Q. How many drippers can I put on one run of tubing?
A. The number depends on the size of the tubing (1/4", 1/2" or 3/4") as each size of tubing has different GPH limitations. Another limiting factor in how many drippers you can use on a single run of tubing is the GPH rating of the drippers themselves. As an example, 1/2" tubing can supply 200 GPH in a single run, which means that one could put 400 .5 GPH drippers on a run of 1/2" tubing or 200 1 GPH drippers or 100 2 GPH drippers.
Q. Should I use Pressure Compensating or Non pressure Compensating Drippers?
A. Pressure Compensating Drippers have the following characteristics: They work at the stated GPH rating regardless of pressure fluctuation. Pressure compensating drippers also perform better in systems with undulating or changing elevations. Non pressure Compensating Drippers have the following characteristics: Output can vary up to +/- 15% due to fluctuation in pressure. While non pressure compensating drippers will flow at lower pressures but may not regulate at low pressures. Our Dripper Buying Guide is a wonderful resource for help deciding which drippers best fit your application.
Q. Can different flow rate drip emitters be used on the same line?
A. Different types of plants have different watering needs. If you're watering different types of plants on the same zone, you'll need to make sure you're not giving too much water to some plants and not enough water to other plants. Ideally, you would want plants with different watering needs on separate zones. When that's not feasible, you can adjust your system accordingly. For example, if you have two plants on a zone, and one plant needs twice as much water as the other, you can put a dripper with double the flow rate at the plant that needs more water. If you only have drippers with the same flow rate, you can put multiple drippers at the plant that needs more water to double the flow rate.
Side note: Space your drippers about 3-6 inches away from the base of established plants to avoid fungal infections and other types of diseases. Try using two drippers per plant positioned at opposite sides of the plant to promote even root growth, and if one dripper gets clogged, the plant will still receive water from the other dripper. See our complete selection of drippers.
Here is an example of how to incorporate button drippers into your drip irrigation system: