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Question on hose bib water source for in-ground irrigation system

I am new to the No. Virginia area and faced with dying landscape in the current home, and have no irrigation except by hand (it's 95 & humid as I write this). I would like to install an in-ground irrigation system to serve a 40 x 20 parcel on the front, 1/3 is grass lawn which is now spotty, and 2/3 are plants & shrubs.

The land is on a down-slope, and the sides are also sloped resulting in basement exterior walls on 3 sides. There are 3 months of freezing nights. Working on the front landscape is like being on a hill because of the side slopes.

I had a multi-zone system in year-round warm weather, so half of what I know doesn't apply in Virginia which has hot, southern summers and freezing, northern winters.

(1) My water source will be a hose bib (tapping in to main supply will be too expensive, done by a plumber, in the basement and piped to the outside).

My question is what are the best materials to connect the bib to the Valve manifold (which I will buy prebuilt or build myself) ?

I envision using a brass Y-bib. and attaching some sort of a poly-pipe to the valve manifold as the main irrigation water source. The poly-pipe will be exposed for about 4 feet before reaching the in-ground valve manifold. I intend to winterize by turning off the bib. I would need to build the poly-pipe with specific connectors - 3/4 female to connect to the hose bib and a barb converter for the manifold.

(2) I also am having difficulty finding a local irrigation parts supply store -- my local Home Depot doesn't have the selection and most locals drag a hose around or have sprinklers professionally installed. The internet retailers are good, but surprising don't carry all the parts -- one will have pipe drains but they won't carry poly-pipe O-clamps for barb fittings. One will have 1/2" poly and 1/4" flex, but not 3/4" poly for main supply -- really frustrating.

(3) Is it OK to install multiple pipe drains on the same pipe, both at the low spot and near a sprinkler head ?

(4) I will need 2 zones, one for spray heads for the grass, and a dripper type for plants/shrubs. Does anyone have an opinion on dripper -- my idea is to install dripper heads that fit the typical 1/2" fitting. The dripper head is actually a manifold (4-8 barb spouts) where 1/4" flex drip pipe can be attached to the barb spouts on the manifold.

That's it for now as I continue to plan and watch the browning landscape.

Re: Question on hose bib water source for in-ground irrigation system


I'm up in boston, but was facing similar problems. I won't bore you with the details, but I would suggest not using a manifold for your drip spouts. I ran a test with a rainbird manifold (this one had 8 spouts), and with 6 attached 4-lph drippers it was yielding about 1-lph not 4.

rather than using the manifold, I decided to run a 1/2" main through the landscape and drop a 1/4" line for each plant. This was about 3-4 weeks ago, and so far, the plants are ok.

finding hardware for irrigation was a nightmare for me also.

Re: Question on hose bib water source for in-ground irrigation system

Here is a ton of info for you. To answer your questions:

1. You need a water supply to the anti siphon sprinkler valves which is on at all times. Connecting to the hose bib may not be good enough.
You also need to worry about freezing conditions. Therefore, you will need an automatic drain valve at the lowest point of the system. This valve will drain the entire system everytime your anti siphon valves stop irrigating. Also you will need to make sure your hose bib doesn't freeze.

2. Your local stores don't stock parts because there is no demand for them. Very few have irrigation systems in your state.
You can order parts on line.

3. You can attach many pipes to your main, but depending on your water pressure, I doubt that you will be able to run two stations at a time. Keep number of heads to 12 or less per anti siphon valve.

4. At least 2 stations. You can install manual valves or automatic valves. Use brass valves, not plastic valves. The drippers won't last you very long. Underground sch 40 pvc will be much better.

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