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DIY Inground Irrigation Design and Layout

12654 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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Ok I'm gonna list a materials list:

1" Pipe for main lines and laterals:

1/2" pipe to go to sprinklers:

Connections to heads:
(Obviously I will buy some 3/4" where needed as well)

From the laterals to the heads:

Now I'm either going to run 2 Melnor 4 valve spigot timers or go full blown valves and controller.

For the spigot timers I'll need:

Basically I need to run 3/4" poly off the hose thread then convert it to 1" either for the poly runs if doing timers, or 1" poly to run it into the manifold.

Now if I go full blown I'll need to manifolds and I'm thinking the following:

I'll need one of these to connect the 2 manifolds with 1" poly pipe:

And lastly I'll need 1 of these bad boys:

As I think of things l'll add them, and as always please offer thoughts/suggestions on what I could change or am missing!
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Movingshrub said:
I sketched out my yard and sent it to rainbird and let them come up with a plan, at no cost.
That's going to be my last resort, not that I'm against it, just kinda want to do this DIY from the start. I want to lay it out so I know why I put what where and with what regulated heads.

The system will be built with Hunter heads, more than likely MP Rotators and PGP Rotors if I decide to incorporate some!
J_nick said:
Graph paper, accurate measurements of your yard and a compass will be your best friend.
I know, lol! Just need to draw one out and make many copies so as I screw up I have more to screw up over and over again, just like the cleanliness of doing one on the computer!
Ware said:
I used AutoCAD for mine, but realize that's not an option for everyone. There are some free alternatives out there, but there might be a learning curve.
I do have a question for you, on your plan your backyard by the sidewalk where you have the strip heads, how wide is that?
Ware said:
Eric said:
Ware said:
I used AutoCAD for mine, but realize that's not an option for everyone. There are some free alternatives out there, but there might be a learning curve.
I do have a question for you, on your plan your backyard by the sidewalk where you have the strip heads, how wide is that?
I'm confused - the sidewalk in my back yard does not have side strip heads. That is drip irrigation for shrubs.

The side strip outside my fence - between the fence and the future sidewalk is 5ft and 8ft. I used a single row of MP Rotator side strip heads on the 5ft wide section, and opposing rows on the 8ft. The MP Rotator side strip specs are 5x15 and 5x30.
Sorry for the confusion the area by future sidewalk was what I was referencing. Thanks!
I started making a materials list up above if you all can check it and see if I'm on the right path!
J_nick said:
I vote for in ground valves over the spigot timers. Have you checked your GPM?
Yes it's 7.5 GPM at 70 psi, I was going to create the zones at a max of 6.5 to error in the side of caution.
g-man said:
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.
Changed the pipe to swing pipe from Menards, I wasn't a fan of the hose connection I had picked out, still researching the connection from the bib to the manifold.

Found what I believe will work for the hose connection as well, changed above as well
So long story short, my 4 zone Melnor timer is broke after one year and I was hoping to buy another, but don't want to buy 2! I'm not ready to put my cheap system in yet, but I'm thinking of buying the Gen2 Rachio now if I can figure out how to make the following work! This is where I need help! Lol

These are on super clearance at Menards, problem is they are 1" MNPT. What I want to do is figure out how to run a hose to a 4-way splitter then piece small sections of hose from the splitter to each valve and connect my garden hoses on the exit! I'm hoping someone knows more than me and can help me find the right connection!

I know it's pretty *******, but it's temporary until o truly want to put in a system!
Yeah reducing the 1" to 3/4" is this issue! I think I've figured it out!

-Build a manifold out of 3/4" PVC and fittings
-Buy 8 of these
-Buy 5 of these

I think this would work, for roughly $200-210 I would have a full functioning manifold ran by rachio pushing garden hose above ground sprinklers

I would bury the system in this box!
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g-man said:

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.
Gonna hit Menards tomorrow and see what I can find! This is temporary until I decide to go all in, just don't feel like spending more on a faucet timer if they aren't going to last!

Don't necessarily need a rachio either, I'll see what Menards has and then decide, just figured it'd be beneficial down the road!
So if I were to just build a manifold with 4 valves and sit it on the ground instead of bury it for now, would rain/elements mess with the wires/valves or would it be ok for 3 months this fall?
Rachio should be here today! Hope to install it tonight! Moving forward I will post info in the thread I started last fall and forgot about, as over the next year I foresee this turning into a full blown system, and hope to be able to help others along the way!
So forgot I started this thread so I'm going to use it from here on out! Step one started today!

What you see is a Menards bargain manifold ran by a Rachio Gen 2! My Melnor timer took a crap and I decided it's time to go all in. Whether any heads get added/buried this year I don't know, I'm still researching it all out! All my thoughts and questions will be posted here!

My first new question is 3/4" PVC and Polypipe big enough to run zones pushing 6-7 GPM or should it be 1"?
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@g-man By the way thanks for recommending the Rachio! It's a pretty sweet/simple unit!
b0nk3rs said:
That little patch hose from the bibb to the pvc looks like a potential choke point, just a thought.
Yep it's a spare washing machine hose, buying parts to build a proper one tonight! Noticed flow was restricted last night, but I was like a kid at Christmas had to test to make sure it all worked!
g-man said:
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?
I actually had that thought last night, if I tap into the 3/4" copper past the meter and run a new line strictly for this spigot! I just noticed a drop in pressure from garden hoses to the manifold setup, I'm pulling 7.5 GPM out of the spigot right now, that hose has a small ID which might be restricting some. I think I have decided moving forward everything will be either 1" PVC or Poly, talking probably couple hundred different in price when all said and done, but probably worth it
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