Planning for an In-Ground Sprinkler System Planning for an In-Ground Sprinkler System

What You'll Need
Pencil, Sketchpad, Eraser
Level

When it comes to unobtrusive installation, an in-ground sprinkler represents one of the best alternatives among lawn sprinkler systems. Once you cover the trenches and plant grass over the dug sections of the yard, it becomes difficult for anyone to tell where the sprinkler pipes pass. Compare this with a hose-connected lawn sprinkler, which in addition not being visually appealing, could trip anyone walking across the lawn and is cumbersome to keep away. Planning for an in-ground sprinkler system is not difficult once you have gathered some important information.

Step 1 – Underground Power Cables and Gas Pipes

As a safety precaution, get a mapping expert to establish the location of underground electricity lines and gas pipes. The local utility firm will often foot this cost, but is important to do even if you have to pay for it. Avoid passing the sprinkler pipes above power cables. If you must pass the sprinkler pipes above gas conduits, be careful when digging the trenches so that you do not accidentally puncture the gas supply.

Step 2 – Identify the Water Source

The distance between your source of sprinkler water will contribute to the cost and design setup of an in-ground sprinkler system. More distribution pipes will be required if the water source is located considerably far from the main lawn. When the water source is further out, the pump will use more power to circulate water to each sprinkler head.

Step 3 – Map Out the Path for the Sprinkler Pipes

Determine the parts of the lawn you would want to cover. Using the sketchpad, draw a rough sketch of the yard and outline the path the sprinkler paths will follow. Even though the pipes will be several inches below ground, keep the pipe paths away from areas that are bound to have heavy objects moving above the pipe path (automobiles for instance). Repeated exposure to this pressure can damage even the best PVC pipes.

Step 4 – Map Out the Path for the Sprinkler Pipes

For larger yards, one sprinkler head will not suffice. One must break the yard into zones, each served by a sprinkler head. Identify the location of each sprinkler head, spacing them out well enough to prevent zonal overlap. The spacing will be a factor of water pressure and the type of sprinkler in use.

Step 5 – Determine the Need for Backflow Protection

Check for the general gradient of the yard using the level. Even though the need for setting up a backflow protection mechanism is based on the gradient of your lawn (hence the natural flow of the water), it would be best that you install one. That way, you have assurance that any water that gets into the sprinkler system does not flow back into the domestic supply.

Step 6 – Determine the Tools You Will Need for Installation

Other than the sprinkler system itself, you will need a garden hoe to dig the trenches. You will also need pvc pipes whose total length should be commensurate with the area covered, with a ten percent allowance to cater for damage during installation.

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