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Old 06-27-2014, 01:29 AM   #1
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DIY lawn sprinkler system


I've been thinking it would be neat to setup a lawn sprinkler system. I'd like to go full DIY route and use standard hardware store parts like pex pipe and pex fittings. I will also want an electrically controlled valve so I can connect it to a relay and either code a scheduled/sensor based program or just set it off with my phone.

The part I'm not too sure about is where I would get sprinkler heads that pop up like the pro systems, and how do those heads connect?

Also is pex ok to use for outside? I will also want an air compressor quick connect fitting on the system so I can blow the water out in fall. Do they make such connectors that connect to regular water lines? I would probably build the manifold out of copper and paint it, just so it looks nice.

Also open to other ideas or things I need to ensure I do to make it proper.

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Old 06-27-2014, 06:59 AM   #2
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I've been thinking it would be neat to setup a lawn sprinkler system. I'd like to go full DIY route and use standard hardware store parts like pex pipe and pex fittings. I will also want an electrically controlled valve so I can connect it to a relay and either code a scheduled/sensor based program or just set it off with my phone.

The part I'm not too sure about is where I would get sprinkler heads that pop up like the pro systems, and how do those heads connect?

Also is pex ok to use for outside? I will also want an air compressor quick connect fitting on the system so I can blow the water out in fall. Do they make such connectors that connect to regular water lines? I would probably build the manifold out of copper and paint it, just so it looks nice.

Also open to other ideas or things I need to ensure I do to make it proper.
go to one of the big box store's in the sprinkler department and get information on the sprinkler that you want to use , most have a pass out folder that you can draw your lot and where the house is and the lot line , and mail it to the company, most will design a system for you , free of charge, at least here in the state of florida HD store wil do that probly lowe's may also, i used to work at the HD ,, that is what i would do , most use pvc pipe

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Old 06-27-2014, 09:52 AM   #3
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Take a look at sites like rainbird.com or www.hunterindustries.com. Both have a DIY product line.
Use poly pipe or PVC. I think poly is easier to work with but you will need crimp clamps and a crimping tool.
Normally you hook up a back flow preventer before the irrigation system. Hook up a standard hose bib between the house and the preventer. When you want to blow out your system, screw your air hose to the hose bib and run the valve(s). You will also want a shut off valve inside the house for the irrigation.
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:49 PM   #4
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DIY lawn sprinkler system


Reason I'm hoping to use pex is because I already have all the tools for that. Is there an issue with pex outside? And yeah I'll want to get a backflow, probably law. When you say PVC is that CPVC? I've never seen PVC in sizes for supply or supply related fittings like valves, only big stuff for drainage.

I'm even thinking of just using regular sprinklers and just have a hose that sticks out of the ground, but it may become victim to the lawnmower.

I'll have to double check home depot, maybe they'll actually have the proper sprinkler heads, though I don't think so.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:43 PM   #5
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PVC or CPVC will work. Price it out and see what works for you. HD should have the heads and controller that you need. Don't go with regular sprinklers = total hack.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:09 AM   #6
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Found some heads on the HD site:

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/pop-...ler-100/958627

Anyone know what type of connection those have? It almost looks like it might just be a regular hose connector.

I've never worked with PVC pipe for supply pipes before, how do the pipes look like so I know what to look for, and do they have fittings to go to copper or pex? Most fittings that I've seen (valves etc) are for either copper or pex so it will probably be easier to do the manifold and control, check valve etc all with copper. Probably put it in a box or something then have the lines run down the side of the house.

I will probably mostly eyeball it and then set up the system above ground, and once I'm happy I will then bury the lines.

Probably going to use something like this for zone controls, much cheaper than I thought, just a quick ebay search:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Electric-Sole...item5650fcd3ac

Since they're that cheap I'll probably separate into several active zones so I can have only one working at once, this will make it easier to control pressure and need less sprinkler heads per zone.

Last edited by Red Squirrel; 06-28-2014 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:20 AM   #7
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Cost wise, PVC is going to be a lot cheaper. And you don't need a bunch of special tools.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:31 AM   #8
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You're reinventing the wheel. That eBay valve is 220v. Irrigation valves are 24v and can be buried. All of the threads will be IPT. No hose anywhere.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Found some heads on the HD site:

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/pop-...ler-100/958627

Anyone know what type of connection those have? It almost looks like it might just be a regular hose connector.

I've never worked with PVC pipe for supply pipes before, how do the pipes look like so I know what to look for, and do they have fittings to go to copper or pex? Most fittings that I've seen (valves etc) are for either copper or pex so it will probably be easier to do the manifold and control, check valve etc all with copper. Probably put it in a box or something then have the lines run down the side of the house.

I will probably mostly eyeball it and then set up the system above ground, and once I'm happy I will then bury the lines.

Probably going to use something like this for zone controls, much cheaper than I thought, just a quick ebay search:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Electric-Sole...item5650fcd3ac

Since they're that cheap I'll probably separate into several active zones so I can have only one working at once, this will make it easier to control pressure and need less sprinkler heads per zone.
cpvc is a different kind , it is cream color and is used for hot water , the fitting's are different size, use pvc that is the best, the head's are eather 1/2" or 3/4" they have all the fitting's that will work , that is why i suggested to get the pass out and have the company designe it ? it is more than just getting pvc and start putting things in the ground , some head's are adjustable like 45 degree coverage and 90 degree coverage and full coverage 180 degree most are adjustable and some are fixed, differents head ?? so you will need to know more .
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:03 PM   #10
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My suggestion is to bypass the big-box store sprinklers completely and go with Rain-Bird or Hunter products from an authorized retailer. The products are more expensive, but more durable. I think if you use Pex you may have flow issues as the professional systems use 1" black sprinkler pipe.
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:20 PM   #11
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go to orbitonline, design it there and they give you a list and all details what you need and where to put them.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:26 PM   #12
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Ive worked on sprinkler systems for years and the best advice I can give you is to do what droptopz said and go with a recognized company in you area.

The biggest problem you will encounter is if the water line size and head placements and amount on each zone arent figured right, you will have areas that dont get watered and these areas show up when the grass around them looks great

They will help design the placement of heads and the size line needed to get the correct amount of water flow to do the job right
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:37 PM   #13
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Ive worked on sprinkler systems for years and the best advice I can give you is to do what droptopz said and go with a recognized company in you area.

The biggest problem you will encounter is if the water line size and head placements and amount on each zone arent figured right, you will have areas that dont get watered and these areas show up when the grass around them looks great

They will help design the placement of heads and the size line needed to get the correct amount of water flow to do the job right

Orbitonline will do all of that for you! Did my MIL's that way!
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:27 PM   #14
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My suggestion is to bypass the big-box store sprinklers completely and go with Rain-Bird or Hunter products from an authorized retailer. The products are more expensive, but more durable. I think if you use Pex you may have flow issues as the professional systems use 1" black sprinkler pipe.
haha my water main is 1/2", 1" is WAY overkill. This is not a commercial situation, just a home.

This is going to be a small setup. Reason I want to go DIY route is I want to be able to use commonly available hardware that I can just get at Home Depot. If I get into proprietary stuff it will get expensive and a hassle to maintain.

I was looking on ebay real quick and found lot of Rainbird stuff. Just need to figure out how it actually connects and whether or not I can even find that kind of connector at the hardware store. We don't have any in ground sprinkler companies here. In fact I'd be one of few homes that has one.

I may even jsut put some hose outlets around the yard to connect standard sprinklers to with a short lenght of hose. Then take them down off season. Though I like the idea of the adjustable popup heads.

When I design the system I will overshoot, so I can componsate for wind and what not. I can probably get away with 1-2 heads for the front lawn, the side lawn will be the trickyest as it's long and narrow, so may need a bunch of small heads in a line there. Back yard maybe 2-3 heads. Going to be a pretty small system. Front, side, back will be 3 valve zones so when I go on my phone or computer and activate the system it will only activate one zone at a time and alternate. Will probably be a simple web page where I can set it on a timer.

Last edited by Red Squirrel; 07-10-2014 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:07 AM   #15
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haha my water main is 1/2", 1" is WAY overkill. This is not a commercial situation, just a home.

This is going to be a small setup. Reason I want to go DIY route is I want to be able to use commonly available hardware that I can just get at Home Depot. If I get into proprietary stuff it will get expensive and a hassle to maintain.

I was looking on ebay real quick and found lot of Rainbird stuff. Just need to figure out how it actually connects and whether or not I can even find that kind of connector at the hardware store. We don't have any in ground sprinkler companies here. In fact I'd be one of few homes that has one.

I may even jsut put some hose outlets around the yard to connect standard sprinklers to with a short lenght of hose. Then take them down off season. Though I like the idea of the adjustable popup heads.

When I design the system I will overshoot, so I can componsate for wind and what not. I can probably get away with 1-2 heads for the front lawn, the side lawn will be the trickyest as it's long and narrow, so may need a bunch of small heads in a line there. Back yard maybe 2-3 heads. Going to be a pretty small system. Front, side, back will be 3 valve zones so when I go on my phone or computer and activate the system it will only activate one zone at a time and alternate. Will probably be a simple web page where I can set it on a timer.
As a comparison, my neighbor had a Big Box Store Rain Bird system, 1/2" pipe and cheap valves vs. my system with 1" black sprinkler pipe and professional style hunter heads.

I blew out my lines every fall, and never had any failures. I had a few leaking heads over the 6 years I lived in that house, but I could rebuild and move on. Never had a pipe break.

My neighbor would crack lines when he blew out the system. Spent all spring replacing heads and pipe and valves every year.

For me it is worth doing something like that right the first time, not having to dig every year. Bury quality stuff in the ground, blow the water out every fall, and forget it!

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