Determine your Soil Type:
The majority of drip irrigation installation experts agree that before installing any drip irrigation system you should find out what kind of soil you have. Soil type greatly influences how water penetrates and travels to your plants roots. There are three soil types: Clay, Loam and Sand. Clay soils are tightly packed and water does not penetrate quickly into the soil. The result being water accumulating on the surface near the plant and never reaching a plants roots. Sandy soil experiences the quickest water penetration rate. A slow drip emitter may be ideal for plants found in a clay soil; however, that same dripper may be a poor choice for plants found in sandy soil. See "Know Your Soil Type" for additional information.
Install a Timer:
Drip Irrigation experts recognize that in order to reap the maximum benefits from a drip irrigation system, a timer is a must. Timers allow water schedules to be set and carried out without worry day after day. Drip systems are efficient without a timer; however, the addition of a timer to your drip system will save you more time and money.
Clean Your Filter:
Drip irrigation professionals note that regularly cleaning the filter in a drip system can help keep your system running at full efficiency. Filters are important pieces of any drip system. A filter is crucial in keeping debris out of your system that could clog the small openings on most drip emitters. By routinely cleaning the screen in your filter, you can prevent clogs that affect your system's efficiency and your plants' health.
Reuse your Fittings:
Drip Depot Perma-Loc fittings are unique in that they can be reused an unlimited number of times as opposed to compression fittings that can only be used once. Our Perma-Loc fittings have become popular among drip irrigation professionals because of this reason. Drip irrigation systems can change from year to year and Perma-Loc fittings allow you the flexibility to do so while saving you money.
Punching Holes in Tubing:
A little-known but valuable tip is to try to punch holes in your poly tubing when it is cold. Punching holes in tubing when it is warm can be a challenge and frustrating. If possible, try to punch holes in your 1/2" tubing in the morning before the sun warms the tubing too much.
Place Tubing in the Sun:
Many drip irrigation installation experts place their roll of tubing in the sun prior to installation. Placing your roll of poly tubing in the sun before installation allows the tubing to warm up and become more flexible, which makes installation a snap.
Insert Goof Plugs Easily:
A well-kept secret among drip irrigation installation professionals is how to install goof plugs easily. Anyone who has tried to insert a small goof plug into micro tubing will appreciate this tip. Try using a pair of needle nose pliers to grip the opposite end of the goof plug that you wish to insert into the micro tubing. The added leverage of the pliers will make this task a breeze.
Don't be fooled into buying a special tool to cut poly tubing. Drip Irrigation installation experts simply use household scissors to cut their tubing.
Winterizing your System:
Winterizing a drip irrigation is easy! All of our drip irrigation parts are made of extremely durable plastic that can withstand freezing temperatures as long as all the water is removed from the system. Drip Irrigation experts install a threaded end cap at a low point in their system that allows all the water to be drained out of their system easily. Once the water is drained out, you simply screw the cap back on and you're ready for the winter.
Hot Water for Tubing:
A trick among drip irrigation professionals is to briefly insert the end of a piece of micro tubing into a cup of hot water before attempting to push micro fittings into the tubing. As a side note, lubricants should never be used on drip irrigation tubing. This tip will make installing your drip system easier, faster and more enjoyable.
Fixing Holes in your System:
Holes in tubing happen. Fortunately, drip irrigation experts have found a way to repair holes in poly tubing without having to replace the whole system. A Perma-Loc hose coupler can be used to eliminate the hole. Experts simply cut out the damaged part of the poly tubing and then insert the two fresh ends into the Perma-Loc coupler and tighten. This is both a quick and cheap way to repair your drip irrigation system.
Don't Over Tighten:
Many drip irrigation installation professionals note that a common mistake made by first time drip irrigation installers is to over tighten pressure regulators, back flow preventors and other faucet assembly parts. Over tightening these products can actually damage the products and cause them to leak. All parts in a drip irrigation system should only be hand tightened.
Control Your Water:
A great way to manage the water flow in your drip system is by using a shut-off valve. Drip Depot shut-off valves come in two sizes, 1/4" and 1/2". Drip irrigation professionals use shut-off valves in two ways. First, the valve can be installed inline, which allows the water flow to be adjusted based on your watering needs. Secondly, the 1/4" valves can be used as a drip emitter. This allows the amount of water to an individual plant to be adjusted or shut off completely depending on your watering needs.