How to Troubleshoot and Repair Weak Drip Irrigation | This Old House

How to Troubleshoot and Repair Weak Drip Irrigation | This Old House

this is a very typical drip irrigation system for this part of the country Roger you've got the half-inch supply line coming in with a connector which off of it which runs into a quarter inch feeder line and on the end of the feeder line is a dripper or emitter that calibrates the amount of water that comes out at each plant when it works when it works when it works you want to come back out in the back I'll show you great we've never really been happy with it because as you can see by this one right here it doesn't work in certain places yes yeah this one's obviously not working and the shrub doesn't look too happy either Sheri we've been walking for two or three hundred feet here and have them come to the supply point yet where where is that it's over here behind the other building I'll show you okay I think the first thing to do is to check the pressure right here where your supply system comes into your splitter could you hold that black one out of the way sure I've got a handy dandy pressure gauge here to do that right you get that I bought this one in an irrigation supply but you can probably get one like it at a home center for ten dollars or so what's that going to tell you well we're gonna throw this little gauge and there we go looks like we've got well over fifty pounds is that good yeah that's plenty to run an ordinary drip system so what that's telling us is the problem is down the line from here and what do you do about that well I've got another pressure gauge which I can use to connect in here at one of your emitter connection points now what's that going to tell you same thing it's going to tell us how much pressure is flowing down the line to each it emitter point oh yeah what's that mean it looks to me like what we've got here is a insufficient amount of water to fill the line and completely pressurize it so that the pressure at each individual emitter is not enough to operate it properly what do you want to do about that well there's two possibilities one is we could change out all of the emitters you've got an emitter here of this type that puts out maybe as much as 10 gallons an hour there's emitters like this one I have here which puts out only one gallon per hour a quicker solution would be to try dividing the system into two parts and are immediately cutting the demand in half and seeing if we don't have enough input pressure to run each half of the system separately that sounds good you want to try that yeah let's try that okay let's give it a try I think when we clip this line here and shorten it we will be able to test that theory I'm going to use this sealing off device called a figure eight and you just slide it onto the tube and that's going to work yep if you want to turn the water on we'll prove it I can do that and Roger while she's doing that why don't we check to get ready to check the pressure all right I brought your pressure tech gauge down I'm gonna do just what you did before you pulled out the emitter and just slid it in and now as soon as she turns on the water we should get a reading on the gauge I think so and I think it'll be the number we're looking for I sure hope so here it comes guys no there we go there it is ten fifteen gosh almost twenty was twenty that's what we're looking for and look at this Oh perfect good flow all the way to the end that's great so did we get it guys look at that oh my gosh look at that that great yeah that's terrific now what you have to do is close off that end of the line we cut okay run a new water line out to the supply line for you the rest of the drip irrigation down there okay all right I'd keep those new drip irrigation segments a maximum of two hundred feet with your emitters just to be on the safe side okay you


  1. That’s so funny I was just thinking the same thing about that lady , I would have told her to shut it until we are done …

  2. Every movement this man takes she's all over asking questions.
    Guy takes a step, "why you do that?". Guy takes a breathe, "why you do that?"

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