While you can buy a commercial sprinkler, making your own irrigation system is not a difficult task plus it’s pretty budget-friendly and you can customize the water stream direction and quantity.
I successfully DIY a simple sprinkler system – which costs no more than $40. If you’re wondering “how can I make an inexpensive sprinkler system?”, keep reading!
What You’ll Need
Here are the items you will need to prepare to make an inexpensive sprinkler system:
- 1 flex pipe tee
- 2 flex pipe elbows
- 1 compression swivel adapter
- 2 rain bird 1804VAN (with side stripe nozzle) sprinkler
- 1/2-inch underflow flex PVC pipe
- PVC glue or heat gun
Tools for the project:
- Ground tamper tool
- Diagonal pliers or tube cutter
- Manual lawn edger
Explanation: The reasons that I used PVC vinyl tubing are that they’re flexible, easy to arrange/rearrange, easy to use, and inexpensive with plastic couplings. You don’t need a hacksaw, but just snip it off and snap it together. They’re also easy to buy.
How To Make An Inexpensive Sprinkler System
Determine The Irrigated Area
This is an important step you need to do before starting the job!
Measuring the area that you plan to install a sprinkler system will help determine the scale of this project, which equipment is needed, and how many tools and materials to prepare.
It avoids buying too many or not enough materials, which is time- and money-saving.
You will need a 100-foot rule roller to measure the width and length of the area.
Create Sprinkler Head Layout
After getting the dimensions of the area, you should sketch it on paper, consisting of the objects available in the space – such as trees, flower beds, and fences. Don’t forget to locate the water source on this sketch.
Then, try different sprinkler system layouts to find out the best-suited one – which should be easy to install and distribute water evenly throughout the space with no under-watering or overwatering.
There’s a tendency to let the sprinkler follow the form of the shape rather than imposing a consistent geometric grid with the sprinklers.
With irregular-shaped areas, your goal is to create a grid of even spacing within the space, whether it’s a square or equilateral triangle.
Mark The Sprinkler Head Layout On The Irrigated Area
You will need multiple rolls of a string with loops tied off at different increments to match the throw of the nozzles commonly used.
Typically, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 35-foot increments will meet the majority of your needs.
Anchor the string along the longest edge, starting where the head placement is most critical. Run it in a straight line parallel to the edge until reaching the loop that is closest to the opposite end of the turf without going past the edge.
Make a 90-degree turn into the area by one loop and reverse direction to create another row parallel to the first.
Keep doing this until you have created a grid that covers the full width of the area. Place a flag next to each loop to mark the placement of the heads in your grid.
Make The Sprinkler System
The very first step is to dig a trench down to around 5 to 6 inches following the mark you made before. This trench is for placing the irrigation tubing. Use a lawn edger to make it easier to remove patches of grass to later on reposition.
As this step is quite challenging, please be careful when digging!
Connect the swing pipe elbow to the sprinkler, using PVC glue.
At this point, use a PVC cutter to cut a small piece of the tubing to joint the elbow to the T-fitting. Cut the tubing where the sprinkler will be positioned.
Then, connect the sprinkler to irrigation tubing. To make it easier, use a heat gun or PVC glue.
Leveling the sprinkle head and making sure it is able to pop up on its own. Lay the irrigation tubing in the trench, then insert a compression swivel adapter to irrigation tubing, which will allow you to connect the garden hose.
Close and level with the ground tamper tool.
The quantity of each material that I listed above are for a simple sprinkler system of two sprinkler heads for watering an around 30-square-meter garden. You should adjust it to fit your area.
I hope that this post helped you learn more about how to make an inexpensive sprinkler system. Good luck! And, thanks for reading!