As summer begins to heat up the lawn you might be thinking of installing an underground sprinkler system to water your lawn and plants. An underground sprinkler system is a great idea for the summer because it will spread an even amount of water on your lawn and plants so they stay healthy. Underground sprinkler systems are a great way to save you time from dragging the water hose out into your yard all the time and it will save you money in the long run as well. Underground sprinkler systems do require about two days of work to get the job done and will cost you some money. Here is an easy guide to installing an underground sprinkler system without spending too much time or money on the project.
In order to install an underground sprinkler system you will need some tools and materials all of which you can find at your local home improvement store. You are going to need PVC pipe, PVC connectors, sprinkler heads and PVC valves to install your underground sprinkler system. The tools you need include a shovel, vibrating plow, timer and a poly pipe cutter which you can find at your local home improvement store. All of the materials and tools will cost you about 500 dollars to 1,000 dollars depending on the size of your lawn and the size of the underground water sprinkler system. The cost for this project also depends on whether you rent out the tools needed or if you buy them so you need to figure out which one fits your needs the best.
The first step to install the underground sprinkler system requires you to plan out how you want the sprinkler system to look and plan where it should go. The utility company in your area will be able to provide you with the locations of the buried pipes and cables in your yard. Use a tape measure to measure out the lawn or garden so you know how much area the underground sprinkler system will cover. Measuring the lawn is a vital step because you will need to know the measurements so you can buy the right amount of materials. You should also measure the water pressure and then determine what type of sprinkler system would work best for that amount of coverage and pressure. You can use a piece of paper to draw out the lawn and then draw a circle where you want each sprinkler head to go and map out the direction of the system. When you are planning this out you need to know the coverage of the sprinkler head so that you can place another sprinkler head in the right area so you do not have dry spots everywhere. Use a stick or flag in your yard so you know where the sprinklers should go before you start digging and placing the sprinkler system.
After you have planned out the underground sprinkler system on paper, you then need to access a water line in your yard. It is so much easier installing the underground sprinkler system if you use an existing water line or spigot. If you choose to have this professionally done then it will cost you more because they will actually go through the main water line. Either way you access the water line you are going to need an anti-siphon valve installed into it. The anti-siphoning valve will prevent lawn chemicals and other materials from entering your water supply inside your house. After you have accessed the water line you are going to use, it is time to start digging.
Digging a trench is fairly easy when you use automatic trenching device, which is known as a vibrating plow. You can either buy this piece of equipment or you can just go rent it for 200 dollars from an equipment rental store. You need to use the vibratory plow to dig a trench which should be between 6 feet and 8 feet deep. The trench you dig should go all of the way around where you want the underground sprinkler system to go. When you are digging, you should move the sod to the left and the soil to the right so that you can fill the trench easier when it comes time. Make sure that the sides of the trench have a 45-degree angle so that it can properly irrigate and so it will protect the sprinkler system. Now you can dig this trench by hand if you really want using a shovel but you can rent the plow and get the job done much faster and it will save you the hard labor.
The next step is to install the valve manifold into the trench you just dug for the sprinkler system. The hole you dig for the valve manifold box should be a little bit bigger than the valve box is and place it into the ground. Take one end of the valve manifold and attach it to the main water supply line in your location. The valve manifold box should come with clamps which you will use to secure it onto the water supply line.
Running the PVC pipe is fairly easy to do and will take you about 40 minutes to complete. Connect the three-quarter inch PVC pipe to the open side of the valve manifold and then continue to lay the pipe in the trench. The “T” connectors will be used on the pipes that run off of the main water line. Where you have set up each stick or flag, you need to attach a riser using a right angle. As you glue the sections together you need to remember to apply the pipe adhesive smoothly and only use a thin layer.
At this point you are left with installing the sprinkler heads into the underground sprinkler system. You need to have already selected the sprinkler heads you will be using, and your needs will determine which type that might be. You need to flush out the sprinkler system before installing the sprinkler heads by turning on the sprinkler system. Flushing out the sprinkler system will help get rid of dirt and debris which could clog the sprinkler head and possibly even damage them. The sprinkler heads will fit onto the risers and they should just snap on or twist onto the risers. A sprinkler head needs to be about soil level and then you just place the dirt and sod back over the trench holes.
Finally, the last step to install your underground sprinkler system is to install a controller which determines when the sprinkler system comes on and for how long. The wires should be connected carefully and you can refer to the manual for information about how to do this the right way. The final connection is then made to the main water line and then you should check the sprinkler system to make sure it works properly. This is the time where you can check the sprinkler heads and determine whether or not any need to be moved or angled differently to ensure even watering. Once you have finished tinkering with the sprinkler head angles, you are finished installing the sprinkler system. This is a fairly easy task but does require attention to detail and time. It will take about two days to complete this project but if you have someone helping you then it might only take one day. Remember to always read the instructions provided to you for your underground sprinkler system and call a professional if you need help. By following this easy guide you will have a lush green lawn and vibrant plants no matter what the temperature is outside.