Misting System Installation Tips
If you’ve got a small area to cool, a misting system kit, or a low- or mid-pressure system, you might want to set up your misting system yourself. Knowing some installation tips will be invaluable.
On the other hand, if the area to cool is large, if the system you want is high-pressure, if there are any challenges or complexities, or if your system is expensive, consider having an expert install it for you. Installing a misting system is a bit of an art, and an experienced installer can be worth every penny. Knowing about installing a misting system will help you work with your installer to create a system best suited to your needs.
Either way, arming yourself with knowledge will help you put together and install a great misting system. Visit our page on What Makes a Great Misting System for an introduction.
Read through our pages to learn about system components and options. Also look at our comparison page and consider if other cooling methods could work in concert with your system to maximize its cooling. You might even discover that other methods would work better for you.
Installing Misting System Lines and Fittings / Connectors
Misting system supply lines are attached to the support structure by hangers that hold it snugly to the framing while allowing a little “give” (back-and-forth movement). This “give” allows for a certain amount of expansion and contraction of the lines that is normal with a misting system. Allowing for this will help prevent damage to the lines, and possibly to the support structure.
How far apart you position the hangers will depend largely on the kind of lines you use. The more flexible the lines, the more closely you’ll need to position the hangers. It is recommended that mounts for nylon lines be spaced 32″ or less. And the thinner a rigid line’s diameter, the more closely you’ll need to space the mounts, perhaps 5 feet apart or less. Also, be sure not to bind rigid lines at the ends. Leave about 1/4′ for every 10′ of line. This will allow them the same kind of “give” as flexible lines. The more securely the whole line is mounted, the more stable the system will be. Loose lines can cause damage to the system and affect where the mist will be directed.
Lines can be hung by perforated metal strapping called “plumber’s tape”. Using pre-punched, nailed-on steel straps can prevent accidental damage to the lines during installation. Rubberized mounts or straps is another way to minimize any damage and allow for some flexibility in the lines.
The misting lines need to run 8 to 10 feet above the ground on the bottom outside edge of the fascia, header, or beam of the structure’s perimeter. It is important to mount the line along the bottom edge of the structure, to prevent mist from spraying onto the top of it, defeating the cooling effect.
In places where it is not possible or not economical to cool the entire area, set up smaller cool zones based on your activities.
Installing Misting System Nozzles
Cooled air is heavier than the warm air. So the droplets evaporate above and around you and the cooled air drifts down onto you. This is why nozzles for misting systems are usually located just overhead.
Angle nozzles out and down from partially closed structures, such as patios. This way the mist will create a cooling curtain around the patio without trapping moisture inside. The mist will still drift into the patio, but it won’t be so much that it will get things wet.
Adjust your nozzles after installation for wider or narrower spray. If you find things are getting too wet or too cool, opt for a narrower spray. If areas are not getting any mist or you feel patches of hot air between the nozzles, adjust the spray a bit wider.
Installing the Misting System Pump
Check your available power before you select the pump for your misting system. Make sure it is set up with proper GFCI protection. Install your pump near a water and electrical hook-up in a covered area. Choose a spot that is relatively easy to access for maintenance. The best kinds of places are in an equipment shed or garage where it will get ventilation but still be protected from the elements. Install the pump on a level surface, preferably out of the hot sun, out of the rain or any puddles, and away from dust and debris.
If you’re unsure about installing it yourself, consider having the unit installed by a qualified electrician.
You’ll also want it a bit of a distance away from area you’ll be cooling since most pumps can be noisy. Many pumps can be placed up to 400 ft away from the mist line without significant pressure loss. Setting up a noise barrier such as a wall or fence or even some plants can be helpful, just be sure it doesn’t interfere with ventilation to the pump.
Other Outdoor Cooling Methods
Take a look at our comparison page or our pages on other outdoor cooling methods.
While misting systems work well on their own, they can combine with other cooling methods, such as outdoor fans for added cooling effect. Misting fans are a clear example of how misting systems work with another cooling method to maximize cooling. Outdoor shades are a nearly universal solution that work well with any outdoor cooling method.
Swamp coolers (desert coolers) use a similar technology as misting systems, but in a contained unit.
Portable air conditioners are especially suited to enclosed areas and special circumstances.
For some surprising tips on what to look for in a great misting system, take a look at Selecting a Misting System.