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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 5:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

How to clean out drip irrigation hoses?

I have several hundred feet of drip irrigation tubing, mostly from RainDrip, but also a few from other companies. It's a mix of 1/2" and 1/4" sizes and a mix of "drip-a-long" hoses and discrete emitters. I try to use and re-use it for as many seasons as possible, but some of it is getting old and clogged.

Is there a good, inexpensive way to clean out the mineral deposits and other junk? I have hard water in my area, and I suspect that a lot of my clogging is due to that.

Would soaking the tubing and emitters in a trash can with a vinegar solution work? Or is there another chemical that would work? Preferably something not too toxic.

How about some sort of pump so that I can circulate the vinegar solution repeatedly through the system?

In addition to saving money, I'm also trying to prevent putting a ton of plastic into the waste stream.

Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

Posts: 11770
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: How to clean out drip irrigation hoses?

I end my hoses with a hose end cap so I can flush them. Vinegar should work, but my system would be hard to put back, so I just check the emitters once a year and either I clear the clogged ones with a wire or I replace them. The microemitters are hard to unclog.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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