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Plan & Install Irrigation

How to: Install Your Own Drip Irrigation System

While drip systems are simple to design and install, there are some basic guidelines to follow that will assist your drip system to work efficiently.

How does drip irrigation work?

Drip irrigation works by delivering water slowly and directly to the roots of your plants via drip emitters. Drip irrigation can use up to 60% less water by soaking into the soil before it evaporates or runs off and water is only applied where it is needed rather than sprayed everywhere. We recommend covering your dripline with mulch to lessen the evaporation process.

If it is difficult to install the system in a grid pattern due to the garden being heavily planted and established, Drip line can be snaked though the garden in order to supply an adequate amount of water to the area. It is important to note that it is not necessary to have a dripper at the base of each plant. As plant roots spread throughout the soil, it is important to water the garden evenly rather than just directly under the plant.

Follow these guides:

Large gardens

These areas are best watered in a grid pattern with a collector pipe at each end. This will ensure an even flow of water to all the drippers and help prevent a blocked dripper in the event of a break in the line.

Formal hedges or straight plantings

In these situations a single run of the appropriate product installed on each side of the hedge will do the job. If the area is more or less level and the runs are short Scapeline or Mini-Scapeline can be used.

Boundary trees or shrubs

Where certain trees or shrubs need more water than the surrounding area a lateral line can be installed with a ring of the appropriate dripline product installed around each individual plant.

What are the required components?

For more information on each of these components, please click here.

Below is a typical set up including all elements of drip and where they are to be installed.

dripline diagram

How do I install it?

While drip systems are simple to design and install, there are some basic guidelines to follow that will assist your drip system to work efficiently.

The soil type dictates how far apart each run of Drip line should be installed and therefore how much Drip line is necessary for each site. If the spacing of the Drip line is wrong the system will not work efficiently.

Once the correct spacing has been decided the meterage can either be paced out on site or if a scale drawing is available the meterage can be worked out very quickly from the square meterage of the gardens. It is crucial that you determine what type of soil you have before you decide which product is best for you.

As an example the standard spacing for installation of Techline, Scapeline and Miniscape is 300mm, but:

  1. If the your garden beds are sandy the water will drain straight down and this will mean that you need to install the runs length of drip line closer together at around 150mm.
  2. If your gardens have high clay content the water will remain closer to the surface and the runs could be spaced out at 500mm.

Dripline is best installed in a grid pattern that includes a header and collector pipe in 19mm poly pipe. This will provide the most efficient system as well as providing the best locations to install air release and flush valves.


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The length of drip line should not exceed 60 meters from the point the water enters the dripline. Thus you could have 120 meters of lateral drip line if the water enters in the middle, at the 60m mark.  We recommend using a main feeder pipe and having your drip line laid in a grid pattern. The amount of dripline you can run will also be determined by the flow rate at your water source.

The simplest way to automate your system is by installing a battery powered controller or tap timer onto your water source.  Automation allows you to water your lawns and gardens at any time of the day whether you are at home or not. It is better to water late in the evening or early in the morning and an automated system allows you to do this with ease. It also allows you to fit a rain sensor which will not allow the system to come on if it is, or has recently been, raining.

Gravity-fed irrigation is only an option for low pressure applications, such as drippers and dripline.  For a gravity feed system to perform well, we recommend installing your holding tank higher than 10 meters and using the least amount of fittings as possible. The main feeder pipe should not be any smaller than 25mm.

Yes! Dural Irrigation have put together start up packs available for the DIY customer who isn't entirely confident with fulfilling all the parts required for a successful system. Our starter kits are perfect for any small or medium garden including vegetable patches, trees and plants.  All fittings and components required are included to get you started, along with customer service support for any advice you may require along the way.

No not necessarily, unless you are tapping into your mains water supply directly.  Most irrigation systems are easy to install straight off your tap and Dural Irrigation are here to give you expert advice and support to guide you through the whole process, from choosing the right products and fittings to after installation support.

Dural Irrigation offers a free design and quotation service for domestic residential solutions. Our qualified design specialists have about 20 years of experience and will provide you with a design and quotation suited to your individual budget and requirements. Unfortunately we currently do not offer installation services, but you will receive expert advice and support to guide you through the whole process.

LET US GUIDE YOU THROUGH YOUR NEXT PROJECT

How much dripline can I run at the same time?

The length of drip line should not exceed 60 meters from the point the water enters the dripline. Thus you could have 120 meters of lateral drip line if the water enters in the middle, at the 60m mark.  We recommend using a main feeder pipe and having your drip line laid in a grid pattern. The amount of dripline you can run will also be determined by the flow rate at your water source.

How can I automate my drip line system?

The simplest way to automate your system is by installing a battery powered controller or tap timer onto your water source.  Automation allows you to water your lawns and gardens at any time of the day whether you are at home or not. It is better to water late in the evening or early in the morning and an automated system allows you to do this with ease. It also allows you to fit a rain sensor which will not allow the system to come on if it is, or has recently been, raining.

Is gravity-fed drip irrigation an option?

Gravity-fed irrigation is only an option for low pressure applications, such as drippers and dripline.  For a gravity feed system to perform well, we recommend installing your holding tank higher than 10 meters and using the least amount of fittings as possible. The main feeder pipe should not be any smaller than 25mm.

Can I get a preassembled dripline kit for my garden beds?

Yes! Dural Irrigation have put together start up packs available for the DIY customer who isn't entirely confident with fulfilling all the parts required for a successful system. Our starter kits are perfect for any small or medium garden including vegetable patches, trees and plants.  All fittings and components required are included to get you started, along with customer service support for any advice you may require along the way.

Do I need a professional contractor to install my system?

No not necessarily, unless you are tapping into your mains water supply directly.  Most irrigation systems are easy to install straight off your tap and Dural Irrigation are here to give you expert advice and support to guide you through the whole process, from choosing the right products and fittings to after installation support.

Can you help me design my system?

Dural Irrigation offers a free design and quotation service for domestic residential solutions. Our qualified design specialists have about 20 years of experience and will provide you with a design and quotation suited to your individual budget and requirements. Unfortunately we currently do not offer installation services, but you will receive expert advice and support to guide you through the whole process.

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