You’d think installing a sprinkler system, whether it’s above or below ground, would be easy, right? Wrong. These are just four of the lessons I learned from installing a sprinkler system.
Sprinkler Installation Lesson Number One: Layout
The one thing I wish had done differently when I decided to install the yard and gardening sprinkler system was to do a layout before starting. I just started digging willy nilly not thinking about where the pipes were going to go.
First Lesson Learned: Always draw a layout. I should have drew a layout before I started digging the trenches. That would have saved me a lot of back breaking digging.
Second Lesson Learned: Call the utility company before digging. I knew in the back of my mind to do this, but just spaced it off. Knowing where your water, sewer, gas, and phone lines are is key when digging.
Third Lesson Learned: Rent a Trencher. I wish I had thought about that one. Renting a trencher would have saved weeks of time on digging for the pipes.
Sprinkler Installation Lesson Number Two: All Those Parts
Now this part wasn’t so bad. You see, I worked at a farm and home store where I worked and supervised the department sprinkler system parts were sold. No, it wasn’t the huge sprinkler systems for farm crops, but the small sprinkler systems used for lawns, gardens, mist systems for the patio and small barn areas.
I did learn about what each and everything one would need to install and replace parts for an outdoor sprinkler system.
First Lesson Learned: Each part has its place in the world of sprinkler systems. There are hundreds; okay maybe not quite that many, but it sure seemed like it when stocking them; of working parts which provide a specific duty within a sprinkler system.
Second Lesson Learned: Knowing which parts I needed. Did I need tubing or pipes? Did I need a timer? Could I do this without a timer? Do I need to tie into a water line? All that and other things I learned from selling these parts helped decide which way to plumb the system.
Third Lesson Learned: Buy extra sprinkler heads. Even if you don’t plan to use it to water the lawn, buy a couple of extra sprinkler heads. You never know when you will step on one and break it, hit it with the hoe and damage it, or even with the tiller. Better safe than sorry.
Third Lesson Learned from Installing a Sprinkler System: You can’t take it with you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re renting or own your home when you install the sprinkler system, you can’t take it with you once you’ve installed it because it becomes part of the property. Upside to owning, you can include that as part of the perks of your home.
First Lesson Learned: Don’t install when renting. That’s how I learned the hard way. First, you need to get permission from the owner before installing a sprinkler system. There are laws that protects them from such things as this plus the water bill and such. Once it’s installed, especially underground, things like the sprinkler system stays with the property because of the installation and considered part of the property. Check with your local real estate laws though.
Second Lesson Learned: Think outside the norm. The second time around, I didn’t go through all the trouble as the first installation. Why? For all the reasons I already mentioned. It just wasn’t worth it to go through the hard work of a second sprinkler system like that.
Fourth Lesson Learned from Installing a Sprinkler System: Cost
Yes, it is a costly endeavor. However, not as costly as having a professional doing it for you because you have to figure in cost of labor along with the parts. That’s one thing you need to consider before and during installing a sprinkler system.
First Lesson Learned: Scale back. It’s not a bad thing to scale back when you realize, even doing-it-yourself, the job is becoming to big and costly for a garden. You don’t need all the bells and whistles for your garden.
Second Lesson Learned: Will this work better than that?
When it came to hooking up the sprinkler system to the water line, I wondered would a double hose connector to the outside faucet work better than just hooking straight to the nozzle. Yes it did because that allowed me to be able to use the second hookup for things like washing my car. That’s one thing everyone should remember. What else do you use your outdoor faucet for?