Monday, August 6, 2007

Clever watering stuff

Enough with the exclusively work stuff. It'll come back with morphology and polymorphism and other big words soon enough. There's exciting stuff around the house also. As usual, its still equipment. We used to love the Simple Soaker. Essentially a sprinkler system without the Ditch Witch, new water pipes, and general expense. Simple Soaker on the back fence Until a few weeks ago, the biggest problem was finding them. But after three years, they are starting to fail. And, they were never exactly the right size. Always too long or too short. So, when messing around the hardware store trying to find replacement 3/8" tube, and other stuff, I instead found out about the current state of drip systems. They are way, way more exciting than they used to be. Mostly, they don't just drip anymore. 180° sprayer head, on South side of house Drip systems have always been simple. Cheap 1/2" poly tube, ends are closed by folding and clamping without tools (undo it all you want to relieve pressure seasonally, or for maintenance) and the drip lines are attached by punching holes and just stuffing 1/4" poly tube adapters into the side of the line. The new part, to me:
  • They have sprayer heads. A lot of them. We got the 180° heads, and its true, they are truly 180, with 5 foot range.
  • They are designed to attach to hoses. Adapters are plentiful, so no more need to run them off a full-on sprinkler system.
  • They are sensationally cheap.
I installed 100 ft of line (basically, 100+ feet of garden bed along the side of the house and drive), several 1/4 extensions to cover more area, 12 sprayer heads, and all the bits I need to support this, in like 1 hour, for under $50. And the flow rate is astonishing. They spray wonderfully, so everything is wet and happy, but its at 10 gal/hr per head. With all 12 heads on the two runs we did, that's 2 gal/min. Our house puts out somewhere over 6 (hard to say exactly due to flow constriction at faucets). In practice, you cannot tell its on if you take a shower. Or run another full-flow sprinkler. All in all, when I can spend a few more bucks and spend the time in the 115° heat index, I'll rig up every garden bed we have with these. UPDATE 8/22: Do not hit the hose or head with a weedwhacker. At least they are cheap and easily repairable.

1 comment:

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