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Landscaping 101

How to install a sprinkler system

4 min read

how to install the perfect sprinkler system

Want to save time and money in the summer when watering your lawn? Wish you knew how to install a sprinkler system yourself? Benefits of an automatic irrigation system include uniform and efficient distribution of water. It will start up at the times that you indicate through the programmer, and it will distribute the right amount of water, assuming less expense. For these reasons it is not surprising that it is worth installing one in your yard.

The installation process is not overly complicated, although it does require some skill. This post will indicate the steps and materials necessary to teach you how to install a sprinkler system, so you can decide if you have enough skills to do the assembly yourself or you need to hire a professional. In any case, it is always good to know how these irrigation systems work, because that knowledge will help you solve the common circumstances that may arise once it is running.

Elements of the irrigation system

Your automatic sprinkler irrigation system will consist of the following main elements, which you will need to assemble:

The programmer is the brain, the control unit that manages the irrigation times of each irrigation sector.

Solenoid valves are connected by cables to the programmer, and are in charge of opening and closing the different irrigation sectors depending on what it indicates, operating each area or irrigation phase independently.

Polyethylene pipe; in different measures, water will flow through it towards the emitters. The pipe you use must be manageable, flexible and easy to cut.

Irrigation emitters are the elements that project water throughout the surface, those responsible for carrying out irrigation. They are chosen based on what is going to be watered and the extension of the surface. Each type of emitter has a utility, scope and angle of irrigation, for small and large areas of grass.

Polyethylene irrigation accessories. Depending on the type and characteristics of your installation, you will need other additional accessories, which you will see later when you explain the steps to carry out the assembly. Suffice it to say for now that the most frequent are collars, manifolds for solenoid valves, and elbows of different sizes.

how to dig to install sprinkler in yard

Planning

Locate the water intake

This is your starting point, you have to know where you are going to get the water that you will then distribute. Normally you can use the general entrance pipe to the house as a water intake, in which case you will use a tee to draw the line for irrigation water, or a tap that you have in the garden.

Choose the location where you will place our irrigation head

Each irrigation area in which you divide our plot has its own pipeline or circuit, which will be controlled by an electrovalve located at the beginning of said circuit.

The irrigation head is the set of solenoid valves and other control elements of all the circuits (or phases) of the installation, which are usually grouped in the same space to facilitate their revision and manipulation.

Choose the location of the irrigation controller

Keep in mind that this must be connected by cable to the solenoid valves.

Measure the flow that you have in the water intake

This data will help you determine what type and how many emitters you can use. The more flow the more sprinklers you can install per area, since each one “consumes” a part of that total flow.

Map the yard

The next thing is to make a plan of the garden, preferably to scale. Said plan must include the following points:

Irrigation programmer: the place where you place it must be protected from inclement weather and equipped with electricity.

Irrigation head: areas to irrigate, including grass, trees, shrubs, etc.

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Installation

Once you have your plan, now you buy the adequate quantity of main elements (length of pipe, solenoid valves, emitters and programmer) that will make up our automatic home irrigation and prepare to assemble the structure. Although you will have to add some accessories that will depend on the characteristics of our installation.

Once you have all the tools in your hands you will get to work, you must do ten tasks to complete your installation:

Mark the layout of the pipes that will be distributed throughout the plot, using twine or marking on the ground.

Dig the trenches through which the pipes will run, if your installation is underground (the usual in case of sprinkler irrigation).

Pull a pipe from the water intake to the place where you are going to place the irrigation head.

Assemble the irrigation head, connect it to the pipe coming from the water intake and lodge it in the manhole, in case the installation is buried.

Distribute the pipeline through the open trenches from the head to the different points where the water must arrive.

Place the irrigation emitters of each zone. In some cases, most will be emerging turbine sprinklers, and some diffusers.

Make the electrical connection from the programmer to the solenoid valves.

Verify that everything is working correctly and the irrigation angles of the sprinklers are adjusted. Once you make sure there are no water leaks, you cover the trench by burying the pipe.

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