Converting Sprinklers to a Drip System

Posted on March 8, 2017 by Becky Staneruck

Every year at Shorty’s, folks come in for help diagnosing plant problems related to incorrect watering practices.  There are the drought stressed plants, but we also address disease problems related to overhead watering by.  We regularly repeat the mantra that slow, deep watering at the soil surface is the best method for watering most everything.  Drip systems are the ideal setup for this.

Many folks have in ground sprinkler systems.  Sprinklers are wonderful for watering lawns and some low growing ornamental beds, but as a landscape matures in height or lawn is replaced with ornamentals, the sprinklers no longer work as well.  The good news is that it’s easy and inexpensive to convert an existing sprinkler system to a drip system.

To find out how, I stopped by Right Irrigation Supply and spoke with Cindy who was extremely helpful.  The first step is to identify which zone(s) and sprinkler heads you want to convert to drip.  It is not recommended to have drip and sprinklers on the same zone due to vastly different flow rates. Use either a riser connection kit or a drip retrofit kit depending on the type of sprinkler body (spray or rotor) being converted.  These kits include a pressure regulator, filter, and fittings for attaching ½” drip line.  Universal and Rainbird specific models are available for each. Complete the set-up with 1/4” tubing, emitters, etc.  Cap any unused risers in the zone and you’re ready to go.  Your plants will thank you!

Lisa Rapalus/Buyer

« Return to Blog