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I have underground irrigation lines to my entire yard. I know I can turn the lines on either manually at the in-ground control boxes or through my electric irrigation controller.

My wife and I are going to try our hand at a vegetable garden this year. There's an above ground outlet for drip tubing in a garden plot in the back yard but I don't have enough faith in the greenness of my thumb to want to drop a whole bunch of cash on a drip line irrigation kit. I'm also lazy so I don't want to unroll/reroll the hose every day to water the plot.

The solution sounds like getting the appropriate fitting to connect the irrigation spigot to a smallish length of hose we keep near the garden with an inline flow valve. That said, I don't know that that it's healthy to keep the irrigation line always under pressure -- is there any reason that would be a bad thing?

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  • As I wrote this I realized -- the sections of irrigation before the electromechnical valves is always on, so it would stand to reason the downstream sections would also be fine, but maybe their made of a different tubing or different joints and I don't really care to dig up my yard to check 🙃
    – Sidney
    Apr 18, 2023 at 15:29
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    Since I also have some irrigation project behind me: The landscapers differentiate strongly between "before valve" and "after valve". Rigorous checks on tightness aren't needed after the irrigation valve, as the line is only pressurized for a small time so small leaks don't matter, especially since the lawn gets watered anyway.
    – Martin
    Apr 18, 2023 at 15:34
  • @Martin That's enough of an answer for me to reconsider the idea -- no one wants a sinkhole (or a several-hundred-dollar water bill). Thank you!
    – Sidney
    Apr 18, 2023 at 15:36
  • Either you are looking the wrong places, or your idea of "a whole bunch of cash" is rather small. Inexpensive drip "kits" (which may have parts you don't need given where you are starting from, depending on the drip adapter) or just dripline are not terribly hard to find.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 18, 2023 at 23:52
  • @Ecnerwal Menards, lowes, home depot, and ace all want $40-$50 for one. Maybe "a whole bunch of cash" isn't exactly on target, but fifty bucks is fifty bucks. A pvc fitting to connect a hose and a ball valve is less than ten. Additionally, if we can make the garden do anything then we wind up wasting the drip kit.
    – Sidney
    Apr 19, 2023 at 15:27

1 Answer 1

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You want to put a manual valve at the patch and leave the control valve always on. As noted in a comment, you shouldn't.

Let's assume the patch is far from the valve box so you don't want to run a new water line for a hose.

Instead, you could:

  1. Install a hose on the existing line, but without a manual valve at the far end.
  2. Operate the hose from the controller, or if you want to be able to do it from the patch, buy a new cheap 4-channel smart controller (much less than $100) and connect the existing solenoid for that zone to the new controller. Then you can control it with your phone. TBH if I was doing that I would just replace the entire controller with a new smart one. There's no real need for one, but any excuse right, and imagine the fun you could have with a smart controller and some motion sensors. :) Or more seriously with some moisture sensors in the vegetable patch.
  3. Probably the drip adapter is not connected firmly to a steel or wooden post the way a hose bib would be. It's not meant to be handled regularly by people connecting and disconnecting hoses. You should tie it to a post so you won't break the piping by overhandling it.

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