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luckywinks 05-27-2013 08:03 AM

How to attach 1/4" tubing in a drip system?
I am installing several drip lines for drought tolerant landscaping.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to connect the 1/4" drip tubing to the various barb connectors and various Orbit and Rainbird drip head ports? I'm having a difficult time doing this. No just don't have the strength in my hands to connect these things. I've tried slitting the tubing, heating up with hot water. The few I am able to wrangle on leave my hands sore and fingers aching!

At this point I may have to hire someone to do this task but am I missing something here? Why is this so difficult?

Speedbump 05-28-2013 09:57 AM

What PSI rating is this tubing? If it's higher than 125 PSI, it could get real difficult. Warm water should make it much easier.

luckywinks 05-29-2013 06:48 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for your reply.
I'm attaching a photo of the product description from Amazon. It does not show PSI rating. It is the Rainbird T22-100. The soaker tubing doesn't seem to be so difficult but this tubing is crazy!
Is there a tool available to attach these things? I've tried using water so hot it burns my hands, it's just ridiculous. I'm really at a loss here. I've got about 60 plants that need drips.

Speedbump 05-29-2013 10:16 AM

If you read some of the reviews, they will say what your saying sometimes and others say it's easy to use, but it does now want to go straight, and is hard to work with. The brown tubing they are referring to is irrigation tubing and is very thin walled. The 1/4" ID tubing we use here at our shop all the time is 120 psi but we have no problem pushing it onto a barb fitting. We use brass fittings although I wouldn't think the plastic ones would be any different.

One guy says hot water makes it real easy to push on. Try leaving it in the water a little longer. Like a minute maybe. That should soften it up.

Keep in mind that this tubing can come in many different PSI ratings starting at around 60 psi and going up over 200.

luckywinks 05-29-2013 11:34 PM

I've seen the brown tubing at Home Depot, would you recommend that instead? I'll whip on over there and sign up for a 100' if you think that's gonna help.

What is the significance of the PSI rating and what would you recommend?

What brand do you use at the shop that I might search for? I've noticed with the tubing laying outside on a hot day it seems more pliable but I haven't tried attaching yet on those days. I have everything cut and layed out ready to connect until I hit this wall a month or so ago and I simply have been hand watering as I've still been installing and relocating plants in my yard.

I'm also using the Orbit 8-port manifolds which are pretty cool gadgets. I went on a shopping spree at Home Depot and picked up several of these babies and probably overdid it but I figured more is better. Then I realized I could use the barbed T's.

I converted my front lawn to a conservation garden. Our city gives homeowners up to $3000 ($3/sf as an incentive), and I did the entire project pretty much on my own with the exception of working the sod cutting machine. The little tubing issue has been the biggest challenge so far. I never would have thought to have read the reviews on tubing.

Thanks again!

Ms. Lucky Winks

nealtw 05-30-2013 12:35 AM

You could try to heat the end of the pipe with hair dryer, maybe?

Speedbump 05-30-2013 08:10 AM

The uses we have for the tubing here at our shop is for for pressure switch lines on a pump and Water Conditioning suction tube and discharge. The discharge tubing is 5/8" and is very thin wall because there is no pressure or vacuum on it.

The brown tubing I am referring to has little holes in it about every four inches or so. It takes the place of heads and soaker hose. It just allows the tubing to get the ground wet where you place it. It won't be good for transferring water. The brand and PSI ratings are basically for the intended use. I can't make recommendations for you because I've never used it in irrigation systems.

luckywinks 05-31-2013 09:54 PM

Today I had some good luck. The days are now warmer into the high 80's since I began tackling the drip tubing on this project. Today I had occasion to gather up some drip tubing lines that were cut laying on a hot concrete surface for several hours in the sun our warmer weather (today was 80* with humidity in So. Cal). They were actually very warm and pliable and these connected to the the barb connectors quite easily. IT WAS LIKE MAGIC! I had to pinch myself. Clearly the tubing needs to become more pliable and heating the tubing material is definitely a winner. Exposed to the sun and even laying on a hot surface conducted more heat surely helped the situation.

So tomorrow I shall plan to finish up my project as it will be another warm day here in the Southland. The trick really is to apply consistent heat for a length of time. I was able to slide the tubing on with a liitle effort and no gloves were really needed but I still used them to make it less difficult. I hope this info will be useful to others who may find difficulty.

Thank you everyone for the suggestions and assistance. Gardening is my new hobby and I encourage anyone who has an interest in plants to stick with it. There's always something new to learn and gardening has brought happiness, comfort, good health, and a lot less stress.

Happy days to us all!

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