When I got home with the Netafim drip tubing, Ben got right to showing me what to do. He showed me the labels on the tubing, that made it clear how much water an area would be getting in a certain time period. He explained how close together the emitters are (12 inches in my tubing) and how much space they take up in the tubing (about 4 inches each). If I did need to cut anything, I needed to stay a solid 2 inches away from the emitter hole. Then, he went ahead and attached the adapter to the the underground elbow that had already been dug up. He seemed to think I wouldn’t have any trouble doing that myself the next time around.
Getting the Netafim tubing onto the adapter was another story. This is, as far as I can tell, the most difficult step. Ben showed me how it is important to hold the Netafim tubing close to where the pressure is being applied. Otherwise, it will crimp (bend) and potentially create a weak spot in the tubing. He could barely get it to slide on, even with the added grip of rubber gloves, until he told us about using a lighter. With the application of a few seconds of heat, the tubing changed color a bit as it softened. He could push it about a 1/4 inch before it got cold again. Another aspect of the technique was to push a little on one side, then a little on the opposite side. Soon, he had the tubing all the way on the adapter. I tried to push it a couple of times before we heated it, but couldn’t make it budge. I never tried when it was heated, but expect to have to do it myself in the near future. Hopefully, I won’t melt the tubing to my fingers….
One of the nice things about the Netafim drip tubing is that there are NOT a lot of extra pieces needed to make it work. The water emitters are built into the tubing. The holes don’t need to be poked in, like they do in the typical black tubing (funny pipe). The tubing can be cut and reconnected to match whatever garden shape you need, but I ended up not needing to cut it at all.
The simplicity of the connection to the underground sprinkler pipe to the drip pipe meant that the connection could be left laying above ground. No digging to get it back in place. It will be easy to see if there is any leakage at the site. A couple of metal stakes on either side of the connections made it lay neatly under the bleeding heart where the the whole line started. Ben left me to arrange the drip tubing as I liked. I did greatly appreciate the help of my daughter in holding and untwisting the tubing as I laid it down. By doing this, we were able to remove some of the curve in it and use fewer metal pieces to hold it in the intended design.
When I was done, Ben came over to evaluate my work. He helped me put on the end piece that holds the tubing in a fold that closes the end of the line. It shouldn’t be popping out due to water pressure like some of the end caps have done on my other drip set-ups. He suggested we run that section of sprinklers to see how much water it was getting.
This is progress toward my plan of not having water within 4 feet of the house OR having spraying sprinklers so close that overspray is such a problem on the windows. Now, I feel semi-capable of setting up a Netafim system just beyond a front section that is notorious for flooding my basement. It will be patio and benches in the shade close to the house, with a couple of areas left for flowers, but with only drip irrigation. Even if I need help with that one step of attaching it to the adapter, there is much I can do by myself. It is nice to not feel quite so overwhelmed by sprinklers.