Q: Can this be done feasibly and still get equal performance down the slope?
A: To help improve the possibility of equal watering, run emitter lines across the hillside rather than up or down the hillside, use PC Drippers. The best way to achieve equal performance on a slope would be to run your mainline downhill rather than uphill.
Q. I am worried about draining through the emitters, what can I do to mitigate this? (Without using check valve emitters)
A: To prevent draining through the drippers use a flush valve to create a dedicated outlet for the water to drain out of – please note, where the flush valve is placed, water will likely pool, so placing it strategically in a rock pile or acceptable drainage area is recommended.
Q: Does elevation matter? How does elevation affect PSI?
A: Elevation does matter! 1 foot is equal to 0.43 PSI change. 1 PSI is equal to 2.31 feet. The only way to increase your water pressure is by mechanical means like a pump, or by increasing the elevation of the water source for a gravity system. For every 10ft rise in elevation, you will gain 4.3PSI.
Q. How much PSI is acceptable to lose before I should be concerned?
A: Typically you don’t want to lose more than 5 PSI. Losing 5 PSI or more would indicate high friction loss in the system, which is likely because a component is overtaxed or almost at its max. Drip Irrigation systems operate optimally between 15PSI and 30PSI. If your system goes below those numbers you would likely be underwatering your plants farthest from the water source.
Q. What are some ways to avoid pressure issues?
A: A few ways to avoid pressure loss issues would be to use PC (Pressure Compensating) drippers, running your emitter lines across hillsides instead of down them, and using flush valves. You should use a pressure regulator adequate for your system and use a pressure gauge to check your pressure at the end of your line to make sure that pressure issues don’t creep up on you.
Q. My drippers at the bottom are draining and flooding my plants, how can I avoid this?
A: The best solution here is to invest in some CNL (Check No Leak) drippers! CNL drippers are unique in that they will not allow water to emit when the system drops below the designated PSI. Meaning, during the system shutdown, the CNL drippers won’t continue to leak excess water onto your plants.
Q. Is it better to run up or down a hill? What should I consider in both scenarios?
A: It is best to run downhill, as you will gain pressure rather than lose pressure, but, be cautious of over-watering your lowest plants. If you run uphill, you will lose pressure, you will need PC drippers and possibly a higher pressure regulator.
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