How to Connect a Drip to Sprinkler Pipes

When there’s plenty of rain and the water table is high, running the sprinkler system daily keeps both the yard and the lawn nourished and healthy, but you have to use water more efficiently in times of drought. Drip irrigation technology, developed in the arid climate of the Israeli desert, which delivers water more efficiently, and it is not hard to connect drip tube to your sprinkler pipes. Adapters are available which allow you to remove a single sprinkler and link drip tube to the riser, but teeing into the sprinkler supply lets you use both watering systems.

Turn off the water to the sprinkler system. The valve is usually located close to the point at which the sprinkler pipe ties into the main water supply pipe. If you can not find a dedicated valve, shut off the water main to your home.

Subscribe to a 24-inch part of the pipe which provides the sprinkler system, utilizing a shovel. If you’re not certain where to dig, draw a mental line between the sprinkler valve station and the point at which the sprinkler pipe ties into the main water supply. Dig somewhere along that line.

Remove enough dirt to completely expose the pipe, which can be likely 3/4-inch PVC. Cut through the pipe with a handsaw. Wait for all the water to drain, and then glue in a 3/4-inch tee with its outlet facing upwards, using solvent-weld glue.

Glue a length of PVC pipe which extends 3 or 4 feet above the ground to the tee. Ideally, the pipe needs to be close to your fence or building to be attached for support. If not, you may have to drive a stake into the ground to support it. Now, you can backfill the hole.

Attach an outdoor spigot to the pipe. The easiest way to do it is to glue a 3/4-inch male threaded adapter to the pipe and screw the spigot on the adapter. Wrap plumbing tape around the threads of the adapter and to tighten the spigot with a wrench to stop escapes.

Attach a vacuum breaker to the spigot if it doesn’t already have one. This prevents debris from siphoning backward and into the water supply.

Screw a filter to the vacuum breaker. This prevents hard water deposits from entering the drip system and clogging the emitters. Screw a tubing adapter to the filter. This matching has hose threads on one side and a compression coupler on the other.

Connect 1/2- or 5/8-inch polybutylene drip tube to the adapter by forcing one end into the compression fitting. This tube becomes the main drip supply line. Run it through the lawn or garden, and connect emitters or division lines with 1/4-inch PB tubing where needed.

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