How difficult to instal a lawn watering system?


I have one area of around 100' x 100' that I'd like to start watering automatically. How hard is it to put n those little popup mist sprayers? Or is it a pro job? Do those things have pumps or work off regular pressure? (BTW I have a well system, if that makes a difference).
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The hard part is trenching. Pick up some brochures and they will have a lot of information. Rain works best for me. Why beat up the well pump just to cut the lawn more often? Or run the well dry?
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You mean I should just make it rain when needed?
How deep are the trenches? I don't have a problem renting a trencher for a day or two.
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lot
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Definitely pick up some brochures. It's a job you can do yourself. The sprinklers should work on just the water pressure, but you may need to break up the watering into several "zones" - probably 3 or 4 zones for 100sf. This is a calculation that you will need to make and it depends on the sprinkler placement and the types of sprinklers used. Draw up a scale diagram of your lawn complete with sprinkler locations, etc. Make sure that each sprinkler's spray can reach adjacent sprinklers. Use sched 40 and bury them 8-10" deep. I'm sure a google search will provide you with endless lawn watering system design info. Good luck, M.Paul
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No, when it does not rain, the grass does not grow. I'm not upset when nature happens like that.
The trenches are about 8" but may differ in some climates. The system is supposed to be drained at the end of the season if it could freeze.
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Thanks all - the only reason to water it is to help with reseeding. Also I know it would look better!
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Depending on your experience and patience, it is doable. There a alot of DIY books on the subject. The designs I have seen work off regular pressure. I have also heard of systems that use a cistern and pump. The cistern can be filled with either rain water or house water. A cistern would take a lot of the work off of the well pump and tank.
You can do your own trenching but be aware that there is more than one style of trencher. A large trencher in your yard can make a big mess. You don't really need a big trench, just a continuous slit in the ground to accept the pipe.
The pros may have some guys who will dig by hand a slit style trench which disturbs the existing sod very little. A tool called a vibratory plow also does this job. You should be able to rent a machine that makes these low impact trenches. Look for a brand: Ditch Witch. They can be rented where I live.
http://www.ditchwitch.com/dwcom/Product/ProductView/103
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It's not rocket surgery. :-) Did my own sprinklers in the back yard - twice. First time after we bought the house, second time after we had the pool built which ripped up the first set of sprinklers. I'm a software engineer, so planning the system was the big fun for me, the execution of the plan was kind of an afterthought.
Should work off normal house water pressure, around 40 psi minimum I think. The little brochures that Toro and Rainbird leave in the racks at the Borgs will give you all the design details. There will be a chart in there that tells you how many GPM can be supplied through a 3/4 inch PVC pipe at a given supply pressure. You add up the GPM for each sprinkler head you use, and the total should not exceed the supply GPM in order for the pop-up heads to work well. Make sure the coverage fully overlaps from one head to the next - if the head has a 15 ft radius, the heads should be 15 ft apart. So, you figure how many circuits you need by dividing stuff up so you don't exceed the maximum recommended flow at your supply pressure. Since you said you're on a well, you need to make sure your well pump can keep up.
You can use manual valves for each circuit, or electric valves with a timer/controller - not very difficult to set that up.
Your trenches should be 6 to 8 inches deep to accommodate the height of the sprinkler head plus room for connecting to the supply pipe. The sprinkler heads connect to the supply pipe with a threaded tee fitting and a cutoff riser. Renting a trencher makes life a lot easier.
The piping work itself is dead simple. Cut the pipe to length - you can use a hacksaw, or you can buy a sprinkler pipe cutting tool for $8 or so. Slap some primer and glue on the inside of the fitting and the outside of the pipe. Push and twist a little until the pipe bottoms out in the fitting. Move on to the next joint.
When you have everything together, take the heads off each sprinkler circuit and run the water for 5 or 10 seconds, flushes the dirt out of the pipes, keeps your sprinkler heads from clogging.
Throw the dirt back in the trenches and have a beer, you're done.
Oh, almost forgot. You don't say what part of the country you're in. If winter freezing is a concern, it might be a good idea to include a fitting where you can hook up a compressor and blow the water out of the lines.
Another thought - if you have any landscape plants in the vicinity that you'd like to put on drip irrigation, it's a good idea to do that while you have the trenches open. Just one more circuit on your sprinkler controller.
Jerry
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Save yourself that first trip to Home Depot, go here instead:
http://www.toro.com/sprinklers/guides.html
They also have a free design service - you download a form, sketch the area you want to water, answer a few questions, and fax the form back. When they finish you download their design, complete with materials list.
Jerry
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Also, the pros generally don't do trenches, which make a big mess. They use a machine to pull flexible pipe. You can probably rent one of those as well.
However, I'm not sure I'd do this myself. Like everything, there is a learning process and experience counts. With a good sprinkler company, you may come out with a more effective system, because they know what works well for a particular situateion.
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But it will probably cost you 10 times as much.
Bob
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On Apr 13, 10:02 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Not only that, but they can be damn twitchy if you haven't been working around the sprinkler systems most of your life. I grew up in a rainy climate where we NEVER watered the lawn (I agree with the "let it grow or not grow" attitude)... now I live in the desert. I've read tons of books on the systems, hung out at the landscaping store to discuss and learn, and still I can never get the SOBs to work right. My friends with landscapers have no issues like that. And for the record, I am a very successful DIYer 98 percent of the time.
Also, JimR makes an excellent point about your well. Unless you live in a place with nearly unlimited supplies, you should read up on how much water that will drain from your well. Bet mowing the grass won't be so much fun if you have no water to drink when you're done.
I'm so sick of sprinklers that I just applied for the water company's rebate to convert to desert landscaping. Can't wait to get rid of that damn thing.
--svs
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dean wrote:

I have had two installed in two different homes - I perform the maint. IMHO, the most important part of this very doable project is planning. You mess this up and the rest will follow suite. I have had to move sprinkler heads and replace complete sections because the installer's only plan was the one in his head. Do it right and the average job can be done (by the non-pro) in two weekends or less.
--


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Oh yeah, 2 more things.
1. From Toro's website, for wells they recommend a minimum of 10 GPM at 45 PSI.
2. Check the operation of each circuit BEFORE refilling the trenches. DAMHIKT.
Jerry
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wrote:

The GPM can be adjusted to your source by the choice and number of heads.
Bob
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Why trench? Pull poly pipe with a trenchless vibratory plow. Trenching causes problems with settling and makes extra work to fill the trenches. I installed a sprinkler system on a 120x140 lot last year, (using the plow) and that project taxed the limits of my DIY ability. It also took about 3 weeks to git 'er done.
Correctly designing a sprinkler system that works properly takes a TON of research and even more hard work. It can be done, but it takes planning. You have to figure out water pressures, pipe sizes, flow rates and all kinds of other fun stuff. One of the online design services is a good place to start. Rainbird has an irrigation 'bible' available online that has lots of excellent info in it. If you are not completely confident in your DIY abilities, this is a project best left to the pros.
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A couple of considerations that no one else has mentioned --
Be concerned that an irrigation system may demand more water over an extended time than your present well can deliver. (That's true for many wells in Florida). You may need a separate well with a liner to keep it from collapsing during irrigation, and a separate pump for the irrigation system.
Plan on more than one zone to give you flexibility. Some areas may need more water than others, and you may want to set up a zone for a garden or micro-irrigation system in the future. You will need a controller for the system, with either a digital programmer or a mechanical timer and indexer. Strongly recommend a digital system which lets you set each zone easily and with flexibility. A mechanical indexer just senses a drop in water pressure and then moves to the next zone -- it's easy to get the zones mis-set when you're doing repairs or system checks (e.g., it starts up on zone 2 instead of zone 1)
With a digital controller, recommend that you bring all of the zones to a common manifold where all of the servos are located. With my last system, the installer buried the servos in the ground at the beginning of each zone and didn't leave a map, so locating a failed servo is going to be very difficult.
Add a rain sensor to your system so that it doesn't run unnecessarily during or after a rainstorm.
-- Regards
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there is an ebook on www.icutgrass.com on how to install your own cheap. I dont know if its any good or not, just passing on what I rmember seeing.

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