How to Use Drip Emitters
Drip emitters are essential parts of a drip irrigation system to deliver water over the roots of the plants. Good drip emitters can be adjusted to meet the needs of the plants and to reduce water wastage. Gardens located on slopes need more water emitters compared to those that are located in level areas. Vegetables and flowers do not usually need a lot of water so one or two emitters placed in strategic locations is enough to keep your plants healthy.
Drip emitters are classified according to their design and the way they control water pressure. The most popular types of emitters available in the market today are the long-path emitters, the short-path emitters and the soaker hose type. To use these different types of drip emitters, here what you should do.
Step 1 – Select Your Drip Emitter
If you have a big garden, you should opt for a long-path drip emitter. This type of emitter can maintain uniform flow rate throughout its long narrow passage. This type of water emitter is fairly large due to its long tubes so if you have limited space in your backyard, you should opt for other types of emitters like the short-part model. The short-part emitters are more or less like the long path emitters except that it has shorter and smaller water paths. This type of system is suitable for small gardens and in areas which need less pressure to distribute water. Compared to the long-path model, this type of drip emitter uses a lesser amount of tubing and other materials so it is more cost efficient. However, short path emitters are less efficient at maintaining steady low pressure water distribution and they tend to clog faster than the long path emitters.
Another type of drip emitter is the soaker hose type which uses extremely small holes to distribute water down to the roots of the plants. The tiny holes are usually drilled using laser light. Since the holes in this type of emitter are very small, you can expect to experience a lot of clogging in the system.
Step 2 – Install your Drip Irrigation System
To install your drip irrigation system, set up the backflow safety valve on your outdoor faucet and then add the pressure regulator. After installing your pressure regulator, roll out your tubing around your garden. If you have a small vegetable garden, you may install one or two drip emitters.
Step 3 – Turn on your Water Supply
Once all your tubing and emitters are in place, release the safety valve and allow the water to flow into your tubing. If you are using a long-path emitter, you can expect steady supply of water to your plants. On the other hand, if you are using short-path or soak hose emitters, check your emitters from time to time for signs of irregular water flow. To correct the irregular water flow from your emitters, flush out your tubing to remove debris blocking the holes of your emitter.