Installing a Sprinkler System
Maintaining the beauty of your lawn is an important part of
maintaining the overall appeal of your home. There's a lot
involved with this, too. Quality landscaping means fertilizing,
trimming, mowing, weeding, and more. But of all of the tasks
involved in maintaining your lawn, which would you think is
the most involved?
you believe watering? It's true--if done right. Because
when done right, watering your lawn requires more than just
five minutes running a hose over it a couple of times. You
have to pick the most strategic location for a top quality
sprinkler. Then you have to install it. Finally, you have
to set each sprinkler so that it runs only as long as it
needs to run, and sprays exactly where it needs to spray.
If you get this wrong, you could wind up paying too much
on your water bill. But if you get it right, your lawn will
be a beautiful, finely-manicured work of horticultural art.
you shop for the sprinkler, you need to arm yourself with
some information. The first bit of data you need is the
water-flow rate on your property. How many gallons will
your faucet put out when going at maximum? You can figure
this out easily. Get a container that will hold exactly
one gallon, and place it beneath your outside water faucet.
Turn it on at maximum thrust. Using a watch with a second
hand, find out the number of seconds required to fill the
container. Divide this number by sixty and you'll have your
gallons per minute. Write down this number.
next information you need to find out is the exact layout
you want for your sprinkler system. Remember, you want to
provide water for your entire lawn, and you want to avoid
having two sprinklers water the same area. Jot down a diagram
on a piece of paper.
you need to call City Hall and find out what kind of codes
are in place that might impact how much you can water or
what kinds of sprinklers you can install. Now you're ready
to shop for your sprinkler system. As you do, you'll find
a variety of heads. There are some that will shoot out a
direct stream, while others spew a fine mist. Consult with
a lawn-care expert about what works best with the type of
vegetation in your yard. The most important thing, though,
is to be consistent. Use the same type sprinkler throughout
that you've selected the head that you're considering, take
it to a knowledgeable hardware representative at the store.
Ask if he knows how much area this particular head will
cover. This will give you an idea of exactly how many sprinklers
you need to buy for your entire lawn. Remember to have the
number you wrote down earlier regarding your water-flow
rate. This might help the hardware representative to better
hardware clerk should also be able to help you figure out
how much PVC or CPVC pipe you need, as well as how many
connectors, elbow, and T-fittings you need to buy. The clerk
will probably advise you that the width of the PVC pipe
is greatly affected by your water-flow rate--another reason
to have that number with you.
you're done at the hardware store, and before you start
digging, call the local utilities. You need to make sure
that it's safe to dig in the area, lest you accidentally
hit an underground ca ble or gas pipe. Once you get the
utilities' blessing, you can begin the actual process of
installing the sprinkler system. This might take a couple
of days, but by taking the careful, well-planned approach,
you'll ensure that your sprinkler system will give you years
of service and a nice, lush lawn.