Nobody in your neighborhood is dragging that big hose behind them while watering the plants in the yard, so why would you? There’s a much more efficient way of doing it and that’s to install a home irrigation system. What’s more, you can choose how exactly you prefer your greenery to be watered – you can use sprinklers, drippers or sprayers. Even more conveniently, the whole process can be automatized so you don’t have to stand and observe the soil getting water.
In addition, the whole process is rather straightforward and it can save you 30% to 40% of the amount you would pay to a professional, not to mention you will be saving water (and your utility bill will be lower).
So, here are some basic steps you can take:
It’s not just about figuring out where the sprinklers will go. First, use a gauge to measure the water pressure at your outdoor faucet. Next, take a bucket to determine how much water is delivered per minute. Finally, measure your property and send all this information to the manufacturer of your choice. They will send you a system layout and a list of the needed materials. The system layout is basically separating your lawn into zones, and each one is assigned a zone valve.
Install a backflow preventer
But before that, you will need a full-flow ball valve so as to service the backflow preventer without shutting down the whole water supply of your home. When you are done with it, add a brass nipple, and then, the preventer.
Regardless if it’s a cool water tank that’s the main source of your irrigation, or the main water-service line, you will need to install a backflow preventer. This acts as a barrier for lawn chemicals, fertilizers and other materials which could contaminate the water. There are different types of backflow preventers: control valve, atmospheric vacuum breaker, anti-siphon valve, and so on. The latter is one of the most common. Make sure to check the local rules and regulations about which type is recommendable.
Do some digging
The easiest way around this would be to rent a trenching device, aka a vibratory plow. This will speed up the whole process. Each trench should be 6" to 8" deep and have its sides sloping at a 45-degree angle. The pipe puller will have all the pipes lying in their place. In warmer climates, PVC pipes are used, whereas in colder areas polyethylene ones are mandatory due to freezing temperatures.
Install a valve manifold
Of course, the zone valve is to be assembled above the ground and then placed it in its spot. Each valve needs a drain, so connect them to the underground pipes. One of the valves must be connected to the main water supply line. Tighten the clamps firmly to prevent any leakage.
Connect the pipes
First, start laying the pipes along the central trench. For all those pipes which are running off the main line, use valve tee connectors. Risers should be attached with 90-degree connectors at the location of each flag. You can use an adhesive for the purpose, but make sure the layer you apply is thin and smooth.
Installing Sprinkler Heads
Now is the time to install the sprinkler heads which were said to be suitable for your lawn and irrigation needs. Prior to their attachment, flush water through the system. This should get rid of any debris that could be left in the pipes. Put together the sprinkler heads and the risers so that the sprinkler heads are at the soil level. Finally, cover the trenches and holes with soil and gravel.
By the way, bear in mind there are different sprinkler heads on the market, depending on the purpose. There are spray heads for small areas, rotary heads for bigger areas and a bubbler head to keep the flowers well-watered.
Install the control panel
As we have mentioned before, the whole point of installing a home irrigation system is to not waste your precious time on watering. The manufacturer’s specifications should have everything neatly explained about how you are to connect the wires. Once you are done, connect it to the main water-service line.
If you’ve connected everything properly, now’s the time to check if it’s working. Once you have gathered all the material, the installation process should be fairly simple. It involves getting your hands dirty, but if all is executed as it should be, you’ll save some money and finally be able to sit back and relax while your lawn and garden are getting all the water they need.