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Basic drip tech

nvthis

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K, so I set up a top feed drip for my room and it's failing.. Apparently this isn't my area of expertise. Here's what I got...

~ Submersable 250 gph pump

~1/2'' line

~1/8'' feeder hose

~20 sites

My problem is water is only getting to half the plants. The set up goes like this..

Pump elevates water to 1 1/2', then back to floor. It goes about 6 feet and hits a valve. Then it hits a "T" and splits to 2 main lines. There are ten 14" feeders off each main. I am using no emitters.

I could (and, indeed, should have when the room was empty) take pics, but I am afraid all there is to see are plants..

Soo.. What can I do at this point to get equal water to each site? Any help is greatly appreciated..​
 

ozzydiodude

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installing shutoff valves that you can adjust the water flow/pressure til it comes out equal at all plants is about the only way you can adjust the water flow imo
 

nvthis

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ozzydiodude said:
installing shutoff valves that you can adjust the water flow/pressure til it comes out equal at all plants is about the only way you can adjust the water flow imo
So like 1/8 shutoffs for the feeders? Makes sense... But I haven't seen them yet. I've seen the ones that are the valve/emitter combo.. Is that the one you are talking about oz?

And thanks man..
 

ozzydiodude

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yep the shut off valves that are for air lines will work too
 

nvthis

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ozzydiodude said:
yep the shut off valves that are for air lines will work too
Cool, I'll look around and see what I can find.. I have a dentist appt Tues. in town, so that will work perfectly.. :D
 

pcduck

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Is your 1/2 line higher then your 1/8 line(plants)?

Could try raising 1/2 line level above pots and have 1/8 line lower going to plants. This may work for a temp. fix
 

nvthis

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pcduck said:
Is your 1/2 line higher then your 1/8 line(plants)?

Could try raising 1/2 line level above pots and have 1/8 line lower going to plants. This may work for a temp. fix
I had thought about elevating the line maybe (or, perhaps, just one end of it) and was waiting to see if someone in the know might mention it.. Thanks PC. I'll give it a try and see what happens... ;)
 
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I use drip lines outside a lot. I have found to get an equal feed to all that I have to make a loop and feed the 1/8" line with the drippers from 2 sides to try and make the pressure more equalized.
 

nvthis

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The Hemp Goddess said:
I use drip lines outside a lot. I have found to get an equal feed to all that I have to make a loop and feed the 1/8" line with the drippers from 2 sides to try and make the pressure more equalized.
Yup, excellent! 4u said as much as well.. I will do this along with the emitters. Thanks THG..
 

Hushpuppy

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I'm no expert on this but I have had the same problem with a similar setup. I would be willing to bet that the pump isn't developing enough head pressure. The gph tells you how much water will flow with no resistance on the pump, but depending on the type of pump you have, it will only develop so much head pressure. When it meets the resistance of multiple changes in the flow like uphill, "T"s, and smaller lines, it loses the ability to maintain the pressure to push the water through(at least this is what happened to me) I checked my pump and found that while it would push 200gph unrestricted, it wouldn't push .1gph past 1.5' vertical. I had to get a different pump that would push about 50gph to 3' vertical to make it work. The fish tank pumps aren't made to do that kind of work so I had to order one from the hydrostore.
 
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My outside drip lines are fed by my pressurized domestic water supply. Even with pressures of 60m psi or more, I have to make a loop to keep things somewhat equally pressurized, so I'm not sure if a larger pump would help.
 

ozzydiodude

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here's the the type I'm thinking about they are actually for air lines but They worked all right for me . petmountain.com/product/aquarium-pond-airline-valves/11442-509821/lees-airline-valve-control-kit.html
 

ShOrTbUs

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why after pumping 1 1/2 feet up did u run the main line back to the floor? all that is doing is forcing you to pump the water back up in the air again when the water hits the feed lines....2 fixes i see. either buy a larger pump, or create less work for the pump you already have

some things i noticed right off the bat...

why is the res over 6ft from the growsite?
why use 2 main lines with 10 drippers each, when 1 main line with 20 drippers is eactually far more efficient
why pump the water up 1 1/2' then back down just to end up pumping it back up again

just a couple of things to ponder while hittin the bong...GL with your grow

-SB
 

nvthis

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ShOrTbUs said:
some things i noticed right off the bat...

why is the res over 6ft from the growsite?
why use 2 main lines with 10 drippers each, when 1 main line with 20 drippers is eactually far more efficient
why pump the water up 1 1/2' then back down just to end up pumping it back up again
Strictly out of neccessity.. If I had the room, my res would be in the flower room with the plants. But, as it stands, there is none so it must sit outside the flower room.

Also, this is my first shot at this, so I'll offer that as to the reasons why ;)

The up/down part.. Not sure how to fix this.. With the res outside the flower room, it's like this has to be the way. The only option I can think of is to elevate the res and drill a drain in it so the line goes down/up instead of up/down/up???

Well, I got another length of 1/2" and will tie the "T" together to make a circle. I also was able to find some 1/4" valves at the hardware store, so I will throw these on as well. We'll see how things go, eh?
 
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I really believe that a loop is necessary where the line is being fed from both directions to get any kind of even feed. I really do not see how 1 feed could be more efficient. I also believe that the small ball valves will also help you maintain a more constant pressure--I just found them to be a PITA to use in my outdoor gardens.
 

ShOrTbUs

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i think its simply a power issue. one way you could test this is, remove the last drip line at the end of one of the 1/2" feed's and turn on the pump. if no water shoots out, your pump simply does not have enough power to feed that many drippers

my reasoning as to why 1 feed line would be more efficient is it takes more power to pressurize 2 feed lines as it is to pressurize 1. either way he still has 20 sites so there is always going to be 20 drippers, but why have an extra feed line if its not needed

pic 1 - the way i envision your top feed system

pic 2 - a more efficient way

fix1.jpg


fixmy.jpg
 
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I really don't think it is a pump power problem as I have this problem with a constantly pressurized (60 psi+) domestic water line. The extra feed line is to equalize the pressure and I run a loop. It does not take more power to pressure 2 lines, it takes more volume. And once the lines are full and up to pressure, it is a moot point. Also when I do this, I have 2 feed lines--I do not simply split 1 feed line--I come off the water supply (or pump) with a tee and feed a loop of emitters from opposite sides. I cannot get an even feed from all the emitters without doing this, even with really high pressure and volume, like domestic water.
 

Menimeth

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It is simple physics, if the water sourse is only at one end of the line, and all of the valvs are open, the lines closest to the water sourse will get the most pressure while the lines at the end get the least. The only way to solve the problem is to have more feeds along the main line, which will increase the pressure to the smaller lines that are farther away from the water supply. Just ask your city water Co. how they feed water to all of the houses without some houses having a deminished water pressure
 

nvthis

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Well, thanks for the help, folks. The problem has been more than adequately solved. As soon as I tied the two ends together (to make a circle) the problem was solved. I put valves on each feeder and made some minor adjustments so I only have to use the main valve now.

Mental note: After tying the lines together, it really didn't seem that raising and lowering the elevation and t-ing off the main line or having 6+ feet of main to play with made any difference at all. The amount of water I can pump wide open with this system is far too much. I have approx a 25 gal res and I think I could drain that sucker in minutes.. I think this pump is a-ok..

Rep + 1 Miss TGH
 
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I was quite sure that making a loop to equalizer pressure would help. Glad you got it working.
 

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