Installing an automatic irrigation system in your yard is not hard, not a simple weekend project, not too cheap, but oh is it worth it. I want to hit the highlights of the major components and how it works in this blog. If you respond and let me know you want more info, I will do more blogs with greater detail.
Here are the terms that you will need to know…
- Controller – The small electrical box that turns the system on and off
- Backflow Preventer – The piece of metal that sticks up in the yard that prevents water from your irrigation system from getting into the main city water lines
- Valve – The plastic electrical piece that controls each zone.
- Zone – A section of the yard with no more spray heads than will run with your current gph water flow.
- Heads – What pops up out of the ground to spray the water on your yard
- Spray Heads – A head that puts off a constant spray, typically for smaller areas in the yard or flower beds
- Rotor Heads – A head that shoots out a stream of water to cover large areas of turf
- Main line – The pipe that is always pressurized with water
- Lateral line – The pipe off the main line that gets pressurized when the system is turned on
- Poly Pipe – The ½ in. flexible poly pipe that connects the heads to the lateral lines.
- Valve box – The green round box that keeps dirt off of the valve in the ground so it can be accessed and turn on properly
Here is one of the quickest, easiest explanations on how the system works…
From your main water supply, attach the backflow. From the backflow, run a main line so you can tap into from any part of the yard. Once you know what your gph is of your main water supply, calculate how many heads you can have running at one time. Then flag where all the heads in the yard should go. Dig your lateral lines from the main line so you can reach each head from the lateral lines. Mount your controller near electrical power, and run white and red wire from the controller to each valve. Use a single white wire to loop from one valve to the next. The red wire has to have one go from the controller to each valve. After the wire and pipe is in place, cover everything up, install the heads on the poly pipe, wire up the valves and turn the water on. Adjust the controller to your schedule, adjust the heads so they spray in the right direction, and viola, an automatic irrigation system.