Tools and Stuff forum→soaker hose question

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Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Jun 17, 2021 3:13 PM CST
I'm thinking of installing a soaker hose with a timer so that my new raised bed will get watered when we are out of town (and it would make watering easier in general). The only working faucet on our house is on the north side, and the bed is on the south side where it's sunny, so I currently run a garden hose along the entire length of the back of my house for watering. Can I attach a soaker hose to a garden hose that long? I read that you shouldn't use a soaker hose longer than 100 feet total because of water pressure, but I wasn't sure if that's just the soaker hose, or the whole setup.

thanks in advance!
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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Jun 17, 2021 4:20 PM CST
Why not try it, if it doesn't work, return the hose
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Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
Jun 17, 2021 6:10 PM CST
Thinking logically I'd think it would be fine. The 100' limit would seem to be because the pressure within the soaker hose drops from end to end as the soaker hose is designed to leak. The hose from your tap to the soaker hose is a closed delivery line and the primary loss of pressure would not occur in that sealed (for lack of a better term) hose.

That said, I still don't understand how jumbo jets get off the ground. It just isn't logical.
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Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Jun 18, 2021 7:34 AM CST
Not sure I could return it after cutting the pieces, but it sounds like it's worth a try anyway. Thank you!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Jun 18, 2021 8:17 AM CST
Didn't get the part about cutting it in pieces, how is that going to work?
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Jun 23, 2021 9:54 AM CST
Seedfork said:Didn't get the part about cutting it in pieces, how is that going to work?

My understanding is that soaker hose can be cut to the lengths you need, and then connectors or endcaps are added to the ends. It might depend on what kind you get.
canada 4b (Zone 8a)
Jul 9, 2021 7:41 PM CST
I would not put the effort into a soaker hose system because the foam hoses fail much more rapidly than a solid line emitter system. Plus the soaker systems tend to water everything, even where its not needed, which can cost more than is necessary over time. Consider the use of the grey pvc electrical conduit instead of waterline pvc or pex and is rated for sun exposure and very inexpensive.
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
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Aug 20, 2021 8:41 AM CST
I use soaker hoses in densely planted areas... and you're right, the length limitation is per section of soaker hose. You can set up multiple 100 foot soakers connected by solid hoses as long as you use T or + connectors to split the water flow.... it's a matter of connecting in parallel rather than in series, like those electricity diagrams you had to draw in physics class. For instance, if you want to hook up two 100 foot soakers to one faucet, you could use a gang valve at the faucet to create two lines, Or you could run one solid hose out to the garden bed, add a T-connector, then do your two soakers. What would not work would be to run a solid hose, connect 100 ft of soaker, then connect another piece of solid and another soaker all in one continuous line.

Think of it another way...

The job of the solid hose is to fill up the soaker with water. Then the soaker oozes all along its length and is refilled as it does so. To ooze water at a regular rate, most soakers can't be longer than 100 feet, or there will be less water pressure at the far end, and the far end won't give out much water. Similarly, if there's too much change in elevation, the water pressure in the soaker will be uneven, and it will ooze lots of water at the higher end and less at the lower.

Sometimes uneven distribution can be desirable. I've deliberately allowed a soaker to run a bit downhill and ended it in an area of the garden with moisture-loving plants.

You also don't really need end caps... you can tie a figure-8 knot in the end to stop the water flow (basically kinks the soaker a couple of times).

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