Hooking up a Sprinkler System- FAQs
We sincerely hope you will find helpful information in these pages. Be sure to check our indexed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers pages first to see if your questions have already been answered. If you can't find the answer you are looking for, submit your question to
and we will consider including your question in our FAQs pages. Unfortunately, due to the volume of questions we receive, we can't answer them all personally, but we'll let you know if we decide to include your question and answer on our site.
- Should I hook up to the incoming water main or to a hose bib?
- You should hook up almost all sprinkler systems to the incoming water main to provide adequate water supply. Only very small systems for a small garden can be operated effectively from a hose bib.
- Where should I connect my system to the incoming water main?
- Hook up your sprinkler systems to the incoming water main after your meter. We suggest installing it before any pressure regulators (unless the regulator can handle the flow rates you need) and before any shut-off valves to the house. Install a new shut-off valve for the sprinkler system and a pressure regulator if needed.
- What's the easiest way to hook up to the incoming water main?
- There are certain devices designed to be inserted in a water line, installed with compression fittings, or even glued over the line. While all of these are easy to install, they may not be as reliable as the best methods described below. For more information and a drawing on how to hook up your sprinkler system, see our hookup instruction page.
- What's the safest way to hook up to the incoming water main?
- We recommend inserting a metal tee and nip ple in the incoming water line. This provides a female threaded connection to the line, allowing a high quality connection that is reliable. You can use threaded fittings or copper "sweat" fittings. If you use the "sweat" fittings you will need a propane torch, lead-free solder and flux. You may need to remove the fittings from the meter and regulator (or shut off valve) to build enough heat to melt the solder. In these cases, you will have to remove a piece of the line to make room for the new fittings. This may require adding a coupling to repair the place where the excess pipe is removed. For more information and a drawing on how to hook up your sprinkler system, see our hookup instruction page.
- What are the code issues affecting the hookup?
- Check for issues that may be specific to your area. Some common ones are:
- The backflow preventer must be installed on your property, not in the right-of-way.
- The line leading to the backflow preventer must be at some minimum depth (which varies greatly with the climate of different areas!)
- No plastic female fittings may be used before the backflow preventer.
- Certain minimum clearance measurements must be observed around the backflow preventer.
- Can I get someone to do this part for me?
- Yes, any plumber would be happy to do it for you.
back to FAQ subjects