Sprinkler Design and construction were motivated by the need to irrigate farms when natural rain is not available. The effectiveness of a sprinkler depends on the design and can help minimize water wastage and runoff. Sprinkler irrigation systems are best for undulating land, places where water is not available, sandy, and shallow soils, and where they are required. This method does not need land levelling and ensures economical use of water since it is controllable. For successful Sprinkler Installation the following steps are implemented
Begin by contacting the local water company for information concerning building codes, requirement permits, and backflow prevention devices to prevent contamination.
The supplies required for installation include:
- Tape measure
- PVC pipe cutters
- Marking flags
- Teflon tape
- 18-gauge multi strand burial wire
- Line marking paint
- Trenching shovel
- Plow and pressure gauge
- Solvent, primer, rags
- Pipe clamps
- Sidewalk sleever
- Graph paper
This step involves measuring your property and drawing it to scale on a layout paper.
The simplest way to determine the type of soil on the property site involves filling a jar with soil to be tested, add water and detergent to the brim, and shake vigorously. If the soil settles at the bottom leaving the water clear then the soil is sand if the water is dark in colour and has suspended matter it’s loam soil, and finally, if the water is dark and has sediments settled around the jar the soil is mostly clay.
The next step involves determining the water pressure produced at your spigot using a standard pressure gauge. Screw the pressure gauge to the faucet nearest to the water meter and ensure there is no running water anywhere else before turning on the faucet with the gauge attached. Additionally, find out the amount of water collected in one minute. The layout has details such as zone and zone valves needed for the lawn, amount of pipe needed, materials list, and the placement of sprinkler heads.
Write down the meter size on your information sheet. The value is indicated on the outside of the meter and can also be accessed from the water company.
Put down the type of supply line. It can be copper which has a copper colour, galvanized with silver colour and textured, or PVC which is always white.
Size of the service line
Involves measuring the pipe running around from the water meter to the house. It is measured by wrapping a piece of string around the pipe. Using a standard table use the string length to find the service line size.
Type of pipe
Two types of pipe can be used i.e. polyethylene and PVC. Polyethylene is a good choice for cool climates and is flexible while PVC is favourable for a warmer climate.
Determine how long it takes to fill a 5-gallon water container and to calculate the gallon per minute to flow rate.
Label the area you plan to install the sprinkler indicating any additional requirements and any other area that may need to be watered separately.
This stage involves determining and drawing sprinkler locations such that one sprinkler covers a distance up to where the next sprinkler is. This is referred to as head to head spacing. Choosing the right size of sprinkler depending on the size of the area allocated.
The number of valves needed to operate the sprinklers is determined in this step and figuring out how many sprinklers can run one at a time. The valves control each zone and are grouped into valve manifold.
After securing and permits and marking all the buried lines and pipes it is time to connect the sprinkler to the main water line. Tap ¾ inch water line and upsize the pipe needed by 1 inch. Flags are used to indicate the sprinkler locations according to the drawn design. Line marking spay is used to label where you will trench the pipes and wiring.
Tap the mainline
This is done by cutting the service line and slipping in a compression tee to connect the sprinkler to the water supply without soldering.
Shut off valves
Shut off valves are installed between zone valves and the service line. They allow for easy turning off the sprinkler system.
Before digging any trenches for burying the pipes ensure that all underground utilities have been marked out to avoid causing any damage.
Trenches are dug using a trenching machine or trenching by hand which requires softening the soil by watering the ground for two days before digging the trenches.
Using a pipe puller causes less disturbance to the existing lawn feature. Where there are obstacles, the pipe should go under hence a trench should be dug without interfering with the hard surface or creating a hole using the power of water from a jet nozzle.
Depending on the area on which the sprinkler is to be installed and what type and range of crops are being irrigated, the design of sprinkler that will best serve is chosen. A favourable design will be efficient, effective, safe, easy to use and offer a wide range of applications.