Installing An Irrigation Sprinkler System

Filed Under: Water and Bog Gardens, Landscaping Projects · Keywords: Lawn, Landscape, Water, Sprinklers · 736 Views

Ive never done any plumbing or electrical work but want to install my own automated irrigation sprinkler system to water my lawn and landscape beds. How hard is it to do my own irrigation system?

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Answer #1 · Chason Arthur's Answer · Sounds like you have a pretty extensive landscape that includes both lawn and areas landscaped with shrubs and trees? If so, and you have no experience with plumbing and electrical, I'd suggest at least consulting with a professional irrigation specialist or doing some heavy duty research on the subject, or both, before attempting to tackle the job.

It's not that irrigation systems are that complicated, but there are many places you can go wrong when building an automated irrigation system. To do the job right, you will have to first design everything out on paper.

Before you can begin the design, you need to know how much water is many gallons per minute are flowing through the main water line you will be tapping in to, and how much water pressure there is. This will help you to determine what size irrigation pipe you need to use for the system.

Then you will have to familiarize yourself with sprinkler heads and drip irrigation parts and determine how much water each uses per minute, and the coverage area for each, when in operation. This will help you to determine how many "zones" you will need for your entire system and, therefore, how many "zone valves" you will need. For example, if you have 15 gallons per minute, you don't want to overload with 6 sprinkler heads that use 3 gallons of water per minute.

Once you have everything properly designed and mapped out on paper then you mark everything out on the ground and begin installation.  Installing an irrigation is very hard work. You will need to dig the trenches for all thr pipes by hand or with a trenching machine. Then, when the system is done, you have to back fill all the trenches. Not easy work.

Man, I'm making this sound difficult, and it can be. I've only laid out the basics here. Nothing about wiring, pipe connections, head placements, controllers, valves and other details. I spent two or three days studying before installing my first irrigation system for a client, and that system is still running perfectly today. So sure, with a good amount of studying and planning, the right equipment, and a strong back, you can do your own irrigation system. Just make sure to take your time to do things right the first time. It's not fun having to go back and fix irrigation problems later.)

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