Create your own DIY sprinkler system

chris

Administrator
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Jun 10, 2006
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Long Island, NY
#1
The key to any great lawn isn't seed or fertilizer, it's consistent watering, often in the early morning. Having recently completed some construction, my lawn was/is in pretty bad shape. I spent much of last weekend pulling out dead bushes, raking and rototilling. As a result, I've been out every morning, running around and positioning sprinklers. That got old real quick, so I started looking for an automated solution. More importantly, I needed an affordable one. I have seen DIY's on creating actual in-ground sprinkler systems, but they lost me at PVC piping. That sort of system is for someone incredibly handy or a pro. I started researching and found a 4 port timer from Orbit, which I picked up from Lowes for about $50. Sears has 50ft rubber hoses on sale for $20 and their 100 ft hoses are on sale today for $30. I picked up a combination of these that work for my yard.

Using a spade, I dug a small hole on the perimeter of my yard where the street begins. Another one runs on the edge of my property and also ends at the street. I dropped in the black Craftsman hoses and threw some dirt on top. They are about a 1/2 inch under. Once my grass grows, you'll hardly, if ever notice them. Orbit also sells what looks like sort of inground sprinkler heads, but larger. With this system, these stay in the ground, but I'm thinking a nice thick, green lawn will offset the look. I have two in position and I can set the stream and the direction. I'm getting good coverage, but will probably add one more to really get 100% coverage.

At the spigot, the Orbit has four valves. I'm only using two at the moment. You can set the timer for any sort of daily watering. When it turns on, it will do each area in succession for the prescribed amount of time you set. This is great, since water pressure remains high for each sprinkler in the system.

The sprinkler heads I'm using have awful reviews. I guess the plastic construction breaks down. They are $17 a piece. Worse case, I lose one or two during a season. Saving my receipt in that event, but still happy with them, as they work well.

I couldn't be happier with the system. Next up is my back yard and I'll probably pick up a brass fitting to replace the one that comes with the Orbit timer. Still figuring out my plan of attack. All of this stuff is available at your local Lowes, save for the hoses.

My lawn looks terrible, but with this new DIY sprinkler system, I know that it's getting the proper watering each day. I see green grass in my future.
 

RoofMonkey

Genius
Gold
Jun 21, 2010
8,891
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Florida
#2
I have done something similar before, but used regular garden hose with the Micro sprinklers / tubing. Great for watering flower, bushes etc...
Those 'multi valve' timers are the bomb aren't they?
 

craiggiarc

Contributor
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Jan 20, 2009
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#3
Perfect timing Chris, I need to do this to rescue our Oklahoma sunburnt lawn!
 

chris

Administrator
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Jun 10, 2006
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Long Island, NY
#4
I'm on my way back to Lowes today for another 4-port. They are $10 more than the 2 port. The flexibility to set up extra areas for side yards or plant beds is easily worth the $10.

I should note that the Orbit systems only give you two attachments, so there is an additional $15 per valve or whatever they are called.

My plan is to keep the hoses out over the winter, since they are somewhat buried or will be by the time summer ends. Sears offers a lifetime warranty, so if you ever have an issue with a hose, you can easily pull it out and return it.

Now if I could figure out a way to get my iPhone to work with the timer. That would be awesome.

Perfect timing Chris, I need to do this to rescue our Oklahoma sunburnt lawn!
Those 'multi valve' timers are the bomb aren't they?
They are great. Thrilled with the result. For anyone who forgets to water, this ends up being a set-it and forget it type of hook-up.
 

chris

Administrator
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Jun 10, 2006
11,813
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Long Island, NY
#7
Aw, crap. You're supposed to do all this outside the house?
Your thinking is all wrong. Spend a little time outside the house, so you don't have to go out, at all. ;)

Maybe not the timer you have now, but there IS a way
The cost of the box to hold that $600 controller costs as much as my two timers. Yep, went to Lowes this morning and now I'm locked & loaded with 8 zones.