Drip irrigation buying guide
Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield62 guides
- Fittings, Elbows, T-joints
- Microporous hoses
What kind of drip irrigation to choose for your home?
For indoor or balcony plants, a basic system consisting of a dripper connected to a simple water tank (similar to a drinking water cooler) will do the trick.
For larger numbers of plants, a large capacity tank can be connected to different rooms via a network of 4 or 5mm pipes (capillaries), t-joints and manually adjustable drippers.
This kind of automatic indoor watering system doesn't require a power supply - as long as there's water, it will keep dripping!
What kind of drip irrigation to choose for the garden?
Depending on the size of your garden, you can choose between the classic watering can, a conventional surface watering system or a buried watering system with microporous pipes.
What do the different components do in an irrigation system?
Like any gardener worth their salt, you must ensure each plant receives exactly the right amount of water at appropriate intervals. Of course, it's also important to consider environmental impact and avoid wasting water. Automatic irrigation will provide you with all the answers.
This miniature computer can be combined with a weather probe, humidity sensor and rain gauge to avoid unnecessary watering during rainy weather. The latest innovation is a Bluetooth device that lets you connect to your smartphone or tablet using a specialized app, to manage the watering programme remotely. Watering duration, remaining running time, and even battery status are all accessible at the touch of a button!
- In adjustable lines, for plantations in rows or window boxes and planters;
- At the end of the line, for hedges etc.
Components of a drip irrigation system
To boil things down so you don't forget anything, a drip irrigation system will require:
- A controller, to schedule times and durations for watering (the brain);
- A distribution centre, or feeder (the nerve centre);
- 13 or 16mm rigid polyethylene pipes to carry water to the irrigation site (limbs);
- 4-6mm flexible capillary connections to distribute water among individual plants or beds (fingers and toes);
- Drippers of various types;
- T-joints, cross-pieces, elbows, straight joints, bungs, pipe clips, tap valves, stopcocks and pipe stakes to hold your network of pipes together - as well as a water supply or a pressure reducer to feed the system in the first place!
To attach the capillaries to the main pipes, you'll need a small tool called a perforator, designed specifically for installing capillaries and drippers.
If you need to modify the network, remove the dripper and replace it with a bung to seal that part of the system. Don't pierce your pipes with inappropriate tools - a certain level of precision is required to keep your system sealed! And think ahead by installing a shut-off valve at the end of the line to let you bleed the network in preparation for winter (to avoid freezing damage).
Choosing this type of irrigation system could save you 70% of the water you might otherwise use - not to be sniffed at! Immerse yourself in a world of pipes and drippers, give free rein to your creativity and you will be able to divide the waters like a Biblical hero... And save resources at the same time!
Learn more about automatic irrigation systems...
Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield 62 guides écrits
I was trained as a pipe worker and a pipe-welder and after having traveled for 35 years working around the UK, I became the head a metal shop and then a designer and in the end the head engineer. I have designed and built a workshop where I make metal sculptures: I managed to find a piece of paradise where I can to let my imagination run wild.
Auctions and garage sales are no secret to me. I find unusual objects and old tools there that I collect or transform into works of art.
I also like decoration, painting on canvas, and gardening. I am developing new technologies concerning tools.
To share my passion and humbly advise you in your choice of materials is a real pleasure.