How To Choose Which Emitter or Dripper Is Right For Your Drip Irrigation System

How To Choose Which Emitter or Dripper Is Right For Your Drip Irrigation System

Drip Irrigation Emitter/Dripper Comparison

There are many ways to apply water to plants with drip irrigation. The component at the end of the line that actually delivers water to the plant is called an emitter or dripper. Drip emitters may drip very slowly or output a steady flow of water. Some are staked and some stream water in "fingers" or a fine spray. Pressure-compensating drip emitters contain a rubber or silicone diaphragm that allow them to maintain the same output even if the water pressure fluctuates. Non-pressure-compensating drip emitters are less expensive but the flow will very with changes in elevation and pressure.

Pressure Compensating Emitters

  • Deliver the stated gph (gallons per hour) even if pressure range is 10- 40 psi
  • Works well with elevation changes 
  • Self flushing to reduce clogging
    • Operating Pressure Range: 10.2 - 58 psi
    • Inlet Barb Size: 1/4"
    • Outlet Barb Size: 1/8" - intended for 1/8" micro tubing or Netafim Superflex
    • Shut-Off (Closing) Pressure: 1.7 psi (3.9' of Elevation)

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Non- Pressure Compensating Emitters 

  • Output will vary with changes in pressure and elevation 
  • Works best with flat landscapes 
  • Excellent for gravity- fed drip irrigation systems 
  Emitter Type Users Pressure Compensating  Removable Top Outputs (gph) Pattern Connects to Connection Type  Adjustable




Changes in elevation- Self Peircing  Yes Yes 1/2, 1, 2 n/a 3/4", 1/2", 1/4" drip tubing  1/4" barb  No 

TAE 10 

TAE 20

TAE 40  

Flat landscapes, low pressure  No Yes 1, 2, 4 n/a 3/4", 1/2", 1/4" drip tubing  1/4" barb  No
DD-SR360B - Drip Irrigaiton Adjustable Full Circle Stream Spray Bubbler 1/4" Barbed Inlet (B2C6)

SR 360B 

SR 180B

Cover large areas with stream spray No  Yes  0-10  full circle, half circle   3/4", 1/2", 1/4" drip tubing or micro stakes barb or thread  Yes

SR 360S stake 

SR 180S stake 

Cover large area stream spray, good in flower pots  No Yes 0-10  full circle, half circle  3/4" or 1/2" drip tubing on stake with barb  Yes
DIG 06-042 - DIG 4 Outlet Pressure Compensated Drip Irrigation Manifold 2 gph per outlet



Sprinkler retrofits  Yes  No  6 or 10 per outlet  n/a 1/2" threaded riser  1/2" female threads  No






Changes in elevation Yes Yes 1/2, 1, 2.1, 3.2, 6.6  n/a 3/4", 1/2", 1/4" drip tubing  1/4" barb  No


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