It is not uncommon to see your drip tapes get blocked. This happen frequently. The emitters on drip tapes can get clogged with unwanted materials like sand, small stones and impurities, once the emitters are clogged, they wont emit water effectively again. Blocked emitters must be cleaned.
One of the main problems farmers and gardeners have is how to clean their drip tapes or how to unclog their blocked drip tapes’ emitters. For some farmers, they may discard the drip tapes entirely if they cannot clean it. Is this really necessary? No, you do no not need to discard your blocked drip tapes, you can get them cleaned or unclogged.
This post explains the methods you get use to clean your drip tapes or unclog your blocked drip tapes’ emitters.
How to Clean Drip Tapes
The following are some of the ways you can use to clean your drip tapes:
Flushing the Drip Tapes with Water
Water can be used to flush the drip irrigation system so that the dirts and other unwanted particles in the drip tapes can be removed from the system.
To flush the drip tapes, the following must be done:
- The end plugs or caps blocking the end of the drip tapes must be removed.
- Water should be pumped into the drip tapes at a slightly higher pressure.
- If the water pressure is low, valves can be used to zone the farm so that few drip tapes can be flushed at once.
- Tap the top of the emitters by hand to ensure that the unwanted particles there are removed.
Flushing the Drip Tapes with Acids
The drip tapes can be cleaned by using chemicals and acids. The common acids used in fushing the drip irrigation system are 33% hydrochloric acid and 85% phosphoric acid. Both acids should not be used together.
To clean the drip tapes with chemicals, the following has to be done:
- Get a 10 litres container or bucket half filled with water.
- Add either phosphoric acid or hydrochloric acid to the water in the bucket.
- Mix the acid and the water thoroughly by shaking.
- Fill up the bucket with water and shake again.
- Inject the chemical solution into the drip irrigation system with the aid of the venturi injector or dosing pump.
- Remove the drip tape end plugs so that the unwanted particles in the drip system can be removed.
- After the acid flushing of the drip tapes, pump only water into the drip tapes to remove any remaining acids in the drip irrigation system.
- Check the pH of your soil 1- 3 days after the acid flush to know if your soil pH has been significantly affected by the acid flush.
- The remaining acids should be securely stored in a store.
What Clogs Drip Tapes?
The following are some of the things that can clog or block the drip tapes:
- Dirty Water
- Bacterial Slimes
- Plant Materials
- Other Unwanted Particles etc.
How do you clean you drip tapes? Tell us your views in the comments’ section.
You may want to read how to bury drip tapes.