Sunday, May 5, 2013

Drip Irrigation Progress

I made some more progress on my drip irrigation project.

I ran a long line of tubing along the back side of my raised beds.  I probably should have run it along the other end.  That would've put it in the middle of all of the beds.  I didn't think of that when I started this project.  I could have moved the tubing, but it was already in place and I have the emitters where I want them.

I have a single line of tubing in each bed.  They are attached to the line running along the ground which is connected to a rain barrel in the back yard. 

The picture below shows the tubing running from the second bed to the the third.  There it makes a turn, runs the length of the bed and turns again.  I did put the tubing in these beds so the ends would be near each other.

This picture shows the connection to the bed above.  You can see the tee connection that runs to the bed across from it.

Here's the bed across from the one above.

I haven't been able to find an easy to use barbed right-angle connector, so I had to make my own.  I used a 90* FPT elbow and screwed a barbed MPT fitting to it.  That's the top connection shown above.  Both of those items are made by Orbit.  Rain Bird makes barbed elbows, but I find them difficult to use.  They are the brown fittings used for the bottom connection.  It is difficult to get the tubing to go on them, and once it's on it's impossible to remove without cutting. 

There's one more item that I used that I must mention.  I want to keep the irrigation tubing in place.  I looked high and low and finally found some clamps that do the trick.  They are used to secure PEX pipe and they work great on 1/2" irrigation tubing.  I'm hoping that this eliminates any damage that might be caused by someone tripping on the tubing.  Hopefully it eliminates any tripping in the first place.

I did test the system.  I attached the rain barrel and opened the valve.  The threaded joints on the two right-angle connections I mentioned above leaked.  That was solved by wrapping the threads with Teflon tape.  I don't know if the system is fully functional yet because I haven't put emitters in the last two beds.  The leaking seemed to indicate that water was getting there.  I don't expect to have any issues.

Additional pictures.
This is the first bed attached to the main line.

Here's a closer picture of the fittings used.  I actually had two threaded elbow fittings at the top.  I replaced one of them with a straight fitting mentioned above.

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