How to Install Drip Line Irrigation


Having a drip irrigation system for your garden helps eliminate the guesswork out of watering when it comes to how much and how often. You can install drip line irrigation in a single day. When you pick up the materials you need for the irrigation system, add up to 15 percent to the total amount of material you need to guard against errors in planning or instillation. Once the system is installed, you can move it around as needed and leave it over winter as long as you insulate any parts which may be damaged by ice or freezing.

Step 1

Install a "Y" connector at the outlet where water flows from the house. This allows you to use the drip line irrigation and a garden hose for duel purposes. Connect a shut off valve to the "Y" so you don't have both the line and the garden hose running simultaneously. Connect the timer to the adaptor. Connect the backflow preventer to the timer. Connect the pressure regulator to the backflow preventer. Connect the swivel adapter to the pressure regulator. Connect the main line of the drip irrigation system to the adapter.

Step 2

Lay out the main line around the perimeter of your garden. Use the elbows and corners to snake the main line of the drip irrigation system around the area. Avoid 45-degree angles because this could cause kinks and backflow in the system.

Step 3

Place the feeder line connectors along the main line at the closest point to each garden area when you install drip line irrigation. This will reduce the distance the water needs to flow before reaching its target area and reduce the amount of pipe you need overall.

Step 4

Attach the connectors to the feeder lines. Cut the feeder line as close to the plant as possible to ensure the water reaches the root system. For plants just starting, place the line next to the root ball; for small trees and brush, place it 1 foot away; for larger trees and bushes, set the lines up to 4 feet away because of the expanse of the roots underground.

Step 5

Punch holes into the end of each line to function as an emitter. Use the hammer and hole punch to make a set of holes around three sides of the line. Place the holes only at the location of the plants. You can punch holes along the line for each plant as well. Attach end caps at the end of the line.

Step 6

Place the wood blocks underneath the feeder lines either before or after each emitter; this helps ensure the drip for the irrigation and avoids having the plants drown in a pool of water. Place the main line over weed fabric and under the garden mulch. This will help hide the drip line irrigation and prevent tripping and damage to the irrigation system.

Step 7

Attach the clamps to all of the lines, starting at the faucet. Set hair pins with the clamps to hold them in place on the ground. Use one clamp for every 3 feet of line.

Things You'll Need

  • "Y" Connector
  • ½ -inch PVC tubing
  • ¼ -inch PVC tubing
  • Connectors and elbows
  • Terminals and end caps
  • Hammer
  • Hole punch
  • Timer
  • Backflow preventer
  • Pressure regulator
  • Garden hose
  • Hair pins
  • Clamps
  • 2-by-2-by-2 inch square Blocks


  • -- Drip Irrigation
  • Colorado State University -- General Overview of Drip Irrigation
  • Jess Stryker -- Drip Irrigation Tutorials
Keywords: drip irrigation, install drip line irrigation, irrigation system

About this Author

William A. Swan is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management.