Gravity Drip Irrigation System

Most people often pose a question regarding gravity drip irrigation system whether gravity feed works properly with a drip watering system. Gravity feed systems work at low pressure and to make your drip system function properly, it will need minimum pressure.

So, the main thing is to figure out as to how much pressure is required. Most drippers normally require 10 PSI. A dripper needs minimum of 10 PSI to open because of a valve inside which averts drain-back at shutdown.


You may have a question in your mind whether or not your drip system can work in the pressure less than 10 PSI. Your drip system can work only is you make use of non-pressure compensating drippers. Please remember that as you lower the pressure, it results in friction losses in the tubing which will slow down the water flow. If you slow down the pressure more than necessary, the drippers at the end of the circuit would not flow at all!

If you keep low pressure, it will create low turbulence and silt in the water may clog the little openings in your drippers with the course of the time.

Things to Remember: Designing Gravity Drip Irrigation System

You need to design your drip system in such a way that it can work well right under 10 PSI pressure. Here are certain things for you to consider:

  1. The Use of non-pressure compensating drippers
  2. Keep the length of the row short
  3. Elevate your water source high so that pressure can be increased and let gravity force the flow
  4. To reduce friction losses in the tubing, keep its size longer.

Your drip system will work in a low pressure but test it before you start watering your garden or your crops.

Determining the Level of Elevation

You should aim at placing your water tank 23 feet above the field so that it can easily create 10 PSI of water pressure. You can make arrangements for placing your water source or tank high. You can make a tall stand if you like. Once you set your water source above high, you may need a pressure regulator to keep the pressure at desired level.