More and more people opt for modern automated systems, thus marking a break with traditional watering methods. This modern watering system is fixed in the ground and its installation requires the use of certain materials and a specific know-how. Therefore, many people prefer to call in professionals for installation and assembly of their irrigation system. Yet by following the instructions and advice, everyone should be able to carry out the procedure.

An underground sprinkler system is a system in which watering is automatic. Human intervention is rare and only necessary when adjustments need to be made. To install such a watering system, everything starts with the choice of materials.

The choice of materials to use for a good underground watering system

To install an irrigation system, you need sprinklers, hoses, fittings, a timer with command panel, a warning grid and gravel. The sprinkler is chosen according to the nature and surface area of the plot of land that needs watering. Thus, for an area of which the radius is greater than 13 feet (4 meters) and not exceeding 36 feet (11 meters), use a pulsating sprinkler, while for an area of which the radius is less than or equal to 13 feet (4 meters), a stationary sprinkler is more than adequate.

Pipes such as those made from reinforced PVC or polyethylene with diameters equivalent to 0.8-inch (19 mm) is recommended. A tee or L joint will be essential for connecting the pipes. A command panel hooked to 6 networks will allow the selection or management of some plots, individually or not.

For the network’s operation, one must choose between a mechanical timer and an electronic programmer. The warning grid will be used to inform bystanders of the presence of an underground watering system. The gravel is also particularly important as it will be used to stabilize the underground network.

Drafting the plan and assembling the underground watering system

To draft a good plan, we must take all the parameters into account, especially in regard to the desired end results. At first, one must draft a plan of his watering system, taking care to specify which areas need to be watered. These can include flower beds, a flower garden, a vegetable garden, etc.. On the map, the entire area should be divided into separate sections so that they are covered more adequately. The demarcated areas must be covered starting with the smallest angles. Finally, calculate the flow of the tap that will be used as water supply. Note that this flow is the time in seconds it takes to fill a bucket of water.

By following the plan, each sprinkler, hose and fitting will be in the right place. Take care to cut all the pipes that have right angles. Then, fix the sprinklers on the pipes before connecting everything to the supply tap. The pipes must be soaked in hot water in order to be soft enough to make connections. Do not forget to set up the timer. Once the system is assembled, everything needs to be checked before positioning the water supply as needed. When everything is perfectly installed, proceed with the irrigation system’s implementation.

The irrigation system’s implementation

The system’s implementation will essentially consist of burying the pipes and sprinklers in the ground. Dig a 12-inch (30 cm) V-shaped trench at the system’s location and lay down gravel throughout. Afterwards, bury the hoses and sprinklers in the ground. The sprinklers’ level should not exceed that of the garden. Moreover, its verticality must be respected for better watering.

The trench should then be backfilled with gravel of which the size grading should not exceed 8 inches (20 cm). Before adding the earth that had been previously removed from the ground, set up the warning grid, then fill up the trench. The last step involves checking whether the system works properly. It is especially important to make sure that the earth does not entirely cover the sprinklers.

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Published in Garden maintenance by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011