Supply Line for Planning a Drip Irrigation System???

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New Jersey
We have about 170 feet of gardens in our backyard that I want to add
drip irrigation to. One day we may add lawn sprinklers as well, but I'm
not focused on that at the moment.

I'm putting a trench in for underground wiring that runs out to the main
garden right now and want to rough-in the main distribution for the
drip irrigation in the same trench. I'll deal with adding emitters
and/or emitter tubing in the future - just want the supply buried now.

  1. I see that there is 1/2" and 3/4" distribution tubing. The main gardens
    are about 40 feet from the supply connection and I have to T-off about
    75 feet to get to another. My thinking is it's always better with the
    larger tubing to maintain volume/pressure, but maybe I'm wrong. How do I
    determine what distribution tubing diameter to use?

  2. I'm going to add a new 3/4" copper supply through my basement wall for
    the drip irrigation and potentially future lawn sprinklers, separate
    from the existing hose connection. We have a home automation system that
    I would prefer to use to control the drip irrigation like via a
    solenoid valve, than an external controller or timer. I know I need a back flow valve. Given that scenario,
    what else would I need on my supply to connect up the irrigation and
    eventually lawn sprinklers? Is there any reason why controlling the
    system from home automation is a bad idea?
Any other advice?

Thank you guys!


Currently under Chemo Treatment.
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Orlando, Florida
Go with 3/4" feed for the drip zones. Also do plan on paper where you would place the future sprinklers and zone valves. You might want to add a 1" PVC pipe and valve wiring in this same trench. PVC is cheap and the wire is not that expensive. Though you might have a 3/4" copper feed which is good, use 1" zone valves since it is the most common (at least in Florida) and offers less back pressure.

I know this is more than what you asked but here is my 2 cents worth;
If you are planning one drip zone, lay out the pipe in a tee configuration. The feed pipe would be somewhere in the middle of the run, then branch off in both directions with drip tubing. I assume you're using the above ground drip tubing, usually 1/2". I would recommend this type of drip tubing without emitters. Emitters have a tendency to pop off if there is too much pressure and if you want to rake or scratch the ground the tools will grab the emitters and pull them off. If there is too much pressure, pressure reducers are sold for irrigation systems. The small 1/4" drip tubing is great for small planters and pots because they get ripped out quit easily when trying to rake the area.

For residential homes, I recommend Rain Bird controllers with WiFi. I've had Hunter, Orbit and Rain Bird. Rain Bird models have a nice display, easy to understand, program and very reliable. You'll probably will have the controller in your basement or outside and it is nice right from your smartphone to manual operate any zone when needed.

This is about the best site for irrigation information. There are a lot of tutorials and videos for the novice.

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