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How to install a simple irrigation system

srobinson
New Contributor

How to install a simple irrigation system

I was tired of having to water my garden beds by hand (or of my plants dying because I'd forgotten), so I decided to install a sprinkler system in my front garden to save the hassle.  I’ve installed some irrigation systems before, but this was an easy project and perfect for a beginner with no prior knowledge.

 

Step 1

 

Measure your garden and make a rough sketch of the area of the garden that you’re designing your sprinkler system for.  Keeping your sketch to a scale makes it the next step easier and make sure you include the location of your tap. *My tap is the other side of my deck, but I'd run a couple of lengths of poly tube to this side of my garden before the deck was put in.

 

How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_measure.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_sketch.jpg

 

Step 2

 

Roughly plan out where you’re planning on laying your pipe and where your sprinklers will be placed.  I put my sprinkler system in a narrow garden bed, so I ran my pipe down one side of my garden bed and used a combination of quarter circle (90 degree) and half circle (180 degree) sprinkler heads - marked in pink on my sketch.  The sprinkler heads I used (Pope Micro jets) cover a 1.5 metre radius, so I placed them about 1.5 metres apart to get even coverage.  The radius and coverage details of sprinkler heads range by type, but the details are usually located on the back of the product packaging.  

 

How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_marked_up_sketch.jpg

 

Step 3

 

I'm only putting in a small watering system, so will be using 13mm poly tube and fittings for this project.  This isn’t an essential step, but poly tube tends to keep its coiled shape once it is unrolled, which can make it a bit harder to work with.  This is easily fixed by unrolling the length you need, placing something heavy (ie a brick) on each end and leaving it in the sun for 15-20 minutes - just to soften up a little bit.  

 

How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_poly_unrolled.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_poly_straight.jpg

 

Step 4

 

To install your poly tube, dig a 15-20 cm deep trench, where you plan to run your line, and lay your poly tube in trench.  Weed mat pins are a handy way to keep your poly tube in place.

 

 How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_trench.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_Weedmat_pin.jpg

 

Step 5

 

Now putting it all together.  You can cut your poly tube to size using scissors or a sharp knife.  Connecting poly tube is easy – slide a 13mm ratchet clamp over the end of the pipe and then push the barb of the 13mm connection fitting into the poly pipe. 

 

How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_Connect1.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_Connect2.jpg

 

Step 6

 

The connector is held in place by a single 13mm ratchet clamp, which you can now slide back over the connection fitting and close, making sure the clamp is closed at the end of the pipe (and after the barb of the connection fitting).  The clamps prevent your fittings from blowing off under pressure, so make sure they're put on tightly.

 

  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_Connect3.jpg

 

Step 7

 

Connect your watering system to the tap using the tap adaptor, followed by the inline filter and an elbow at the bottom of the connection  (to prevent your poly tube from kinking).  Your connection from the tap should look something like this?

 

How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_Tap1.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_Tap2.jpg

 

Step 8

 

To install the sprinklers, firstly screw the micro sprays screw directly into the top of your rigid risers. You can do this by hand, but a Pope Punch Spanner (https://www.bunnings.com.au/pope-punch-spanner_p3121358?region_id=116177&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_viWBhD8ARIsA...) makes it a bit easier and can be used to put holes in your poly tube, for your riser stakes, as well. Next, pierce a hole in the top of the poly pipe (where you’d like to install your sprinkler) and screw the riser directly into your poly tube.  Repeat this for all of your sprinklers, remembering to make sure you’ve got good coverage between your sprinklers.

 

How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_sprinkler1.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_sprinkler2.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_sprinkler3.jpg

 

Step 9

 

Sometimes your watering system will form a loop (and will not require an end cap), but if it does, place an end cap at the end of the line.  If you don’t have an end cap, simply fold the poly tube over at the end two times and tape it in place.

 

How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_end1.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_end2.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_end3.jpg

 

Step 10

 

Next, turn on your tap and check your water system for leaks and coverage and, once you’re happy, cover over your pipe with dirt and you’re done!

 

How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_finished1.jpg  How_to_design_an_irrigation_system_finished2.jpg

 

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to install a simple irrigation system

Hello @srobinson

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's sensational to have you join us, and thank you for sharing your irrigation project with us.

 

Thank you for sharing those step-by-step photos of your project. I totally agree that you should plan your irrigation system out before you purchase anything. Knowing the angle and distance of the spray is vital in planning out your irrigation system. It prevents you from putting in too many sprayers and gives you an idea of how much pipe you'll need to layout for your system. 

 

Again, thank you so much for sharing your fantastic irrigation system.

 

Eric

 

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How to install a simple irrigation system

What a fantastic and comprehensive first post @srobinson. It's terrific to have you join the Bunnings Workshop community and jump in and share your knowledge and experience. We are looking forward to reading more about all your projects and plans around the house and garden. 

 

Thanks for sharing this guide, I'm sure our members will find it very useful as they prepare for the warmer weather on the way.

 

Jason

 

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KatieC
Member Engagement
Member Engagement

Re: How to install a simple irrigation system

Hi @srobinson,

 

This is such a fabulous guide to a simple irrigation system! I am a novice at this and my husband and I are looking to put in rainwater tanks at our new home, is it possible to connect this system to the tank? I assume we would need a pump for it?

 

Katie

 

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Re: How to install a simple irrigation system

Hey @KatieC 

 

Thanks for that!  I've never done it myself, but it can be done, as long as you used a pump (as these types of systems won't usually work off a gravity fed water supply).  Good Luck!

Robbo

KatieC
Member Engagement
Member Engagement

Re: How to install a simple irrigation system

Thanks @srobinson (Robbo), will let you know how we go!

 

Katie

 

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