Article Written By: Linsay Moore
Store Manager @ GardenShop Broadacres
So you’ve had a new irrigation system installed by a professional, someone who did all of the measuring and calculations for what your garden needs. It works perfectly until the service period expires and then – BHAM! Someone puts a fork through the pipe or mows over the sprayer – and now what???
LDPE pipe (Low density Polyethylene, fully recyclable plastic piping) comes in 3 basic sizes for the home garden, if you know your pipe you will know your fitting:
- 15mm – about 15mm internal diameter
- 20mm – about 20mm internal diameter –The most popular
- 25mm – about 25mm internal diameter – less common in home gardens
- Micro tube – thin green tube, found in 10m rolls
It is then important to know your colours:
- Blue fittings = 15mm
- Green fittings = 20mm
- Black fittings = 25mm
And know your pieces – as with chess , if you know what each piece does , you can play the game!
- Elbows – L-shaped, this piece is used to bend the pipe – around the corner or up a wall
- Connector – Straight tube used to repair small punctures or join two pipes of the same size together
- Tees – T-shaped fitting – Tees have many uses – they can be male or female…but if this is getting too technical, let’s keep it basic. Whether your Tee comes with the thread on the inside or on the outside or with no thread at all, there primary purpose is to add sprinklers and to direct your water in the direction you need it to flow.
- Reducer – Straight piece used to join 2 different size pipes together i.e. 15mm +20mm
- End caps – used at the end of the pipe which thus close your system.
Sprayer Heads – there are many kinds of these, but these are the most common:
- Dan sprayers or micro sprayer – the small ear-like sprayer, each one sprays about 1m diameter. Variations Include:
– Red – this is the half circle or 180 degrees
– Blue – this is a strip sprayer or a line sprayer
– Brown – the corner sprayer – or 90 degrees
– Yellow – full circle
– Black – full circle spinning
– Orange – full circle /or cone shaped spray – ideal for pots
- Pop up fittings – these ones screw into your pop up/ shrub sprayers. If you go with these, go for the adjustable versions, as this will allow for spraying at all angles. Variations Include:
– Blue – sprays 3 m diameter
– Dark brown sprays – 3.6 m diameter
– Black sprays – 4.5 m diameter
– Light brown – 5.4 m diameter
- Keep a jug of hot water handy, to soften the black pipe , this will make it easier when pushing it into the fitting – dip the end of the pipe into the hot water and then push the pipe into the fitting.
- Pressure and flow are different – we need good flow for an irrigation system – so always opt for the wider pipe where you have low water pressure.
- Buy extra connectors – you will always need these for any emergency patch up that may arise.