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Assembling Pipe

You'll begin the actual installation of your sprinkler system by running pipe to match the layout you sketched earlier. A few helpful hints will make positioning and joining pipe as easy as possible.

Tips For PVC Pipe

Cut pipe with a hacksaw or PVC pipe cutter and file off burrs. Use primer to clean area that will be cemented. Wait a few minutes for the primer to dry. Brush solvent cement freely around the outside end of the pipe and to inside of the fitting. Slip the pipe into the fitting, then twist it a quarter turn to evenly distribute the solvent for a leak-proof bond. Hold for about 15 seconds until pipe is set, then wipe excess solvent from around the joint.


Tips For Poly Pipe

As mentioned before, poly pipe should only be used between valves and sprinkler heads since it can't withstand the surge pressure between your service lines and valves. Cut poly pipe with a knife or a hacksaw. Slip a stainless steel hose clamp over the pipe and insert the fitting. Then position the clamp over the area of pipe surrounding the ridged part of the fitting, and tighten carefully.

 Make sure all clamps are tightened snugly on poly pipe.


Tap Into Your Service Line

Turn off your main water supply at the water meter. Cut into the service line as close as possible to where you'll position your control valves, and remove about 3" of the service line pipe. Insert a compression tee as shown then tighten the nuts to seal against leaking.


Installing a Shut-Off Valve

Finally, install a shut-off gate or ball valve so you can turn off your entire sprinkler system of necessary. Run a pipe from the compression tee to the shut-off valve, then lay another length of pipe from the shut-off valve to the location of your control valves.

 A Shut-off valve lets you turn off water to your sprinkler system without affecting your household water supply.


If the Meter Is In The Basement

Shut off your water supply at the meter and insert a compression tee as described previously. Drill a 1" hole through the sill above the foundation, or drill or chisel a hole through the basement wall. Install the pipe as shown, including the shut-off valve and drain cap. In freezing areas, pipe should slope downward from the control valves to the basement entrance, and a drain cap should be installed in a low position. Seal the hole in your wall with caulking compound. Drain water from your system by closing the shut-off valve and removing the drain cap, using a bucket to catch the flow.


In Freezing Areas

If freezing temperatures occur in your area, install automatic drain valves at the low points in the pipe run from each control valve, and between the control-valve manifold and the shut-off valve. Use a reducer tee, and slope the automatic drain valve downward at a 45░ angle into a bed of gravel to provide drainage. When your sprinkler system shuts off, the automatic drain valve opens to release any water standing in the pipes.


Laying Out Your system

Use wooden stakes to mark the location of each sprinkler head and control valve. Then connect the stakes with string to represent the path of your piping. Check the layout you sketched to make sure you've positioned everything accurately before you begin cutting pipe.


Digging Trenches By Hand

To soften your soil, water the ground about two days before you plan to trench your yard. Use a straight-edge spade to dig "V" shaped 6" deep trenches (up to 10" in freezing climates). Place sod on one side of the trench and dirt on the other, so you can put everything back the way it was.


Using a trencher

Renting an automatic trencher can make your job easier. Check your local lawn-supply store or equipment-rental company. The renter can show you how to safely operate the machine. Don't use it to dig trenches through flower beds or ground cover, or operate it near buildings or on steep slopes.

 Before using a trencher, make sure to check with your local gas and electric companies to be certain that there are no buried lines where you'll be digging.


Going Under Obstacles

Attach your hose to a length of pipe with a hose-pipe adapter. Place the end of the pipe where you want it to tunnel, for example under a concrete sidewalk, then turn on the water. Push the pipe under the obstacle as the water pressure cuts a channel. Be careful to avoid damaging walls and driveways by washing away too much soil.


Connecting Valves

Lay the Main Line

If you haven't already done so, cut a length of pipe to run from the shut-off valve to the location of your first set of control valves. If you're planning a second set of control valves in another direction, link them to the first set with another length of pipe.


Place Your Control Valves

In front of the control valve positions you staked out earlier, lay out the valves, risers (vertical pipe segments) and tees on the ground the way that they will fit together as a manifold. To prevent backflow, make sure anti-siphon valves are at least 6" above the highest sprinkler head (or higher if required by local codes). Space valves at least 5" apart for easy assembly and maintenance.


Set Up Valve Manifold

Apply solvent to each joint and fit together as shown in the illustration above. Follow the solvent manufacturer's suggested drying time (typically about 1 hour), then turn off all control valves according to the instructions packaged with them. Now turn on the valve at your water meter.


Making an In-Line Manifold

If your water supply or local codes require the use of in-line valves, several steps can enhance the durability of your installation. Bury the manifold in the ground above a bed of gravel for better drainage. And for easy access surround the valves with wood (preferably redwood for longevity), or install them in a valve box available from your local retailer. Be sure to install a separate constant pressure backflow device if running your system off your household water supply.


Never Install Any Valve Downstream of an Anti-Siphon Valve

One final note: if you're using anti siphon valves, make sure that no other valve (manual or electric) is installed between them and your sprinkler heads. This would prevent the built-in backflow prevention from working.


Attaching Sprinkler Heads


Place the Heads

Now match the various kinds of sprinkler heads you've purchased with the locations you've staked out according to your sketch.

 Trenches from the appropriate control valve should be deep enough so that each head will be at the proper height.


Cut The Risers

Match each head to a riser, and check that sprinklers reach the right height when pipe is in the trench. (See "Install the heads"). Cut risers if necessary.


Insert The Risers

Put a tee in the pipe at each sprinkler head location; using a right-angle elbow for the head at the end of each pipe. Screw the risers into the tee or elbow at each sprinkler head location, but leave heads off.


Flush the System

Use pipe plugs to seal all risers except the one at the end of each pipe. Turn on the water at the shut-off valve, and open the control valves one at a time using manual bleed screws until water runs clear of all debris. Check the entire system for leaks. Then close the control valves, and remove all pipe plugs.


Install the Heads

Different kinds of heads are installed in different ways. The following tips will help ensure durability and proper water distribution. For accurate watering patterns, make sure all sprinklers are vertical. For extra protection against leads, wrap riser heads with Teflon« tape before installing heads


Pop-Ups and Rotors

The tops of pop-up sprinkler heads and rotors should be slightly above the soil surface. Any higher, and they're subject to damage when mowing or engaging in yard activities.


Shrub Heads and Bubblers

Shrub heads and bubblers should be mounted on risers that lift them several inches above the soil surface. This allows their patterns to reach the maximum radius.


Fine Tune Your Pattern

Adjust pop-up sprinkler heads so their patterns water precisely the areas you want. Adjust Lawn Genie pop-up spray heads by pulling up the pop-up stem and turning it to the precise direction desired. The pop-up stem "ratchets" to allow easy, reliable adjustment of the spray direction.


Installing Your Timer

Mount The Timer

Choose an indoor location near a standard 120-volt electrical outlet. Following the instructions in the timer installation manual, fasten the unit to the wall using the screws provided, and attach the transformer.


Wire The Control Valves

Run valve wiring underground wherever possible. For line runs less than 800 feet long, use 18-gauge, plastic jacketed thermostat control wire; over 800 feet, use 14-gauge wire. Your dealer can provide this wire in 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 wire color-coded strands. Connect a single common color wire to one of the wires from each valve. Solder or join all splices with wire nuts, then seal with vinyl or waterproof cement to assure a water resistant connection.


Connect the Valves to Your timer

Connect the wire from valve number 1 to the terminal screw marked "1" on the timer, the wire from valve number 2 to the terminal "2", and so on. This allows your timer to selectively water the Zone controlled by each valve. Connect the common wire to the terminal marked "COMM". If using a water pump or master valve, refer to page 18 for installation details.


Program Your timer

 Now consult the owner's manual that came with your timer. Different timers use different programming techniques. But no matter which timer you choose, it helps to write down your zones and their watering days in the form of a schedule before you start.


Check System Operation

 Now you're ready to test your installation. Open the shut-off valve all the way and test each Zone using your timer's manual control. Adjust the radius and pattern direction of pop-ups to avoid wasting water on walks, driveways and other areas. Also adjust shrub heads and bubblers. See Troubleshooting section on page 19 if one or more valves fails to operate. When system is functioning properly, replace soil and sod in trenches

Information found here was supplied by Lawn Genie.