Where to Install Soaker Hoses

Backflow prevention devices such as double check valves, vacuum breakers and reduced pressure backflow devices are commonly used in our area to protect both domestic wells and municipal water systems from back syphon and back flow cross contamination. These devices protect cross contamination from syphoning from ponds or swimming pools filled by a hose or lawn contaminants such as fecal matter from the lawn back flowing from a loss of pressure in the pressure tank on a domestic well, or loss of pressure on a municipal system. These devices by state and federal law are required to be tested annually.

Here are a few suggestions for effective soaker hose use:

  1. Lay the soaker hoses no closer than 24 inches apart in beds and use only one for shrubs and trees.
  2. Run on your permitted day, during permitted time.
  3. Turn the faucet only a quarter turn.
  4. Run until the soil is moist 4 inches below the soil line.
  5. Store the soaker hose in the garage when not in use.

When several soaker hoses are connected end to end, most of the water will seep from the hose closest to the faucet; less water will reach the far end. Avoid uneven distribution of water by setting up separate watering zones with no more than 100 feet of soaker hose each. Use quick-connect couplings or Y valves to switch the water from zone to zone.

The major problem with soaker hoses is that they’re composed of reconstituted rubber and will degrade over time, especially if exposed to sunlight. Expect them to fall apart in a year and a half to two years, at most. An old soaker hose will exhibit small water fountains all along its length.

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