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  1. #1

    sprinkler systems

    Can I please get some advice on what I need to know to get started with a sprinkler system? I have never installed sprinklers or owned a home that had in-ground sprinklers. Where I live yards are small and people don't usually have them, but I am building a new deck and installing new backyard sod, so I figured there is no time like present to do it. My yard consists of one piece of grass about 15 feet by 30 feet and another about 20 feet by 15 feet. There is a large tree in the middle that I will have to work around. I would also like to add a hose bib on the other side of the fence against the alley where I have some vegetable boxes and fruit trees. I'd like to have this part of the sprinkler system but not on a timer just so I can easily blow the water out in winter. My point is that it is not going to need to be a big system. I am going to hire someone to do the trenching and most if not all of the in-ground work because that is work for someone younger and fitter than I am, but I'd like to try to save some money if I an by doing some of the plumbing work myself. I can solder pipes and generally do basic homeowner plumbing.

    At this point is that I want to understand my options for connecting to my household plumbing. I know that coming off the meter before going into the house is ideal, but that is going to be impossible. There are just too many obstacles. My house is over a hundred years old so the plumbing is an amalgam of various types from different generations of upgrades, but is generally in good repair and mostly from the past few decades. I would like to mount the box in a spot on the side of the house where I can easily tie into a run of galvanized that is a pretty straight shot from the service entrance. I will have to drill through about ten inches of masonry to get the water outside. If I go this route can I just put a T in the galvanized, a shutoff valve, then go through the brick and install the anti-siphon valve directly on the outside of the house before feeding it into the box where the controllers will be?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Okotoks AB
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    There's a lot to cover here, so the best place to start would be Google & youtube. The sprinkler equipment manufacturers have some very good resources to help you out with planning construction of the system. You can get the parts at a home center, but I found that shopping online makes it a lot easier to get exactly what you want and which brand you prefer.

    I think it's well worth the effort to install a sprinkler system. It will get the water just where you want it, when it's needed, and you'll end up using less water. Not to mention the convenience

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Does it freeze in your part of the world? In the USA most sprinkler stuff is glued pvc pipes. Does your water have much debris in it? like sand that can clog nozzles.
    Bill D

  4. #4
    My part of the world is USA (by transplant). I am in the mountain west and it definitely freezes, so I need to be able to blow out lines. It is city water and it generally very high quality. I've never had problems with debris of any kind.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Okotoks AB
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    I recommend using the black polyethylene pipe rather than PVC for areas where it freezes. It has better freeze resistance than PVC.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    I recommend using the black polyethylene pipe rather than PVC for areas where it freezes. It has better freeze resistance than PVC.
    OK thanks. So do I connect the anti-siphon to the galvanized coming out of the house and then connect the plastic pipe to the anti-siphon, or is the plastic just downstream of the valves?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Highland MI
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    Around here, almost all residential underground irrigation is black polyethylene. In 45 years, the only problems I have had with pipes involve roots crushing and splitting the pipe or with fittings. I have a lot of grade on my property so I do not blow out my pipes. I do drain my pump and valves. I pump from a lake, but many others in the sub are on the local municipal system. Whether you are on a well or a municipal/city water system you need a backflow preventer, not just a check valve to keep your house water safe. I would not rely on a simple anti-siphon valve like you would with just a hose. You may need a permit for that. My experience is that the published spray radius for a sprinkler head is seldom correct, it is usually less. First step is to draw up your property to scale so you can start the design of the system. Don't cheap out on the size or pressure rating of your pipe. Stronger and bigger is always better, or you may find you have inadequate pressure out at the end of the system. If you have multiple zones with electric valves, I suggest the Orbit WiFi timer that you can control from your phone. It works great for turning the system on and off while you adjust or fix heads. https://www.amazon.com/Orbit-57946-6...-1-spons&psc=1
    NOW you tell me...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
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    26,931
    First, as recommended, go to the major sprinkler companies and youtube where you can get some recommendations.

    The best free advice I got when I installed my system myself 30+ years ago was Don't put in automatic drains, rather install a "T" where you can hook an air compressor each fall and blow each circuit out at the end of the irrigation season". I did, others didn't. I have never had a problem with a frozen line.
    Ken

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
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    1,414
    First thing to do is probably check with your local authorities to see what can be permitted, and then find out whether you can use it when you need to. Lots of towns around us will no longer issue permits for automatic sprinkler systems, and even if you can have one installed institute bans on using them that typically run July-September. This is in the soggy east, I can only imagine water is a scarcer resource out west.

    I've put in drip systems to critical garden beds, which are an order of magnitude more efficient than broad spraying. Read up on xeriscape landscaping for plants that get by with little added water.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    many folks put spray heads right next to the sidewalk and wonder why so much water is wasted on the concrete. I keep mine back about 12 inches from the concrete. I bury a soaker hose about 3 inches deep roughly 6 inches from the edge of the concrete. No overspray onto the pavement or cars. And it can be run during non water times since no one can tell if it is running.

  11. #11
    I can't find anything in the local codes prohibiting in-ground sprinklers. I did find an ordinance saying that electronic timers are mandatory, which seems odd. I believe it will save water because with the old sprinklers on the hose I could never get it positioned just right and ended up watering the deck, the side of the house, the fence, the chicken coop, etc.

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