Our Drip Irrigation Design and Graphic Conventions
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Our Drip Irrigation Design and Graphic Conventions


Our approach to drip irrigation graphics is to not show individual drip emitter locations for every plant, but to define areas that are to receive drip irrigation in a general manner, and clearly indicate the individual support equipment such as valves, drip lateral line, pipe transition points, multi-outlet devices, flush valves, etc. Our Drip system will assume that the planting plan was designed using our software, and that the planting plan has been brought into the Drip plan as an external reference (Xref). This Xref will be scanned for individual plants in order to assign individual emitters to plants, and calculate gallonage.

Our Basic Drip Component Approach

You can apply any detail method you wish to the basic components, but our fundamental approach is to facilitate a system that is as permanent and easily maintained as possible. This type of system will generally include below-surface hard-piped PVC from the drip valve to all planted areas. From there, pipe transition points allow for a transition to above-grade drip tubing with a variety of emission devices. Drip line can be installed below or above grade, and drip bubblers and sprays can be hard piped with PVC underground pipe from the valve to each emission device.


Drip Control Valves

The drip control valves consist of a remote control valve (RCV) in conjunction with a filter (to filter out debris particles) and a pressure regulator (to control the lower pressure requirements). Typically, lateral line pipe of below-grade hard pipe PVC (such as PVC Class 200) will run from the drip control valve to the various areas that are to receive drip systems. This configuration allows for a permanent underground water supply that cannot be easily disrupted for the drip areas.


Typical drip valve with PVC lateral to drip system


Typical drip valve with PVC lateral to drip system



Pipe Transition Point: At each area to receive drip systems, a transition point transitions the PVC pipe to the drip tubing or dripline piping. The transition point is typically denoted by a “T” or “L” into a drip box that transitions to the above-grade drip tubing. These transition points should be spaced at reasonable enough intervals that the drip area is small enough to replace easily if damaged. Depending on the designer, the transition point might span 50 to 75 feet.


Typical pipe transition point

Typical pipe transition point transitioning the below-grade PVC pipe to above-grade ½-inch drip tubing



Drip Tubing

The above-grade drip tubing supplies areas to receive drip emission systems with a variety of options: Drip Emitters, Drip Bubblers, or Drip Spray. This equipment may consist of single- or multi-outlet emitters, and it may be attached to the drip tubing directly, or with distribution tubing.


Typical drip tubing with typical emission devices


Typical drip tubing with typical emission devices



Flush Valve

Each area controlled by a pipe transition point should have a manual flush valve connected to the drip tubing, located at the opposite end of the planted area from the transition point, so that built-up particles can be flushed out occasionally.


Typical manual flush ball valve


Typical manual flush ball valve. This might also consist of an automatic flush valve with a drain sump, which will flush the system automatically whenever it is activated.



Drip Line System

This system is one in which the drip control valve connects to a grid system of dripline that either above grade or just below grade. The system will have a set spacing of drip emitters along the dripline, as well as a set spacing between driplines, allowing for a grid spacing of emitters within a planted area. Each planted area should receive one or more flush caps for flushing, or an air relief valve if the dripline is below grade.


Typical Dripline requirements


Typical Dripline requirements



Hard Piped From Valve

The most permanent – and expensive – system involves hard piping with PVC lateral pipe from the valve to each emission device.


Typical installation at PVC below-grade lateral hard piping, example 1
Typical installation at PVC below-grade lateral hard piping, example 3



Typical installation at PVC below-grade lateral hard piping, example 2
Typical installation at PVC below-grade lateral hard piping, example 4


Typical installations at PVC below-grade lateral hard piping

General Rules of Drip Irrigation Design

Rules of thumb that apply to drip irrigation include:

  • Try to place the pipe transition points at the high end of a planted area for maintenance flushing of the drip system.
  • Try to limit the number of pipe transition points for each drip valve to between 4 to 6.
  • Drip tubing polyethylene pipe should not run more than 250 feet from the pipe transition point location.
  • Drip tubing maximum length of run is a relationship between the flow GPH and the run:


Flow GPH

250 GPH

200 GPH

150 gph

Maximum Tubing Length

100 ft.

200 ft.

300 ft.




  • Drip Valve/Filter/Regulator with a minimum of 20 psi pressure, and flows as follows:
    • ¾” drip valve at up to 300 gph
    • 1” drip valve at up to 900 gph

Related Webinars

  • Drip Irrigation: We’ll go through the entire process – from placing drip rings, bubblers, single emitters, emitters by area, and dripline by area to zoning and piping. (1 hr 5 min)
  • Irrigation Tools – What You Need to Know: We'll show you the ins and outs of basic irrigation setup using our software, including how to add drip, sprays, and rotors to a project. (1 hr 6 min)
  • How The Manufacturer Connection Works: The Manufacturer Connection is the relationship between the designer and manufacturer that Land F/X has used to separate ourselves from other design software programs. Learn how it helps you spec equipment for irrigation designs. (53 min)
Last modified on Monday, 11 April 2022 08:33

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