Dipper tubes are also known as emitters, and play a major role in drip irrigation as they are used to regulate the pressure during the process. You can also create a tiny emitter by drilling a tiny hole in a pipe, but you should know that it doesn’t work well. As this emitter type was not very successful, professionals started playing with their equipment types and invented different dripper tubes.
This post shall discuss the importance of different types of dripper tubes used in drip irrigation. Let’s read on.
Long-Path Dripper Tubes
Different dripper tubes use different methods to maintain uniform and low flow rates. Some emitters are known for passing the water through a very long and narrow tube. These emitters come with a small diameter and length, eventually creating a greater uniform flow while reducing the water pressure.
These dripper tubes are known as long-path dripper tubes or emitters. These emitters are fairly large as they need to fit in that tube.
Short-path emitters are not much different from long-path emitters as they come with a small water path. One of the best advantages of these types of emitters is that they work on low-pressure systems. On top of that, these dripper tubes are they are very cheap and do the work that can’t be done through other types of emitters.
When it comes to low-pressure systems like gravity flow drip systems, short-path emitters are the best emitters. The drawback of these dripper tubes are is that they clog up easily if the water contains lots of minerals.
Diaphragm emitters are known for reducing the flow and pressure as they use a specific type of diaphragm. There is a huge variety of these dripper tubes as some of them come with holes that stretch, and others move the diaphragms back and forth to reduce the water passages’ size.
In fact, these types of emitters use a specific part that stretches or moves to increase or restrict the water flow. On top of that, diaphragm dripper tubes are more accurate than the emitters mentioned above.
Turbulent-flow dripper tubes are also known as tortuous-path emitters. They work by running the water through a long path, but that path includes different types of obstacles and sharp turns. The sharp turns and obstacles in the way create turbulence in the water, which eventually reduces the flow and pressure.
Through turbulent-flow, the water passages can have a larger diameter and shorter length. You should know that the large passage makes the emitter less clogged up. The bottom line is that these types of emitters are cheap, simple, and work great.
Adjustable Flow Emitters
These flow emitters come with an adjustable flow rate. In fact, there is a dial fixed with adjustable flow emitters through which you can change the flow rate. The design of these dripper tubes is similar to the short path emitters.
They also vary inflow and come with little pressure compensation. According to professionals, adjustable flow dripper tubes are used only for hanging pots and baskets because every pot or basket needs water in different amounts. These drippers are the perfect tools to manage the flow.
These types of emitters run the water through a whirlpool (vortex) to reduce the pressure and flow. You should know that pressure drops at the center of a whirlpool, and the vortex emitter uses the same principle. It rotates the water around the outlet hole, eventually drops the pressure to create a lower flow through the hole.
Most vortex dripper tubes also come with very little outlet and inlet holes. The advantages of these emitters are they are small in size and very cheap. When it comes to drawbacks, they are not suitable for hard water as the small holes clog up easily in the vortex emitters.
The mechanical emitter comes with a chamber. Likewise, filling a cup with water and pour it out, the chamber fills the water and dumps it out after a specific amount of time. The operator can set any time at which he wants the mechanical dripper tube dumps out the water. It is a very complicated emitter and costly to manufacture.
The Bottom Line
While there are different types of emitters, each comes with specific advantages and disadvantages. For example, short path emitters work on low-pressure systems while long-path dripper tubes cannot function in the same way.
You must be wondering which emitter is the best emitter for you. You can purchase an emitter by checking out the water in which they are going to function. For instance, if you have hard water, avoid buying small-hole emitters as they will soon be clogged, and you will need to buy another one after a few weeks. On the other hand, the emitters with average holes would be perfect for you.