Install a sprinkler system - on the cheap

brussoApril 6, 2012

I am getting some yard work done and the 'landscaper' has convinced my wife that we need a sprinkler system int he back yard. He wants $1500 to install it. I think I can do it a lot cheaper but I want to hook it up to my spigot. I realize that I dont have the PSI that I have off the street but think I can handle 2 heads on shd 20 pipe. If I need to install 4 heads, I'll hook up 2 'zones'. I mentaly have it figured out but do not want o create a new wheel. anyone have examples of how to do this? I appreciate any and all advice.

Iam in Atlanta, Joja.

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If you are willing to do the digging, the parts are cheap and easy to connect together. There are plenty of free how-to booklets and online guides available, or you can buy a book at the local big box store for $15 that will show every step. It all depends on how fancy you want to make this. If you don't want an electric timer, it can be as simple as digging the ditches, gluing together the pipe and heads, and connecting it to the hose bib. At the hose bib, you would need to screw on a backflow preventer, and you could either just turn the faucet on when needed, or you could have a battery-powered valve. You don't use Sch 20 pipe: you use Sch 40 or 80, white PVC.

Below is a link to one of the many online guides to installing a sprinkler system. It shows how to do the most complicated kind (with a wired, multi-zoned control system), but you can do it much more simply, as I explained above.

Lastly, I doubt that you need more than one Zone for 4 heads unless you have horribly low water pressure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Installing a sprinkler system

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 2:47PM
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Thanks for that info. The site was great. My pressure is 60PSI and I actually need 8 heads. So, you think 4 heads per zone is ok? Is there another metric to use to verify this?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Different designs of popup spray heads come in different gallons per minute (GPM). Almost all heads need at least 30 PSI to operate properly so you are good from that standpoint. Now you need to figure out how many GPMs you have. The easy way to do this is to take an empty gallon milk container, turn the hose bib on fully, and measure how long it takes to fill the container. Then divide 60 seconds by the time to get the container filled. For example, if it takes 9 seconds to fill the container, then 60/9 equals about 6.7 and that is the GPM you have (if no other water use is occurring, like someone showering). In an actual sprinkler system you will have a little less than this, due to friction losses in the piping. So, for this example, let's assume you have about 6 GPM available. That means you could have 4 heads rated at 1.5 GPM, or 3 heads rated at 2 GPM, etc., in one zone. Basically, if the rated capacity of the heads total more than 6 GPM, then you need to add a zone so that no Zone requires more than the GPM you can provide at one time. So, figure out what your GPM actually is, and then pick out the types of heads you want. Below is a link that has a table of Orbit brand heads, and you can see the range of patterns and the GPM required (after you get to that page, you need to click on the tab that says "Orbit Underground Water Sprinklers," and scroll down toward the bottom). From that you can make selections, and figure out how many zones you need to support your needs. Hope that's clear.

Here is a link that might be useful: Orbit sprinkler heads

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Well, I got it all done, on the cheap. I built a manifold with shutoff valves and have it hooked up tp a hose with a backflow preventor on it. Total of 4 zones. I added more when I realized how easy this was. Dug it all myself, 170 feet in hard Georgia clay. works great. I took pics but cant figure how to load them on here. Thanks a bunch to Kudzu9

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:07AM
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hello friends, i am going to introduce you with Sprinkler System Installation in San Diego.Many places in San Diego, California feature soil that has a high degree of salinity and clay. There are a lot of very experienced people.They also offer San Diego residents quality Sprinkler System Installation,exclusive design, repair and maintenance services. For getting more information u can also visit

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 8:18AM
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