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Sprinkler Layout Design With Spray Patterns

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Author: Erik Zetterberg

So have you finally have given up on hand watering and want a in-ground system? Designing a sprinkler system may be easier than you think.

In this short tutorial you will learn how to create a simple garden plan and then estimate how much conduit and sprinkler heads you will need for your project.

Plotting your garden area

First, find a some graph paper. If you don't have any you can Google "printable graph paper" and prnt the example images. Depending on the size of your yard, establish the scale by referring to each square as 2 or more feet.

Next, you will want to measure and draw your house and patio areas. Be sure to include side walks and other obstructions like trees and garden borders as well.

Locating your water source

Once you have define these areas and your garden boundary you will need to locate your water source. For this DIY project we will be using your outside spigot as the water source. Locate these on your plan with an "X".

Choosing a sprinkler head

Now we will need to decide on what kind of sprinkler head to use. In this tutorial we have selected Rotors for our project. These are a rotating gear driven heads and are a great choice for large lawn areas.

Rotor heads silently spray a water stream out to an average distance of 20 feet. They will minimize the amount of conduit required for you project.

Creating spray templates

Next, we will create a spray template. On a separate peice of graph paper draw 4 circles with a diameter (width of the circle) measuring 40 feet. Then cut each circle out with a pair of scissors. (note: see our predrawn sprinkler templates to skip this step)

Then we need to cut one of the sprays in half and another in quarters for smaller areas. Since our Rotors allow adjustable spray angles we can keep certain areas dry by simply spraying outward.

Tracing your spray patterns

Start with areas like the edge of house, patios or edge of street and use the half circles. With the spray templates simply trace around them using a pencil.

Each spray pattern should overlap at least 30% to ensure no areas in your lawn or garden will become dry. Once all half circles are drawn, fill in middle areas with full sprays and quarter spays where needed.

Defining your watering zones

Lastly, we need to draw in the conduit and create watering zones. Starting at your spigot, draw a gradual curve from one head to the next, making sure your conduit never overlaps. Be sure to avoid tight turns in your design.

For this tutorial we will use 3 heads for each zone. By connecting a series of 3 heads together you are establishing one watering zone. Repeat this process to the remaining heads on your plan.

Checking your Psi and Gpm

You will also want to check your Psi and GPM levels. A call to your water company will give you a good idea of how good your water coverage will be.

Other methods include using a pressure guage (it easily attaches to your faucet) and a gallon bucket (For example if it takes 7 seconds to fill a gallon bucket then divided 60 by 7 .. or 8.6 GPM)

In Conclusion

We hope this tutorial has given you a better understanding about DIY Sprinkler Irrigation Design and Planning. You may have discivered that planning for a sprinkler system is much easier than you had originally thought.

About the author: Erik Zetterberg is the webmaster of - a Sprinkler Site for the DIYer.

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