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7 Easy Steps – How To Install A Sprinkler System?

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Are you planning to have your sprinkler system or do you need to learn how to install a sprinkler system on your own? If yes, then you’re in luck as this article is dedicated to providing a solution to your inquiry.

You’re probably tired of watering your plants from one place to another. Maybe, your garden has widened beyond your belief. Or a sprinkler system is the key to help maintain the optimal health of your plants or lawn.

Whatever the case is, a sprinkler system is an excellent option for several reasons. It’s a project that you and anyone can do by themselves.

You may need a few pairs of hands from your family members or friends. But this is a great alternative compared to hiring a professional team. It helps cut down your expenses.

I. The Benefits and Uses of a Sprinkler System

The estimated timeframe to build a sprinkler system is between 16 and 20 hours for a small home yard size. The more spacious the yard is the longer it may take.

On average, it can be completed in 2 to 3 days. It’s also possible to finish it in one whole day. How to install a sprinkler system does not need to be rushed, however, it needs to get it right.

Building it in a day or more is worth it because you will have a sprinkler system that can help you save time watering plants or lawns in the long run. That is one of the benefits of using this equipment.

How To Install A Sprinkler System

The cost of the installation of a sprinkler system from a professional team of contractors is very expensive. To save some money, do the installation yourself. It can save you about 40% or even 50% of the expenses. Imagine spending only about $1,500 instead of $3,000 or higher.

Building a sprinkler system isn’t that difficult. It can be technical but easily manageable as long as you have the right components and knowledge. It’s a handiwork but we’re confident you can do it if other home garden owners have successfully done it.

Watering your spacious lawn or growing dozens of plants becomes more efficient with the use of a sprinkler system. It provides an adequate amount of water that can totally suffice for the entire soil.

It also helps prevent wasting water as you can set up on how much to use. You may do other house chores or relax sipping a cup of your favorite coffee as you let your irrigation runs in the background.

This is why many choose to know how to install a sprinkler system because it simply gives you ease.

II. The Tools Needed to Complete a Sprinkler System

All the materials and components needed to build a sprinkler system are readily available and accessible these days. You go to the nearest local home depot, hardware store, or similar retail shops, and get all the needed supplies.

What are the things you need to buy to start the installation? Below is a list of the tools useful on how to install a sprinkler system.

A. Main Components:

1. Pipes – polyvinyl/PVC or polyethylene pipe

2. Sprinkler Heads

3. Control Valves

4. Risers

5. Auto-Timer or Sprinkler Controller

6. Pipe Cutter

B. Other Parts, Tools, and Equipment

PVC or pipe tee fittings, primers, adhesives, a pair of scissors, spade (shovel or trowel), and wheelbarrow are also essential to have. Markers like flags or wooden stakes are also recommended. Each of these things is helpful regardless of how often you may need to use them.

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III. The Steps to Installing a Sprinkler System

A. Preparation and Planning

Before anything else, you must find out whether a permit from your local community or building department is required or not. You also need to know from your local utilities if there are electrical and power lines already installed underground. 

It’s also vital to check the water pressure of the faucet you’re going to use for the sprinkler system. Use a pressure gauge to determine it. In addition, you must know the flow rate of water. Fill in a bucket with water as you time it to see how much is received per minute. 

Another consideration is to sketch out a map where you plan to install your sprinkler system. Include all the details around the area, including plants, trees, fences, borders, and even known utilities already installed.

Make sure to record all this information as you need to share it along with your property’s architectural sketch when buying all the required components. You will be given a recommended system layout on what parts to use and the type of system to install.

Once you have all the necessary supplies and everything is good, we can now focus on the steps on how to install a sprinkler system.

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B. Proper Installation

1. Map out the area and place markings.

The final map you have received or drawn by yourself can help you determine where to install the different parts and components. It is much easier to use stakes or flags where you want to place all the sprinkler heads and connect with strings to indicate the location of the pipes.

2. Dig trenches.

With the flags or stakes and strings in place, you may start digging the ground to create trenches. Each trench should be at least 8 inches deep and 2 inches extra wider than the width of the pipe.

Keep the markings for the sprinklers close to avoid losing or forgetting where the sprinkler heads should be installed.

3. Assemble the components.

Use the primer and adhesive to connect the ends of each pipe to the valve, while a tee connection for the sprinkler heads.

4. Connect to the water source.

Let’s assume you’ve already located the main water supply pipe and have dug a trench at this point. Make sure the meter has been turned off.

Begin connecting the installed pipe and risers, and then plug it in the water source. The control valve should be also properly connected to the water source, typically a faucet.

5. Test the water and clean the pipes.

Turn on the water from the main source to see if the flow is good. It allows you to see if all the connectors are properly connected if there are no leaks. This also helps flush out dirt and other debris found in the pipes during the assembly.

6. Install the sprinkler heads and timer.

The next step on how to install a sprinkler system is to connect all the sprinkler heads to the risers. Each pair must be securely installed and properly placed in the right direction. You may place soil around the heads to keep them intact. 

7. Install the timer.

Afterwhich, mount the automatic timer on the wall of your house or any location around your yard. Wire it with a water-proof pipe to connect to the control valve. 

8. Do a test run.

Conduct a test run to ensure the valves are corresponding to the timer. Make a final test run to check everything is working. The flow of water should be consistent with your expectation based on the right amount the lawn or plants need.

Adjust the setting or fix any components if necessary until you’re convinced everything is properly working.

IV. The Dos and Don’ts of Installing a Sprinkler System

Before we conclude this guide on how to install a sprinkler system in a DIY style, let’s also discuss a few important things to remember.

A. The Dos

1. Have a checklist of everything you need.

Make sure that all supplies, tools, and equipment are complete before you start the installation. You don’t like to waste time and energy doing one section of the process and stop abruptly because a single part or more components are missing.

2. Check the weather.

Installing your sprinkler system should be done on a sunny day. Digging a trench is not ideal if it’s going to rain.

B. The Don’ts

1. Do not start the installation if you’re not ready or confident enough. If you expect a few people to help you out but cannot come on the day you set, then reschedule it.

2. Do not assemble used pipes. The possibility is that these would rotten much faster. Likewise, use only good quality and durable pipes.

3. Do not stress out. There may be a few mistakes during the installation but don’t let it get into your nerves. Make it a fun experience for a much better result.


How to install a sprinkler system is a doable project. You only have to invest time and energy while you save costs in doing so