How To Plan And Install A Water Sprinkler System

27 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


A house with green lawns, flowering gardens, and healthy trees is a beauty to behold, but it requires a lot of work. One way to alleviate some of the work is to have your lawns and gardens irrigated by a water sprinkler system. Such a system can be expensive to have installed, however with some planning and hard work, you can do it yourself. Here are some guides to help you plan and install lawn sprinklers.

  • Water Pressure
    • With a pressure gauge, measure the water pressure of the water source that you will be using to see that it is adequate to support a sprinkler system. 
    • Typical city and suburban water pressures vary from 40-60 PSI. If your water pressure is lower than 40 PSI, the sprinklers will not have enough water pressure to irrigate your garden. If the water pressure is higher than 60 PSI, the water pipes may only emit mist and fog and not water. 
    • If your water pressure is too high, install a pressure regulator in the main water source.  
  • Permits, Codes, and Other Requirements
    • Check local plumbing codes. Some locations require a building permit before a sprinkler system can be installed. If a building permit is required, get one from the municipality where you are located. 
    • Check the 2015 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings 1st Edition. This reference guide will give you specifications for the fixtures, pipes, and other components that you will be using. 
    • Check with your local permit office to see if a permit is required to install a sprinkler system. If a permit is required, obtain one from the permit office. 
  • Design Your Water Sprinkler System
    • Check online for a list of utility companies in each state. Call each of the applicable utility companies to locate the placement of any underground utilities that may be buried on your property.  
    • Design and draw a plan for the location of each of the water pipes and sprinklers you wish to install. 
    • Mark the locations of all trenches you will be digging with wooden stakes every 24-36 inches.
  • Excavate and Build the System
    • Rent a trenching machine to dig the trenches at a depth of 4-12 inches.
    • Place PVC pipes in all the trenches and connect them to each other. Install a PVC cap at the end of the last pipe to close the system. 
    • Splice tee fittings into the PVC pipes where you wish to have sprinkler heads and attach a short length of flexible pipe and a pop-up sprinkler head at each location.
  • Activate the Water Sprinkler System
    • Turn off the water at the main water meter.
    • Install and connect a backflow preventer to the main water source.
    • Connect the PVC pipes in the trenches to the backflow preventer.
    • Turn on the water at the main water meter. 

There is a great deal of preparation and work needed to install a water sprinkler system. However, once it is installed, you will have eliminated a lot of garden work that would have to be done by hand. You can now sit back and enjoy your beautiful lawn and garden with the knowledge that you did it all yourself.