We have an extensive list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). If you have questions you don't see answered below, look for the answer in our FAQ section.
Here's an index to our layout instructions:
Drawing your lot
Locating sprinkler positions
Determining station flow rates
Dividing the yard into stations
Pipe sizes, main line and valve locations
Please read the following information before you begin laying out your sprinkler system.
What's not here...
While these instructions may contain all the information some people need to design a sprinkler system, most people will need some additional help. Be sure to ask for more advice if you are unsure about a particular issue. You can obtain the most accurate (although reluctant) advice from a plumber, a licensed irrigator, a licensed irrigation installer or a certified backflow prevention tester. Hardware stores provide ready and willing advice, but the quality of advice you'll find at retail outlets may be inconsistent. Also be sure to check our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers page to see if your question has already been answered. Our FAQ page is indexed so you can find the answers fast!
Find the best resources...
You can't figure out everything you should know from scratch, so make sure you collect information from several sources before you begin your project. Landscape Irrigation: Design and Management provides a large collection of information on designing a sprinkler system, and you can become absorbed for hours learning more about this subject by reading this book.
Meet the code or else...
You should make every effort to meet all codes defined by the local building inspector's office. These codes define a minimum level of safety and quality, and the code rules exist for good reasons. Meeting local codes does not necessarily assure a high quality system, but a failure to meet code is a guarantee of poor quality and can threaten the health of you, your family and your neighbors. Any irrigation system that does not meet code isn't worth owning. You should be able to obtain a summary of related code issues from your building inspector's office before you begin designing your sprinkler system.
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There's no such thing as a free lunch...
You can have a free design prepared by any of several design services, and the design may be very satisfactory for you to use. Unfortunately, no matter how well meaning and skilled these services are, they do not have the intimate knowledge of your lot that you have. It isn't practical using a questionnaire to teach them everything they need to know about your lot. To design the best system for your lot the designer must know which areas are the driest, which have the best soil, if there are any steep slopes, your future landscaping plans, window locations, foundation height, even your personal preferences regarding the inevitable tradeoffs between efficiency, ease of installation, installed cost and long term cost! By educating yourself about the issues you have the potential to do a better design, be more satisfied with the result and save money in the long run. At a minimum, if you educate yourself, you will learn how to understand their design and make improvements. After all, you have to live with this system after it is installed, and you shouldn't be too quick to turn over total responsibility for it's design to someone who's never seen your yard up close!
When you're done...
When you have finished reading the design instructions you should be able to intelligently choose whether to use rotors or spray sprinklers, and whether square or triangular spacing is best for your situation. Anyone can make this choice, but only informed people can make the choice wisely! You will learn how to divide the sprinklers into stations, how to reduce pressure drop by smart layout methods, and how to best design for future expansion or modification of the system if desired. We have a couple of examples of layouts used by some of our customers. The first example system uses a combination of rotors and spray sprinklers. The second example system uses exclusively spray sprinklers.
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