An underground sprinkler system delivers water to your lawn automatically; the right amount at the right time. It will therefore save you a lot of water and keep your lawn looking great with minimal effort. Recently, the automated systems have been getting smarter. Some systems are even capable of assessing a number of variables like the weather and moisture content and adjust the amount of water accordingly. They practically run by themselves. However, installing the system can be costly, especially when you also have to pay for a professional to do it for you. That’s why some homeowners opt to do it themselves. Here’s how you can accomplish that.
Don’t rush, proper planning is required before you begin your installation to allow for full efficiency. First, call your utility company and have them mark any utility lines running through your property to ensure you don’t damage them. Calculate the size of your yard while taking note of the position of the house and important landscaping features like trees.
Contact your water company to obtain the capacity of your water system and use that information to figure out your sprinklers coverage. Next, draw a diagram of your lawn and divide it into zones to help you determine the types and locations of sprinkler heads. You also need to gather information about the regulations and building codes in your area. For instance, in Toronto, you are required to install a backflow prevention device for your underground sprinkler system.
Dig some trenches
Once you’re done planning, the next order of business is to dig trenches for the pipes. The trenches should be 8-12 inches deep. This will prevent the underground pipes from being frozen and damaged during winter. While digging, take note of the utility lines you had earlier marked. Damaging a power line or gas line as you dig a trench can be both costly and dangerous. It’s a good idea to rent a trenching tool at this stage to help you finish the work a lot faster.
Lay down the pipes
The two main choices for the pipe material are PVC and polyethylene. Polyethylene holds up better to freezing which makes it the preferred choice in cold climates. The size of the pipe commonly used is ¾ inches although the sizes vary from between ½ inches to 2 inches in diameter. Run the pipes throughout the trenches and make the necessary connections. Take note of the locations you had marked for the sprinkler heads and attach risers using 90° connectors.
Install the sprinkler heads
Sprinkler heads come in different ranges and arcs thus you need to select the appropriate ones depending on the irrigation needs of your landscape. Sprinkler heads which spray in a 360 degree arc should be placed within your property while those falling at the borders and corners of your lawn should have 180 degree and 90 degree arcs respectively.
Before you start installing the sprinklers, it’s imperative that you flush water through the system for some time. This will get rid of any debris that got into the pipes during installation. You can then attach the sprinkler heads onto the risers and fill in the trenches with soil.
Install the controller
The controller is what determines how often and how long the sprinklers spray water in each zone. They usually come with a detailed guide from the manufacturer that should help you install the controller and attach the wires correctly. Once you’re done, connect the system to the water supply line and give it a run. If everything works correctly, you’ve successfully installed a sprinkler system