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Old 05-04-2003, 06:35 AM
Tazman
 
Posts: n/a
Default Installing an irrigation system (long reply )


"peep" [email protected] wrote in message
.. .
Hi Everyone,

I am thinking about installing an automatic irrigation system. I want to
install some pop up sprinklers for my already established front lawn and
fixed sprinklers for the garden beds.. How do I run the hosing

under-ground
without damaging the lawn and the gardens?

BTW, I recently purchased the house. The gardens and lawn are about 3

months
old.

Kind Regards.



Well there is no real way of not temporally damaging the lawn...

The way most do it is firstly map and mark out where all the sprinklers are
going to be located... making sure you determine the correct distances
between the pop-ups to get a good overlap so you don't get any dry spots..

Currently my pop-ups are spaced at about 3 meter intervals ... that is using
sprinklers that have an average throw of 2 meters for the water pressure
that I have .. so I get a good over lap.

Also work out your water pressure, I use the pope system of how long it
takes to fill a 9 ltr bucket..You need to do this so you can work out how
many sprinklers to put in a single run .. Keep in mind though if you are in
a new sub division and there are not many houses around .. your water
pressure may drop when it is all built up.

If you can afford it is better to use white pvc piping as it is allot
stronger and lasts allot longer than using hose... make sure you get a good
brand of glue though as you don't want to go digging it up to fix a joint.

Once you have it mapped out, using a spade cut the grass along the marked
out lines, after you cut the lawn, buy pushing the spade into the ground
both sides of the line at about a spade width apart, you can easily lift the
lawn strip out of the way, you may need to use the spade to help leaver the
grass up . Make sure you place it opposite of where it came out of so it
makes it easy to put it back to where it came from.

Once you have the grass out now you can dig the trench for the pipe... this
is best done with a trenching shovel (looks like a spade with both sides
turned up) if you have not got a trenching shovel an ordinary spade will do.
To work out how deep to go assemble a pop-up onto it's T piece with a riser
.... and use this as a guide of the depth .. you may want to leave about 5-10
mm from the top of the pop-up to the level of the grass so when you mow you
don't scalp the pop-up...

If you a worried about dumping the soil out onto the lawn you can put it
into a barrow and dump it in a spot for latter use to cover the sprinkling
system.

Now that you have the trench dug out now is the time to assemble the
system.. I normally start at the mains / bore end and work to the
sprinklers... don't worry about getting dirt in the pipe as this will be
flushed out latter.

So installing the solenoids, if running from the mains you will need a
plumber to cut into the line and install a tap / shut off valve (unless you
know what you are doing ) then from the valve you run a pipe to your master
solenoid (the first in the line to take pressure off the individual section
solenoids). then from the master solenoid run a pipe and splitters to your
section solenoids.. this piping and solenoids should be 25mm as you don't
want to reduce the pressure available. Make sure you get the water flow
correct on the solenoids other wise they will leak and not shut of

Also on the subject of solenoids.. you will want to work out where the
controller is going to be.. normally ppl put it in their meter box, but I
like to put it in the garage / car port as it is easier to get to ... you
will have to consider where to get power from as they need a power source..
if you are lucky and can locate it near a power point good, if not you will
need an electrician to install a point for it..

The 12v side of it you can run as you don't need a licence to do that ..

Now continue to plumb the system together .. remembering to put glue on all
joints.. (doohhhh don't laugh it has happened) and make sure the sprinklers
sit up right... And press the joints together nice and tightly..

Once you have it all together, have a break and let the glue go off for an
hour or so.. I like to do this as it just helps it a bit ... better take an
hour to make sure the glue is set than 3 trying to get the middle section
back together again...

ok Running the wires for the solenoids... this is the easy part.. you will
nee one common wire (normally black) and one wire for each of the solenoids.
what colours you use is up to you .. and the wires are available in rolls of
50 meters or so... Now starting with the common wire (black) take one wire
from each of the solenoids( dos not matter which one as they are not
polarity sensitive) and wire them together .. you can twist the bared ends
of the wire together ( I like to solder for a stronger joint) and then cover
with insulating tape. what you should end up with is all the solenoids
joined together (daisy chained) by one of their wires... and the to the roll
of black wire... Now join each of the remaining wires to one of the rolls of
wire..

So if you have 4 solenoids (3 sections + master) you should have 5 rolls of
wire ( common + 4 control) . The best way I have found to run the wire out
is to get an old broom stick and thread the rolls onto it .. so when you
walk back to the controller they pay out at an even rate.. now every 5
meters or so get some electrical tape and tape the wires to the pipe work
....ohh did I mention that I normally follow the path of the pipe work to the
controller... now when following the pipe work I tent to try and tuck the
wires under the pipe for a bit of protection from a wayward spade.

So once back to the controller wire it up .. Firstly make sure the power to
the controller is turned of.. it may be only 12V but it still can give you a
tingle. So wire in the common first then the master .. followed by the
sections...

Now turn on the power and water supply . Before you activate a section take
the heads off the pop-ups as this will allow you to flush the lines.. ( just
be careful under power lines and eaves) One this is done activate a section
at a time and check for blow outs / leaks. Hopefully it all should be well
and now you should have jets of water all over the place... after about 30
seconds change to the next section and flush that one...

Once all sections are flushed turn off the system and replace the heads..
now re-activate each section at a time and check for correct operation and
any leaks (this is the point where you will see any leaks as it is now at
operating pressure and will have full pressure on the joints) If all is
well turn off the system..

Now using the dirt removed from the trenches .. go around and back fill till
a level that you can place the grass back into the trench .. compact the
soils as you go so when you are finished you don't end up with low spots..
once you have got the soil back in ( you will have some left over but don't
worry) carefully lift the grass back into position .. you will have to cut
out where the pop-ups are and may need to push it around some as it tends to
stretch a little ... don't try to get it level with the existing grass as it
will need to be about 10 mm higher as you will need to compact it down to
the right level with either a roller or by walking / stamping on it ...

If you don't do this you will end up with low spots when the soil settles
and will see where you put it all in for months / years to come.. but if you
compact it all down you should mot see it in a few weeks when the grass has
grown back together... Now that it is all back in ... use the left over
soil to top dress any low spots and give it a good watering in ...

Now lastly sit back and enjoy..

Ahh if I have missed anything .. or you want to know more just ask or send
me an e-mail as I am always happy to help If I can..

If you live SOR (rocky area) in Perth and feel it is all too much .. give me
an email and I might be able to come over and give you some pointers and
help..



  #2   Report Post  
Old 05-04-2003, 06:36 AM
peep
 
Posts: n/a
Default Installing an irrigation system (long reply )

Hi Tazman,

Sounds like you've done this before. I don't live in Perth, but if you drive
for about 4 days across the Nullarbor, and turn left at the big sign that
says "Welcome to Melbourne", I'll have a 12 pack of real beer (Victorian)
waiting for you...and maybe we can work something out...ummm, I'm feeling a
bit generous so I'll make it a slab.

Seriously though, thanks for the compressive advice.

"Tazman" wrote in message
...

"peep" [email protected] wrote in message
.. .
Hi Everyone,

I am thinking about installing an automatic irrigation system. I want to
install some pop up sprinklers for my already established front lawn and
fixed sprinklers for the garden beds.. How do I run the hosing

under-ground
without damaging the lawn and the gardens?

BTW, I recently purchased the house. The gardens and lawn are about 3

months
old.

Kind Regards.



Well there is no real way of not temporally damaging the lawn...

The way most do it is firstly map and mark out where all the sprinklers

are
going to be located... making sure you determine the correct distances
between the pop-ups to get a good overlap so you don't get any dry spots..

Currently my pop-ups are spaced at about 3 meter intervals ... that is

using
sprinklers that have an average throw of 2 meters for the water pressure
that I have .. so I get a good over lap.

Also work out your water pressure, I use the pope system of how long it
takes to fill a 9 ltr bucket..You need to do this so you can work out how
many sprinklers to put in a single run .. Keep in mind though if you are

in
a new sub division and there are not many houses around .. your water
pressure may drop when it is all built up.

If you can afford it is better to use white pvc piping as it is allot
stronger and lasts allot longer than using hose... make sure you get a

good
brand of glue though as you don't want to go digging it up to fix a joint.

Once you have it mapped out, using a spade cut the grass along the marked
out lines, after you cut the lawn, buy pushing the spade into the ground
both sides of the line at about a spade width apart, you can easily lift

the
lawn strip out of the way, you may need to use the spade to help leaver

the
grass up . Make sure you place it opposite of where it came out of so it
makes it easy to put it back to where it came from.

Once you have the grass out now you can dig the trench for the pipe...

this
is best done with a trenching shovel (looks like a spade with both sides
turned up) if you have not got a trenching shovel an ordinary spade will

do.
To work out how deep to go assemble a pop-up onto it's T piece with a

riser
... and use this as a guide of the depth .. you may want to leave about

5-10
mm from the top of the pop-up to the level of the grass so when you mow

you
don't scalp the pop-up...

If you a worried about dumping the soil out onto the lawn you can put it
into a barrow and dump it in a spot for latter use to cover the sprinkling
system.

Now that you have the trench dug out now is the time to assemble the
system.. I normally start at the mains / bore end and work to the
sprinklers... don't worry about getting dirt in the pipe as this will be
flushed out latter.

So installing the solenoids, if running from the mains you will need a
plumber to cut into the line and install a tap / shut off valve (unless

you
know what you are doing ) then from the valve you run a pipe to your

master
solenoid (the first in the line to take pressure off the individual

section
solenoids). then from the master solenoid run a pipe and splitters to your
section solenoids.. this piping and solenoids should be 25mm as you don't
want to reduce the pressure available. Make sure you get the water flow
correct on the solenoids other wise they will leak and not shut of

Also on the subject of solenoids.. you will want to work out where the
controller is going to be.. normally ppl put it in their meter box, but I
like to put it in the garage / car port as it is easier to get to ... you
will have to consider where to get power from as they need a power

source..
if you are lucky and can locate it near a power point good, if not you

will
need an electrician to install a point for it..

The 12v side of it you can run as you don't need a licence to do that ..

Now continue to plumb the system together .. remembering to put glue on

all
joints.. (doohhhh don't laugh it has happened) and make sure the

sprinklers
sit up right... And press the joints together nice and tightly..

Once you have it all together, have a break and let the glue go off for an
hour or so.. I like to do this as it just helps it a bit ... better take

an
hour to make sure the glue is set than 3 trying to get the middle section
back together again...

ok Running the wires for the solenoids... this is the easy part.. you will
nee one common wire (normally black) and one wire for each of the

solenoids.
what colours you use is up to you .. and the wires are available in rolls

of
50 meters or so... Now starting with the common wire (black) take one wire
from each of the solenoids( dos not matter which one as they are not
polarity sensitive) and wire them together .. you can twist the bared ends
of the wire together ( I like to solder for a stronger joint) and then

cover
with insulating tape. what you should end up with is all the solenoids
joined together (daisy chained) by one of their wires... and the to the

roll
of black wire... Now join each of the remaining wires to one of the rolls

of
wire..

So if you have 4 solenoids (3 sections + master) you should have 5 rolls

of
wire ( common + 4 control) . The best way I have found to run the wire out
is to get an old broom stick and thread the rolls onto it .. so when you
walk back to the controller they pay out at an even rate.. now every 5
meters or so get some electrical tape and tape the wires to the pipe work
...ohh did I mention that I normally follow the path of the pipe work to

the
controller... now when following the pipe work I tent to try and tuck the
wires under the pipe for a bit of protection from a wayward spade.

So once back to the controller wire it up .. Firstly make sure the power

to
the controller is turned of.. it may be only 12V but it still can give you

a
tingle. So wire in the common first then the master .. followed by the
sections...

Now turn on the power and water supply . Before you activate a section

take
the heads off the pop-ups as this will allow you to flush the lines.. (

just
be careful under power lines and eaves) One this is done activate a

section
at a time and check for blow outs / leaks. Hopefully it all should be well
and now you should have jets of water all over the place... after about 30
seconds change to the next section and flush that one...

Once all sections are flushed turn off the system and replace the heads..
now re-activate each section at a time and check for correct operation and
any leaks (this is the point where you will see any leaks as it is now at
operating pressure and will have full pressure on the joints) If all is
well turn off the system..

Now using the dirt removed from the trenches .. go around and back fill

till
a level that you can place the grass back into the trench .. compact the
soils as you go so when you are finished you don't end up with low spots..
once you have got the soil back in ( you will have some left over but

don't
worry) carefully lift the grass back into position .. you will have to cut
out where the pop-ups are and may need to push it around some as it tends

to
stretch a little ... don't try to get it level with the existing grass as

it
will need to be about 10 mm higher as you will need to compact it down to
the right level with either a roller or by walking / stamping on it ...

If you don't do this you will end up with low spots when the soil settles
and will see where you put it all in for months / years to come.. but if

you
compact it all down you should mot see it in a few weeks when the grass

has
grown back together... Now that it is all back in ... use the left over
soil to top dress any low spots and give it a good watering in ...

Now lastly sit back and enjoy..

Ahh if I have missed anything .. or you want to know more just ask or send
me an e-mail as I am always happy to help If I can..

If you live SOR (rocky area) in Perth and feel it is all too much .. give

me
an email and I might be able to come over and give you some pointers and
help..






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