the installed Hunter Pop Up watering system

Last autumn we decided that it was time to install an underground watering system for the lawn, a pop-up watering system. We wanted to simplify our life because watering the lawn became very time-consuming. Because of the drought and the clay soil, the lawn needed to be watered frequently, in the late hours, so we could enjoy our yard.

We still have no automatic watering system. We still turn on and off the water but in the future, we plan to make it automated. And then, we will no longer have any reason to worry that the lawn may dry out when we are away from home for a longer time.

For this system, we chose Hunter Pop-Up Sprinklers. We found all we needed on the internet:

  • Hunter Pop-Up Sprinklers
  • Sprinklers Nozzles
  • 20 mm diameter pipes
  • connectors (T connectors, 90 degrees connectors) for pipes and sprinklers

We started to build the watering system on a beautiful afternoon. Until we cut out the lawn it was already getting dark. Because of that, a lot of photos were taken in the dark.

Planning an underground watering system

We drew the shape of our yard and the position of the water source. We played a little bit with our new drawing tablet. We could have drawn on a piece of paper, but it was more satisfying to do it using the tablet, as, that way, it was also easy for us to modify the plan.

Setting the number of sprinklers

When setting the number of sprinklers we looked for the shortest route needed for the pipes, so that we wouldn’t have to dig too much. For that area we needed 3 pop-up sprinklers:

  • two sprinklers with an angle that could be adjusted from 0 to 360 degrees angle (full circle watering sprinklers), with a 5,2 m spray radius, for most of the grass-covered area
  • and one with a sprinkler nozzle for rectangular lawn
planning the number of Hunter Pop Up sprinklers with the graphic tablet
Planning the number of Hunter Pop Up sprinklers

We also calculated the lengths of the pieces of pipe needed for the entire watering system:

  • 60 cm of pipe from the water source to the first 90 degrees connector (the first sprinkler was installed in the middle of this pipe)
  • 500 cm from the 90 degrees connector to the second sprinkler
  • 100 cm from the second sprinkler to the third one
I planned the necessary pipes using the graphic tablet XP Pen Artist Pro
Planning the watering pipes

Planning the materials needed for the entire watering system

We used this App – PlanCraft to plan the entire project. So, we were sure that we won’t forget to buy any of the needed accessories. We bought them from a local store:

  • 3 pop-up sprinklers Hunter Pro Spray-04, inner thread, without nozzles (10 cm riser)
  • 10 m of 20 mm diameter tubing
  • 2 pieces of T-connectors, external thread, 20 mm diameter x 1/2″
  • 4 pieces of 90-degree connectors, 20 mm diameter
  • 1 piece of a 90-degree connector, external thread, 20 mm diameter x 1/2″
  • 2 sprinkle nozzles full circle (360 degrees), spray nozzle radius 5,2 m
  • one sprinkle nozzle, 1,5 x 4,5 m, right corner

Using the app shopping list, we bought all the supplies needed for our watering system.

I planned the Hunter pop Up watering system using PlanCraft - the DIY and contractor project manager app
Planning the supplies with PlanCraft

Installing the underground watering system for lawn

After we bought all the materials, we started to install the lawn watering system.

We started by digging narrow ditches to establish the routes of the pipes. We were not happy to cut strips of grass, but on the other way, we were sure that the lawn, with properly watering, would recover quickly.

Setting the routes for the pipes and removing the lawn strips

We first cut with a serrated knife, two lines to set the edges of the ditch. The distance between the two lines was about 20 cm, to be able to dig the ditch easily. The lawn strips were cut with a thickness of 4 – 5 cm. We wanted to be sure that the roots wouldn’t dry until we would put back the lawn.

before digging the ditch, I cut the lawn with a knife
Cutting the lawn with a knife

Using a hoe we slowly lifted the lawn strips. We tried not to damage the roots too much.

I removed each lawn layer, cutting them with a knife and being careful not to damage the roots
Removing the lawn layers by cutting them with the knife

We cut the strips at a length of 40 – 50 cm, to be able to handle them easily.

we cut grass layers before digging the ditch for the Hunter watering system
Cutting the grass layers

Digging the ditches for installing the pipes

Because in our area the soil is clayey, digging a ditch is a tough operation. That was why we had to use a rotary hammer to break pieces of soil so we could remove them easily.

in order to dig quickly the ditch for the irrigation system, I used a hammer drill
Using a rotary hammer to dig the ditch quickly

We removed the soil with the hoe. In the end, we dug a ditch about 25 cm deep, enough to bury the telescopic sprinkles.

I removed the soil with a hoe, I put it somewhere to easy pick up after i will finish installing the Hunter irrigation system
Removing the soil with a hoe

Installing the telescopic sprinkler Hunter Pro Spray-04

Because it was getting late and it was difficult to take photos and record, we used our workshop to show you how we installed the telescopic sprinklers Hunter Pro Spray-04 on a T-connector. In the following photo, you can see all the used accessories: a T-connector, a piece of pipe, a sprinkler nozzle, a sprinkler and Teflon tape.

the elements I used for the pop up watering system
The T connecter, the Pop-Up sprinkler, the Teflon tape and the sprinkler nozzle

We wrapped the Teflon tape on the thread of the T-connector. We used the tape to be sure there won’t be any water leaks at the joint between the T-connecter and the sprinkler. Being an underground watering system, this type of joint should be very well sealed. After covering the pipes with soil any leaks would be very hard to spot and fix.

in order to make the sprinklers leak-proof, I used teflon tape
Using Teflon tape to make the sprinklers leak-proof

After this step, we threaded the sprinkler taking care to tighten it well enough.

in order to make the Hunter Pop Up sprinkles leak proof, I used teflon tape
Using Teflon tape to make the Hunter Pop Up sprinkles leak-proof
I installed all the Hunter Pop Up sprinklers for our watering system
Installing the Hunter Pop Up sprinkler

Then, we installed the sprinkler nozzle.

I installed an adjustable pop up spray nozzle from 0 to 360 degrees
Installing the sprinkler nozzle
I installed the Pop Up nozzle
Installing the Hunter Adjustable Spray Nozzle

Installing the 20 mm diameter pipes

The pipes were installed directly into the ditches. It was a little harder because each gasket had to be very well positioned to avoid leaking water. Also, taking into account that we made all the joints into the ditches, we had to be very careful to avoid soil to enter the pipes.

this is how the pipe is connected with the T connecter
Connecting the pipe to the T connecter

After we put in the gasket, we put the cap and tightened it very well.

here is how I connected the PEHD pipe to the T connector
Connecting the PEHD 20 mm pipe to the T connecter

As I said, making the connections between the compression elbows and the pipes were more difficult to be done, due to the narrow ditch (especially at the corner). Before making those connections, we set the position of the sprinklers and then we measured the distance between the two connections. After that, we cut all the pieces of pipes accurately. We also made the connection with the water source, in the same way.

I cut the pipes to the needed length and I made all the connection trying to keep them as clean as possible
Cutting the pipes and making all the connection
after cutting the PEHD 20 mm pipes to the needed length, I connected them on the 90 degrees connecter
Connecting the PEHD 20 mm pipes to the 90 degrees connector

Covering the ditches and putting back the lawn strips

Before covering the entire watering system, we tested it to be sure everything works well and there were no water leaks. When testing, there were some leaks at one corner. We solved quickly the problem and we tested the installation again.

When everything was fine, we covered the pipes with a layer of soil (half of what we dug). It had to be very well compacted.

i put back the first layer of soil, after finishing to install the watering pipes and sprinklers
The first layer of soil

When putting back the soil, we took care to meep the sprinkles upright. We used a thick wire with a “U” shape to keep the pipe in place.

the last Hunter Pro Spray Pop Up sprinkler was covered with soil keeping it firmly into position
Hunter Pro-Spray Pop Up Sprinkler

After putting back the first layer of soil, we watered very well, until the soil became marshy to be able to compact it.

in order to compact better the soil, I use water
Using water helps to compact better the soil

We compacted the soil with a piece of wood, to be sure there were no spaces between the soil clods.

I used water and a piece of wood to compact the soil used for covering the ditch for the Hunter Pop Up watering system
Using water and a piece of wood to compact the soil

We put the rest of the soil back after we crushed it.

we put back the last layer of soil to cover the ditch for the Hunter irrigation system
The last layer of soil

We also installed back the lawn strips and watered them.

after finishing installing the Hunter Pop Up irrigation system, I put back all the lawn strips
Putting back the lawn strips

The next day we noticed that the traces of the installation of the underground irrigation system were not very clear and the sprinklers were installed at the right depth.

the way the lawn looked like the next day
The lawn, the next day

Adjusting the Hunter Sprinkler Nozzles

On the second day we also adjusted the Nozzles:

  • adjusting the irrigation angle
  • adjusting the irrigation radius

Adjusting the irrigation angle

To adjust the starting point of the Hunter Spray Nozzle:

  • we turned the collar to unlock the body
  • we lifted the body
  • we rotated the body into the housing until we got the needed starting point
i removed the retaining ring and I rotated the whole sprinkler in the body in order to adjust the starting point .
Adjusting the starting point of the Hunter Adjustable Spray Nozzle

We also adjusted the endpoint by rotating the sprinkler nozzle.

I adjusted the end point of the Hunter Pop Up sprinkler nozzle by rotating the cap
Adjusting the endpoint of the Hunter Pop Up sprinkler nozzle

Adjusting the irrigation radius

We adjusted the irrigation radius on its position. We used a screwdriver to rotate clockwise to reduce the watering radius or counterclockwise to increase the watering radius.

I adjusted the jet of water of the Hunter Pop Up sprinkler nozzle by rotating the screw clockwise or counter clockwise
Adjusting the jet of water

Our homemade underground watering system worked great from the begging and now it is saving us a lot of time!

the installed Hunter Pop Up watering system
Our Hunter Pop Up watering system

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