DIY Network

How To Install Sprinklers

All irrigation systems are unique, but most installations follow the same basic steps.

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installing anti siphon valve
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Measure and Calculate

Call the utility company and have them mark the location of buried cables in the yard. Then calculate the size of the yard. Determine the sprinkler's coverage as well as measuring the water pressure. Make a diagram on paper and plot the location of the sprinkler heads. Mark the yard with flags where the sprinklers will go.

make diagram and plot location of shower heads

Step 2: Install the Anti-Siphon Valve

Water enters the sprinkler system from the main water supply. The anti-siphon valve serves to keep brackish water, lawn chemicals and fertilizers from backing up into the main water supply. Install the anti-siphon valve.

installing anti siphon valve

Step 3: Dig the Trench

Dig a trench 6" to 8" deep with sides sloping at a 45-degree angle. When digging, place sod to one side and soil to other to make filling and patching the trench easier. Rent a trenching device, also called a vibratory plow, to make this stage go much faster.

Step 4: Run the Pipe

Assemble the sprinkler pipes according to the manufacturer’s requirements. When gluing sections together, be sure to apply the adhesive thinly and smoothly. Use "tee" connectors for pipes running off the main line. Attach the risers, the portion of the tubing that rises up to ground level.

Step 5: Install the Sprinkler Heads

Select the appropriate sprinkler heads based on the irrigation needs of the lawn and landscape. Before attaching sprinkler heads, flush water through system to clean out any debris. Install the sprinkler heads onto the risers. Level the sprinkler heads with level of sod. Fill in trenches and holes with dirt and sod.

Step 6: Install the Timer

The timer controls the length and frequency of waterings. Connect the wires according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Tap into main water-service line. Check to see if system is working.

connect wires according to specifications