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DIY Inground Irrigation Design and Layout

12655 Views 64 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  hsvtoolfool
I'm going to use this thread to discuss my thoughts and questions as I work through designing an irrigation system. I'm going to take to look at 2 different connection options, pros and cons of each, and from there the layout should be the same. I'm just learning all of this so I hope it can help others down the road as they attempt the same thing!

My first question is, does anyone know of any free online designing software to help create nice size able drawing to help Layout the system and make it easy for others to read?
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I'm with J_nick, paper is best to brainstorm and get the an initial layout. I recommend getting a large cardboard or large paper to do the yard to scale. Then make card board circles, 180, 90 at the different nominal throw distance from the heads (ie mp2000 is 18ft). This way you could move them around and see how to fit them and get head to head coverage.

Once you get your general idea, I would then go to AutoCAD to get all the details, laterals mains paths and valves. Once you've done a few of layouts, then you could just do it in your head and write it in a napkin.

Post what you come up with and we could give you opinions. I think there are enough of us that have design our own to point you in the right direction.

In regards to the side strips, the way ware setup the 5ft section is not ideal, but it works. The ideal would be to have some opposing ones. I would definitely keep these in a separate zone to adjust the duration to the precipitation rate.
You don't want to use that 1/2 distribution tubing. That's for drop irrigation and low pressures (70psi max) and more rigid. You want to use swing pipe instead (tough rubber hose).

Remember for the spigots that something has to turn to get the threads to connect. The fitting you have is fixed unless you get the poly to fitting connection loose to turn on it. You will like the rachio more since it is easier to deal with long term (ie adjusting the schedule).

Measure your psi/gpm at 6am when everyone (houses, HOA common areas, etc) is watering their lawns. During the peak of drought, my psi/gpm drops to the point that I'm avoiding that time.

You need to check the valve minimum gpm. Some will not work if your gpm are low.

At Menards near the PEX fittings you should be able to find an adapter from the 1in to Garden hose thread (GHT). A PVC union and a couple of T and you could build your manifold. Before buying the box, make sure you can fit all the valves in there. There needs to be some room between valves for repairs/ access.
The rachio is nice since you could trigger zones from the phone. It is also something that you could use in the future.

I like your plan. Also at Menards they sell polypipe and fittings. That's all you will need to bury the pipes / heads after you get the valves.
They are built like a tank and could take the elements. The wire connections should be waterproof.

Long term sun UV could weather the plastics, but not in 3 months.
3/4 is fine in my experience at 5-6gpm. 1in is better. I would recommend your run from the valve to your first head at 1in, after that then 3/4. Normally that's the longest path with all the flow so it is higher pressure loss.

The first step is to figure out how many gpm your house could provide. That means looking at the main water line. What is the diameter and material (copper, PEX) .
I think the hose is the lease of flow issues. The spigot is likely feed by a 1/2 pipe, so you will be limited in your gpm. Is this in a basement that you could change the spigot to a larger infeed line?
With 3/4 poly/PVC you should be able to safely do 11gpm if the pressure is good. The added valves do cause some minor pressure drop. I would do the bucket test using a hose after your manifold/valve setup to see what is your gpm. Source:

If you tap to add another spigot and decide to use PEX instead of copper, then use 1in PEX. PEX is easier to deal with, but it is more restrictive.
If you want to go PEX, then get a PEX spigot. That way to avoid all of the changes. I think they sell 1in PEX spigots.

I would add a ball valve after the T. It helps if thing go wrong and the wife wants water in the rest of the house.

They sell shorter length of PEX at Menards and different colors. No need to buy 50ft. Remember to follow the PEX curves.

Do you have PEX tools?
In the Midwest they are also super busy with installations. The demand is higher than the offer. I saw a commercial company doing an install 04Jul in a brutal sunny hot day. You might get their attention in January for bids and design. They are trying to maximize the amount of warm days to work before the ground freezes or rains makes it impossible to work.

I did my own install just because I could not wait.
Eric, I agree with @unclebucks06. The front left side needs one more head right at the arc of the 180 by the street. I would use a 270 instead of a 360 to avoid watering the house. I also dont like watering the sidewalks, but i get why you went that way. It is not hard to go underneath the sidewalk with a pvc pipe, but it adds more heads.

The right side needs more heads. My driveway is a similar layout. I have a corner MP in the corner of the 3rd car driveway. There should be 2 heads along the straight section of the 3rd car garage too. The heads are placed at the soil level and you wont hit them with the snow plow unless you are digging dirt up.
@gm560 look at this thread.
You need a garden hose thread (GHT) adapter. Eric used a plastic one, but they also have metal.

@Eric could I merge these two threads?

edit: I merged the threads so it is all in one place.
I haven't seen Eric around in a while.

Used a 1 or 1.25in pipe and cut it with a 45degree angle. On the other side I did a couple of thru holes. Dig a section next to the sidewalk to lay the pipe. Insert the pipe with the cut end, use the holes to turn it with a screwdriver then pull the pipe out. Clear the soil inside the pipe and repeat. Eventually you will get to the other side. I left my pipe in there and ran the poly one thru it. If I ever need to replace the poly, the PVC one is there for a quicker change.
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