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Bpreuett 08-29-2007 11:22 AM

Boosting home water pressure
Good morning everyone. First time poster here.

I have a problem that I need some help with. I have recently decided to install a home sprinkler system for my newly planted lawn and I had big plans to set up about 6 different watering zones for my lawn, some zones having up to 3 sprinker heads. Now my problem, if i try to hook up even 2 sprinkler heads on one hose, the pressure drops so low that water barely comes out of either sprinkler. One head is fine, i get good coverage. 2 or more, forget it.

So, having said that, let me say this. I am in no way a plumber. I have done some limited research and that has led me to believe or understand that the only way to boost my water pressure (since my house is already built and the lines coming from the main are set) is to purchase and install a pump between the water line from the main and my home.

So my questions:

Is this the only way?

Is this something that I can do myself?

Are there any issues that could result from increasing the PSI to my existing plumbing?

Thank you all in advance for your tips, help, or advice, it is much appreciated.


Manuel6 08-29-2007 12:40 PM

If everything else is fine (no line clogs, etc.), then the only way I know to boost water pressure is through mechanical means, i.e. booster pump. By the way, you shouldn't have to boost the pressure to the whole house if that is not desired. You can find the main line for the sprinkler system, tap in there, and only boost the outgoing pressure to the sprinkler lines. You will most likely also want to install a relay so that the pump only turns on when your sprinklers are on. Lastly, installing a booster pump is not overly difficult for an experienced DIY'er. It does, though, involve extensive plumbing and electrical knowledge. Additionally, your personal situation may require you to do some carpentry as well, if you have to house the pump outside. This could turn out to be quiet a project. For the most part, if you don't feel comfortable adding a new circuit to power your pump, wiring in a relay, and doing some plumbing work (probably pvc), then I would call a reputable electrician and plumber to help you out. Good luck.

Marlin 08-29-2007 06:08 PM

You probably have a volume problem, not a pressure problem. What kind/size of pipe is feeding your hose bib? Usually it's half inch, half inch pipe is only going to be large enough to run one sprinkler. When you pipe in your sprinkler system you are going to use 3/4" or 1" depending on how much volume your heads require.
A couple things that could be a problem; What kind of pipes do you have in your home? If they are galvanized they may be closed up inside reducing your volume. What kind of pipe do you have feeding your house (size and material)? If it's galvanized it may be closed up inside and if it is 3/4 you might not have enough volume to run your sprinklers and multiple household fixtures at the same time.

AZJD 08-31-2007 02:58 PM

Marlin is correct.

I had a similar problem - I went out and dug up around the meter. After turning the water off (DUH!) I put in a tee and ran a 1-1/2" SCH 40 PVC pipe all the way to my back yard - where the irrigation starts - and hooked up a backflow preventer (a necessity in irrigation) and 5 valves; 4 for spray (turf) and one for drip irrigating the trees and shrubs. If I had it to do all over again (I've since moved) I'd add another drip valve to separate the trees and shrubs, since they need different cycles.

Southlake_Ed 11-06-2007 02:06 PM

don't overlook these possibilities
pardon me if this is obvious but it is absolutely essential you purge the new sprinkler system of all dirt, sand, rocks, etc. that can get in the pipes, valves, risers, etc. I have a large yard with 18 zones and also have low pressure but I can get 8 pop-ups or 4 rotors per zone.

Also pay attention to the heads and nozzzles. there is more to the story than just choosing a 90 degree popup vs a 180 degree. This is especially true if you use rotors. there are all sorts of different flow options measured in GPH. You can get creative and mix these to account for the differing needs on the same zone due to sun/shade, plant material, etc.

Good luck! There are some really good online sources for parts and advice.

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