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Sprinkler System Installation


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Irrigation SystemsPlanning • Installation • Usage & Upkeep

underground lawn sprinkler system While there are many benefits to having a professional install your lawn sprinkler system, it is fairly easy for the accomplished do-it-yourselfer.  As long as you follow the steps, you can install your own lawn sprinkler system.

Before you install your system, you should have a design of your plan.  Based on this design, make a list of all parts that you will need for your installation.  Making a list will ensure that you don't make endless trips to the hardware store.  You'll also need to gather the correct tools.

The first thing you should do is transfer your plan from paper to your yard.  Use string, wooden stakes, marking flags, and marking paint.  Be sure to mark the main supply line, water meter, and valve manifold lines, as well as the header lines and lateral lines.  Mark the position of each sprinkler with a wooden stake, and run a string between the stakes to indicate the pipe trenches.  Once the project has been laid out, use paint to mark the ground, and then remove the strings and stakes.

underground sprinkler pipe and trench Next you'll need to trench the yard.  This means digging the holes where you will lay your pipe.  While many people choose to use a power trencher, keep in mind that digging by hand around buildings and flower beds will most likely need to be done.  To dig trenches by hand, use a sharp, straight-edged garden spade.

How deep should you lay your pipe?  Your climate should be your main consideration.  In climates where freezing isn't an issue, six to eight inches deep is fine.  In areas where freezing is common, digging lines below the frost line is safest.  In areas where they will be hidden by groundcover, irrigation lines can be placed on the surface; otherwise, they should be buried.

Once you lay your pipe, you'll need to hook your irrigation system up to your main water supply.  Next you'll have to install the valves for the system, and finally you'll have to lay the pipes.  Once the pipes are installed, sprinklers can be added.

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Lawn Sprinkler System Installation

blue irrigation pipes in a trench - connected by a tee
Irrigation Pipe in a Lawn Trench