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5 Things to Know about an Underground Sprinkler System

There is nothing better at this time of year than a lush, green lawn. However, in order to keep your grass from wilting in the summer sun, you must water it often.

If you are considering installing an underground sprinkler system, we have gathered a few tips from the experts to ensure that your installation goes smoothly:

Provide the manufacturer with the right specifications

This Old House noted that manufacturers will usually ask homeowners for certain information prior to installation of an underground sprinkler system, to ensure that the system designed matches their requirements. Requested information often includes the exact needs of your grass or garden, as well as a detailed plan of the area and landscape where the sprinklers will be installed.  According to This Old House, you'll need about 30 to 35 pounds per square inch of pressure, as well as 10 to 13 gallons per minute of water flow for a typical sprinkler system.

You can easily measure water delivery with a <5-gallon bucket="" span="">. Popular Mechanics states that the best way to measure water delivery is by placing a bucket under your outdoor tap and letting it run for one minute. Measure the water in the bucket and send this information to the manufacturer, along with a scale drawing of your property.

Dig trenches according to your water source

You will need a special tool to help you dig the trenches where the sprinkler pipes will go. However, before you break ground, it's important to know where the main water source is located. Typically, the main water supply pipe is located near your water meter. The water meter is usually located at the front of your home, near the curb or in your basement.

PVC is usually best

Plastic PVC piping is typically the best option for underground sprinkler systems in most areas of the country. Depending on the freeze and thaw cycles of the local weather, some regions might call for polyethylene pipe, a flexible alternative to PVC. If you're unsure of which piping material is best for your area, contact your local plumbing professional for advice.  

Don't forget a backflow preventer

As Popular Mechanics pointed out, it's critical that when the sprinkler system is installed, you don't forget to include a backflow preventer. Because the sprinklers will be hooked up to your home's main water source, it's critical to have a backflow preventer in place to ensure that the potable water supply isn't contaminated by the new sprinkler system.

Get help from the experts

A sprinkler system is great to have as long as it is installed properly. This Old House rated installing a sprinkler system as moderate to hard, in terms of difficulty. It would be best to have the assistance of a plumbing and sprinkler installation expert who's tackled this type of installation before.

Plumbing installations are often best left to licensed plumbing experts with years of experience.

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