I have a client who wants to irrigate two new sections of hedge and a new tree. The property is a holiday home, so the system must be completely safe to leave for weeks at a time on an automated timer. They also have a strong preference for a branded system.
I looked at Hozelock's micro-irrigation system but the drippers and sprayers look fiddly and I thought a soaker hose might be easier. However, Hozelock customer service insist that their soaker hose must be used at full pressure, whilst the micro system is low-pressure, so none of the micro-connectors can be used to get the supply pipe around the garden. Plus the client doesn't really want a full pressure system as they feel it is more likely to spring a leak.
I started looking for alternatives and am now very confused. Landscapeplus say quite clearly that porous pipe or dripper tube must always be used with a pressure reducer, so when DO you use a pressure reducer? Does it vary by manufacturer?
A simple way to reduce the pressure is to just have the tap only part of the way on for the micro system and use another tap on full pressure for the porous pipe with a timer on both taps. Or if your using the same tap get something like a Claber Aquadue Duplo timber and put a reducer on the output to the micro system. Should be fairly straight forward.
Thanks Gareth, but I'm more confused over why some suppliers say you should use a pressure reducer with soaker hose when others say not to. I'm happy to use a pressure reducer, and the clients would prefer it.
I'd recommend you use http://www.easywatering.co.uk - last time I just rang them and they went through with me about everything that I would need.
I suspect if you used a pressure reducer on a soaker hose the pressure would be too low for it to work evenly but you could get one any way as it would give you more control, you may also want to create a loop system on the soaker hose line to assist with an even pressure.
All you need to know when you spec an irrigation system is the litres per hour the tap you intend to use will supply and at what pressure it is.
I use a very good company called Evenproducts Ltd and there sales team can advise and supply you with top end advise and equipment.
Have a word with them and they will probably spec and cost the whole job for you, if you can supply a simple line drawing with distances and intended areas that need watering shown.
Thank you Gareth and Peter for your suggestions. As it happens, I had already discovered 'easywatering' who seem to be very reasonable for my (very basic) requirements.
I just can not see any reason to have that one, The whole idea with drip irrigation is that not all the area is getting wet on the surface level. Down in ground the water moves from the dripper create an onion shape. If the drippers are about 30cm from each other than these onions will touch each other giving full cover but under the ground.
That is the clever principle that saves water. On the 80's and 90's we did many projects with automatic irrigation some of the big ones were paid by municipal control trying to save water.
We found that sprinkler irrigation not really save water, It makes the lawn greener it saves work but in general not save a lot ( perhaps a bit for the fact you can do it at the right time of the day. and you never forgot the sprinklers on working for too long).
While with drip irrigation you could save a lot of water as the water much less evaporate to air.It reduce weeds as well as the water goes to more specific place.
About the pressure reducer, most professional even measure the pressure coming out... but in general your system will last far longer working on the right pressure. leaving the liver half open not reduce the pressure enough - ( just for short while but the pressure will built up in the system.)
My two penneth:- Go for Claber kit over Hozelock every time.
Although the clients may be away for weeks at a time, are you going to do check visits in between ? The reason I ask is that in my experience, depending on the hardness of the water supply, drippers etc. can soon clog up so you end up with some areas getting reduced or no water at all. A filter might be an idea as well. What sort of pipes will you be using ? If black alkathene, a simple way to do the tree is to feed a length of microbore from the main run, cut a short (4" - 6") piece of 16mm or similar, punch a hole in the side of it with your dribbler borer, push the business end of the microbore into the hole (about halfway through the diameter of the 16mm) and push one end of the 16mm into the ground next to the trunk.
Pressure Regulators or Reducers set the water supply to a lower pressure. The reasons for wanting to do this are two, mainly: one is that some devices connected to the mains may suffer damage under variations in pressure. Another reason is that variations in pressure distort the same devices performance.
Most irrigation components are designed to operate between a known pressure. Without a Regulator, drip emitters, sprayers and tubing may be damaged or behave outside normal parameters due to excess pressure, generally wasting water or nor performing as expected.
Generally, pressure regulating devices need to be installed after filters, any valves, timers or faucets to operate properly, even though this is open to debate and experience.
I am not familiar with Hazelock, but the seem to have Irrigation Holiday Kits with integrated pressure reducers and other stuff. It must be said that I consider Hozelock suppliers of, not experts on irrigation.
Most drip systems will benefit from pressure regulators, but the good brands, such as Netafim have pressure compensating emitters.
Depending on location and site conditions, soaker hoses or watering sleeves may be easier to use and install.
In the UK I used Leaky Pipe years ago, with uneven results in the long term due to limescale build up. I've been told that Porous Pipe is a better option, but I have no actual experience:
If the holiday home is near the Mediterranean, you may want to try Porec Watering Sleeve. It can operate without pressure reducer (even though it is recommended.
They supply (or install upon request) a Vegetable Garden Kit (that is their main market but it is suitable for gardening) that has all you need to water a small garden and it does not suffer from limescale build up:
I hope this helps.
Have you thought about this product? http://www.royceirrigation.co.uk/acatalog , click on Drip Irrigation.
I have used in a garden and the suppliers are very, very helpful! (commercial irrigation company) It's a drip hose easily laid along the surface or under mulch, but as it's not a leaky hose it can be used during water restrictions. It delivers equal water at every hole. As it's a holiday home combine it with a rain sensor so that watering occurs when required?
They advise a reducer if pressure is above 1 bar.