dronk31
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Location: colchester ct

Drip irrigation system from a water barrel

Hello all...
I have built,or in proses of building twoo 55 gal. rain barrels. to feed my garden(pics posted in garden pics section under what did u do today i.e dronk31) was wondering if anybody has built or is now using rain barrels w/drip irrigation system to water? NOT from house, but directly from barrels. Looking to find out if you have enough pressure to run system etc.......

Thank You
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dronk31
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

Here it is, all finished except for overflow piping. Needs a little paint job, and some rain.
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WP_20140504_003.jpg
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applestar
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

One of my rain barrels has a quick connect on the spigot to which I connect the hose and soaker hose for the nearby bed. This barrel is on cinderblocks and the soaker hose operates as expected. I have another barrel on paver wall blocks stacked two-high and this one supplies a bed that is located much further downslope after a long garden hose run -- the water literally oozes and drips out of the soaker hose at a much slower rate but it does the job.

I don't have a drip irrigation system (well I do have some components I bought to try out, but they are still in their individual parts in the shopping bag -- I haven't had the chance to explore how I intend to use it...) but isn't it all a question of how high the barrels are positioned relative to where the water emitters go? I tend to just connect stuff and see what happens, but I'm sure more engineering minded folks will do the calculations first and could tell you how high.
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dronk31
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

Thanks Applestar....
Sounds about right. i am just going to do what I can, and see what happens. :D
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evtubbergh
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

We're actually planning something like this on the property we really hope to buy. The biggest issue is pressure. This property is luckily on a slope so that we should get sufficient pressure for drip irrigation except of course on the same level that the water starts.

What are you going to do for added pressure?

Incidentally you get 98 millibars per metre of height or round it to 0.1 bar per metre. You need about 1-2 bars for drip irrigation as far as I know but I stand to be corrected. So you need about 10-20 metres of height. Although I can say that is not the whole story because my parents' water tank is only about 4-5 metres above ground and they get good pressure for household use. I know you can use pressure regulators to increase pressure (or decrease it).

Oh, sorry there are 3.2 feet in a metre. Therefore you need 32-62 feet of height.

I had to edit to add that you can drip irrigate with less than 1 bar of pressure actually but you need to be careful i.e. use the right drippers/line, keep your rows short and various things like that.

dronk31
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

I was planning on drip irrigation system...but after further review,I plan on going the soaker hose route. Found good info on setup designs and water amout per hr graphs and it looks like the best route for my system. I can set up a closed loop system at 100 feet and water my whole garden in 3-4hrs.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

Yeah that is actually a good idea; you can use a soaker hose with way under 1 bar of pressure. Just be careful of the reduced pressure at the end of the hose; I hear that is a big problem.

dronk31
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

Here is a pic of the installed rain barrel soaker hose for my garden
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evtubbergh
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

Looks great :) Let us know how it goes. I'd love to know for our new place.

dronk31
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

https://youtu.be/_e0MdqZKxLs https://youtu.be/_e0MdqZKxLs
[youtudotbe]https://youtu.be/_e0MdqZKxLs[/youtudotbe]
Here it is...to all looking for results on my attempt with a low/no pressure high out put soaker hose directly from a rain barrel" AT GROUND LEVEL" without use of a pump. Works like a charm and water flow is even thru out the whole run of hose. From beginning to end. I ended up using about 60 feet of poly tubing and 80 feet of soaker hose designed specifically for rain barrels, marked hose with the purple strip.............enjoy and I hope this gives some answers to some of your concerns about them.
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imafan26
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a watter barrel

If you raise the barrels higher you would have more pressure. This becomes important as the barrels empty and the hydrostatic pressure decreases and there is more resistance to flow. Otherwise, great set up. How many times can you water from your barrels?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

dronk31
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a water barrel

Imafan 26...... Not sure yet how many times, We have had rain ever since I set it up,lol. But I ran it once and it looks like ill get 2 or 3 good soakes per barrel. Will get a definet answer when we go without rain for a span. And will get a better idea how the hose works with lower level of water in the barrel. Report back after I know.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Drip irrigation system from a water barrel

That is very cool. You have done a very neat job. This is very promising for us. Have you tested it with low levels like imafan26 was talking about?

This make me so impatient to get our new house :)

dronk31
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Location: colchester ct

Re: Drip irrigation system from a water barrel

So the results are in. Ran my rain barrel the other day and she works great.....like the video shows (in previous post).Though, as the barrel got to about 2/3ds empty, it was not fulling as well. It still was seeping but not as fast as video shows. This still works for me so no complaints here but...as imafan26 previously stated. If I raised my barrels up a foot or so it will help with the lag in pressure. All in all, still super excited about this set up and the fact that all I have to do is turn a knob and walk away, no more wasted time standing around hand watering my garden. Use some of that time inspect garden plants and soak up the beauty of mother nature.
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