For those having problems figuring conversion from gallons per hour to inches per hour, go to apple or Google play and download free Netafim Landscape calculator. It is designed for drip with in line emitters. I can’t believe people are still messing around with bug emitters. The roots will never develop much beyond where you place those emitters. I highly recommend Netafim tech line cv or Toro or Rain bird with inline emitters. Perhaps this will help someone. This calculator is a helpful tool.
Another great app is Ewing Irrigation. They have a tool section that makes it a breeze to calculate Inche’s per hour. Once you know your inches per hour you can easily create a custom sprinkler type.
Give some feedback.
As always, thank you for sharing this with the community!
Thanks, George. I really appreciate you folks at Rachio.
@robertokc I have this style of manifold that is intended for 1/4" tubing.
The Netafilm CV says it’s a 17mm, which is 0.67 inches.
Would the the Netafilm be the proper fit for those manifolds ? It’s probably one of those inner vs. outer diameter differences in measurement, but thought I’d check with you. Thanks.
Just about everyone here is using the 17mm brown tech tubing with the emitters built into the tubing. Don’t get caught up in the size of the tubing. Sorry to see you are using those single emitters. They are an enormous pain in the xxx. Use the Netafim calculator and worry more about your soil type, flow of the emitter (don’t worry about countING up the emitters), then put in a spacing estimate. I would assume you come up with a run time of about 22 to 30 minutes. I so encourage you to look at changing over to the 17mm drip tubing with pressure compensating emitters built in. Look at the Netafim design guide. Obviously you would use blank 17mm tubing if you have large spaces in between plants. The Netafim can be buried (subsurface).
What is a bug emitter… I look up that term and it seems like it’s the normal drip emitters that I have
Same thing. Why aren’t you using 17mm drip tubing with built in inline pressure compensating emitters. Much better and reliable coverage.
Ignorance is bliss. I didn’t know anything about irrigation 6 years ago when I had a landscape design company put in my backyard. I know my system is the black tubing with the emitter that is pierced into the line (all underground) and then the smaller tube is ran out to the plants.
It’s the same across the entire Phoenix valley. There must be a reason why it’s pervasive here, but the Netafim type of setup @robertokc refers to is pervasive in OK.
You don’t really see tubing above ground here, could that be to prevent sun damage?
@Modawg2k The intense sun would definitely damage exposed tubing, so I assume that it would need to be buried. The Netafim literature says it can be buried, but I wonder about clogging. I found this Arizona Landscape Irrigation Guidelines Committee document from a quick web search. The document is interesting on several counts. They do talk a lot about clogging.
This document is REALLY interesting (to me as a developing drip-geek). As you go through it you’ll see descriptions of the root zones, suggested watering times and frequencies, crop coefficients for various plant types, recommended durations, etc. It seems to be a great resource to use for sanity checks against your personal desert schedules, as well as against the Water Use It Wisely recommendations. Hell, they even have a description of using a catch-cup test to calculate a drip efficiency number!
And in the end they talk about how to set your schedule for desert watering based on canopy size and an associated volume in gallons. The document almost seems like a precursor to the Water Use It Wisely site.
Netafim, Toro and a Rain Bird All MANUFACTURE 17MM drip tubing. The emitters are self flushing, pressure compensating and can can be installed subsurface. Its all over the west. See what you can find out. I’m pretty sure University of Arizona extension could answer that, as well as Sprinkler World or Ewing.
A catch cup test on emitters is definitely something I do NOT see myself doing
I found this document at the UofA Cooperative Extension. They describe the typical layout around here, and talk about what they call ‘drip tape’ as being used for gardens. Take a look at p.3 and the notes underneath
“This drip irrigation system has three valves for plants with different water needs. Vegetables are watered most frequently with drip tape installed in the bed. Small shrubs and groundcovers have individual drip emitters with low flow rates (0.5 or 1 gph). Trees and large shrubs have multiple emitters with higher flow rates (4 gph) and are watered deep and infrequent.”
I’ll keep poking around. There has to be a reason this difference exists in our area vs. others.
Here’s another article with some interesting points. This one gives a few reasons that lead to the burial requirement for AZ drip systems. @robertokc, how hard is your soil to dig up ? It seems quite painful to think of burying these rings, and/or having to pull them up for maintenance given our soil. What’s worse is that since we place rock over top of all of our non-turf landscape, there would be no visual way to confirm that they weren’t plugged up. I’d love to use something like this, but it doesn’t seem like a slam dunk for desert landscaping. If I lived out by my mom in Indiana, with the fluffy loamy stuff she has as soil I’d probably have put in my order by now.
"The wild kingdom is another wild card. “Out here, we have a lot of critters—javelinas, coyotes, bobcats, and rabbits,” Gary said. “They’re not dumb. If the tubing is staked up out of the ground, they’ll find it and chew on it, because they know there’s moisture there.”
Gary saw this with his own system. “One early morning, I saw a line of evenly spaced rabbits, each one so many feet apart, waiting. I wondered what was going on. Then I realized that at 6:00 a.m., my drip irrigation system was set to come on. Each rabbit was stationed next to an emitter, waiting for the water to come out. They had learned the timing!”
Fangs aren’t the only things that poke holes in tubing. You need to make sure subsurface drip tubing is buried deep enough down, at least five inches, so that anyone aerating the soil later on won’t puncture it.
How does above-ground drip tubing stand up to all that bright Arizona sun beating down on it? “The UV light will start breaking down the poly in the tubing, and it will start becoming brittle and break,” says Gary.
“So we bury it two to four inches underground, then put rock mulch on top of the soil. It looks a lot better, too, because the tubing’s usually black, so it’s very obvious when it’s above ground. As long as the tubing is kept out of the UV light, it works beautifully, and lasts several years.”
I don’t know about all of this. Drip irrigation was developed in Israel, a desert country. Talk with the wholesale distributors. They are listed as Netafim distributors, plus I know thousands of acres of agricultural land is irrigated with Netafim and Toro drip tubing.
We install all the drip tubing under cedar mulch here. See no reason why you could not do the same with rock. No maintenance other than installing a flush valve at the end of a run and cleaning the filter. If the tube is cut you just repair. I could not begin to count the number of places where water was shooting up in the air from cut spaghetti tubing. No need to bury put under rock.
In our desert landscapes, the plants are spaced at irregular intervals so the emitters need to be spaced specific to that landscape design. In agricultural uses such as vineyards or orchards, where the crops are planted in rows, drip tubing with evenly spaced emitters provide the most efficient soil wetting pattern.
My system was designed and installed many years ago and the only clogging problem I have is with the emitters when the minerals from our hard water limit the drip or one of those darn pesky rabbits decides to use it as his personal water fountain. I inspect them and occasionally need to replace one. We were told that burying the tubing helped protect it from the harsh UV rays and not only was more aesthetically pleasing, but would help with the critter problem. It’s easier to replace an emitter than the tubing.
@azdavidr (AKA developing drip-geek or DDG) a few years back, I chatted with a representative from Arizona Municipal Water Users Association http://www.amwua.org/ at at the Mill Avenue fair and this is what I learned:
The AMWUA formed in 1969 to secure and maintain water rights for urban uses. They have been very active in promoting conservation and “The Water – Use It Wisely campaign was launched in 1999 to promote an ongoing water conservation ethic among Arizona’s rapidly growing population.”
The document you refer to is the work put together by experts in the field and you are correct–it is the basis for the more user-friendly web version. I see the last update of that document was 2001.
I did a literature search and retrieved several university studies regarding drip irrigation, emitter spacing, soil wetting patterns and calculating flow rates. You can have that bibliography if you want. There’s enough research to read to put even the worst insomniac to sleep in a few minutes.