All Things Gardening forum: Soaker hose irrigation questions

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Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Jun 18, 2012 6:40 PM CST
I'm a newbie to all-things-irrigation & recently installed soaker hoses and have run into a few problems. I used Gilmore 5/8" soaker hoses, which are flat, rather than round - they seemed to get overwhelmingly great reviews. I'm experiencing the following problems:

1) there are areas of the hose that don't seem to seep water - ie. they're totally dry?
2) we repaired two leaks (yes, I got too enthusiastic while trimming), with hose repair splicers & the water flows through the hose, but definitely spews out the area where we performed the repair, so we end up with a puddle under the repaired spot. Is there something we can do to minimize the amount of water coming from the repaired areas? I'm not sure that the splicers are intended for flat hoses...
3) one of the hoses runs UP to a planter box - no water seems to come out of this hose. Do soaker hoses only work in areas where they're draining down - ie. is gravity a requirement?

I am not using a flow regulator or backflow device, but have installed the washers with screens at the head of the hose runs & only turn the water on about a quarter of a turn. Sorry, I'm not very technical about all of this...

I'd appreciate suggestions that anyone might have.

Many thanks,

Liz
Name: Paul Velasco
Saint Cloud, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Chavez
Jun 19, 2012 7:55 AM CST
Take my advice with a grain of salt. I have been using hoses only for 3-4 years and these are my experiences with using them.

Lizzipa said:1) there are areas of the hose that don't seem to seep water - ie. they're totally dry?


Get one of these to regulate the pressure to 15-20 psi on the hose:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100151390/h_d2/Produ...

The regulators work alright. They are kind of a nuisance when you want to use the same supply for hand water with a regular garden hose. They get in the way.

Otherwise, get or make a resistor to put on the water supply side. It is a disk that fits inside the hose with a tiny hole in the center. They work wonders for soaker hoses. You will be able to get high flow at lower pressure.

Lizzipa said:2) we repaired two leaks (yes, I got too enthusiastic while trimming), with hose repair splicers & the water flows through the hose, but definitely spews out the area where we performed the repair, so we end up with a puddle under the repaired spot. Is there something we can do to minimize the amount of water coming from the repaired areas? I'm not sure that the splicers are intended for flat hoses...


Try the hose nipples with pipe clamps:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100659290/h_d2/Produ...

Wrench down on the worm drive clamps and you should have a leak free splice.

Lizzipa said:3) one of the hoses runs UP to a planter box - no water seems to come out of this hose. Do soaker hoses only work in areas where they're draining down - ie. is gravity a requirement?



They are not pressure compensating so this may be the case. Otherwise, turn your water supply higher. This may be the reason for not getting enough flow to the end of the hose.

I will take a picture of the 'Blue Plastic Thingy' (water resistor) on my soaker hoses. This is a key piece in the system and if you forget it, it causes alot of problems. I am able to turn the water supply 100% and not blow out my soaker hoses. These came with the hose but can be easily a DIY project.

I love soaker hoses for the yard. Use them all the time to get extra water to the dry areas in my lawn.
Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Jun 19, 2012 2:33 PM CST
Thanks so much for your detailed answers Paul!

I had read about using a washer with a small opening to restrict flow - is this the same concept as the resistor? Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the washers. Your comment about increasing the water supply makes sense & I was speculating that was needed. I'll wait to see the picture of your "blue plastic thingy", then off to Home Depot I go.

Many thanks!

Liz
Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Jun 25, 2012 1:34 PM CST
Paul,

Thanks so much for your help!

I got the pressure regulators, at Home Depot, this weekend & my hoses are "soaking" like champs, including the one that runs up to a planter box! I'll re-attempt the leak repair next weekend. Now, I just need to figure out how to deal with the water pooling where the hoses feed into the faucet - right now I'm using a deep plant saucer to catch most of the water, but I may need to install a small run of hose from the faucet to the flower bed & hook the drip hoses onto it.... just gotta' find a 4-6 ft. hose.

Thanks again!

Liz
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Jun 26, 2012 4:30 PM CST
>> just gotta' find a 4-6 ft. hose.

An expensive solution is to cut a 5' length off a hose you already own. Then add one male and one female hose-end fitting and secure them with hose clamps.

Has anyone had luck with PLASTIC hose-end fittings? I stripped the plastic where a fine-pitch, skinny screw tries to use its grip on soft plastic to apply enough pressure to hold at 45 psi.

BTW, one alternative to soaker hoses is "dripline" hoses. They have built-in emitters or drippers that can even be pressure-compenstating. You c an get them with a dripper every 6, 9, 12, 18 or 24 inches, and 1/2 GPH or 1 GPH. I've seen 1/4" dripline and 1/2" dripline. It seems much cheaper and easier than inserting dozens or hundreds of individual emitters by hand!

Home Depot was much cheaper then Dripworks for dripline4 and mainline. But Dripworks had bags of hose clamps at around 1/2 HD pricers.
[Last edited by RickCorey - Jun 27, 2012 2:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Paul Velasco
Saint Cloud, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Chavez
Jun 27, 2012 6:59 AM CST
Glad to be of help.

Those small section of hose are $$. They never last but 2 seasons. I usually buy them at the big orange box store.


Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Jun 27, 2012 2:31 PM CST
Rich, excellent suggestion in theory... however; I don't really have any spare hoses, plus it means learning a new skill & my free time is precious, since I work full time...

So, off to the big box orange store, again... (thanks Paul).
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 27, 2012 2:47 PM CST
>> my free time is precious, since I work full time

I know what you mean! I finally got some "spring" crops into the ground two weeks ago. But I am cheap, cheap cheap!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jun 27, 2012 4:29 PM CST
We have a local feed and farm supply store, Big R, that sells 15 ft hoses for a little bit of nothing. I use them when 25' is too short and 50' is too long. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 27, 2012 6:31 PM CST
Nothing is cheap in the Everett coop. Too many big-city Yuppies with bucks in their pockets buying cutesy toys for their pets!

It's better when I drive over to Snohomish. They have "farm coops" for farmers.

And some day I will get to Snohomish when Steubers is open - a nursery supply place, kind of wholesale. When expensive local nurseries don't stock what I want, or it costs an arm, two legs and half the torso, the clerks will sometimes whisper "you know, you can get that at Steubers.
Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Jun 27, 2012 8:32 PM CST
I'm cheap too, but water isn't around here. And I know that I need to get this running properly. before my DH sees another water bill! LOL!
Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
Life is to short to eat rice cakes
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herbie43
Jul 16, 2012 5:03 AM CST
i'm a litlte late here but when i lived in new york state i used a round soaker hose for my 10 containers and i hookied the hose up to a water timer. i just moved to rutland MA and the town has an outside water ban from 9 am until 5 pm so the timer will come in handy next season when i start to garden again
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frank
Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Jul 17, 2012 6:23 PM CST
Hi,

Would you tell me more about the round soaker hoses? I assume there was a hose running between each pot? Were they round when you bought them? If so, I'd like to find some...

Thanks!
Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
Life is to short to eat rice cakes
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herbie43
Jul 17, 2012 8:29 PM CST
i used 5 gallon containers that you can buy in lowes or home depot. they sell them as ;paint contianers. first i drilled 4 drainage holesthe size of a quarter two inches from the bottom of the container. then i drilled two holes just a bit bigger than the drainage holes as close to the top as i could ge on both sides of the container but making sure they wre in line with each other . i attached one end ofthe soaker hoseto my water timer andthen ran the hose through the holes at the top of each container.i had about 10 containers at the time. i scheduled the wter to turn on at 8 am each morning and shut off after two hours.

hope that helps. if you have any more quesitons just ask.

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frank
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Jul 18, 2012 8:48 AM CST
How did you keep the soaker hoses from drooling all over the ground between the pots?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Jul 18, 2012 1:50 PM CST
Howdy, Frank! Nice to hear you are getting settled in to your new place.

I remember some of his pics, woofie. His pots were right next to each other (for the most part), touching. I imagine a small amount of water would dribble onto his deck but mostly it would seep down the inside rim into the soil.

You could do the same set-up, a bit more expensive but a one-time expense, using a feeder hose and either drip emitters or mini-hose that taps into the main feeder hose. (I should probably go back up and re-read this thread; perhaps that has already been mentioned.)

Shoe
Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Jul 18, 2012 4:35 PM CST
Thanks for the explanation Frank!

Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
Life is to short to eat rice cakes
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herbie43
Jul 18, 2012 9:06 PM CST
shoe - so glad to hear from you again.

woofie - shoe is right. i had the containers right next to each other and it diden't matter anyway as i had a well and didn't have to worry aqbout wter bills. about water bills. Smiling

liz - you're welcome

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frank
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Jul 19, 2012 9:30 AM CST
It IS a really good idea, Frank!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
Life is to short to eat rice cakes
Charter ATP Member
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herbie43
Jul 23, 2012 6:09 AM CST
it is a great idea. i became a gentelman farmer. Smiling no weeding. all i hadto do was come home adn pick the tomatoes of the plant
.
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frank

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