Drip Hose vs Soaker Hose

Drip Hose vs Soaker Hose

Save your time, money, and water by creating a more refreshing garden with the right irrigation system. Select the watering system in the right place and the right plants. Drip hose vs soaker hose will decide which one is suitable for you.

The key difference is that a drip hose is plastic with emitters or small holes that gradually drip into your garden. On the other hand, soaker hoses contain a porous component that passes or filters water along its entire length. 

Both systems are effective irrigation methods because they need less water, and it doesn’t need as much control as other watering methods. Read till the end to find the solution.

A Quick Comparison Chart: Drip Hose vs Soaker Hose

Let’s have a look at the quick comparison chart between a drip hose and soaker hose.

Matter of DifferenceDrip hoseSoaker hose
Precision of wateringMore preciseLess precise
Installation ProcessRelatively toughEasy
RepairingEasyRelatively tough
CustomizationHighRelatively Low
Pressure RegulatorNecessaryUnnecessary
PriceExpensiveRelatively low
Durability20 years4 years

Soaker Hose vs Drip Hose: Things to Know

It’s essential to know the basics about these two hoses before choosing one. So, here we go.

What is a Drip Hose?

A drip hose has long pipes with transmitters. Secondary lines come from the primary water line. 

You have to attach it with a faucet equipped with a filter, pressure regulator, and check valve. Drip hoses usually contain polyethylene and are available from hardware stores and irrigation system suppliers.

Benefits of Drip Hose

Drip hoses are a fantastic way to efficiently rinse large areas with minimum water loss and evaporation. They can be around 100 meters long, and you can use them for about 150 meters in the irrigation area.

Moreover, the pressure compensating emitters are located every 33 centimeters along each section, providing controlled flow and efficient and reliable distribution. You can cover drip hoses to keep the soil moist. 

Finally, it has a long lifespan and can water the garden for 20 years.

Limitations of Drip Hose

A drip hose is relatively cheaper than a soaker hose. Also, you may need to purchase puncture protection accessories. 

Moreover, the radiators can become clogged shortly, and you have to repair and check from time to time. Designing and installing a drip hose can take more effort and time.

What Is a Soaker Hose?

A soaker hose is a rubber hose that looks like a garden hose. It is usually cheaper as it contains porous materials that can leak easily. 

Yet, it is easier to use as it gradually provides the plants with water. Most hoses contain polyethylene or rubber, but some BPA-free hoses are available today.

Benefits of Soaker Hose

A soaker hose is an environmentally friendly and reliable way to water your plants directly. In fact, it is ideal for small spaces requiring good impregnation and is relatively straightforward to install.

It is possible to use soaker hoses with the pressure reducer and any micro-irrigation fitting. Also, it covers the soil to keep it moist and hide from direct sunlight.

Limitations of Soaker Hose

The soaker hose can break in just 4 years. An unregulated water supply from the soaker hose can be less efficient. Moreover, the hose length reaches 20 to 30 meters, and you can use 50 meters in one zone.

Drip Hose vs Soaker Hose: Key Differences

At first glance, both the hoses look the same. But there are some key differences between the two hoses that make them perfect for various garden activities. 

  • Irrigation installation cost 

A soaker hose is cheaper on the market than a drip hose. It also requires less cost and time to install. A soaker hose is connected to a kiosk connected to an external faucet. 

In contrast, a simple drip hose requires a transmitter, a filter, and ebb and flow controllers. You can add special timers and routing systems to this base to irrigate different places at different periods. However, this flexibility makes the drip hoses time-consuming and more expensive to install. 

  • Watering accuracy

While a soaker hose is cheaper, it is not very precise. According to the University of Florida, the water is filtered by the soaker hoses along the entire length. 

Thus, when watering with the soaker hoses, you water your plants and all between your plants. On the other hand, drip hoses can be positioned to drip directly into the plant root zone. 

For small installations, you can utilize a transmitter for big plants. By doing this, you can control not only the position of the drop but also the speed of the flow. 

  • Installation process 

Installing a drip hose requires more labor and effort. The extra effort and time come from installing the system, installing the pipe, cutting the sections, installing the suitable flow valve, and installing the drippers on the installation base. 

It is still easier to install from a drip hose if you prefer the round or flat hose. You have to connect it to a rubber hose or directly to a faucet and place it where you want water. It takes only several minutes. 

  • Durability

As the drip hose contains polyethylene materials, it lasts for so long (about 20 years). On the other hand, a soaker hose contains rubber material and lasts for just 4 years. It may be another reason why a drip hose is more expensive.

Best Drip Hoses

There are different drip hoses out in the market. Let’s find a few of them.

Rain Bird ET63-100S Drip Hose

Rain Bird ET63-100S Drip Hose

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Rain Bird ET63-100S Drip Irrigation Pipe provides continuous water as intended. The emitter tube acts as the soaker hose, but it does not clog and does not need maintenance! 

Once set, you can continuously water your landscaping and plants according to plan. This powerful and flexible 1/2 inch drip hose irrigation plants evenly with pre-installed 0.09 GPH pressure compensating emitters 18″ apart. 

Also, it ensures that all plants acquire the same water in the place along the pipe. Patented radiators are engineered to not clog with the flow and provide consistent, reliable, and maintenance-free irrigation. The flexibility offers tighter bends with fewer turns for quick and easy installation.

Rain Bird T22-250S Drip Hose

Rain Bird T22-250S Drip Hose

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Flexible Rain Bird 1/4″ dispensing hoses can be utilized as the primary line in a little irrigation system or as a branching 1/2″ drip line in individual installations and micro-irrigation devices. The 1/4″ Rain Bird hoses are available for the most robust and flexible tubing. 

It contains UV protective polyethylene resins that give vinyl flexibility with its polyethylene handle. The unique microporous structure provides an extremely tight bond. However, the tube expands over the fittings and contracts, making it nearly impossible to vacate without cutting.

Best Soaker Hoses

Now, it’s time to find some quality soaker hoses. Let’s have a look at them.

Swan CELSP38050 Soaker Hose

Swan CELSP38050 Soaker Hose

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The SoakerPro Landscaping Hose is ideal for landscape professionals and is easy and quick to install. The lightweight hose wraps easily around the flower beds and plants without causing damage. 

Increase water intake for the most sensitive plants with this soaker hose. Unlike ground irrigation soaker systems, this soaker hose delivers water through the pores at 0.5-1 gallon/foot/hour, directing the water to the root zones.

This hose has a water controller to regulate water outpour and lower consumption. It is located directly under the ground or mulch, protecting delicate leaves and vegetables from damaging touch with high pressure.

Raindrip 015005T 1/4-Inch Soaker Hose

Raindrip 015005T 14-Inch Soaker Hose

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This porous soaker tube gently filters water from the whole line and moistens the ground around the plants for full root zone moisture. Also, they are easy to install.

You can connect the hose to a more extensive supply line with a fitting or connector and place the hose on the site to be watered. The soaker hose is perfect for short walks on dull surfaces like borders and vegetable gardens and is also ideal as a ring for watering small plants.

Final Verdict

So, which one is right for you? After reading drip hose vs soaker hose, I hope you can understand the best one for you. While selecting a soaker hose or a drip hose will depend on your tasks, the size of your yard, and location, it’s also essential to understand all about the hoses.

A soaker hose works best at ground level because you cannot adjust the pressure at different pinpoints along the length. The coverage radius of a soaker hose is not as large as that of a drip hose. Soaker hoses are less accurate than drip hoses, and you should not install them underground.

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