 04-04-2010 12:40 PM

If you simply drill a small hole in the pipe at each plant, water pressure in the pipe goes down as the water passes each hole.

You could try anyway and see how well it works.

I don't know how ready made systems account for that, perhaps there is a straw like extra tube attached to each hole along the way, perhaps the holes start out small and gradually get larger, etc. so as not to lose too much pressure too soon and not have the first few plants get much more water than the last few plants.

Bushman 04-04-2010 02:20 PM

I did some irrigation work on my Dad's place in Florida and basically we used pvc pipes, sprinkler risers and sprinkler heads. Glued with pvc glue. I live up north where everything is different bcuz of frost but I would run PVC and at every tree put in tee. Then install a sprinkler head from Home Depot or other store. You can buy whatever head you desire from drippers to full spray. Be careful of the diameter of pipe because you need to maintain a balance of pressure and volume the whole way thru. I can't think exactly what to use cuz it's been 6 years but I would guess 1 inch main pipe with 1/2 inch pipe coming off the tee extensions. The one inch should carry volume and you will get your pressure from the reduction at the tees. Just buy some type of adapter to hook it up to your hose. They also sell timer mechanisms that hook to your faucet and will turn on water automatically. Remember to water just before sun comes up. Watering at night promotes fungi and molds.

vsheetz 04-04-2010 04:07 PM

I would consider to install a simple drip system - using drip rings looped around each tree.

Water Guy 04-05-2010 03:26 PM

You won't loose pressure as you go down the line (or pipe). The pressure will be balanced for the length of the pipe and the number of holes in it, as long as you plug the end of the pipe or hose and you don't have a bunch of 1/2" holes in a 3/4" pipe.

Mind you, if you have 60 or 70 lbs. of pressure coming out of that hose bibb, and you have 25 or 30 1/8 or 1/4" holes in it, you're going to have some gouges in the ground at each palm.

How much water do these palms need? and how often? How big are the palm that you are planting?

What is your pressure, and flow rates?

Use 3/4" pipe. And don't forget to use at least a Hose Bibb vacuum breaker for backflow control, or what ever your jurisdiction requires.


HooKooDooKu 04-06-2010 02:21 AM

The problem will be inconsistant holes, and pressure drop as you travel down the pipe, with lots of water at the water source and almost none at the far end.

And the pressure WILL drop. The amount depends upon the pipe size and water flow rate. The trick is to size everything such that the difference in pressure from one end to the other will not matter... and drip irrigation does this for you.

For the distance you're talking about, you want drip tubing and emmitters. The emmitters are designed to drip a certain amount of water (sized in typically 1/2 gallons per hour, 1 gallon per hour, and 2 gallons per hours). You use a special tool that is basically a shart point to puncture a hole just the right size in the relatively thin drip tubing. The emmitters have a barb fitting you then push through the hole.

With drip systems, the emmitters are designed such that they will drip (about) their rated rate even with minor changes in pressure (i.e. the difference in pressure from one end of the drip tubing to the other).

jjrbus 07-02-2012 01:36 PM

Was looking for something else and came on this thread. I did this with 3/4 PVC pipe 2 years ago and no problems, is there more water at the supply end, yes a little, no big deal. This is 80' with about 25 plants.

Not knowing if it was going to work I did not glue the sections together. On the supply end I had to, I was going to say glued, but I used a stainless steel screw to fasten the hose adapter and first elbow. I also had to fasten the end cap on the far end.
Thanks JIm

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