Backyard Mister System

I just finished a 100ft mister system in my back yard using 1/4in poly tubing and adding misters ever 3ft. It is stapled to the top of my wooden fence. The tubing is connected to my water source through a 1/4 to 3/8 connection. However the water pressure is really low. My first 5 misters do well but the remaining 8 just dribble water. Should I have used a larger tubing than 1/4in?

Yes, you should have used larger tubing. Tubing has friction losses with flow (dynamic head) - those losses are quite profound with small diameter tubing. There are web-hosted Total Dynamic Head calculators you could plug numbers into if you know what the flow rate on your misters is supposed to be.

At a rough ballpark without knowing your supply pressure or mister rated pressure range & flowrate, I'd prefer 3/4" or 5/8" tubing at least for something that long.

• Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 2:00

You want the water droplets to be far larger to fall onto the ground otherwise the fine mist is lost to the atmosphere and does nothing for the plants. In fact, misting plants will bring on fungus amungus! Misters will never be able to get the water to the roots. I am against 'misting' in the dry air indoors as well. Better ways to get humidity increased that plants are actually able to use.

Dribble is kind of what you want. Bigger tubes will stop the misting because that reduces pressure. But you need different heads. Perhaps taking a needle and enlarging the holes? There must be a way to change out the heads. What is this product? Did you get it at a garden store? They should have explained misting is not watering.

Like any automated irrigation system you will have to know the pressure, volume and droplet size to be able to calculate how many heads to use PER ZONE. Increasing the tube size will reduce pressure, if you are on city water use 60 psi in the calculations. Right now you've got 5 misters working with high pressure via small tubes. Open the holes to allow most water out with higher droplet size, enlarge the tubes and you might get by with 5 on a zone. All those heads or outlets beyond are compromising your output for the 5, you might be able to get 7 heads functioning by cutting off the rest. Need larger droplets to get to the water into the soil.

Tell us the manufacturer, the product and why you chose misters. Even in a desert misters will only relegate water to the atmosphere and never soak the soil properly. Is this for your lawn and plant beds?

I am not fond of automatic irrigation unless one already knows their plants and their needs. Is a lawn involved in this? What grass is your lawn? Cool season or warm season?

For now, I would purchase a CHEAP oscillating sprinkler. Maybe 10 bucks? Don't bother with the expensive ones. This will water everything. Check out the watering of lawns on this site, how to divide plants in beds from lawns. Only water when the soil is dry. Not everyday. Learn how to train your roots to become deep and drought tolerant. Shallow roots are caused by shallow everyday watering. Again lots more moisture lost to the atmosphere and the instant no water is available plants will go into dormancy. This oscillating sprinkler easily waters 4000 sq. ft. at once. All I ever use. I water as long as it takes to soak the soil 4-6" and allow to dry out before watering again.

Even though I've installed and reorganized and repaired and taught how to use the timer to set zone water allotments I've always used these cheapo oscillating sprinklers for my own use, even in the greenhouse. This will get you by while you figure your different heads and zones. The top of the fence was probably a bad idea. You are really adding to the green house gases. Water Vapor is number one. This is factual but I am also a huge CO2 denier and being facetious. But your water bill is a concern. Are you on a well or are you using city water? Depending on the size of your yard you might want to just stay with the cheapo sprinkler. Don't water at night only in the morning.