Advice on Water Pressure to Garden : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My garden is a long way from the house and we don't have the best water pressure going to the hose anyway. Is there some sort of gadget out there that be put between the spigot on the outside and hose to increase the water pressure?

Also, another question. We have a pond and we are considering getting a pump to pump water to the garden (if we can find enough extension cords to run out there!) and it turns out to not be too expensive (we are really short on funds right now). How big of a pump would we need and can we bring it down with pvc piping into a pvc piped configuration of 3 oscillating heads to the garden?

Thanks in advance for your help.

-- Karen (, March 24, 2002


This may not be practical for your situation but is it possible to let gravity take it to the garden from the roof of your house? In our previous house we collected water from the roof into a plastic 55 gallon barrel that we had put a spigot on. The barrel was placed on cinder blocks about four feet high (the higher the barrel the greater the pressure I would assume). Granted the pressure wasn't as great as pumped water but it was cheap to make and got water to where we needed it. We just did root irrigation for alot of the plants those years and it worked wonderfully.

-- Dewey (, March 24, 2002.

I have heard that a sump pump FOR BOATS is a very cheap way to move water.

-- Terri (, March 24, 2002.

I bought a 250 gal tank this winter,, going to hook a hose to that, which will be near the garden,, that should be enough pressure to water the garden for me

-- Stan (, March 24, 2002.

You've omitted some critical details.

Exactly how FAR is the garden from the house?

How far is the pond from the garden and is the garden on a grade ABOVE the pond. Also, how FAR is the nearest electrical outlet from the pond.

These are all important considerations when dealing with pumps and electricity. Pumps are rated for gallons per hour and the distance and height the water has to be pumped is important.

Also, there's a reality called "voltage drop" (read that "loss"). The longer the cord and the smaller wire, the greater the voltage loss delivered to the appliance.

If you're talking much over 100 feet to run a pump, you'd better be thinking No. 10 electrical wire.

Answer those questions and I'll look up some data for you.

In the meantime, you might check out the offerings at Northern Tool for various pump options. I deal with them a lot and they're a good outfit.

-- Hank in Oklahoma (, March 24, 2002.

Buy from Northern tool if you want JUNK. dissatisfied customer here. I bought 5 different items from them over the course of 2 years. Not a single thing lasted more than a week- 2 cable come alongs, 2 barrel pumps, and a block and tackle. Deal with tractor supply or elsewhere.

-- otherwisehewasriteon. (, March 24, 2002.

Well, to each his own, I guess.

But over the years, I've bought several thousand dollars worth of stuff both from a Northern Tool retail outlet when I lived near one (when it was N.H. Northern) and more recently from the online store.

Out of all this I've only received one faulty product -- a submersible pump that was leaking oil. I called them, sent it back and received another pump so fast that it had to have passed the other one during shipment.

Their online shopping cart is much better than it was when they opened the online store and the personal customer service couldn't be better.

Granted, they carry a good bit of made in China and Taiwan stuff, but so do Ace and True Value Hardwares these days.

-- Hank in Oklahoma (, March 24, 2002.

I'd suggest a booster pump somewhere down stream from the hose faucet. We used to use one from the lake at the other place to water the garden about 100'away and it worked well. I think its called a portapump, set up to screw a garden hose to.

Its sounds to me tho that you may be better off doing the pond water thing. If the household pump and well is already weak and if you wanna run three sprinklers you might wind up stressing the well and/or pump and inviting an unwanted extra expense.

Rather than thinking extension cords to the pond, think enough 12/2 or 10/2 household electrical wire to reach. Its cheaper than extension cords and will probably last longer. You can even bury it safely. All you gotta do is wire in a plug on one end and a regular household receptacle on the other end. If the distances are significant and the pump motor 1 HP or bigger it might be wise to plan for a dedicated circuit from your electrical service eventually because the pump will pull quite a bit of juice.

The comments about voltage loss were correct. Its a real consideration, depending on distance.

I'd also suggest you consider black poly-pipe rather than PVC. Its alot cheaper, it comes in a 100' or 400' rolls and is really tough. You can get it rated for 100psi or 160psi. Its about $11/200' roll of 3/4". I'd suggest 1" pipe going to the garden, then reducing it down to 3/4" when you run the laterals off it. I rigged up a half assed but perfectly functional underground watering system with this stuff the way I just described and it works well, has lasted for years and was cheap and fairly easy.

In fact you should be able to bury the wire and the pipe in the same trench. My trench was only 4" - 6" deep and there was never any problem. One of the nice things about the poly pipe is you don't have to worry about freezeup in the winter because it doesn't seem to hurt it any. I plan to do the same thing here at the new place with accomodations to drain the lines to protect the valves from freezing.

-- john (, March 24, 2002.

Well, the garden is a LONG way from both the house and the pond. I haven't measured it, but I would say at least 200 ft. from the house and probably 250-300 ft. from the pond. The pond is probably about 500 ft. from the house. The pond is uphill from the garden but not by a lot. I guess this is more complicated that I expect..LOL!

We don't know much about electric and we have really old electric in the house (but it is on a breaker box)so we have to be careful there. Thanks so far for all the thoughts - keep 'em coming!

-- Karen (, March 25, 2002.

I have a Banjo pump with a Briggs 5 HP motor and I pump water out of the creek. It will pump a 1 1/2 inch hose with all the pressure you need. It s the kind farmers use to move sludge and fertilizer and such. Mine is about 15 years old and still works fine.

-- Mel Kelly (, March 25, 2002.

Since the pond is uphill from the garden you might consider those low pressure seeping type hoses in the garden itself. There would be no sprinklers, no wires to run and no pumps---just gravity to provide the water pressure and the fairly minimal expense for the poly-pipe run from the pond to the seeping hoses.

For rough figuring, every two feet of elevation difference between the pond and the garden is roughly equal to 1 psi from the hose.

On the other hand running a 1" line from the pond to a gas powered pump near the garden might be your best solution. The most costly item would be the gas powered pump. The 1" poly pipe would be approx $35. plus the cost of the hoses to the sprinklers.

-- john (, March 25, 2002.

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