We have layout guides to help you plan your system.
Step 1. Know your flow.
Before you can design your system you need to know the size of your water supply, volume and pressure. This is especially
critical if you are planning to irrigate large sections of grass or pasture that requires lots of water pressure and volume.
Point of Connection (POC): this is the pipe that you will tap into for your sprinkler valves. It is best to tap into your water main
before it goes into the house. Often times this either 3/4" or 1".
Flow or volume: measure the flow from the hose bib closest to your POC by timing how long it takes to fill up a 5 gallon
bucket. Example: 30 seconds to fill up a 5 gallon bucket equals 10 gallons per minute. This is the maximum flow, in most
cases, that you can use per valve in your sprinkler system.
Pressure: in general your local water utility can give you the static water pressure in you neighborhood. Most homes will have
between 40 - 50 psi. If you think your water pressure is abnormally low or high, you can buy pressure guages and fittings too
determine the static (no flowing water) and dynamic (water flowing) pressures. Older homes with galvanized pipes or long pipe
runs from street to house will have lower dynamic pressure because of the friction loss of the water traveling through the pipes.
2. Property measurements.
Measure the different areas that you want to irrigate: turf, shrub and garden areas. Be as precise as possible noting, as best
as possible, the different angles at the corners. Transfer the measurements to paper in a scale of 1/4", 1/8" to the foot or an
architects 10 or 20 scale.
Features: note on the property layout where your valves are to be located, trees, slopes and any other landscape features that
will interfere with sprinkler throw and infiltration.
3. Sprinkler head and spacing.
Turf areas less than 15' width are best designed with pop up spray heads.
Turf areas 18' and greater widths can be designed with a couple different type of single stream pop up rotors.
Turf areas in the 15' -20' area can be be designed with low volume rotary nozzles.
Head to Head coverage: after the sprinkler type is selected, heads should be spaced so that the spray or stream of one
sprinkler reaches the head of the next sprinkler. Sprinklers spaced too far apart results in dry spots. Heads placed to close
together results in over spray and excessive run off.
4. Sprinkler Zones
After you have spaced out your heads in the turf and shrub areas, you need to group them into zones.
a. Only a single type of sprinkler should be on a valve; pop up turf sprays should not be mixed with shrub heads, stream rotors
should not be with turf sprays, etc.
b. Group the sprinklers so that they do not exceed the flow of your system. If your maximum flow is 8 gpm and your selected
sprinklers put out 2 gpm, the maximum number of sprinklers per valve is 4.
c. Create sprinkler zones to match the environmental conditions if possible. Try and group sprinkler that are irrigating full sun
areas together, similar with heavily shaded areas. Sprinklers irrigating slopes should be put together.
Properly zoned sprinklers and valves helps you create an efficient irrigation schedule for turf, shrubs and drip zones.
Once you have your water connection size, flow, pressure and property measures, you can bring your information into us and
we will do a preliminary layout, material list and estimate.
Myth: To increase the water pressure, reduce the pipe size out to the sprinklers.
By reducing the pipe size you are increasing the water velocity, but the pressure does not increase.
The best analogy is turning on your water hose, full flow, and letting the water gush out. When you put your thumb over the
end of the hose, the water squirts out further and you can feel the water pressure against your thumb. You are increasing the
velocity of the water flowing through the reduced opening but you are also getting less water. All water piping systems follow
the equation: Quantity (gallons per minute) = the Area x the Velocity (where velocity is a function of presure). If you have
constant pressure at the nozzle hole, if you reduce the nozzle hole (area), you increase the friction loss (reducing pressure)
but you increase the velocity. The water travels farther, but the quantity is less.
Pipe size is reduced in irrigation systems because as you near the end of the sprinkler run, the pipe is carrying less water and
you don't need the large pipe size to avoid excessive friction loss of the water running through the pipe. Plus, smaller diameter
pipe costs less money.