How to Convert Sprinkler to Drip

There are several reasons why you may want to convert your sprinkler system to a drip irrigation system. In this section, we will discuss the benefits of making this conversion and why it may be a good idea for your lawn or garden.

How to Convert Sprinkler to Drip

Converting a traditional sprinkler system to drip irrigation is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners and gardeners. This method of irrigation involves using small, targeted amounts of water directly at the base of plants instead of watering entire areas with a sprinkler system. This not only conserves water, but it also provides many other advantages that make it a more efficient and effective way to water plants. Read this blog post to learn how to convert sprinkler to drip.

Tools You Will Need

  • 1/2 inch polyethylene tubing
  • Drip irrigation fittings (e.g. elbows, connectors, tees)
  • Drip emitters
  • Pressure regulator
  • Filter
  • End cap or plug
  • Hose bib adapter
  • Punch tool or small drill bit
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Timer (optional)
  • Watering stakes (optional)
  • Mulch (optional)

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Convert Sprinkler to Drip

Step 1: Inspect Your Sprinkler System

Before you start converting your sprinkler system to drip, it’s important to inspect your current setup. Look for any damaged or leaking pipes, clogged sprinkler heads, or broken nozzles. These issues should be addressed before you begin the conversion process.

Step 2: Decide on the Type of Drip System

There are a few different types of drip systems to choose from, such as micro-irrigation and soaker hoses. Consider the layout of your yard and the plants you have when deciding on the best type of drip system for your needs.

You will need a few key materials for converting your sprinkler to drip, including drip tubing, emitters, connectors, and a pressure regulator. Make sure to measure your yard and calculate the amount of tubing needed before purchasing materials.

Step 3: Turn Off Water Supply

Before you start any installation, make sure to turn off the water supply to your sprinkler system. This will prevent any unexpected water flow while you are working. Using a shovel or trowel, carefully remove the sprinkler heads from your system. Be gentle to avoid damaging any pipes or other components.

Using a Shovel or Trowel

Step 4: Install Drip Tubing

Using connectors and elbows, begin installing drip tubing in place of the removed sprinkler heads. Make sure to secure all connections to prevent leaks. Emitters are the key component of a drip system, as they deliver water directly to the roots of your plants. Place emitters near each plant or in regular intervals along the tubing.

Step 5: Set Up Pressure Regulator

To ensure proper water flow and prevent damage to your drip system, install a pressure regulator on your main water line before it connects to the drip tubing. Once everything is installed, turn the water supply back on and test your drip system. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper water flow to all areas of your yard.

Step 6: Maintain Your Drip System

Regular maintenance is important for keeping your drip system in good working condition. Check for clogs or leaks, replace emitters or tubing as needed, and adjust water flow for different seasons. With proper maintenance, your converted sprinkler to drip system will serve you well for years to come.

Safety Tips for How to Convert Sprinkler to Drip

  1. Before starting any work on your sprinkler system, make sure to turn off the water supply. This will prevent any accidental leaks or floods and ensure your safety while working.
  2. Converting a sprinkler system to drip irrigation involves handling tools and equipment that may cause injury. It is important to wear protective gear such as gloves, safety goggles, and closed-toe shoes.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the layout of your sprinkler system before beginning the conversion process. This will help you identify which sprinkler heads need to be replaced with drip emitters and where to install them.
  4. Always use caution when handling sharp tools like pliers or cutters. Make sure to grip them properly and keep your fingers away from the blades to avoid any cuts or injuries.
  5. While working on your sprinkler system, be aware of any underground utilities such as gas lines or electrical wires. It is important to mark their location before digging to avoid damaging them.
  6. If you have any doubts or concerns about converting your sprinkler system to drip irrigation, it is best to consult a professional. They have the knowledge and experience to ensure the conversion is done safely and effectively.
  7. After completing the conversion, make sure to test your drip system thoroughly before turning on the water supply. Look for any leaks or malfunctions and address them immediately to avoid any potential hazards.
Wear Protective Gear Such as Gloves

Converting your sprinkler system to drip irrigation can be a great way to save water and maintain a healthy garden. By following these safety tips, you can ensure a smooth and injury-free conversion process.

What Are the Benefits of Converting From Sprinkler to Drip Irrigation?

There are several advantages to converting from a traditional sprinkler system to drip irrigation. These include:

  • Water conservation: With drip irrigation, you can target specific areas and plants, which reduces water waste compared to sprinkler systems that spray water over a larger area.
  • Improved plant health: Drip emitters deliver water directly to the base of plants, preventing water evaporation and ensuring that the roots receive a consistent water supply. This leads to healthier plants with stronger root systems.
  • Reduced weed growth: Unlike sprinkler systems, drip irrigation does not spray water over large areas, which can encourage weed growth. With precise watering, there is less excess water for weeds to thrive on.
  • Time and cost savings: Drip systems are more efficient than sprinklers, which means you can save time and money on your water bill. They also require less maintenance and are generally easier to install.
  • Environmentally friendly: By using less water and reducing weed growth, converting to drip irrigation is a more environmentally sustainable option for watering your garden.

Overall, converting from sprinkler to drip irrigation not only saves resources but also leads to a healthier and more efficient watering system for your garden. So, if you are looking to make a change in your gardening routine, consider making the switch to drip irrigation.

How Do You Prevent Clogging in Your Drip Emitters?

One of the biggest concerns when converting your sprinkler system to a drip irrigation system is clogging in your drip emitters. Clogged emitters can lead to uneven watering, wasted water, and potentially damage to your plants. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent clogging in your drip emitters and ensure that your new drip irrigation system runs smoothly. Here are some tips:

Converting Your Sprinkler System to a Drip Irrigation System

1. Use a Filter

One of the best ways to prevent clogging in your drip emitters is to use a filter. Filters can help remove debris and sediments from your water, preventing them from reaching your emitters and causing clogs. There are various types of filters available, such as screen or disk filters, so make sure to choose one that is compatible with your drip system and can handle the water flow rate.

2. Flush Your System Regularly

Even with a filter, some small particles may still make their way into your drip emitters. To prevent them from accumulating and clogging your emitters, it’s essential to flush your system regularly. Flushing means running clean water through your system for a few minutes to remove any debris that may have accumulated.

3. Choose the Right Type of Emitters

Different types of emitters are suitable for different types of plants and soil conditions. Some emitters, such as pressure compensating (PC) emitters, are less prone to clogging because they can withstand higher water pressures and have larger flow paths. Other emitters, like drip tape, may be more prone to clogging, especially if the water source contains a lot of sediment. Consider your specific watering needs and choose the appropriate emitters for your plants.

4. Properly Maintain Your Drip System

Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent clogging in your drip emitters. This includes checking for any leaks or damages in your system, replacing worn-out parts, and ensuring that your emitters are clean and functioning correctly. It’s also essential to monitor your water source for any changes in quality, which could lead to clogs.

Are There Any Specific Maintenance Tasks Required for a Drip System?

A properly installed and maintained drip system can save a significant amount of water compared to traditional sprinkler systems. However, like any other irrigation system, regular maintenance is still necessary to ensure its proper function. In this section, we will discuss the specific maintenance tasks required for a drip system.

One of the main advantages of a drip system is its low flow rate, which makes it less prone to clogging. However, this does not mean that it is maintenance-free. Over time, debris and sediment can still accumulate in the drip lines and emitters, causing blockages and reducing water flow. To prevent clogging, it is recommended to flush the system regularly. This involves running water through the drip lines for a few minutes to clear out any accumulated debris. This should be done at least once a month, or more frequently if you notice reduced water flow.

Flush the System Regularly


In conclusion, converting your sprinkler system to drip irrigation can provide many long and short-term benefits for both you and your garden. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can easily make the switch from traditional sprinklers to more efficient drip irrigation.

Not only will you save water and money, but you will also have healthier plants and a more sustainable gardening practice. Your plants will receive a slow and steady supply of water, reducing the risk of over or under watering. This will result in stronger and more vibrant plants that are less susceptible to disease and pests. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to convert sprinkler to drip. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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