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How to Measure Water Pressure & Flow

May 4, 2012 - GrowOrganic
How to Measure Water Pressure & Flow Growing Carrots Mushroom Plugs Grasshoppers Tomato Hornworm Growing Broccoli Kefir Growing Peas Espalier Deer Resistant Plants Herb Spiral Birdhouses Square Foot Gardening Kombucha Growing Herbs Indoors How to Do a Soil Survey

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Water pressure and water flow are key to answering that basic gardening question, How do you get water to the plants? We all know how to water plants.You can: *  hand water (time consuming) *  move an oscillating sprinkler around (wastes water as it sprays through the air, and haven’t we all forgotten to turn off the sprinkler?) Best of all though, for: 1)  steady supply of water to your plants 2)  water conservation 3)  convenience is drip irrigation on a timer. To…
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Problem #1:  How to keep even pressure when water has to run downhill Good news! Gravity is not all powerful when it comes to water flow. We can intervene with pressure regulators. If you ran a line of poly tubing straight downhill you’d run into trouble. If you left it up to gravity, your drip irrigation system would be trickling out water at the top of the hill, and shooting out high pressure water at the bottom of the hill. First trick is to run the line at an angle down the slope,…
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Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia an organic gardener drip irrigation is a great way to save water. Today where going to talk about a few things that you must know before you start your irrigation system. Pressure is the measurement of how much force the water is exerting on the tubing fittings and emitters that you'll be using for a drip system. The pressure needs to be between twenty five and thirty pounds per square inch or psi. To measure your water pressure your going to need to attach a pressure gauge to the spigot make sure that all the water that comes from the same source as the spigot is turned off. Connect the gauge to the spigot that you plan to run your drip from and turn the water on, the water doesn't have to be all the way turned on you can just turn it on read the gauge and then you have the water pressure for your water source. If you're pressure is over thirty psi your going to need to install a pressure regulator so that your emitters don't pop out of the hoses or so that you don't get more water than you really need. To choose the right pressure regulator for your water were going to estimate the water flow were going to do that with a five gallon bucket and a stopwatch, most five-gallon buckets actually hold more than five gallons so take something like a gallon jug and pour five of them into the bucket mark where the water level is and that's five gallons. Throw away the water and you're ready to fill it back up, it took us forty seconds to fill the bucket up to the five-gallon mark that means we need a medium flow pressure regulator. Ideally you have at least two hundred gallons per hour water flow that's the amount of water flow that will fit through this half inch poly tubing. We just measured four hundred and fifty gallons per hour that means i have enough water flow to have two half-inch poly tubing lines installed. To calculate your gallons per minute or gallons per hour use this formula: take the five-gallons divided by the number of seconds it took to fill up the bucket times sixty seconds will give you your flow per minute and then if you want flow per hour multiply it by another sixty. Drip emitters are rated at gallons per hour depending on the pressure for example this little mini sprinkler is rated anywhere from 4.4 to 7.3 gallons per hour depending on your water pressure that's why its key to be sure and know what your pressure is. The gallon per hour number is going to determine how many drip emitters we can run off of a poly line and still have enough water to feed them for example i can put in four hundred of these half gallon per hour emitters off of each poly line if i'm running it at the proper pressure if i'm running at the pressure that's too high the emitters will put out more water then i've calculated for i won't have enough water. For additional information on designing your drip irrigation system check out our video called drip irrigation - save water and grow organic for life!

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Categories: Drip Irrigation, Poly Tubing, Drip Emitters, Drip Irrigation Supplies, Garden Soaker Hose, T-Tape, Emitterline, Water Hook-Up, Fertilizer Injector, Irrigation Manifold, Sprinkler Timer, DIY Garden Books, Organic Gardening 101


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