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Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Posted by biradarcm 7b (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 11, 11 at 13:51

Here is my proposed irrigation system for raised beds, I am planning to built this fall. It is not only for raised beds but it also accommodate greenhouse, fruits trees, bean teepee, etc. Its a combination of PVC, Soakerhose, Drip liners, Drip Tapes. Each bed will have outlet connected to 25-50ft soaker hose. Value and timer will regulate the watering system so more control over the individual beds based on the plant water requirement. The mail PVC lines will will be buried and drain value at the end of main line will remove any standing water from the PVC lines so that will have least damage to system in the winter ( I hope!). Removable drip lines/saoker hoses will help in tilling and bed preparations. Please feel free to comment and suggest any better ideas...

Thank you -Chandra


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

This looks great! Have you estimated what the cost would be by any chance? I've been looking at different irrigation options for my new garden, and I'm not sure whether to go with soaker hoses and PVC pipes or one of those drip irrigation all-in-one kits.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, will your wife be totally mad at me if I propose to you? You are AMAZING. If my DH was 10% as talented or crafty as you, it would save me THOUSANDS of hours of work per year.

Jo


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

I forgot to give my rough estimate, it will cost about $356.59 for the materials including pipes, fittings and accessories.

By the way, I had drip irrigation kit but it was not fit well with my garden layout. Secondly I used to hit emitter or line while tilling or planting, system become useless with in one season.

Proposed system will have an advantage to roll up the dipper lines and saokerhose while tilling and cleaning the beds for planting. Probably I may need to role-up twice a year, rest of the time they will be hiding below the mulch (lawn clippings) so that they will not become brittle and lost longer.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Hi Chandra. I'd been wondering where you've been. Obviously busy designing the new watering system in your spare time.

Here are a few thoughts on it, based on about 25 years experience in using drip systems. Not necessarily right, you understand, but just things I've picked up along the way. Your basic design looks terrific.

I don't think you need the drain valve at the far end. I've never had to use one, even in a very cold climate, as long as we just fold over the end with one of the 8-shaped clips and then open it to drain it or clean it out. I've never had the line freeze.

I also have not had much luck with a soaker hose. They tend to be erratic and not always consistent in the amount of water they put out. However, I've only used them with well water or a live irrigation ditch that has small particles in the water. If you are using city water, clogging might not be a problem. I'd like to hear some comments from others who use them with city water, and see if the same problem develops . . . or not. Another factor that's important to me is the cost of a soaker hose compared to the standard drip emitters that I use. For a large area, soakers are not economical for me.

Will you be using in-line shut-off valves for any of the areas, so you can control the water output for certain plants? I don't know what the plant requirements might be, or if you have some that need a lot more water than others. It's something to think about, although it would be slightly more tedious to turn them on and off. However, if you have the crops grouped according to water needs, you can adjust the timers to account for that and probably not need to manually turn any of the lines off or on at all..

The timer will be terrific. Not only having it automated, but also being able to time the watering for the night or early morning hours will be such a huge benefit.

One thing I must say is that I really don't understand why people think drip irrigation is difficult. It really is not at all (in spite of what a college class might tell you). It's fast and easy to install, and is not expensive unless you go out and buy one of the pre-made kits, which will probably not work for an individual garden without adapting it anyway. Drip systems are incredibly effective and, once installed, should last for years and years. I've run systems that cover an acre of ground or more, and I must say that the worst of the problems seem to come from the PVC rather than the actual drip lines. Clearing problems or repairing breaks in buried PVC is not one of my favorite things to do, and I've had to do a lot of it. It's something I'd rather avoid whenever possible, so I try to design a way around a potential problem before it has a chance to develop.

Pat


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

The drip irrigation components do look to be quite a bit cheaper overall than buying multiple soaker hoses, and they seem fairly straightforward to install. I think I'll definitely do something like that for the rectangle beds, but I haven't figured out what to do about my trees and shrubs yet which are scattered across about 0.75 acres. The soaker hose rings look nice, but they seem a bit pricey. I don't want to waste a ton of water by having lengths of soaker hoses leaking between them onto the grass, either, so I'd have to set up some kind of custom hose with lengths of regular hose or pvc in between the trees. Hand watering with the hose may still be the most feasible way to go for those I guess.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, it looks very good. I am doing the same thing except with very little soaker hose and not a lot of drip line.

The biggest disappoint for me was using 1/2" PVC to feed the gardens. I removed the 1/2" and have been transferring over to 3/4". I would go larger but when we put the house in I only used 3/4" from the meter to the house.

As far as cost, I have been paying about .12 cents per ft for 1/2", about .17 for 3/4". The cost for fittings vary depending on what they are. I buy them in the contractor pack of 10, most run from .20 to .30 each. I have been paying a little under $3.50 for an adapter from 3/4 npt to 3/4 ght. Most of my fitting where I should use an adapter I just wrap the male thread with teflon tape and screw it up, sometimes I have to add an extra hose washer to keeping it from leaking. The last bow of #66945 "y" valves I bought were $1.00 each. I just looked on line and they are $1.17 each now. If you live near a large city you can beat these prices.

I bought 50' 1/2 soaker hose for about 8 or 9 dollars.

I ordered 4 drip started kits from Harbor Freight this morning, part no.46095 for about $3.75 ea., which came to about $5.50 each after tax and shipping. Each one of these kits contain 100" of small vinyl tubing along with fitting and emitters. These supplies, along what I already have will be close to all I need to finish the gardens and flower beds.

Larry

If it keeps raining like it is now I will be building a boat rather than an irrigation system. but I am sure happy to see the rain.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Jo, Thank you for the compliments. I found most time consuming task in home gardening is watering. I agree with you, automation or semi-automation in watering system will save lot of time, water bill and also reduce weeds.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra. as I said above, I like your system, but if I may, please permit me to ask some questions.

1. what is your static water pressure?

2. What is the diameter of your feed line?

3. Do you have a valve feeding a valve, or will there be two feed lines running along together on the east side of your garden?

I like the idea of having drain valves, because of the way my system is designed I have 3 low spot and therefore have 3 drain valves with a small leach system on each valve.

Thank you, Larry.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, Your msg came through because you changed the title. It seems to have some type of code that I think is meant to keep from getting double postings of the same message, when you post soon after a previous post. If you just change the title line it will let you post again. You may have noticed that when that happens to me, I just add a "2" to the subject, and then it works.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, will you be using mulch in your raised beds? If you are, what sort of mulch will you use?

The biggest problem I had this year was with the strawberry bed drying out. I thought the plants were thick enough to provide shade and help keep it moist. It worked out well until the weather got really hot. Then there was simply not enough dampness in the bed and the plants began to shrivel up unless I gave them a deep soak every other day. The bed had a heavy paper liner put in this spring to prevent too much seepage, but it was not enough.

I can't say that it dried up any faster than anything else, and the plants seemed to wilt at the same rate as the heavily mulched melons nearby, but I'd like to do a better job of it next year, and improve the soil at the same time. Do you have any suggestions?

Pat


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

When I start posting like crazy I get the same message Chandra. My brain and my fingers race faster than GW can keep up. I think it's an anti-spam filter. If you change the subject line between postings, you can post as much or as often as you want to any one thread.

Jo


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

I installed an automatic system about three years ago, with limited success, partly because I made a few rookie mistakes. Now I am redesigning my system and am hoping to have it ready by the end of next week. The biggest issue I had was trying to connect the system to a hose bib in the back yard. It constantly leaked, mainly because I had pvc pipe and fittings connected to the hose bib, and never could get the alignment right. Now I am going to use a washing machine hose to connect from the faucet to the PVC under ground line to a homemade manifold with six valves. I have three valves controlling three zones with soaker hoses. another valve will be for drip irrigation for ths shrubs. One for the veggie garden and one for the potted plants. I have four more valves that will be used for a combination of soaker hoses and drip lines for the foundation plantings.

I'm even thinking of adding a valve to the bird bath.

James


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

James, did you use an adapter that adapts from the 3/4" 14 npt to 3/4" 11.5 ght. This is one thing screwie about the U. S.. Our garden hose thread does not match the pipe thread. Other than being 2.5 threads per inch different the pipe thread has almost 1.5 degrees taper. I make it work in most cases but there is a good chance it will leak.

You can unscrew the adapter out of your faucet and screw in a 3/4" pipe nipple if is a 3/4" frost-less faucet. The standard 1/2" faucet will have less flow and I don't think they have the option of adding the adapter.

One trick I use to keep flow up is using a larger hose and 3/4" pipe. It will change the resistance and volume in the hose, but it wont change the smaller casting. I am also changing over to full flow ball valves and using long ell like used in electrical PVC. I am nor sure how this will work because I am planning on stretching a flexegen 3/4" 8 ply hose over a 3/4" piece of CPVC and gluing a 3/4" 14 thd. adappter. If I cant get that to work I will just slide the hose over the pvc threaded adapter and clamp.

The fact that the threads don't match make it much harder to adapt.

I wish you the best of luck in your revision.

I have not worked on my system much lately, we are spending a lot of time running family members back and forth to the Doctor, plus it has been too hot to do any thing.

Larry

I'm so sleepy I dont know if any of this makes sence.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Okay, you guys. Now I'm confused. It seems that this is becoming unnecessarily difficult, trying to connect the fittings from PVC to standard pipe. Am I missing something?

If you absolutely must use a PVC line, why not just take a pipe that's threaded on one end, slot the unthreaded end of it into the PVC joint and cement it in place? The threaded end is there for whatever you need to attach. That's what we've always done, and it works just fine. Matching threads is not something that ever comes into question.

I personally prefer not to use PVC at all, but run a standard hose with the Y or multiple fitting attached and then hook my drip line into that. I disconnect it and roll it up for the winter and leave all actual the drip system in place, only draining it so it won't freeze. A system I put in back in 1986 is still working just fine and it operates just that way. Since it's a very large system, the big PVC is buried underground, with risers installed for hose bibs where they are needed. The drip line is connected with a simple section of garden hose in the spring and drained out late in the fall. The emitters are nearly all the micro-spinner type, to cover a large area at one time. It had better operate properly, since there are six hose bibs to operate all the lines, several have Y-fittings on them, and over 120 spray emitters are installed in it. I would hate to have to worry about maintaining it very often. It was installed to work, not to have something that needs fussing with. Have I been doing it wrong all these years??

Pat


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Pat,
Thanks for sharing your experience with drip irrigation. Those are nice suggestiuons. I may just use ball balve instead of dain valve. My main line will be burried PVC, 8-shaped clips may not work. Our landscape has little slope, it guess it helps to drain all water from th pipes. I am compbing soaker hose and t-tapes becouse I have 5 sets already use in beds. I may not use in-line shut of valves but thinking to group plants and each besd will have its own outlets. I am using few timers, they are awesome. Earlier I am thinking to consider drip lines for mail supply but fitting will be very loosed with dripline, then decided to go with PVC. I will let you know once I start.

Miraje,
You may want to layout main drip line or PVC burred to all threes then use emittres or tree rings to each tree. I saw smilar system at our neighbiurhood's common landscape plants. I don't think hand watring would be aq feasible method if you have many plants and spending lot of time watering enough to saok root zone.

Larry,
Thank you, contactor pack sounds good to me. I will check for price at local stores. I have drip irrigation kit bought from dripworks but I am not happy with it becouse it is not fitting or not many emitters to fit any bed, then installed that for rose garden and hit main line couple of times while tilling in the spring. Now that is just laying under the mulch. I not thought about the differences in thead with same diameter fittings. I will keep eye on that when buy fittings.

here are my answers for your qyestions;
1. I don't know about the our home's static water pressure? how you guys measure it? Does water meter display? If so i will check it and post it again. Waterpressure seems to be high, 200ft sokaer house work great with that pressure and I use hose to clean porch like pressure washer.

2. feed line diameter is 1 inch.
3. Yes we have valve back and front of the house. Three is no feed line runing east and west, blue lines showing in picture are the onc I am planning install PVC.

Carrol and Jo, Thank you, I got it.

Pat,
I use mainly lawn clippings. I never use any chedmical on lawn, so those clips works great. I had similar problem with satrwbeery beds, but lawn clippins helping a lot to conserve moisture and clips also help to avide soil splashing on the plants and fruits. I left all plants and push the lawn arounf the plants and all empy spaces. Howver you may also neeed to push suckers down soil to initiate rooting just incase you are muclhing heavily.


James,
What is nice idea to have a valve to birth bath. Thanks for the idea. I will install a valve and hook it to tiny sprinkler head to birthbath so that they get fresh water all the times.


-Chandra


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

You all seem much more informed than myself on this subject, but I just want to chime in with my experience. I bought what I consider a very economical kit from www.dripdepot.com and have used it on a timer this year. It was easy to install and has paid for itself in water savings. Our garden has been really fun this year even through the crazy weather because of the improvements we made. I'm not a fan of soaker hoses, but drip lines have worked great so far, we did some modifying through the year adding lines with more drip sites on them for rows that needed more water. I love your plan to have shut off valves, smart! The website I mentioned has a lot of parts you can order to make a personalized system, video tutorials, and even rain barrels.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Thanks for the answer about mulch, Chandra. I've always used grass clippings, but wanted to know if you had better luck with something else.

I'm sure you all know that the drip emitters are rated by GPH (gallons per hour) and your watering is controlled that way. If you use too low an emitter with the pressure you have, it will blow the emitter off and spray water everywhere. I just turn the pressure down to a comfortable level. Running it from a hose bib makes the adjustment as easy as anything can be. If you live in the city, a call to the water dept should be able to quickly answer how much pressure is in the system.

If you have plants with different requirements, in-line shut-off valves are a good idea. You just need to remember to open or close them on schedule if the system is on an automatic timer.

Pat


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

What a lot of good information. I have gleaned a few ideas that I intend to incorporate.

Larry, yes I have many adapters in my system. I never thought about Pat's idea to just glue the pipes together. I will check into that.

From the automatic valves, I am using T-filters and pressure reducers to go the micro systems, but no filters to the soaker hoses.

I too have a slope that I am planning to use soaker hoses on. The first time I used soaker hoses, the coverage was very spotty; Now instead of laying the hoses vertically down the slope, I plan to lay them horizontally in a snake pattern. Also, I will not hook more than 50' of soaker hose. James


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, you will be happy with a 1" line. I wish I had that option. I ran 1/2" first and was disappointed, I am now switching over to 3/4". Going through a 100' 3/4" dia. water hose to the garden I can fill a 55 gal. drum in just under 7 minutes. I hope I can maintain that flow when I get all the PVC installed.

All the PVC fittings will be marked as to the size they are. All standard fittings are NPT (national pipe thread).
The white ones are PVC, sch. 40 PVC is rated at about 600 PSI, The 3/4" is rated at 480 PSI. The cream colored ones are CPVC, used for hot water and they are a little smaller so they will not interchange. Don't use the CPVC, it cost more and will give you less flow.

A pressure gauge can be bought that hooks to the faucet, or you can make one with an old air pressure gauge, which is what I did.

The easiest way to find out you static pressure is to call the water company. If you want to have a gauge in tweaking out your system you can buy an air pressure for 3-5 dollars, it will most likely be 1/4 NPT and you can get fittings anywhere.

My static pressure is only 44 PSI, I expect your pressure is 50 PSI or more.

My water meter only measures amount of water used.

I don't want to say anything about electricity because codes get very tricky at times, but I will ask if you have electric in your Greenhouse????

I hope you do well on you project, and please keep us informed. I am always looking for a way to improve my garden system.

I would suggest having some inline ball valves so if you have a rupture of some kind you can shut down that part of the system and still use the rest. There may be a time when you have to run a temporary water hose to bypass part of the damaged system. I use ball valves for my drain. The drain, or leach line is just a shot piece of PVC with a lot of holes drilled in it and stuck into a larger line so the hard gummy clay wont stop up holes.

Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

James, I think we are all getting some good ideas and I really Candra Lay-out.

Pat, now I am missing something. All the SCH. 40 PVC I buy is 10' long or 20' long, none threaded at all. I have bought some short pieces of SCH. 80 that was threaded. The SCH. 40 electrical (grey) is like the 20' white (Water) tubing and is extruded on one end to form a glue joint for the next Piece. Where do you get the threaded
SCH. 40 PVC.?

I have beed using pieces if old water hoses to attach to the water tubes. It sounds as though you have a better way. Will you explain it for a simple-minded country boy, and please write very slowly, because I am completely lost.

Thanks, Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Hey Larry,

Okay, I have two different answers for you. The first is that we don't normally use the threaded PVC when a hose bib will be going on it, simply because of the possible breakage later on. I hate breaks in PVC! I use a standard Sch 40 PVC T joint and mount an unthreaded metal pipe end into the top of it, cementing it in place. The upper pipe end is threaded and holds the bib for a hose or portable line.

Having said that, you can also buy short sections of threaded PVC at an irrigation supply house. I'm not sure of the diameter, but the ones we've used have been 1/2" to accommodate the Nelson sprinkler heads I like. Some places simply call them risers. Once in a great while we've used one for a hose bib mounting, but only if it's firmly anchored to some sort of support.
Let me look at some of the online sources I have bookmarked and see if I can find some parts and illustrations for you. If it's only a short riser, it's pretty sturdy. I don't like it when they are over 18" high.

As my father would have said "you're working too hard". Smile. I'll get back to you with more info.

Pat


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Okay, Larry, I'm back. I found two sources for wide ranges of irrigation stuff.
The first is SprinklerSupplies4Less. com. They have risers, threaded T-joints, couplings and adapters of all sizes, pressure regulators, and so on.

The second one I'll link below, since it only allows me to post one link. It's PlumberSurplus.com. They carry the Sch 80 risers in 1/2, 3/4, and 1" sizes, as well as nearly 500 different irrigation products.

I don't think I'd want to use Sch 40 for any joint that was going to get much use, as in screwing and unscrewing it. The Sch 80 is made to take the abuse. If it's a permanent installation that will be secure, then Sch 40 is fine.

If you want to go to the My Page link here and send me a note, describing exactly what you want to do with the drip line, and what you're working with for any existing system, I'll see if I can devise something that will be workable and efficient, and not drive you crazy putting it in place. A diagram would be best, but may not be absolutely necessary. Okay?

Pat

Here is a link that might be useful: Plumber Surplus


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Pat, thanks so much for getting back to me, I was not understanding what were you talking about. I do understand a little about risers. I have been installing what I think you are calling a hose bib. I just call it a faucet, altho it does not really have faucet on it.

I just run my PVC to the location where I wan to bring the water out of the ground and install a 90 degree ell or a "T". I glue a another 3/4" PVC into the top and come straight out of the ground to the height I want and glue in 2 90 to turn the pipe back down toward the ground. On that short piece of PVC I glue a slip 3/4" male adapter, one like the Lasco #23856, sold at Lowe's I think for about 35 cents. If you notice that fitting, altho it has a 3/4" 14 pipe thread on it, it also has a flat smooth surface on the end that will fit against the washer in a "Y' fitting.
I use the one step garden fitting from Harbor Freight #66945 because it is cheap. The last box of 20 cost me $1.00 each (online they are now $1.17 each). This gives me two places to attach a hose and 2 ball valves. The drawback is that all multiple outlet valves have a smaller hole through the valve which give less flow than a single full flow ball valve. I then drive in a T-post to anchor the hydrant to.

I think you were talking about pop-up sprinkles? If I am correct, I am not to that point yet and don't think I want to dig any more ditches. That is one reason I an leaning toward drip, spinner of soaker hoses for the flower beds.
I am invest a lot of work for the garden, but not much for the flower beds. I also want to run a drip or soaker system for the trees. That line will be very shallow and I will try to blow it out with the air compressor each fall, and if it blows some of the lines apart it will just drain better and I can repair it in the spring.

Thanks again for straightening me out. I had envisioned a 10' piece of PVC with threads on one end, and the other end split with a hack saw and a smaller pipe of a different tyo inserted, then glued and clamped to a smaller size pipe. I do that some time by using gorilla glue and then clamping it with a piece if 17 Ga, galv. wire. The gorilla glue will expand and make a pretty good joint. I then cover the wire with elecrtical tape to protect against sharp points.

Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Larry, I'm not sure I understand how you are able to connect the Lasco adapter with pipe threads to the two-way hose connector, since the threads are different. I know many big box stores sell the PVC adapter with male hose threads. Then I could see your connection being easy. James


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Hi Larry,

No, I don't use pop-up sprinklers of any kind. I don't like them at all. The only things I use are drip lines with mini-spinners or shrub bubblers on them. For the areas like what used to be the lawn, I prefer a Nelson WhizHead sprinkler.

In the system I was talking about, the main PVC lines are buried, with short risers cemented or screwed into Tee joints in the pipe, to connect permanent faucets where they are needed. A length of garden hose is used as the connector from the faucet to the drip line, if the 1/2" main drip line is not connected directly to the faucet or faucet Y, or if the faucet is too far away. The emitters are connected to the 1/2" line with pencil (needle) tubing, and I have very short risers to use with each spinner, so it's mounted only about 3" above the level of the ground. Shrub bubblers or nursery pot emitters are right at ground level.

The 1/2" main drip line can be buried or left exposed. Other than appearance and ease of maintenance, it doesn't make much difference either way. When it's left exposed, with the exception of the faucets, the whole thing can be picked up and moved or adjusted if necessary. The exposed line is disconnected and drained in the winter.

When I have a lot of spinners installed on one 50' line, each one will cover a 6' to 8' area and put out about 14 gph. If I start using raised beds for the veggies, I'll need a smaller or different type of emitter. It's hard to turn the pressure down far enough for the spinners to operate in a small diameter and still work properly. If I can find them, I'll probably use the little spike emitters that are made for pots in big nursery and greenhouse operations. If I can't find those, I'll just use shrub bubblers and reduce the watering time to compensate for their higher output.

These are setups that have worked very well for me for many years. It's fast and easy, only takes a couple of hours to set it up, requires a limited number of parts, is not expensive, and functions the way I want it to, with little or no maintenance. Once in a while a bug or bit of debris will get into a spinner and clog it, but it takes less than 30 seconds to clean it out and have it working again. I've never had to worry about a backflow preventer, although sometimes I've used a filter screen at the faucet if the water has debris in it that would clog the emitters.

Pat


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

James, it is not wise to connect a 3/4" 14 npt to a 3/4" 11.5 ght, and you have to be careful and get it shimmed right. The brass 3/4" 14 npt to 3/4 11.5 ght adapter cost around $3.39 each. I am too cheap to pay that if I can get around it. I have over 60 of them in my system and they are working fine. The pipe thread has a 1.47 degree taper to it, the ght does not. The outside diameter of each is within .010. I first screw the npt adapter into the Y to make sure it will reach and compress the washer, then I wrap some teflon tape around the male pipe thread to lube and to use up some of the manufacturing tolerance.
Because the threads are tapered the leading threads are a smaller diameter and therefore have a loosed fit than than the rear thread. If I want to improve my odds, I use a Q-tip and place a very small amount gorilla glue on both sides of the washer before screwing together.

I would never leave pressure on something like this all the time. I have an auto shutoff valve that I can set the amount of water to flow through the system and then shut off. This is a MUST HAVE for me because I am always forgetting and leaving the water on. If I were going to leave the system on all the time I would install a brass adapter and do it right.

This is the third year for some of my valves and the only failure was on one that I damaged the threads on, then shimmed with more Teflon tape and busted the Y when I was screwing it back together. I cut the old fitting off and replaced, I also repaired the Y with gorilla glue and 17 gauge electric fence wire wire.

It is not worth the labor to make repairs like that, but I am retired and enjoy doing that type of thing.

You were talking using a washing machine hose to connect your system. If they are both garden hose threads you can make a hose out of a piece of old garden hose by installing a female hose fitting on both ends.

The wiser side of my tells me to do it right with the bib adapter. The cheap side says don't spend the $200.00 + dollars if you don't have to, especialy if you are backing it up with an auto shut off anyway. I never set my shut off at more than 200 gal.

Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

HF Drip Irrigation Kit for Sale: $3.77

Here is a link that might be useful: Drip Irrigation Kit for $3.77


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, I have one out in my shop and 4 more that should be here today. The tubing looks a little larger than the other tubing I have in the shop from an old system, but you cant beat the price. I have not tried any of it yet but I expect in will be great for the flower beds.

I am taking what I have learned from you, James, Pat, Jay, Jo and some others and am going to apply it to the rest of my irrigation project.

James told me about a fitting that I had not heard of before. I had to go to Fort Smith to find them. I bought two of them and will be replacing the others as they fell.
They cost $1.54 each compared $.30 for the others when bought in the contractor pack, but they have the proper threads.

Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

That's a great price, Chandra. Thanks for posting it. I just bought 2 sets. The cost of shipping is hardly anything. I won't use all the parts, but just the tubing alone makes it well worth it.

Pat


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

My foremost important project for this spring is to install drip irrigation system to new beds, which has been getting delayed since last fall due to many reasons.

I just got a quote from one of the local landscape contractor, it more than I expected! He quoted $1800 to install pipeline as per the plan (shown in the first page), which is excluding the soakerhose and individual timer to each beds. I feel it too much to just to install mainline with Ts to each beds and greenhouse. Secondly he is going to use tractor-trencher to dig trenches for pipeline. But I am thinking it will spoil my lawn and also trencher may not be able to lay pipes close to beds and fence line because of its nature, need at least 3-4 ft running space.

Now decided to go DIY style. What is best way to lay down the pipes? I am thinking to use mantis edger to cut double (4") neat line and remove sod and 8" soil and lay pipe and fill back soil and put sod back to its place. I guess it will be a much neater than trencher. My second issue how to to hook irrigation line to main line, I never done that before.

Any suggestions for laying main irrigation line would be most helpful to me. Where should I buy materials such as PVC pipes, Ts, bends, etc.

Thanks -Chandra


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Ghandra,

You may have many options. I will tell you what I did. My biggest mistake was not to install a large enough line the first time. I thought because I only had a 3/4 main line that I would only install 1/2" which I have taken most out and will replace the rest in a few months.

I bought a mantis tiller just for the project because I was quoted $200.00 per day rental on a ditch witch (trencher). I dug all the trenches with the mantis. I did not like the edger tool. I was surprised how well the mantis did, if you have a lot of rocks you wont be happy with them.

As far as hooking into your main line, you will need to know what size and what material it is. I installed my main line and knew it was 3/4" PVC. I expect you will want to check to see if there are any codes you will have to comply with. I think most cities require an anti back flow device. I did not use one because the way my system is designed there is no way for back flow. I would go with the same size line that is feeding your house. You don't have to use all the water that the line is capable of supplying, but it will make very unhappy if you want more water and your line is not large enough to supply it. It will also be helpful if you know what your water pressure is. Mine is 150 PSI incoming to the meter and 40 PSI on the outlet side. My son uses 150 PSI for his outside water but in my opinion that is too much. I know you already plan on having ball valves and drains. I did not install my line deep because it is drained in the winter anyway and I live out in the country and don't have to deal with permits and codes, or at least I didn't.

I used the 10' sticks of sch 40 PVC, I think most people use the black plastic rolls. I don't like working with the black plastic but I don't know of any thing bad about it. I keep sch 40 supplies at home to do repairs for family and friends. If I want to modify or repair I just walk to the shop and get what I need.

Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Finally Irrigation System for Raised beds, greenhouse, water garden and birdbath installed!


I used 1" sch 40 PVC for mainline and 3/4" for laterals. Each beds has its own outlets with ball valves, it will be connected to drip lines/tapes and/or soaker hose.

Regards -Chandra


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Thanks RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Larry and Pat, your suggestions/tips were quite useful, thank you all -Chandra


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

NICE!

I am building my first irrigation system and went with soaker hoses and now I am questioning the wisdom of that after reading this thread. My garden is not nearly as big as some, so I am hoping it will be alright.


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, that is very nice, I think you will be very happy you used 1" and 3/4" lines, I wish I had that option. I will how ever be replacing my 1/2" line, its just too small to carry the volume of water I want. The garden that I hooked to 3/4"line gets much better flow. I wish I had installed 1" water line to the house. With the drip line or soaker hose you should be able to water a larger area at one time.

Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

In curious to know the water pressure from the irrigation system, I hooked up water pressure gauge from Lowe's to one of the outlet, its needle reaches 140 PSI and stcuk there, it is not coming back even after removing it. I think its gone. Do you think that is too much pressure? will Sch 40 PVC withstand that pressure? I read 40 SCH PVC in 1", 3/4" can take operating pressure up to 280-290 PSI.

Somehow soaker hose is not fitting well enough to make water tight. When I connect it to PVC threaded coupling, there is leakage (sprinklers)? any suggestion to make it water tight?

I made few PVD dripper lines from left out pipes. They seems to be working much better than soakerhose. here is are some pics;

PVC Irrigation: 3/4" pipe drilled with .2 holes for potato beds;

For strawberry beds;

Soakerhose;

I am not sure whether you can see tiny jets on the soakerhose, I guess due to much pressure soakerhose become jethose;

regards -Chandra


 o
pvc re: irrigation system for raised beds

In curious to know the water pressure from the irrigation system, I hooked up water pressure gauge from Lowe's to one of the outlet, its needle reaches 140 PSI and stcuk there, it is not coming back even after removing it. I think its gone. Do you think that is too much pressure? will Sch 40 PVC withstand that pressure? I read 40 SCH PVC in 1", 3/4" can take operating pressure up to 280-290 PSI.

Somehow soaker hose is not fitting well enough to make water tight. When I connect it to PVC threaded coupling, there is leakage (sprinklers)? any suggestion to make it water tight?

I made few PVD dripper lines from left out pipes. They seems to be working much better than soakerhose. here is are some pics;

PVC Irrigation: 3/4" pipe drilled with .2 holes for potato beds;

For strawberry beds;

Soakerhose;

I am not sure whether you can see tiny jets on the soakerhose, I guess due to much pressure soakerhose become jethose;

regards -Chandra


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

There is a plumber's tape you can buy at any home improvement store that will help make threaded connections water tight. I had to use it when I replaced our showerhead a few years ago. It's a very soft flexible latex type of material that fits in the grooves between the threads when you connect the hoses/pvc pipes. As long as you don't need to disconnect and reconnect the hoses on a regular basis, I think that will do what you need.


 o
? RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

sorry I don't know why it got posted twice?


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, everything looks so nice. Some problems you may have is due mainly to excess pressure. If you are reading 140 PSI on your gauge you have hooked in to the line ahead of your regulator. Where I live the regulator is supposed to be just down stream of your meter. Here the main line pressure is 150 PSI. I have mine regulated down to about 40 to 45 pounds, (my son across the highway runs 150 pounds on his outside faucet to get greater flow to water the garden and fill the pool). In my opinion that is a mistake because it is too easy to burst hoses. I would like to adjust my pressure up to about 65 pounds but don't want the added risk of blowing a line in the house.

The gauge not coming back to zero may because some gauges have a release button on them to let pressure bleed back to zero, although I have never seen one on a water pressure gauge. I would advise you go get a water pressure gauge if you don't have one. They cost between $5.00 and $10.00 at Lowe's of Home Depot. I used an Air pressure gauge for years but I like the water pressure gauge better.

The threads are not the same on a water hose and a pipe. The water hose has a 3/4" 11.5 threads per inch water hose thread on it. All 3/4" plumbing will have a 3/4" 14 threads per inch pipe thread. I have many hose threads attached to pipe threads, but I doubt you can make it work because of the high pressure you are running. You can try to put an extra washer in the fitting and see if it will seal. (all hose fittings seal against a washer, all pipe threads seal because the threads are cut on a taper). Some very high pressure applications use a special thread, but nothing like that is used in a home.

If you don't get the threads to seal, you can buy adapters. The plastic adapter cost about $1.50 each, the brass adapters cost about $3.50 each. If it would help you I could go out to the shop and take a picture of each.
I have to keep them here because I have to drive 50 miles to get the plastic ones, the brass adapters can be bought about anywhere.

If I can help in any way just let me know, just be careful about running too much pressure, you may damage some of your equipment.

Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Trying to post a picture of fitting for irrigation system.
I am having trouble getting my Photobucket to work properly, I hope I dont mess things up, I cant resize picture.

The first from left is standard water pressure gauge, the first two white fittings are the irrigation adapter that adapts from 3/4" PVC to 3/4" hose thread, the third white fitting is a standard 3/4"PVC fitting with 3/4" 14 NPT with a "Y" attached, the last fitting on the right is a 3/4" brass hose bib adapter

Larry

Photobucket


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Larry,

Thanks for the excellent tips!Putting an extra washer solved leakage problem. No more leakages, its prefect now. I may need to install pressure regulator to bring down pressure else I need to irrigation 3-4 beds simultaneously.

Thanks for the pics of the adopters, indeed I would have used those hose adapter rather than threaded extenders.

I bought pressure gauge from Lowe's it resembles your pressure gauge. Its red needle stuck at 140, and It has no release button. That black needle is for what? Let me know if you find the way to bring back red needle to zero.

Regards -Chandra


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, you are most welcome.

The pressure gauge is desigened that way. Look at the end of the red needle, it is turned down so the black needle will hit it to push it up to max pressure, then when a valve is opened somewhere in the system the black needle will drop to show working pressure. You can read operating pressure and peak pressure at the same time. When you get ready to test again just turn the brass knob in the center of the gauge to the left to take the red needle back down to zero and you are ready for another test.

Larry


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Larry,
Thanks again for the explanation about the pressure gauge. I am so dumb! I was thinking to return it but I now how to use it:-). It is what happen when unit comes without manual, LOL.

regards -Chandra


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RE: Irrigation System for Raised Beds

Chandra, your welcome. No one would ever call you dumm, you are a very wise man.

Larry


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