Trench Depth?!

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by stew24, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. stew24

    stew24 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Hello All,

    I am getting ready to start trenching for my self installed irrigation system!

    I have read so many different things about how deep to bury the pipe I am seeking some guidance in this area. I live in central Oklahoma and from what I can find the frost depth is around 18 inches. I have read differing statements in that I need to trench to at least the frost line and that 8-12" is as deep as I need to go. Also, my main line is 1"

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Stew
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,260
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Our frost line is over 6' deep. We only bury lines a foot deep and blow them out with compressed air every fall.
  3. stew24

    stew24 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Awesome! thanks for some clarification!
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,387
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    When I trenched for my system in 1984, I trenched as deep as the Ditch Witch would go, 24". I have lived to regret this. I have made a few modifications over the years and once had an automatic drain fail. These required digging a fairly deep hole to access the pipe with room to work in the hole. Stupid on my part. I never trusted the automatic drains, so I always blew the lines with air anyway. No need to go nearly as deep as I went. I have seen commercials for a local lawn irrigation service that pulls the lines through the lawn without trenching. Don't have a clue about price, but interesting idea.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,158
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I Ditch Witch brings up a lot of dirt. A vibratory plow hardly leaves a mark. Most can set the pipe between 6 inches and 18 inches. A foot deep is common.

    As others mentioned, blow out the lines with compressed air.
  6. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Back when I used to install sprinkler systems we would pull the pipe about 8-10 in deep.

    We always used automatic drains. My yard's system has auto drains and I haven't had one of them fail. I like not having to blow them out in the fall. Just turn a few valves and good to go.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,387
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    They probably did work in my system, but I was paranoid I guess. No way to tell if they really had opened. The one that failed however was a b@@@h. It was not only 2 feet deep, but was in a cluster of three 1-1/2 pipes and the drain was not visible. Had to work by feel in a very awkward position. Guess the rest of them are either still working or do not open at all because I have had no other mini volcanoes! In 1984, I don't think there were any other methods of trenching than the DW. Equipment and materials have really improved since then. My God, the PVC pipe was thin wall. It's still holding, but I have broken some with a shovel while doing some revisions. Still installing this system was the best move I ever made for my yard.
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