Connecting a Drip Irrigation Line to a Sprinkler System

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  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-200
What You'll Need
Threaded plastic T (normally inch)
1/2 -inch threaded to barbed tubing connector
Plastic 1/2 -inch diameter drip irrigation tubing
Drip heads (1 or 2 gallon per hour or gph)
Tubing puncture tool (a sharp piece of plastic)
Tubing end device
1/2 -inch PVC ball valve (optional)
Plumbers tape

Connecting a drip irrigation line to your sprinkler system is a fine way to help conserve water, especially if you’re using a sprinkler to water your lawn and expending a whole lot of water.

Step 1 - Choose Locations for Your Plants

You’ll want your sprinkler to be near your plants, so plan strategically.

Step 2 - Purchase the Necessary Materials

Go to a hardware or home improvement outlet and buy all of the materials you’ll need (see above). These parts can be located in the lawn irrigation/sprinkler aisle.

Step 3 - Make a Connection

Locate a current and active sprinkler circuit, and the sprinkler head adjacent to your project area. Make sure your sprinklers run off of a standard ½ inch pipe system.

Step 4 - Take the Necessary Measurements

You’ll next want to measure distances. Determine how many feet of plastic drip irrigation pipe you’ll need from the predetermined connection to your project area.

Step 5 - Tap into a Circuit

Disconnect the target sprinkler head, and then dig out around the PVC socket where the head fits. Next, put a threaded plastic “T” into the socket, with the “T” being approximately 90 degrees from the upright position. In other words, it appears like a “T” on its side. Be certain to utilize plumber’s tape in all threaded joints to help prevent leakage. Lastly, replace the sprinkler head on top of the “T”.

Step 6 - Put Threaded and Barbed Lines Together

On the end of the “T,” affix the threaded barbed coupler. This part can be identified by its female threaded end on one side, and a ½-inch barb on the other. This is the location where the transition from the typical sprinkler system to the plastic drip tubing takes place.

Step 7 - Layout Tubing and Run Sprinklers

From the threaded/barbed connector, line up the plastic tubing in the direction of the newly installed parts by either burying them or laying them on the ground. Then, after clearing out any obstructions, run sprinklers for a couple of minutes. At this time, examine the line for leaks.

Step 8 - Cap it Off

Once you’ve looped the tubing around the final plant, utilize a tubing cap, which is normally shaped like the number 8, and crimp the tube back around itself. This will give the system a solid base and deter drip head interruptions.

Step 9 - Attach Drip Heads

Utilizing the tubing puncture tool, make a hole where you want the drip head to excrete water – normally, that would be adjacent to the base of a plant. Put the drip head in the fresh hole. If it’s set right, it will make a clicking sound. Then replicate this action for every plant you want your drip line to reach.

Step 10 - Test and Adjust

Now you’re ready to turn on your system and watch it work, as water drips out at the base of each plant. If necessary, you may increase or decrease the amount of water flow via the ball valve at the “T.”