Designing and Installing an Automatic Lawn Irrigation System

August 28, 2020 | By king.97 | Filed in: Uncategorized.

Do you have a lawn or landscape at your home that you take pride in? Many people take great care in preparing and building beautiful lawns and luxurious landscapes. The funny thing is that while people will put in a lot of effort into their lawn and landscape, many either forget or trivialize the need or importance of an automatic irrigation system. While certain landscapes in particular climates may require little additional watering, it is almost impossible to maintain a lush lawn in warmer climates without an automatic lawn sprinkler system.

There are a few different factors that you need to determine when designing and planning your lawn irrigation system. One important thing that your must determine is your water source. Your water source can be a well, city water supply, water from a lake, or reclaimed water (recycled and treated waste water.) No matter what your source, the design process will pretty much be the same.

Two main factors are your available flow (gallons per minute) and your static water pressure (psi) at your water source. It is best to measure both the source’s pressure and flow as close to the output as possible. You can measure the pressure with a psi pressure gauge suitable for water use. You measure the flow by timing how long it takes to fill up a 5 gallon bucket. Then do the necessary math to determine how many gallons per minute you have to work with. Use this equation when measuring flow in gallons per minute with a 5 gallon bucket: (60/seconds)*5= gallons per minute. For example, if it takes 15 seconds to fill up the 5 gallon bucket, then you have 20 gallons per minute available. (60/15)*5=20gpm.

A good rule of thumb is not to use up more than 75% of your available flow when designing and building your zones. In our example above we have 20 gallons per minute to work with, so it is best to design all zones on your system to not exceed 15 gallons per minute (75% of 20.) Next you’ll need to refer to the pipe friction loss charts to determine what size pipe you’ll need for the system to work properly. 1″ class 160 pipe (thin-wall pipe) can carry up to 16 gallons per minute without exceeding 5 feet per second velocity. If you try to push to much more water, you would increase the velocity or speed of the water and thus cause excess friction Tuoi nho giot and pressure loss. Also you would increase water-hammer which is bad for the system.

There are two main types of sprinkler heads you’ll be using. Rotor heads pop up and rotate and throw water an average of 30 feet radius. Sprays pop up and stay stationary. They have a radius ranging from 4 feet to 15 foot radius depending on your nozzle selection. Rotors are best suited for larger lawn areas and sprays are best for smaller lawn areas and shrub/flower beds. Drip irrigation is another good choice for shrub or flower beds, but as far as the design goes that would take a whole other article to explain how to use properly. When out in the field, denote where each sprinkler head will go by putting a mark-out flag where it is to be installed. Use different colors for heads on different zones. Layout the heads where you will get head-to-head coverage. This means that the water from one sprinkler head will reach the next sprinkler head to provide overlapping, even coverage.

Scott Young

Designing and building your lawn irrigation system isn’t really as complicated as it may seem, especially with a concise step-by-step guide to show you the way. I wrote a lawn sprinkler guide called “How To Build Your Own Automatic Lawn Sprinkler System.” My guide comes complete with tools, materials, and design checklists to help you every step of the way. If you are just looking for some more information about lawn/landscape irrigation systems or troubleshooting and repair tips, then visit my blog ( I have been writing blog articles for my site for over 5 years now and have a very wide selection of information about irrigation systems for you to read.


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