Four Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Drip Irrigation System

August 28, 2019 10:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

User-friendliness is the biggest benefit of owning a drip irrigation system, but that’s not to say things can’t go wrong during irrigation installation in Fort Lauderdale, FL or after regular use. Some mistakes can be costly, others a pain to remedy. The following are the four most common mistakes people make when using their drip irrigation system.

Mistake #1: Overwatering plants

By far the hardest adjustment for new drip irrigation owners coming from a standard sprinkler system is knowing how much water to give plants. A properly installed drip system is very efficient at getting water deep down into roots, so you’re not likely to see water pooling at the base of plants like you do when watering by hand. With the drip method, you don’t need much water to hydrate your plants. The dripping water travels vertically through the soil, permeating it over a certain amount of time. It may take time before you know where to place drippers and how long to water.

Mistake #2: Insufficient water supply and flow

All you really need to know about your drip system’s operation is that the flow rate from your water supply must be equal to or greater than the flow rate needed by the drip system. Note that the flow rate is usually measured in gallons per hour (GPH). While homeowners can calculate their system’s flow rate themselves, there are professionals available to do this for you. When you hire a pro, they can inspect your system and test the water flow rate, then fix whatever needs to be fixed.

Mistake #3: Water pressure too high or too low

Like sprinkler systems, drip irrigation systems also need proper water pressure to function. Most drip systems need about 24 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure to work, but many systems are able to work well at water pressures as low as 15 psi. If your drip irrigation system is less than 25 psi but at least 15 psi, the difference in water output can be made up with longer watering times. Watch out for inconsistent water flow from drippers with too little pressure behind them.

Mistake #4: Mismatched drippers

Similar to selecting and positioning sprinkler heads to water your lawn thoroughly, drip irrigation system owners or installers must match drippers to the plants’ watering needs, which makes sense because different types of plants require different amounts of water. Once you have the right drippers hooked up, you can adjust your system accordingly based on watering zone needs throughout your yard. And let’s say you have drippers with the same flow rate. Instead of messing around with the water pressure to a certain zone, you can put multiple drippers at the base of the plants that need more water and increase the flow rate that way.

If you’ve run into trouble after drip irrigation installation in Fort Lauderdale, FL, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Spillers Sprinklers, Inc. Call us any time to schedule an irrigation system service appointment!

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