Rural Poly Pipes vs Metric Poly Pipes: How to Make the Right Choice for Your Irrigation System

Polyethylene pipes, commonly referred to as poly pipes, are frequently used in irrigation systems of all shapes and sizes. They act as the veins and arteries of your irrigation system, carrying water to where your plants need it most. If you’ve been looking into installing an irrigation system that uses poly pipes, you might already be aware that there are actually two types of poly pipe, metric poly pipes and rural poly pipes. But what’s the difference? The experts at the Irrigation Shop have put together this handy guide to help you choose which type of pipe is right for your Irrigation System. 

Characteristics of Rural Green Poly Pipes

Rural poly pipes, also referred to as green line poly pipes or rural green line poly pipes, are commonly used in agricultural settings, farms, and rural areas. These pipes are typically made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material, which provides excellent durability, flexibility, and resistance to weather conditions and chemicals. Rural pipes are manufactured to the Australian Standards AS 2698.2-2001.

Key Characteristics of Rural Pipes:

  1. Size and Pressure Ratings: Rural pipes are measured using the imperial system using their inner diameter. They come in a variety of sizes, typically ranging from 3/4 inch to 2 inches in diameter. The pressure ratings vary depending on the pipe's size, with the most common being 800 kPa and 1,000 kPa.
  2. Threaded Connections: Rural pipes often feature threaded connections, which facilitate easy joining of pipes and fittings without the need for specialized tools.
  3. UV Resistance: The HDPE material used in rural pipes is UV-resistant, making them suitable for above-ground installation, even in direct sunlight.

Characteristics of Metric Blue Poly Pipes  

Metric poly pipes, also referred to as blue line poly pipes or metric blue poly pipes, are widely used in urban and suburban settings for domestic irrigation systems. These pipes are made from medium-density polyethylene (MDPE) and conform to the Australian Standards AS 4130 and AS 4131.

Key Characteristics of Metric Poly Pipes:

  • Metric Sizing: Unlike rural poly pipes, metric poly pipes are measured by their outer diameter and as the name suggests, the size is recorded using the metric system. They are commonly available in sizes ranging from 16 mm to 110 mm.
  • Pressure Ratings: Metric poly pipes are rated for different pressure levels, with popular options being PN 8 (800 kPa), PN 10 (1,000 kPa), and PN 12.5 (1,250 kPa).
  • Slip Connections: Metric poly pipes typically utilize slip connections, where fittings are inserted into the pipe's end and secured with clamps or connectors.

Choosing the Right Pipe for Your Domestic Irrigation System

Now that you know the difference between metric poly pipes and rural poly pipes, your next question is probably: Which type should I use for my irrigation system? 

There are a few factors you need to consider: 

Scale of the Project

  • Rural Poly Pipes: These pipes are more suitable for larger irrigation systems for rural areas and acreage properties where the distances to be covered are significant. Their larger size allows for the easier flow of water through the system. 
  • Metric Poly Pipes: For smaller residential or suburban gardens, metric poly pipes are generally more appropriate due to their compact size and ease of installation.

Water Pressure Requirements

  • Rural Poly Pipes: Rural poly pipes generally have lower water pressure ratings. They are used where the irrigation system is connected to an off-grid water supply that uses pumps. 
  • Metric Poly Pipes: Metric poly pipes typically have higher water pressure ratings than rural pipes of an equivalent size. They are designed to be used with irrigation systems that are connected to mains or town water supply. 

Budget Considerations

  • Metric Poly Pipes: Metric poly pipes tend to be more expensive, owing to their higher water pressure ratings and their popularity. 
  • Rural Poly Pipes: Rural poly pipes tend to be more budget friendly but may not suit the requirements of your irrigation system if you live in an urban area. 


Get Rural Poly Pipes and Metric Poly Pipes from the Irrigation Shop

Ready to start installing your irrigation system? We have a wide range of irrigation system poly pipes for sale at our store. If you need more advice on what type of pipe to use, you can contact us online or visit us in-store.