Installing a Sprinkler System

by Jakkie Zoomba

It's easy to install your own sprinkler system by using Polyvinal Chloride (PVC) piping.

The only tools needed are a spade, a pipe wrench, a hacksaw, a knife and PVC solvent cement. 

First, sketch yourself a plan of your garden and then sketch on it how your system might fit into your garden.  Once you know how far reaching your system is going to be, it is important that you have adequite water pressure to handle it.  You can have it measured or buy a pressure gauge and do it yourself.

Once you know the kind of water pressure you have, you can decide the right piping diameters and the number of sprinklers that can be supported. 

Though you shouldn't have a problem with big sprinklers designed to water your entire garden, you might want to first get a professional opinion when it comes to installing micro sprinklers, those tiny ones designed for small targeted spots.  The lime in some water may quickly block these micro sprinklers and render them useless.  Also if you're going to use a dam or container for garden use only, small pieces of dirt or leaves may cause you problems in these small sprinklers.  See if you can get help in determining the suitability of the water you're going to use. 

Next is of course to purchase all the parts for your sprinkler system.  There are a few boxed sprinkler packages and also sprinkler parts seperately available.  The dealer should be able to help you to get all the necessary parts if you show him your sketches and details.  Also read carefully any instruction papers that may come with anything you buy. 

When you dig your trenches for the pipes, they should be 20 centimetres deep. 

Start assembling your pipe at the water source, and work outwards from there.  Connect the sections and sprinklers. 

Once you have your water running in the pipes, check the system for leaks and whether your water is strong enough in all sections for all the sprinklers.  Also check each sprinkler and if it's spraying to its full potential, or whether small pieces of dirt, paper or anything else may have gotten trapped inside and blocking part of the sprinkler. 

If everything is working satisfactorily, fill the trenches again.  Tread the soil down firmly. 

An automatic pop-up system is even more sophisticated.  These can be linked to a time clock that works the time and frequency of sprinklers' operation.  It might be better to have sophisticated systems installed by a professional firm.

Get your sprinkler system & parts here