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Step by step irrigation installation 5


Begin your system layout next to the house where you will be making your water supply connection. Bore through the rim joist and run the copper pipe and cable wire through the hole to the ground. The copper pipe will need to be converted to PVC at ground level using a threaded connector. You are now ready to run your main feed line to each of the zone valve locations. It is best to assemble the valves on top of the ground and then connect them to the pipe. After installing a plastic inline drain on the downstream side of the valve, it’s time to wire each valve. The white common wire that will run to every valve in your system needs to be connected to of the valve’s lead wires. The other lead wire connects to a color-coded wire, using a different color for each zone. After all of the zone valves have been installed and wired, you can put in the valve boxes and backfill the area.

Identify the lowest point on the main feed line and install a drain fitting at that point. Thread a brass drain fitting onto a PVC tee and secure it downward at a 45 degree angle. Scoop out a small area under the fitting and fill it with a sand and gravel mixture.

The method for installing valves and fittings on the main feed line and branching lines will depend on whether you are using PVC or polyethylene pipe.

Attach the main sprinkler line to the service line. Run it along the bottom of the trench from the house to the first set of valves, and if required, to the second set. Place the valve wires under the pipe in the bottom of the trench whenever possible.


With PVC pipe, you will need to clean any burrs from the pipe after making a cut, and then prime and glue using the correct PVC specific product. Give fittings a slight twist as they go on. Tee fittings are used to splice into a continuous run of pipe.

  1. Cut pipe with a PVC pipe cutter
  2. Brush on a primer to clean the pipe surface and the inside of the fitting
  3. Brush glue on the outside end of the pipe and lightly inside the fitting
  4. Slip the pipe into the fitting and give it a quarter turn
  5. Hold in place for about 15 seconds so the glue can set
  6. Wipe off excess glue with a rag

NOTE: Wait at least one hour before running water through the system. Check with glue manufacturer's recommendation.


With polyethylene pipe, use self-tapping saddle valves on a continuous runs. As you press the collar around the pipe, you will be able to feel it click into place. We recommend using Blazing Saddle Tees. Barb fittings can be used elsewhere. Although hose clamps can be used to secure the barbs, inexpensive stainless steel crimp rings work much better. Scissor-type cutters will leave a clean edge and once the rings are slid onto each hose, just insert the barb fittings and crimp them tight.

  1. Cut pipe with a PVC pipe cutter
  2. Slip a stainless-steel clamp over the end of the pipe
  3. Insert the barbed fitting into the end of the poly pipe, past the barbs
  4. Slide the clamp over the barbs of the fitting
  5. Tighten the clamp

A group of valves running off the same supply line is called a manifold. We recommend grouping your valves into manifolds based on their use or location. For example, one control valve manifold to operate front yard zones and one to operate backyard and/or side yard zones. Use flags to mark the location of the valves, as indicated on

Anti-siphon valves are backflow prevention valves designed to protect your water supply from ontamination. Some sort of backflow prevention is required on every irrigation system, so you need to check the building codes in your area to find out if an anti-siphon valve will work for you. These valves are always installed above ground, so be sure to dig out an area large enough to accommodate your inlet and outlet pipes.

** To activate the flow of water, click the "blue" water button on the top left of the image.


In-line valves are installed below ground and should always be installed in a protective valve box. Dig out the area wherein‑ground valves are to be installed, and add several inches of gravel to the bottom of the hole. Place the top of the valve box so that it is even with the surface of the ground.

When you buy a valve box, be sure to find out how many valves fit in each box so you know how many to buy. In some cases, you will need more than one valve box per manifold.

** To activate the flow of water, click the "blue" water button on the top right of the image.

Size of Inlet
Under 10 GPM
Above 10 GPM
Note: If one of the valves will be used for drip irrigation, leave enough room between the valve and the sides of the valve box for the filter and pressure regulator that are part of your drip system. It may be a good idea to install those parts on the valve, then, install the valve in the valve box.

Tip: When putting together your valve manifolds, always include one or two extra connections in each manifold. This makes it easier to expand your system at a later date.

Tip: Look for valves with the flow control feature. It saves water



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