Polyurethane is a malleable material commonly used in ground watering sprinkler systems and other fittings that use simple pressure. Poly pipes are more flexible than PVC pipes and can curve around unmovable objects. Not to mention, they can be installed in a short period of time. This explains why polyurethane is suitable for colder climates with extended freeze cycles. As with any other home project, good planning will save you money in the long-run. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a poly pipe:
Make a plan
Use a tape measure to calculate the size of the yard. Additionally, plot the locations on paper and mark the yard where the sprinklers will go. Most yards have a variety of elements like scrubs, flower beds, sidewalks, slopes, trees and more. Because of these features, you can create more than one watering zone.
Secondly, determine the sprinkler’s coverage and then measure the water pressure. You need to draw where the manifold will be located- preferably near a water supply line. Planning for the correct components is the key to success. It’s much easier to explore the alternatives on paper before the actual installation. Don’t fret, most manufacturers will provide planning and installation guides to simplify the job.
Pick the best irrigation system
Now that the layout is on paper, it’s time you determine the best way to pull it together. Before you make the decision, you should learn the basic elements of an irrigation system. Obviously, a Polystorm pipe is best suited for most irrigation systems. It’s flexible, lightweight, and highly durable. Plus, it has remarkable strength and is made from recycled material.
Needless to say, it has an integrated inlet and outlet. This is the pipe to work with, especially if you’re working around corners and curves. The idea is to match the components with the water pressure. Any mismatch may provide insufficient irrigation.
Access the water line
The easiest way of providing water to your ward is tapping from the main water line. This requires the installation of an antiphon valve to prevent fertilizers and lawn chemicals from entering the main water supply. To get started, you should determine the water pressure. There are two ways of doing this – measure the working and static water pressure.
- Static pressure
It’s measured when the water supply is turned off
- Working pressure
It’s determined when the water supply is turned on. This is usually done with a pressure gauge which attaches to the faucet to provide the pressure readings. You can also get the water pressure from the local municipality.
Learn about the installation materials
Before you start the installation, you may want to learn about the assembly of parts. Make sure you fully understand how to connect two pieces of pipes or extend the length of the pipe if it’s too short. Normally, the elbow coupler creates a 90-degree angle to change the direction of water while the T-coupler is used to join 3 pipes at one intersection. It’s worth mentioning that the pipes should have a smooth end – not angled. Heating one end of the pipe is also necessary if you want to connect two pipes.
Dig the trench
Dig a trench 10-12 inches deep and 4-6 inches wide while following the string as stated in step one. The trench must be big enough to allow the sprinklers to retract. While a ditch spade may be suitable when working on a narrow space, you can also use a garden spade with a square edge. When digging, make sure the sides slope at a 45-degree angle. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s minimum depth to protect the pipe from freezing. To make the filling and patching much easier, place soil on one side and said to the other side.
Next, lay the pipe in the trench. This should be dug in a zigzag pattern to give room for expansion and contraction without too much pressure on the joints. Also, hammer some wooden stakes after every 5 feet to keep the pipe in position.
Push a coupling at the end of each pipe and then place poly pipe clamps to join another poly pipe. To tighten both clamps, you should tighten the coupling securely. If you want to connect the pipe, use connectors based on the specific need.
The last step is to bury the poly pipe in place. Use the same material you removed from excavating. It’s important that you remove the soil that contains sharp rocks. The general rule of thumb is to fill the trench with 6-inches of soil before using the old material. This will extend the life of a poly pipe.
You may want to tamp the dirt with your feet to remove the air sockets. Alternatively, you can bury the poly pipe without digging the lawn using a pipe pulling machine. Make sure there’s enough space between the valves just in case you need to replace them in the future.
Install the valve manifold
This is a group of valves that allow the user to run one zone at a time to maximize the water pressure. The hole should be larger than the valve manifold. Attach it at one side of the valve and secure it in place.
Install the sprinkler heads
Use the appropriate sprinkler heads based on the irrigation needs of your lawn. However, before you attach them, flash the water through the system to remove any dirt or debris. It may be a daunting task to locate the blockage once the pipe is in place. This is also a good way of checking the leaks. The sprinkler heads should be slightly above the topsoil.
Place a programmed clock/ Install the controller
To make the tedious task of irrigating your lawn a breeze, a programmed clock is wired to all the valves and then activated at appropriate preset times. Each valve will open to allow the water into its corresponding zone. Make sure all the wires are connected according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The water will prompt the sprinkler heads to spray at designated areas. Write some notes which station runs to what zone. Finally, fine-tune the heads to ensure even coverage.
Poly pipe installation is a straightforward process. With the right tools and materials, you can do it without additional help. Unlike the traditional pipes, polyurethane pipes come with a kit. It includes the poly tubing, threaded fittings, and water valves. Of course, installing a poly pipe is a DIY project that can save you lots of money in the long-run. If you follow the above process, watering your lawn can be as simple as flipping a switch.