Installing An Indoor Sprinkler System: What To Avoid
There are two types of indoor sprinkler system, those used for hydroponically growing plants, and those used for fire safety protection. Fire safety sprinklers are generally installed only by licensed contractors, and must pass rigorous inspection tests. Hydroponics sprinklers can be installed by anyone with light to moderate plumbing experience.
Avoid Being Unprepared
One of the biggest dangers is to begin the job without a full understanding of what is involved, and the materials that will be required. Before you even begin to assemble the materials, draw out a plan for the system, and make an itemized list of all couplings and other parts, where they will be placed, and how they will fit into the system. This will give you a concrete piece of reference material when you are confronted with an assortment of confusing parts and unsure where each one goes, or the best method of running the piping.
Avoid Binds and Crimps
Hang suspended piping or tubing level. Not only is a sprinkler system aesthetically pleasing when everything is kept in straight lines, but it reduces pressure and binding on joints and sprinkler nozzles. Even a small crimp in a hose is a threat to the effectiveness of the system. First, it may reduce the amount of water flow available, and second, these binds are the most likely location of future leaks and burst pipes.
Allow Sufficient Water Spray
Avoid trying to confine the spray to too narrow of area. the system must be large enough to allow for natural absorption and proper drainage. Misting heads are available to reduce water requirements and offer a consistent water supply for many different types of vegetable and vegetation. Different plants require differing levels of moisture, and will require your sprinkler system to deliver watering on a regular, timed schedule.
Avoid Rigid Delivery Systems
As we just mentioned, a controller needs to be able to deliver measured water on demand. Avoid controller systems that require the whole system to run at once, or cannot adjust the flow from part of the system to another. For best results, install a controller that can supply up to 3 different spray intensities and timing schedules.
Buy Quality Parts
Avoid untrustworthy devices and materials. Buy sprinkler heads and misting nozzles that can stand the test of time without worrying about vulnerable but vital parts breaking or jamming. Look for parts that are easily removed or might get caught on clothing or other material and be easily broken. Keep in mind that discounted materials are probably priced lower for a reason, and avoid "bargains" unless you are sure of the quality and workmanship.
Avoid Electric Shock
Avoid possible electrical shorts by placing the timer and all lighting well away from the misting or sprinkler zone. This can usually be accomplished by mounting the lighting at ceiling level, and the control panel near the primary irrigation inlet. When possible, the electronic equipment should be placed in an area that will not get wet, even if a major water line bursts. If this is not possible, weatherproof boxes are available where electrical equipment will be will protected.