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Flushing the System

The single biggest step in getting your drip system to work correctly will be starting it up the first time! This is where you can "make it or break it".
The worst thing that can happen to your drip system is to get dirt into it. Dirt can enter the system very easy when installing so getting this dirt out correctly before you start the system is very important. By following the steps and suggestions below you should be able to have a clean system to start with.

Flushing Your System

  1. First we must check the head assembly. Depending on your configuration of components and water supply connection, a few things may vary but the idea is the same. We need to make sure water flows through the head assembly OK.
    To start make sure that your connection to any polytube on your system is DISCONNECTED! We do not want to send any water into the drip system yet. We will want to see water coming directly out of the end of the head assembly. This will ensure that all the head assembly components are working and installed in the correct water flow direction. You will only need to turn on the water for about 5 seconds.
    Take note that the water will come out with a good amount of force even using a pressure regulator, this is normal. The pressure regulator does not regulate the flow, only the pressure on the system side.
  2. After you have tested the flow take apart the filter and check to see if there is there is any dirt in it. If there is try turning on the head assembly again for a little longer and then check the filter once more. If more dirt has been caught in the filter you might want to disconnect the head assembly and flush the water supply line some. This is more common in a system where the head assembly is connected to a PVC supply line. Hose faucets coming directly from your house should not have this problem.
  3. With the head assembly test completed successfully you need to reconnect the polytube to the head assembly.
  4. As we have mentioned before, it is best to connect all the 1/2" or larger polytube and flush it BEFORE placing any drippers or microsprinklers on the system.
  5. Now go and open all the 1/2" or larger polytube line ends, make sure you open all of them!
  6. Turn on the head assembly so water flows through the system.
  7. Let the water flow until it runs out clear and clean, a few minutes should work.
    Note: If you have multiple line ends the majority of water will only flow out of one line end (water will find the route with the least resistance). Close this line end first and then find the next line end where the water flows and close this one off. Keep doing this until all line ends are closed. Make sure to let enough water flow through each end so any dirt will be flushed out.
  8. Now turn off the water and install all your drippers and/or microsprinklers.
  9. With all your drippers and microsprinklers installed open all the line ends again and turn on the water.
  10. Repeat step #7. This will make sure to get out any pieces of the polytube and/or dirt which might have fallen inside the tubing when punching holes.
  11. Now go back along all the tubing and check each dripper and/or microsprinkler to make sure it is working correctly and not leaking at the connection.

Next Page: Tubing ends