Installing your own drip irrigation system probably isn’t something you might have thought about doing yourself before. As complicated as it may seem, it is actually not so difficult that you could not do it from home! Of course, you will want to make sure you take all the necessary precautions while working to keep your equipment, plumbing, and self safe, so we have provided this article to help give you the best possible chance at performing this DIY job.
Here are the materials you will need for this job:
– Complete drip-irrigation system, including tubing, fittings, connectors, and hardware. You are most likely to find this at your local hardware store.
– 1 1/2-inch-diameter PVC pipe
– Metal staples that will be used to secure the tubing.
These are the tools you will need for this job:
– Flat-blade shovel to scrape away gravel.
– Small sledgehammer to tap in longer staples.
– Utility knife for cutting plastic tubing.
– End nippers to pinch crimp connectors closed.
Once you have obtained all the necessary materials and tools, these steps outline the process of how to go about installing a drip irrigation system for your home.
1. Using the flat-blade shovel, remove the gravel from the yard and form shallow trenches. Do not cut through the black plastic below! Excavate the trenches from the existing main water line across the yard, going around every shrub and tree.
3. Connect an electric solenoid valve to each zone of the main water line.
4. Attach a pipe with a backflow preventer to each of the solenoids.
5. Add another length of pipe and then install a pressure-reducing valve.
6. Open the valve and flush out any dirt and debris from the main water line.
7. If necessary, dig below any concrete walkways or driveways and push a length of 1 1/2-inch-diameter PVC pipe underneath the sidewalk.
8. Feed the main feeder line from the valves through the PVC pipe and along the inside of the trenches.
9. Hold the tubing in place with metal staples spaced 24 inches apart. Use a small sledgehammer to tap in the long staples.
10. Use a utility knife to cut through the main feeder line.
11. Push a three-way barbed T-fitting into the cut end of the feeder line. Secure the line with a metal crimp clamp.
12. Attach the other end of the feeder line to the opposite side of the three-way fitting.
13. Connect a feeder line that extends out to the nearest tree or shrub onto the final barbed end of the three-way fitting.
14. Trim the end of the feeder line to length, then push on a 90-degree elbow. Secure the elbow with a crimp clamp.
15. Connect a length of flexible, drip-irrigation tubing onto the elbow.
16. Lay the tubing into the trench, diverting it around each tree and shrub.
17. Secure the tubing with staples spaced 24 inches apart.
18. For larger trees, install two irrigation lines.
19. Run a feeder line alongside the perimeter of the area that needs irrigation (such as a walkway or planter bed), then add drip-irrigation lines to water each nearby plant form.
20. Punch the emitter into the 1/2-inch-diameter feeder line, then attach one 1/4-inch-diameter drip-irrigation line for each shrub.
21. Installing an electronic smart controller in the garage will allow you to program your new system for optimum water usage and financial savings.
22. Installing a sensor on the house roof that detects air temperature and rainfall will determine when to turn the sprinkler system on and off.
23. Back fill the trenches with gravel, recreating any landscape aesthetics that were altered during the job.
24. Blow out the sprinkler system with air, then turn on the water.
Once these steps are complete, you should have a brand new irrigation system that you can marvel over just as much as the lush landscaping you will have. What’s even better is that all the labor you put into creating the system will pay off for all of the saved energy, both physical and resource wise, that you’ll save as the irrigation system is put to work.