How To: Install a drip irrigation system using your existing traditional sprinklers

Install a drip irrigation system using your existing traditional sprinklers

Get rid of your water-wasting sprinkler system— but not entirely! Keep your landscape and garden maintained by converting those sprinklers into eco- and pocket-friendly drip irrigation. In this how-to video, Paula Mohadjer from the Cascade Water Alliance explains how you can easily convert your sprinklers into a drip irrigation system.

While traditional sprinklers are great for lawns, drip irrigation systems are more suitable for plant beds. Because they can minimize runoff and misting, you will make your garden more water efficient. Drip systems also allow for better water targeting. Now you can target the plant roots, using almost 1/2 the amount of water you would use with a traditional sprinkler. These systems are ideal for trees, shrubs and flowers.

To being your installation, choose a spray head in the middle of your plant bed. Dig around the head and unscrew it. Insert the drip converter head and screw in place. Then, put on teflon tape and adapter. Now you can attach the T-manifold. Attach the distribution line by pushing the tubing into the T-manifold. Now, install the connector, punching holes into the tubing. Then, push the connector into the hole, cutting the 1/4 inch tube so it is long enough to water your plants. At the end of the tubing, install a microspray head or emitter. Place by the plant you want to water. Remember that emitters are great for a steep slope or clay soil but microsprays are easier to move around. Finish the drip line by staking it down and capping the end.

Some final things to consider: covering the drip system with mulch, capping off the system for more solid conversions and watching the system operate for any errors. Lastly, make sure to adjust the schedule after the installation is complete, as well as for the types of plants and the time of year you are watering.

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