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*** Who's Installed Their Lawn Sprinkler System? ***

Looking to take on this project real soon. I have about one acre of my 3 acres in lawn. I have my own well. I know I have to measure my output, but it has no trouble running 3 big sprinklers, washing machine, dishwasher and shower all at once.

I have a little elevation change from front to back, no more than 4 or 5 ft over 350 feet span. I've found a few web sites that I'm just starting to look at.

I'm open to your suggestions if you've done this??
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:53 AM
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I have done it and it is really very easy. At least in Las Vegas, if you go to a gardening center or even a Home Depot with a rough dimensional layout of your lawn, they will CAD it out for you. My only real suggestions are to use good schedule 40 PVC and use Rainbird valves and heads. If you cheap out, you will be chasing leaks forever. ( the former owner of my house used thin walled electrical condiut versus schedule 40 in some areas of the lawn and it would split from the pressure.)

If necessary, you can email me your layout and I will take it in for you down here.
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Last edited by rsrfan; 04-12-2009 at 09:05 AM.. Reason: forgot punctuation
Old 04-12-2009, 09:04 AM
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Well, in the city we use simple heads, but that's too much plumbing for an acre. I's suggest going to a site like Rainbird and getting specs. Zone your lawn off so that you can have enough volume to run the sprinklers a few at a time.

I'd oversize your supply line by one size, especially to the furthest zone. It might be 1" to the first head, 3/4 to 2 more and 1/2 to one on the end. I'd use that formula for the close zones and go bigger to the first head reaching way out there.

I don't know what kind of equipment you use on the lawn, but placing the pipes well below grade is always a good idea. Use no less than Sch 40.

BTW, for those that read this and have a small area, a grid using standard 10 ft lengths w/o cutting them makes a great system for the full circle, half and quarter circle heads. You don't need no stinkin' drawing to do that, just reduce the pipe size after a couple heads. I found I could get the equivalent of around 5-6 full heads on a valve and have plenty of reserve. Most people have no idea how to adjust the individual heads and the supply valve for minimum overlapping and minimum overspray. They just waste water.

I hand water a lot and have NO automatic valves.

Last edited by milt; 04-12-2009 at 09:11 AM..
Old 04-12-2009, 09:05 AM
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As usual, Milt's suggestions are spot on...
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:06 AM
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At least a foot down, 18 iches is preferable. Go with sch 40 and build the pressure up by reducing the pipe size as you go along, as per milt's recc. There's no sense in worrying about waste, it's going to make its way back into the water table somehow.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:43 AM
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:48 AM
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This has been discussed previously:

Anyone install their own sprinkler system?
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:17 PM
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RsrFan: thax for your kind offer, I'm sure I can find someone within a hours drive to do a design if I buy my supplies from them. Milt; thanks for the tip about different line sizes, I had thought of that.

Some around me say to only bury my lines about 6 to 8 inches and just blow them out in the winter. Not saying I shouldn't go deeper, just wonder why?

Good tip on the trencher.....Thax.......
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:22 PM
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Heavy equipment breaks lines.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:48 PM
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:55 PM
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Was going to do my own on the last house.

By the time I priced it all out including the trencher rental it was not a whole lot more to have the whole thing done by a pro.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:55 PM
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Milt's advice is right on.
I built a system with about 40 ft. of change in elevation and a total of almost 3/4 of a mile of pipe (the sprinkler "experts" wouldn't touch it). Your supply system will only provide a certain amount of volume. You should find out what that is and make zones that use an appropriate amount. Decide on your sprinkler type and locations - and the gallons per minute a zone will use. Then buy sprinklers that have changeable nozzles (I used Hunter) that tell you how many gallons per minute will be used by each sprinkler. You just add up the discharge amount and make your zones to use the amount your system can handle. Dividing it up in zones also makes it so that if one zone goes down, the others still function. Obviously there is a lot more, but it's not rocket science.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:53 PM
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He11 I knew Mary LaFetra...Mary and her husband founded Rainbird back in 1940. Their neighbor developed the orginal Rainbird sprinkler in his barn in Glendora, CA, they bought him out for $1000.00.

Mary in her 70's got her BA degree from La Verne College. It was something she had always wanted to do.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:28 PM
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I built my own sprinker system in CA. Use 1 inch valve and neck them down to 3/4 on the discharge side. After a number of heads neck the pipe down to 1/2 and add a few more. It keeps the pressure up. I was able to run about 20 heads on a run with 80 PSI at the valve.

On all main lines with pressure you need schedule 40, however on all sprinkler runs that isn't necesssary as the presure is discharged through the heads. When the valve is off there is no flow and no pressure. About 80 PSI is about the max you want to put on the mainlines. Anymore nad you need a pressure regulator, or you run the chance of blowing the mainlines apart. Also on every manifold you want a Turnoff Valve in case you need to repair that manifold. This way you do not have to shut the whole system down if you need to repair a valve or manifold.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:40 PM
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I am going to make the assumption you have a well because of the acreage and measuring the output. With a well, you need to make sure the output is not lower than what your pump does per minute. For example if your pump puts out 12 gallons a min, make sure you have enough heads to add up to this. If not you can burn out the switch.

Installing a sprinkler system is something you can definitely do. Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:26 AM
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I did one and used www.sprinklerwarehouse.com this site has everything you need.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:51 AM
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i have done it WRONG before. every major sprinkler head company, like RAINBIRD has an online design section. it does the quantities for you, so you know what to buy. my major mistake was not insuring that at least TWO heads hit every square inch of the lawn. surprised me that i missed a spot where only one head hits...it gets dry regularly and browns. i will never make that mistake again.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:57 AM
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Great information - I appreciate it all.....Working on my sketch and determining water flow.....Thanks much.......
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:18 PM
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After reading some of the advice given, one thing you should know.
If you start with a certain amount of pressure an Know how much GPM your pump will supply if on a well, everything you do after that, adding pipe, valves and sprinkler heads, you will keep losing pressure. Going down in pipe size will not increase pressure, you will lose pressure. Designing a system from a well is a lot different than city water. My advice is to get a contractor who will work with you as a homeowner as a do it yourself project.
Old 04-13-2009, 07:27 PM
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