Drip Systems

Hi...I'm new to your group..Recent retiree transplant from Oregon to SW Washington...Have a large lot that is primarily in lawn with perimeter straight edged beds...want to work toward more island flower beds and sculpting the existing beds...also have a large collection of large container plantings that are currently serving as my "holding beds"..
There is an existing underground sprinkler serving the lawn and 80% of the beds, that is approx 6-7 years old...want to augment that with automatic drip system for containers and new beds....
Have any of you some experience or war stories you could share....would really apprecicate it....Am looking for hints as to making the system as easy to maintain as possible...Thanks a bunch
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I did this a few years ago. I was fortunate in that the original installer had had the foresight to build a manifold that had capacity to add two control valves, so I just added the valves (be certain that you get the type that can be adjusted to reduce the water pressure; drip systems use low pressure) and ran some lines down my flower beds. I installed the drip nozzles, and some misters, with a kit.
I didn't have this problem, as my beds are all along the perimeter, but if you will have some in the interior of the lawn, you will have to find out where the original lines run, and avoid them when you are trenching. Fortunately for me, our excellent original installer had left a map showing where he ran the lines.
Sandye wrote:

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I found this site very useful. I set up my first drip irrigation system (single zone) with one of their kits.
http://www.dripirrigation.com
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Sandye wrote:

I gave up on RainDance stuff. You wind up spending a fortune on adapters, hose, droppers, etc. In the end, using ordinary soaker hoses works well and is far, far less expensive.
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Soaker hoses are great, but if you live in an area with hard water the hose will clog with dissolved minerals. Also, fertilizing through drip hose using liquid or other water soluble fertilizer can clog the hose too.
Layne
On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 20:08:36 -0400, Stubby

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Layne wrote:

The emitters don't clog up?
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 07:35:28 GMT, "Travis"

No properly designed and installed systems, even with the incredibly saline high TDS water in desert municipalities, emitters do NOT clog!
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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Layne wrote:

Is there a good way to "unclog" a soaker hose which has started to get sluggish from such deposits after a season's worth of use ?
I'm getting ready to put two of mine away for the year, and I'd appreciate suggestions on their "care & feeding" :-)
TIA
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Justa Lurker wrote:

Funny thing. This town (Chelmsford, MA) is well known for its hard water, but it hasn't clogged the soaker hoses. We use the $9 hoses from Home Depot.
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It may depend on how one defines hard water. Our irrigation water (AZ desert) comes from watershed runoff, is very alkaline, and contains a lot of mineral salts. My experience is that the useful life of soaker hoses, including those manufactured locally, is only about one year. I have heard that the plugged hose pores can be cleaned up by soaking and flushing out with Lime Away but I haven't tried that.
About 8 years ago, I started using Dripworks' ( www.dripworksusa.com ) 15 mil, 40 GPH/100' drip tapes where appropriate or their turbulent flow , self- flushing emitters. The drip tapes need to be in a straight line (no bending or curving around corners) but work very well once one learn how to use them. MiracleGro is injected regularly using the "EZ Flo Fertilizer Injector" and there has never been any clogging but there are grayish spots at the emitter on the drip tapes where the water evaporated leaving the salt deposits on the tape. Covering with mulch helps to minimize the salt deposits. I also use the 1/2 inch drip tubing (emitters enclosed in the tubing) around the drip line of trees and have had no problem with those either but these are a bit pricey.
Olin
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I normally remove the scale from my soaker hoses in the spring by pulling them around a sharp bend to break up the scale then flushing out the hose with water. This works best if the hose is dry to start with.
Bill

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I use soaker hoses religiously. Some from the Home Depot and some from Sears. You gotta love Sears' 100% replacement warranty. Seems the hoses from the Depot emit about 50% more water and therefore cannot be coupled with the Sears brand.
The water here is relatively mineral free and salt free so the hoses tend to last about 3-4 years under the mulch without any signifigant clogging issues... but all municipal water systems sometimes convey a bit of agitated sediment.
Usually in the Spring I'll remove any hose which doesn't seem to be peforming well and coil it up into a a large "whiskey barrel liner" type container, fill the hose and container with water and leave it in the sun for a day.
In the evening or next day, I drag the hose around a 4 x 4 post to jog any debris out if their niches or pores, and flush with clean water from a hose.
Remember a soaker hose is just one very long, narrow filter.
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