How To Install A DIY Sprinkler System
The installation of a DIY sprinkler system may seem like a daunting task, but if done correctly it can help to ensure water reaches areas that wouldn’t have been able to receive enough water to remain fertile otherwise.
Installing a sprinkler system on your own can seem like a daunting task. However, if done correctly it can help to ensure water reaches areas that wouldn’t have been able to receive enough water to remain fertile otherwise.
In addition, doing it yourself can help to reduce the cost of having someone else put in a sprinkler system while at the same time conserving water and save money on irrigation.
1 - Consider what’s best for your needs
Installing your own sprinkler system is not the easiest do-it-yourself project out there. As such, it’s important to consider whether or not it’s necessary in order to meet your gardening needs.
First, you should consider the type of grass you have, as some varieties require more watering than others. The same goes for the type of soil you have, as some types will absorb more water than others.
But remember that while an irrigation system can give you a feeling of control over the amount of water your land receives, too much water will result in runoff.
2 - Plan your sprinkler placement
Once you’ve determined that a sprinkler system is the right project for you, you’ll want to begin to plan out where exactly you will put it. This step not only requires a phone call to determine whether or not you will need a building permit but another call to find out if there are any underground utilities that you will need to avoid.
In addition, you should avoid trees, roots, shrubs, flower beds, and any mulched areas, as well as sidewalks and other man-made features like fences. As a result, you may need to create more than one watering zone. To do this properly, creating a map may be helpful.
Remember, it’s vitally important that dry spots are entirely covered by water or nothing will grow there.
3 - Dig A Space and Place Your System
• Plan Out Your System
Once you’ve decided where your sprinkler system will go and have received permission from the city, it is time to start digging. Begin by laying out a string along the footpath of the new system, using stakes to ensure the string doesn’t move. It’s a good idea to use flags where any sprinkler heads will be located.
• Dig a Trench
You may choose to dig the trench by hand, or by renting a trencher, which will save you a lot of time. In all, the trench should be between 6 and 12 inches deep. The exact measurements will depend on how much frost and freezing temperatures your area receives.
Most importantly, your trench should be deep enough to allow the entire sprinkler head to retract into the ground, otherwise, they may break if they come in contact with other machines used on your lawn, such as a mower.
• Digging Tips
For those who opt to dig by hand, a garden spade that has a square edge is highly suggested. In addition, a ditch spade can be a great help with any narrow areas you come across.
Whichever method you choose, you should always dig by hand around certain areas, including flower beds and shrubs. This will ensure that these fragile items remain intact. You’ll want to ensure that your trenches are at the same level in order to maintain efficiency.
• Install As You Go
Also, it is suggested that you dig as you go. In other words, dig a little bit and then install the portion of the sprinkler system that you want to go in that spot. You can also have parts pre-assembled before placing them in the trench to make the job a little easier.
You should always connect components by working out from the manifold. Because system heads vary by the manufacturer you should always be sure to read the instructions that came with your model.
• Flush Out Debris Before & After
One helpful tip is to flush any debris prior to connecting your sprinkler heads, as it can be difficult to find a blockage after everything is in place. In addition, one final flush can help you to be sure that there are no leaks anywhere.
4 - Connect Your System to the Service Line
When it comes to connecting to a water source, you have two options. You can either connect the valve to an outdoor faucet in the same way you connect a garden hose or you can connect directly to the service line.
If you prefer a direct connection, it’s imperative that you shut off the water supply first. This option requires a bit more know-how. If you want to go this route it may be a good idea to hire a professional.
5 - Plant Your Grass
Planting sod is becoming increasingly popular as it provides the immediate effect of a green yard, but starting from seed is always the best way to go. You’ll get healthier grass, eliminate the chances of inheriting pests and disease from the sod, and most importantly, you’ll have complete control over choosing the ideal grass seed for your unique situation.
If you really want a thriving lawn, you’ll need to select a grass type based on your region, climate, and expected usage. Look for a quality seed with no fillers, like this.
Get to Work
Installing your own sprinkler system may seem like a lot of work, but in the long run, it will save you money and bring your lawn the water it needs. Now that you know how to DIY a sprinkler system, all you have to do is grab the right tools and get to work!