What Accessories Do I Need For A Drip System
It is worth noting that with drip systems the accessories can be viewed as insurance for the system. If you plan on irrigating a complete residence with drip, you will require:
- pressure reducing valves
- air release valves
- flush valves
However, if it is only being used to irrigate a small garden bed then its cheaper to use a filter/pressure reduction valve (as pictured below) and an air release valve might be all you need.
Backflow Prevention Valve
A Backflow Prevention Valve prevents back siphoning of non-potable water into the water supply and come in a range of varieties.
All water authorities require back-flow prevention devices to be used on all fixed irrigation systems. You should consult your local water authority to find out which one is required for your proposed system.
Generally, most domestic watering systems require a Dual Check Valve but if you are installing a Techfilter or applying fertilizer through your irrigation lines then you will probably be required to install a Reduced Pressure Zone device.
You must use a filter.
Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV)
Air Release Valves are essential protection for the system and should be installed at the highest point of the system, to:
- allow air into the system once it is turned off.
- prevent the drippers from sucking in air and possible soil particles when the system is turned off and the water in the system drains out through the lowest point.
A flush valve should be installed at the lowest point of the system; this is to allow any rubbish that may have made its way into the system out without blocking up the drippers.
Its worth noting that the flush valve lets about 2 liters of water out each time the system turns on and so a gravel pit installed under it is advisable.
All of the different types of drip line should be staked at least every 2 meters. This is because the pipe will expand and contract with changing temperature which will push it up through the mulch if it is not staked down.
Adapters and Fittings
These fittings are used to connect the dripline to the lateral lines. It is important to make sure the fittings are the right size! Using fittings made for a different tubing size will result in the fitting blowing out of the tube.
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