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The Intricacies of an Underground Sprinkler System

An underground sprinkler system is often the best and most cost-effective way to keep your garden or your lawn watered, but many people are intimidated by the thought of putting one in, so they spend thousands of dollars to hire a company to do the work for them.

The truth is that it is much easier to set up an above ground sprinkler system than you think. And the the underground system is not as expensive, nor as difficult to set up, as you would believe. The other good news is that you also don't need a lot of equipment to install the system.

The Main Parts

There are a few things that are absolutely necessary when setting up your own system. The first is a source of water. If you are sending water to your garden or yard, you may want to ensure you can still access your spigot when required. This is where it is a good idea to use a splitter.

If you have a larger garden, you may want to add another spigot near the garden areas, this way you can fill up a watering can and you don't need to disconnect your sprinkler system.

Next you need to have a way to get the water from the spigot to the sprinkler head. Some people choose to use metal pipes because they tend are both solid and a bit more durable. The problem with metal pipes, however, is that they are not very flexible, and they take a lot of planning to install correctly. Many homeowners use flexible PVC pipe for their irrigation needs. It is inexpensive, lasts for a long time, and can bend or twist to meet your needs.

The third necessity is a sprinkler head. There are a number of different kinds of sprinkler heads available for purchase. Some simulate rainfall in a circular pattern, others oscillate and offer better overall cover.

Before choosing a specific head, do a bit of research. Some sprinkler heads are better for lawns while others are better for gardens. There are also those that are meant for tall crops. With a bit of research, you can determine which head is the best one for your specific situation.

Finally, you must consider whether you want to automate the system. Weather-proof timers are a relatively inexpensive addition, and they can make the system a bit more convenient. Because you can add them directly to the spigot, though, they can be added later if necessary.


Before installing your system, do a lot of planning. Draw a picture of your lawn or your garden, and figure out which areas need water the most. Some areas of your yard are bound to collect water better naturally, so they may not need as much water as other areas.

Next, use a shovel to make a small ditch for your pipe. You may also need to purchase some flexible PVC connectors, especially if sharp turns are involved with the overall layout of the system.

With a bit of time and patience and planning, your own sprinkler system for all your lawn and gardening needs can be a reality. A system like this doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars, and it doesn’t have to be professionally installed. A little hard work will ensure you have all of the water you need.

For more information on watering your garden or yard, please read these articles:

Installing a sprinkler system

Choosing an inline sprinkler timer

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