Drip Irrigation Troubleshooting Tips

Drip irrigation is the most efficient way to water your landscaping beds, vegetable gardens, and container plants. For non-grass areas like these, drip irrigation is an ideal watering solution that will provide excellent results while saving you water. Below are some troubleshooting tips to help with your drip irrigation projects. These cover some of the most common issues with drip irrigation. For a deeper dive into drip irrigation, look at the Jain Irrigation Training Series. You can find it here or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Just search for Irrigation Training Series. Please remember most problems with drip irrigation are related to incorrect installation or improper usage of particular components. If you have a problem or question you cannot resolve, please call the experts at Jain Irrigation.

Drip Irrigation System Emitter

c587c Total CV Emitter 1 1

Distribution is Uneven: Check to see if emitter flow rates are mixed. Verify by checking the color code and flow rate. Next, check to see if there are too many emitters hooked up to the supply line. Depending on the size of the line, you are limited in the number of emitters.  Is the supply pressure less than 5 PSI or more than 45 PSI.  Next, check to see if the emitters are clogged.  If the emitters are blowing off the tubing, check to ensure you are using a pressure reducer.

Micro-Irrigation System Spray

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Head is Not Performing up to Standards:

  • Tubing supply pressure is too low or too great. Pressure should be 10- 20 PSI.
  • Supply tubing is kinked.
  • Filter is clogged.
  • Spray head is clogged with debris and needs cleaning.
  • Supply tubing is run too far from the point of connection, or too many spray heads are used for the size of polyethylene tubing. (Pinch supply tubing at the halfway point and check performance).


Screen Shot 2022 05 25 at 12.57.46 PM

Uneven Distribution of Water:

  • Supply pressure incorrect. It should be 6-20 PSI.
  • Lateral run-length exceeds recommendations.
  • Tubing clogged. Clean or replace and add 150 mesh filter.
  • Lateral lines are running uphill rather than sidehill or downhill.
  • Lateral lines are greater than 12″ apart. Mini-Pipeline is Emitting Water Unevenly:
  • Length of the line exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendations for bubbler flow rate.
  • Mini-Pipeline is kinked.
  • Tubings clogged; clean or replace and consider adding a 150 mesh filter.

Bubbler Watering System

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If Tubing Blows off Bubbler Port:

  • Tubing is kinked.
  • Insect Plug is inserted too far.
  • Emitters have been inserted into the end of the bubbler tubing.
  • Tubing is in a high traffic area and requires a clamp plate.
  • Tubing has been pulled off bubbler too many times. Cut one inch off the end and reinsert.
  • Improper tubing size.

If Bubbler Ports have Uneven Flows:

  • Bubbler’s flow path is partially clogged with debris. Remove screen and diaphragm to clean flow path notch.
  • The system filter is plugged in.

These are not all the challenges found but cover the 80/20 rule well.  Congratulations on watering with the most efficient irrigation available today.  Matching drip irrigation with a smart controller, saving water, and having a healthy landscape will be simple.


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