A sprinkler system is a smart and efficient way to water your lawn and plants. Before you assemble and install a sprinkler system, make sure that you check with your local building codes to make sure you do not need any special permits to dig the trenches needed for your new sprinkler system. This way you will avoid unintentionally cutting into power lines, telephone lines and other underground lines that may result in huge problems.
The first thing you will need to do is build a housing for the control valves that will control the sprinkler system. This is called a manifold.
The manifold can be above-ground or buried underground, with the control valves exposed above the ground. The water supply is connected to the manifold, which routes the water to the correct control valve by the controller.
Dig V-shaped trenches for the pipe. These trenches should be at least 8 inches deep. Use stakes and a plumb line to make sure the lines are straight. Also use a level to make sure the pipes are laid level.
If you need to dig a line underneath a sidewalk, first attach a piece of galvanized pipe to a water hose, and then turn on the water full blast to wash away any dirt in the line that you are trying to dig. Next, place a piece of duct tape over the end of a piece of PVC pipe and run it under the sidewalk. Remove the tape once the pipe is in place.
Tap the water supply line by attaching a t-connection just past the water meter or near the main supply line just before it enters the house. You should also install an emergency shut off valve.
Run the pipe to the manifold. When the pipeline connection has been cured, turn on the water temporarily to flush out the system.
Install anti-siphon valves with the control valves to prevent sprinkler water from going back into the house water system.
Begin installing pipe in the trenches and connecting the pipe together. Screw the risers in temporarily. Before installing permanently, use a carpenter square to make sure that the risers are installed at a 90 degree angle to the ground.
Carefully install the risers so that the sprinklers will be correctly placed. Carefully attach the sprinklers.
Lastly, install the controller. This is usually placed in the garage or in an out-of-sight and convenient location. Test each circuit to make sure all of the sprinklers are running correctly. Set the sprinkler run time and days.
Backfill the trenches and compact the soil. You may need to add additional soil and water several times until the trenches are completely absorbed. Add turf to cover the trenches.