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Wednesday, October 3rd 2012, 1:28am

Garden Sprinkler Design Questions

Good Day
I am currently doing a DIY installation of a sprinkler system in my front garden. I am really excited about doing this myself as you get a sense of achievement. I have drawn up a layout of my garden and designed how I think the sprinklers and pipes should go. I live in South Africa by the way. I just have some questions though that I hope people can help me out with
  1. My budget is limited so I havent gone for the pop up sprinklers nor have I connected the system to my water mains directly, instead it is a clip on connection to my tap in the garden. I have been told that I loose a lot of pressure this way., is this correct?
  2. I am unsure as to how to determine my water pressure, I dont have access to a water gauge. I have been told to fill a 5 litre bucket and see how long this takes and then there is some formula from this to determine the water pressure? I have read that as long as you are between 3 and 8 bar then you are fine for pressure
  3. The main pipe that I have chosen is 20mm. This is not the thickest or thinnest pipe. I was considering thinner to create more water pressure?
  4. I am trying to decide whether to divide my garden into zones and get one of those zone switching devices to put on the tap. The reason I am considering the multiple zones is that my garden is quite big. The initial pipe that I have bought is 50m long and this is just long enough to make it from the tap around all the flower beds. I am worried the more sprinklers I add to this 50m pipe the less pressure I will get and thus the sprinkler spray distance will reduce. I am unsure how to test whether the 50m pipe with between 25-35 sprinklers will create enough pressure to give the sprinklers maximum spray distance. The only way I can think to test this is to install all the sprinklers and see but if there is a problem then I have wasted the pipe. The multiple phases will mean having to dig trenches along the garden to lay additional pipe but will mean less pipe distance (20m on each as opposed to 50m) with less sprinklers on each pipe too
  5. I am also trying to decide how many sprinklers to add. I know in an ideal situation that I need to achive head-head coverage but I am worried the more sprinklers I add to achive this the less pressure I will have for the entire system. I have bought a number of 180 degree sprinkler heads which point from the perimeter wall back into the flower beds. At the points where the flower beds are quite big I have bought some 360 degree sprinkler heads. I also have my T-connectors for these larger flower beds so I can run an off shoot of the 20mm pipe to these sections
  6. I am also trying to decide whether or not to bury the pipe under the ground. Obviously this will look better and the pipe wont be exposed to the elements but I am worried about our Garden Maintenance Services who might puncture the pipe with the garden forks when turning the soil. Also worried about the sprinklers too
Your feedback on these questions would be greatly appreciated


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,245

Location: Metro NYC


Wednesday, October 3rd 2012, 9:37am

Buy a pressure gauge.


Supreme Member

Posts: 309

Location: Northern New Jersey


Thursday, October 4th 2012, 8:14am

Go to Rainbird's and Toro's websites for DIY manuals. They will also design your layout for free.

Hunter has an excellent DIY manual.

Filling a 5 gallon container measures gpm not pressure. You need to know pressure. If you are on city water, call the city. Buy a pressure gauge, not that costly.

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