Drip irrigation is an ideal method of watering to conserve water, localize the irrigation and prevent evaporation and runoff. The systems themselves are easy to install but there are things you need to know about drip irrigation parts and how to maintain them to keep them in top condition. Drip irrigation parts will last several years if you look after them and you will enjoy simple, hassle-free watering with these few easy tips.
Happily, frost is not likely to harm your tubing it stretches. However, as for your other drip irrigation parts, the expansion of icy water can break the timers and connectors because they are made of rigid plastic.
It is best to drain all your drip irrigation lines before the onset of frost. Always bring battery operated timers indoors and take out the batteries so that they do not perish inside the timer. Otherwise, you can leave tubing and fittings in place during the winter months, as long as you remember to completely drain the system.
Longevity of your System
Exposure to the sun’s harmful ultra-violet radiation will govern the longevity of your drip irrigation parts. Aim to install commercial grade parts because they are designed and manufactured to remain outdoors in the harshest summers and the frostiest winters.
Tubing with UV blocking ingredients is supposed to provide around five to seven years of service even in the harshest sunlight, but if buried, you can expect it to last double that.
Shading from plants is also beneficial to ensure longevity. You can also maintain your system efficiently by using a filter to prevent sediments from clogging it, and try to avoid very hard water because it leaves deposits in the tubing.
If you begin to notice that pressure is not adequate at the drippers, you could have dirt or sediment in the tubing or there could be a kink or leak in the tubing that is either causing a loss of pressure or losing water along the way.
Check all drip irrigation parts to troubleshoot and you will soon find that it is probably a simple issue. If you do not resolve it simply, and if the system is newly installed, it might be that you have too many drippers operating on a single circuit. You might have to operate one circuit at a time if your irrigation system is extensive.
Dirt has the potential to plug and block your drip irrigation parts. Be sure to cover the open ends with a little tape until you are ready to link the whole system together and then it all out before closing off the ends for pressurization.
Once a year, open up the ends and flush water through the system because it is natural that some sediment will form in the tubing and you need to wash it out. By keeping the open ends and drippers up and out of the mud, you can prevent dirt from getting in.
If you are unable to avoid using hard water, you will find that over time, mineral deposits will build up in the drip irrigation parts. You will need to soak the affected parts overnight in vinegar or other mild acid to remove the deposits. Rinse clean before using again.
Ideally, you should store your drip irrigation parts up and out of the way of dirt. Add a one foot length of garden hose to the faucet and apply the parts to the end, near where the circuit begins. A standpipe would be very useful to ensure the parts are not left lying on the ground.
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