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Double 07-11-2012 10:30 AM

Quick disconnect DIY Sprinkler System?
There is a guy near me that has one in his yard and I'm thinking about installing one in mine, let me hear some feedback!

Here is the basic idea:

You trench and install one "zone" of the sprinkler system, PVC and sprinkler heads only. At the start of each zone you have a quick disconnect port that your can snap your hose onto.

Thats basically it. A sprinkler sytem without elctrical, without running from the water meter, and with permanent, in ground, sprinkler heads. No set-up and adjustment every time.

You can also get a hose spigot timer to run multiple timed zone in one go.

It seems like a good, less expensive DIY alternative to a major sprinkler system that, for my yard, runs about $5000 installed.

I'm interested to hear if anyone has done this before and what your experience was. Also, downsides?

Double 07-11-2012 10:39 AM

This is a similar idea for a raised bed garden area:

AllanJ 07-11-2012 11:03 AM

Advantage: Not having to do the whole system in one fell swoop.

Caution: You want to run the line up against the house or up against a tree where the disconnect nipple would not be in the way of croquet playing or mowing.

I did a system of this kind but the lines were fastened halfway up a fence instead of being buried in the ground. (The part to cover the middle of the lawn, out of reach of the perimeter sprinker heads, is not done yet.)

user1007 07-12-2012 07:51 AM

Guess I don't see a household size timer, manifold of valves and electrical connections as being that major an expense. Obviously if you use remote valves you have longer wire runs.

For drip irrigation hose end is more useful I think but I would still plumb each circuit with its own valve and automate my whole yard on a single timer. It seem to me one reason to have an irrigation system is not to have to drag a hose around?

Double 07-12-2012 08:10 AM

Definitely one benefit would be losing ht ehose all together, but there is still significant time savings with having the zone set-up permanently.

I'm in Dallas and the initial hook up costs are pretty high here. I've talked with three different companies and all say that city codes require city approval and installation of water meter feed line at around $500 plus an approved plan by a licensed sprinkler "engineer" along with a permit, pre- and post-inpection, and alot of ther requirements including filter, double check valve, and three or four other components at the main hookup. The charges for the "basics" of planning, water, electrical, and permits alone look to run about $1500, and that is the stuff that I think I would need to hire out, either for legal reasons, or because I'm not learned in the arts.

That being said, $5000 for full installation versus $500 for everything I will need to do a quick release system and I think the hose dragging sounds alot less of a bother.

tylernt 08-10-2012 04:22 PM

We did this on our last house, I loved it. I can't remember when we installed it but we had it for probably 5+ years. We found it worked best in conjunction with a timer so you could even leave the house while it was going.

Another enhancement is an inline shutoff at the end of the hose so you don't have to make trips back and forth to the faucet. You can theoretically connect and disconnect zones with the water on, but you have to be strong to connect and you tend to get sprayed when disconnecting.

If you have any other hose implements such spray nozzles etc, put quick-connect fittings on them too. Use teflon tape to help seal the threads.

A major lesson learned was from the feed points. Do NOT get hosethread-to-pipe adapters that are made of PVC, get metal ones. The PVC adapters leak or break in short order.

Second, consider making the feed point riser out of galvanized steel. We used thinwall PVC (hey, it's not cheap, it's frugal!) and found that the riser would crack/break after a few years. When I started replacing the PVC risers with steel, the system became rock-solid reliable (schedule 80 PVC, the extra-thick-wall stuff, might also work). In one location where the feed point was by my driveway and likely to be driven over by a car, I used galvanized for the feeder 'tee' as well so the PVC wouldn't get crushed.

To keep bugs and dirt out of the pipes, we used a 1/2" PVC cap to cover the quick connect sticking out of the ground. We never had any clogged sprinkler heads but if there is a better way to do it, I'd love to hear it.

The low cost and DIY nature of this system gets two thumbs up for me. Since you are not making "home runs" of pipe to a valve box there is a LOT less trenching. I think it also saves water vs. fully automatic because you're inclined to water only when you need to and only as much as you need.

iamhomer 08-11-2012 12:54 PM

i used this and love it...

tylernt 08-16-2012 05:00 PM

I forgot to mention... with short pipe runs on small sets, I could use my little pancake air compressor to fill a 5g air tank and blow out my own sprinklers. With long runs of pipe on large automatic sets, you need a massive compressor to blow them out.

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