Installing a Hunter Pop Up underground 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
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
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.
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.
Using a hoe we slowly lifted the lawn strips. We tried not to damage the roots too much.
We cut the strips at a length of 40 – 50 cm, to be able to handle them easily.
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.
We removed the soil with the hoe. In the end, we dug a ditch about 25 cm deep, enough to bury the telescopic sprinkles.
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.
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.
After this step, we threaded the sprinkler taking care to tighten it well enough.
Then, we installed the sprinkler 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.
After we put in the gasket, we put the cap and tightened it very well.
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.
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.
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.
After putting back the first layer of soil, we watered very well, until the soil became marshy to be able to compact it.
We compacted the soil with a piece of wood, to be sure there were no spaces between the soil clods.
We put the rest of the soil back after we crushed it.
We also installed back the lawn strips and watered them.
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.
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
We also adjusted the endpoint by rotating the 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.
Our homemade underground watering system worked great from the begging and now it is saving us a lot of time!