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Putting your System Together

How long do I need to keep it on for?

With LeakyPipe, watering times for general soft landscaping is about 30 minutes per day, every day through a dry period.  Start watering early in the season and keep putting small amounts in.  Plants establish and grow-on strongly with this approach.  Adjust this guide depending on the specific site requirements, either manually or by simply amending your timer settings.  Of course, this is just a guide and you can apply your own schedule as you see fit.  Just be careful not to over-water as this can be as bad as not watering at all!

What do I do with the unattached, open end of the LeakyPipe?

The ends do need sealing.  You can either fold the end of the lateral over on itself and retain the fold with a cable tie or short sleeve section of 20mm supply pipe polytube.  However, it is tidier and more reliable to use a 12mm end plug.  (See 'end plug - 12mm size',  and fittings video)

You can also avoid needing end plugs by tee-ing the free end back into the supply pipe - this will only be a suitable solution where the layout of the supply pipe allows this connection e.g. when the supply pipe forms a 'ring' around the garden.

Does LeakyPipe have to be used sub-surface?

It doesn’t have to be.  Most users who are new to the product will place the LeakyPipe onto the surface, just so they can see what it does.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  You just loose a bit of efficiency as the exposed, top surface of the pipe that isn’t being touched, tends to dry-off and is "slower” than it would be if it was covered.  Once you are happy your system is working, we recommend covering with a mulch or soil as LeakyPipe works most efficiently this way by 'wicking' water into the soil around the whole of the pipe, rather than just where it lies on the ground.

Sometimes surface-placement is just more convenient both for installation and to allow easy repositioning at a later date. Repositioning may be necessary for either a change in the planting, or to make for convenient digging, or perhaps it is finished with for that area and can be relocated to another site, getting more value from the product if you’re a Professional.

How far will LeakyPipe work for?

LP12UH runs to 20metres (the type of LeakyPipe you will find in Vegetable Watering Kits)
LP12H runs to 50metres (and is the most popular pipe for general landscape watering use).
LP12L runs up to 100metres (the type of LeakyPipe in the Hedge Watering Kits)

These are recommended maximum lengths for single laterals of LeakyPipe, from where the water is introduced, (plugged at opposite end). This isn't a limit on the amount of LeakyPipe that forms a system, as several laterals can be used at once.

To help put a perspective on this, a typical domestic water supply is capable of running a cumulative total of about 300metres of LP12H at one time. (In any combination of lengths of up to 50m each).

If you want to water more than 300m in your garden, design your layout into 'zones' with different zones being watered at different times. A dual output tap timer can help with this.

How do I unroll the LeakyPipe?

The 50m and 100m rolls are easy to hold and dispense the pipe, gently rotating the end of the pipe in your fingers you go. This will rotate-out the spiral and allow the pipe sit flat on the ground.  

For the bigger, heavier rolls, (250m and 450m rolls), prop the roll up against a wall or similar. If pipe is taken from the outside of these larger rolls, it will have a real tendency to tangle. To prevent tangling, cut the stretch film-wrap from the inside of the roll only, leaving the film-wrap intact on the sides and outside.  Take the LeakyPipe from the middle of the roll.  This makes it easy to revolve the spiral out of the pipe, as you pull it away from the roll.  The LeakyPipe will then lay flat and be easier to position into place.  If you don't lay out all the pipe at once, the remaining film-wrap will keep the remaining pipe organised until next time!

Do I need to pin the pipes to the ground with pegs?

Absolutely not for LeakyPipe.  There is no reason to retain LeakyPipe with pegs when it will sit flat on the ground and you could do better and cheaper by using "spotting” soil or a mulch cover, if it was necessary.

Pipe clips or pegs can be useful for retaining 20 and 16mm polytube which can have a natural "spring”, but you still can apply the same process of soil or mulch cover.

Does LeakyPipe have to be in straight lines?

No.  You can snake it about as you see fit. It may be very relevant to snake the pipe from stem to stem to make sure the water applied from the LeakyPipe is dropping straight onto the pot/root ball of the new plants, especially if the plants are further apart, it’s dry season and the subjects have just been planted.   Watering the rootball compost as well as the soil immediately surrounding the rootball has a considerable benefit to a reliable "take” & fast establishment.

What size connectors do I need for LeakyPipe?

12mm connectors (also known as barbed fittings) fit all porosities of LeakyPipe.  This is not really the exact diameter of the connector, it’s just what we call them as they fit the LeakyPipe.   Normally, you don’t need to use anything to reinforce the connection, but rarely if you do have a unreliable connection, you could reinforce the joint with a cable tie or a jubilee clip or similar.  

Remember, 12 fits Leaky, 16 fits "garden hose" (& 16mm black supply pipe), 20 fits 20mm black supply pipe.  (NOT 20mm "Blue” pipe - that needs compression fittings).  

Supply pipe is sometimes referred to as "L.D.P.E Polytube" or just "Polytube". 


Can I use a timer with LeakyPipe and if so, what should I set it for?

Watering Timers (simple and cheap) or Irrigation Controllers that can be monitored through the Internet, (Not so cheap!) are an incredibly sensible addition to a LeakyPipe System.  They aren’t a necessity, but are cost efficient, let alone convenient.    

(Don’t leave them out in the winter though.  Unlike LeakyPipe, timers do get damaged by frost!)  

Set watering up for say 30minutes per day at any time of the day that is sensible to your location.  This is a recommended guide for starting but you may need to adjust it to water more or less. Generally 30-60 minutes per day is needed through the summer.

On domestic systems, you can use a brass manifold screwed onto the tap. The manifold can allow you to connect two timers below it.  Alternatively, the Buddy2 timer is two timers rolled into one!  These are all great tools.

Do I have to use my hosepipe to carry water to the Leaky Pipe?

You can choose to use your hose to bring water to the beginning of a length of LeakyPipe, perhaps connecting through a "snap-on” HoseSnap-LeakyPipe fitting.  This allows you to connect and disconnect as you please.  
Or you may choose to use polytube and barbed connectors to create a more permanent network of pipes to do your watering chores.

How difficult is it to use the connectors (barbed fittings)?

All the connectors and pipes we supply are materials that not only are compatible with each other, they are what we choose to use when we install.  So they should be OK.  
The barbs (ridges) on the connectors grip on the inside of the pipe. Cut pipe neat and square, push over the barbs on the connector, ensuring at least 2 or the 3 barbs are covered. A gentle 'wiggle' action can help. The pipe does not need to cover all the barbs.
Sometimes, particularly when it’s chilly, dipping supply pipe polytube into hot water to soften it, will help ease the insertion of the barbed connector.  
Soapy detergent can help with the slip-on, but don’t use any other form of lubricant.

Can I connect LeakyPipe to MDPE blue pipe?

Yes, you can, but you have to use compression to barbed fittings as the Blue pipe is too stiff to accept barbed fittings directly.