Month: April 2019

The 3 Types of Drip Tubing

Drip Irrigation is one of the most flexible and effective ways to water. Drip Irrigation is a watering system that slowly applies water directly to your plant’s root zone, allowing you to water more plants with less water. Not to mention, since you won’t have water sitting on top of your soil you should see a reduction in weeds and pests. Users of drip irrigation also see significant savings to their wallet because it reduces your annual water usage up to 50%. Drip also offers ultimate flexibility with limitless possibilities of installing an effective system. However, while this is liberating for many it can be daunting for others. We’re here to help. Below, we explain the three types of drip tubing and when to use them.

Distribution Tubing

Distribution tubing does not have any holes in it, making it useful to carry water to your plants if they are spaced a few feet apart. One of the most common methods of using it, is to have the ½ inch distribution tubing act as the mainline for the water, and then to have ¼ inch distribution tubing branch off from the mainline carrying water to each specific plant. Finally install an emitter on the end of each of the 1/4inch tubes to regulate the pressure of the water.

Emitter Tubing

Emitter tubing is ideal for when you have evenly spaced plants with uniform watering needs. Emitter tubing has a hole already punched with 1 gallon emitters built-in the tubing every 12 inches. Gardeners use emitter tubing for flowers, shrubs, vegetable/fruit gardens, or even around the base of trees.

Soaker Tubing

Soaker tubing is made of a sponge-like material that drips or sweats the water out soaking the ground around where you place it. This is the perfect tubing to use if your plants are close together.

The drip tubing you use can make a huge difference in helping you set up the most effective system for your plants and help save water in the process. For more information on tubing visit http://orbitonline.com/

How Smart Watering Works

Smart Home is all the rage—and most products are built for inside the home. Here at Orbit we believe that living shouldn’t be confined to the four walls of your home. That’s why we launched our innovative award-winning B-hyve controllers bringing smart watering to our customers. So what is smart watering? Well, think of this: wouldn’t it be awesome if your sprinkler timer could track your local weather forecast and automatically shut-off the sprinklers when it rained? What if your sprinkler timer could also look back at how much water your plants received from the rain, and automatically water the exact amount of water that your plants need? That is what B-hyve makes possible through smart watering—which is an automated watering schedule that takes into account environmental factors to ensure your plants get the optimal amount of water they need. You are probably thinking, “That sounds fantastic, but how does smart watering actually work?” We’re glad you asked. The B-hyve smart watering algorithm uses three main types of data to calculate the optimal amount of water for each of your zones: 1. Rainfall and Irrigation Data 2. Soil and Slope Data 3. Plant Data

1. Rainfall and Irrigation Data
B-hyve uses WeatherSense™ technology that receives local weather data. When you install B-hyve, you can choose which weather station you would like to connect to, allowing you to choose one that is perfect for your location. B-hyve defaults to sending you a rain delay if there is a 30% chance of rain; however, you can adjust the rain delay sensitivity within the app. The ability for B-hyve to track the weather forecast enables you to save water by using rainwater before irrigating. B-hyve then looks back at how much actual precipitation your yard received and adjusts accordingly.

2. Soil & Slope Data:
B-hyve also takes into account the type of soil in your yard because each soil type absorbs water differently. The three main types of soil are Sand, Clay, and Loam and then there are mixtures of these soil types such as Clay Loam. Sandy soil absorbs water very quickly and homeowners have to water frequently, and for longer durations. Clay soil absorbs water very slowly and homeowners typically have to water less frequently for shorter durations. Loam is the ideal soil type and absorbs water somewhere in-between Sand and Clay. B-hyve also asks you to estimate the percentage of incline your zones may have. Slope also factors in how much water your soil can hold before run-off occurs. The sharper the slope the more frequently you need to water in shorter time durations. If you’re not sure what type of soil you have then you can learn more here: https://help.orbitbhyve.com/soil-types/

3. Plant Data:
B-hyve also utilizes the evapotranspiration data (ET) to determine how much water your plants need. ET data is a measurement of how much water the plant uses or loses to the atmosphere. B-hyve lets you input what types of plants you use whether they are annual flowers, trees, or desert plants. This helps the smart watering algorithm calculate the root zone depth and how much water those plants use. If you are not sure which type of plants you have, you can learn more here:https://help.orbitbhyve.com/plant-types/ Other environmental factors that B-hyve uses are humidity, wind speed, and temperature. The dryer, windier, and hotter it is the more water your plants will need. The B-hyve app also asks for the amount of shade versus the amount of sun to help determine if that area will need more or less water.

With B-hyve smart watering you will never water in the rain again, and will have that lush guilt-free green yard you have always dreamed about while saving water, time, and money.
Welcome to the Smart Yard!

PVC vs Poly: Which is Right for You?

If you’re a homeowner getting ready to put in a new sprinkler system, or just making some changes, you’ve probably noticed the many options that can be confusing. One of the first you might encounter is what pipe to use for your system, the two main options being PVC and Poly-pipe.  This post seeks to clear up some of the confusion so you can make the right choice for you.

PVC

PVC (abbreviated for ‘polyvinyl chloride’) is a rigid, non-flexible piping. Irrigation piping is usually white in color (grey is for electrical, black is for sewage). PVC pipe comes in a range of diameters, wall thickness (also known as schedule rating), and pressure ratings. The schedule number determines the inside diameter. For example, though the outer diameter of schedule 40 and schedule 80 pipe are the same, the inner diameters are different, with 80 pipe having thicker walls and therefore carrying a higher psi rating.  Most home improvement stores will carry schedule 40, which is the recommended thickness for irrigation as it can withstand hundreds of pounds of pressure, while the average residential irrigation system isn’t more than 80 psi.

PVC usually comes in straight lengths of 10 feet in most home improvements stores, and must be cut with a special pipe cutting tool when shorter lengths are needed. The main benefit to PVC is that it is very strong, however due to its rigid nature, it is less forgiving with freeze and thaw cycles.

Poly

Poly is short for high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. This pipe is also used in irrigation systems, and other piping & conduit applications. Poly has the benefit of being more flexible while still maintaining a high level of strength sufficient for most residential irrigation system. While not as strong as PVC, it is still capable of working within 200-300 psi (again, plenty for most homes). In addition, it is flexible and lighter in weight. Pipe like our Blu-Lock pipe comes in large rolls which weigh about 7-11 lbs per 100 feet.

Pros & Cons

When choosing which to go with, pay attention to what is used in your area. While both types of pipe are used everywhere, one tends to dominate in certain regions. Finding parts for the preferred method will be easier and the price might be less expensive. Of course, internet shopping makes that a non-issue for many, but if a repair is needed, it’s often needed urgently.

Otherwise, poly is usually the way to go as it is generally cheaper, easier to work with, and requires fewer fittings. With PVC you will need at least one fitting every 10 feet because that’s the typical length of pipe you will find in most home improvement stores. Any time you make a turn or bend, you will need another fitting (sometimes more). Whereas with poly you only need to put fittings where you need sprinklers, which can reduce costs significantly as well as reducing possible failure points.

Push Fittings

We offer push fittings in both PVC and Poly varieties with our PVC-Lock and Blu-Lock. These offer significant increases in speed and ease. Regular fittings must be free of any dirt or debris, and must be completely dry before gluing. Once glued they cannot be changed. Whereas push fittings can be attached completely submerged underwater if needed. They require no glue or primer, and are completely removable once attached.