Originally produced as a pump discharge hose, Layflat Hose has been incorporated into many different applications such as: mining, horticulture, oil field applications, and of course irrigation. While initially used as pump discharge hose, it has since found a niche as a durable drip manifold in drip irrigation systems. Its economical initial investment, ease of use and resistance to chemical water treatment makes it a popular choice in a wide variety of applications.
Layflat’s initial cost is lower than other pipe and hose types used as drip manifolds. This makes it a popular choice for first-time growers. Most brands of Layflat are compatible with Oval Hose fittings, which makes locating compatible and affordable fittings an easy task.
Layflat is flat when not pressurized (hence its name); this means it not only takes up significantly less space when in storage, but it is easier and less expensive to transport compared to Oval Hose. Layflat can be rolled back up in minutes, a feat not possible with some distribution hoses; this reduces labor costs by a margin that cannot be ignored.
As Layflat began to see more use in drip irrigation applications, fittings were created to solve some of the problems facing farmers who used Layflat. Leaks at the takeoff adapters were solved with the introduction of teardrop fittings. These fittings have a large flange that is inserted into the wall of the Layflat fitting; when pressurized this flange is pressed against the inside wall of the tubing to create a tight seal.
Once pressurized, the hose and fittings should look like this:
To install teardrop fittings all that is needed is a Layflat cutting tool and a hex installation tool. These tools create a perfectly sized hole and allow for proper installation, respectively. The cutting tool and installation tool can be seen below:
The hole created by the cutting tool should be small, precise, and free of fraying ends. We have three sizes available: 14mm, 16mm, and 19mm. The cutting tool required is dependent on the size of the fitting being installed. Reference the table below to locate the compatible cutting tool for any needed fittings.
Layflat Cutting Tool
3/8" - 1/2" Poly Tubing x Layflat Layflat x NPT Adapter
5/8" - 7/8" Tape x Layflat 14mm Layflat Plug
The Hex Installation Tool is available in 8mm, 10mm, and 12mm sizes. Many applications will only need the 10mm Hex Installation Tool, as that tool is compatible with the most common teardrop fittings.
Hex Installation Tool
5/8" - 7/8" Tape x Layflat 1/2" Poly Tubing x Layflat
7/8" Tape x Layflat Valve Layflat x NPT Adapter5/8" Tape x Layflat Valve 19mm Layflat Plug
14mm Layflat Plug
This tool is used only for a small set of large Teardrop fittings.
Other common fittings, such as elbows, tees, couplings, adapters, plugs and reducers, are shared with many of the same fittings used for Oval Hose. This makes locating compatible fittings easy and effortless. Many of the same fittings can easily be used to make repairs, no expensive and toxic epoxies are needed. For applications where the hose will need to be moved to different pumps, we offer both male and female Cam Lock Fittings for greater efficiency.
These common shared fittings and all Layflat fittings can be found here: Layflat Fittings.
Irritec, the supplier of our Sky Layflat brand, made a video to illustrate the use of both the cutting tool and the hex installation tool. Note the ease with which both the cutting and installation of the teardrop fitting is accomplished:
Layflat is constructed with premium resins, thick walls and strong yarn weave to create a product that is both durable and experiences low pressure loss. Other types of distribution hose, particularly those created to be used in drip irrigation, frequently have a much lower operating pressure than Layflat; some as low as 15 to 36 PSI. By contrast, Layflat can withstand up to 40 PSI in its largest sizes (8”) and as high as 100 PSI in its smallest (2”) sizes. To the grower, this means more money saved as pressure reducing valves may not be needed prior to the tape runs and less risk of damage from high pressure is incurred. Layflat's resilience has even seen it used as a protective sleeve for other pipe and hose types.
With its woven yarn and fused inner/outer walls, Layflat can handle chemicals and conditions that can severely impair other hose or pipe types. This includes reducing agents, acidic soil treatments and caustic fertilizers. Its braided construction helps it to avoid abrasion damage and is what provides it the ability to avoid kinking and be stored in its flat shape. This means it has a long life expectancy in normal use, providing great value for its low initial investment cost.
Layflat’s low pressure loss allows for smaller sizes to be used in high flow applications. 2” Layflat, for example, can accommodate up to 3000 GPH (50 GPM) before the velocity of water becomes too great for the diameter of the hose. 8” Layflat can handle up to 48,000 GPH (800 GPM) and still be well within specification. Use this chart to select a size based on the flow of the system: Layflat Hose Friction Loss and Velocity / GPM.
Tips and Tricks
When pressurized, Layflat hose can stretch, twist and elongate a bit. This is particularly true of the first pressurization, though it can happen on subsequent pressurizations as well. The materials used to construct Layflat have changed over the years to help with this, but it is still a frequent occurrence. If this is anticipated it is easy to plan for and be on site to re-align any portion of it that gets out of place. The initial pressurization is also when the installation of the fittings will be tested; Layflat has received some criticism regarding leaking fittings, however this nearly always indicates an improper installation. When installed and used correctly, teardrop fittings provide for water tight connections; it is important to take no short-cuts with the installation of the fittings.
Layflat can be laid out in a trench to minimize movement upon pressurization. Be sure sharp rocks are removed prior to this, however. In most cases, Layflat should not be buried.
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please Contact Us. We read and reply to every message we receive and would love to assist with your questions and learn from your feedback.