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The next major design criteria will be based on the shape of the area you wish to irrigate. For larger areas, and main trunk line will be installed with multiple taps going to each area that needs watering. In smaller areas, you may install a zone drip head. A zone drip head can split the half-inch line in 12 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch lines. I recommend the Maverick drip head by DIG for zone watering because it controls the water flow to all the zones and gives you a single leak points. Penetrating a long trunk line with smaller lines yields and many leak points that can be hard to repair and fix as the system gets older. The maverick trip had also includesmultiple filters in the main head. These filters trap any particles in the sprinkler system before they get to the spray heads in the system that could be easily blocked by a small particle.
The installation of a drip irrigation system requires several simple tools. A PVC pipe cutter works great for cutting 3/4 inch, 1/2-inch, 1/4 inch, and 1/8 inch pipes. You'll also need a puncture tool for adding any 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch lines off the trunk line. You'll also need a role of Teflon tape. Always use Teflon tape on any threaded connection. You will need it least one coil of a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch polybutylene pipe. When installing a sprinkler system I recommend buying it least 2 that each different fitting.this can save you many trips back to the hardware store when you're trying to get creative and figure out how to connect different parts of the system. By a variety of male and female pipe fittings in multiple sizes and include a few Y-fittings. You may also need some half-inch or 3/4" pipe nipples. Most sprinkler heads including zone drip heads require a pipe nipple to adapt from the main trunk line to the head. If you buy Toro pipes and fittings, then you will not need to buy those clamps. The thicker pipe used in the Toro system does not require pipe clamps.Otherwise, you'll want to buy a bag of stainless steel pipe clamps.
Start your drip system installation if by determining whether you will use a trunk line design or a zone trip had design. With this in mind layout the system with penetrations in the trunk line located as close to the watering points as possible. Use your fittings to attach the trunk line to the water supply. The trunk line may be installed directly over the top of the ground. It does not need to be buried. For cosmetic reasons you may want to cover the trunk line with fabric and bark or rock to complete the installation. Run the trunk line to the first watering point. For zone trip heads,cut the line and install a T-fitting. Istall the trunk line on the other side of the T and install the pipe nipple on the top of the T. Make sure to use Teflon tape on bolt sides of the pipe nipple. Install the zone drip had and then installed the 1/4" or 1/2" to being to each individual plants. The end of these smaller lines may be terminated with a spray fitting, a limiting device, or left open. The kit includes a small fitting that can be pressed into the end of the smaller pipes to keep bugs from crawling inside the pipes and blocking them. Make sure to use its stakes to attach the ends of the line as they may move around as the air is being purged from lines.
When attaching quarter-inch lines to the main trunk line, insert the puncture tool into the main trunk line. Then install a union onto the end of the 1/4" tubing. Then insert the Union into the main trunk line. If you do not install the fitting onto the 1/4" line first, you will end up moving the union around inside the trunk line and this may cause a leak in the future.
For larger plants, I recommend using a spray nozzle at the end of the quarter inch line. The spray nozzle will spread the water over a larger area allowing more wire to absorb into the ground without any runoff. DIG also sells a variety of flow limiting button drippers. These come in one half gallon, 1 gallon and 2 gallon per hour outputs. The half gallon output button is the best option for small potted plants. The 2 gallon output button is appropriate for potted plants up to 5 gallons. Typically this zone will run twice per day for approximately 5 minutes.
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