In ground irrigation can make a real difference for your lawn and garden, saving you time in water, and time and energy in failed crops due to your not watering. But installing PVC doesn’t always come without headaches, and for those that have never done it, it can be intimidating. It can also be expensive to hire someone to do. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are thinking of installing PVC in your lawn or garden for irrigation.
- Spray paint, or otherwise mark out where you are going to lay your PVC so that you do not dig or trench off track, just to have to turn around do it again.
- Get a PVC cutter and don’t waste time and energy trying to saw through the pipes.
- You want to pipes to lay straight so that you can find them in case a repair is needed, but don’t stress out if they aren’t 100% straight. As long as they are close it’s good enough.
- Avoid 90 degree angles. If you have to make a 90 degree turn, use two 45 degree angels separated by 8 inches or so instead.
- Remove all rocks from the ground prior to laying the pipe in. Rocks in the ground, especially where vehicles or even foot traffic is heavy, could lead to damage of the pipe over time.
- Always use that horrible smelling purple primer before gluing.
- Make sure to firmly compact the ground beneath any sprinklers or other fixtures. If the ground is soft beneath them, the pipe will be under stress every time weight is applied near them, like when a mower drives around them.
- Always flush out the lines prior to installing any fixtures since dirt is sure to make its way in while you are putting the pipe together.
- When installing larger systems never do the calculations in your head, online resources are available to help you figure out what diameter of pipe you need for the desired water flow over the distance you are working with.
- When doing repairs, always excavate twice as much as you think you need to. This will help because the pipe will be more flexible if a longer piece is free from the ground, this is helpful when attempting to put two pieces back together.
No amount of planning will ever make PVC installation easy, but a little foresight and keeping these tips in mind can make a big difference.