New owner of home - where are the system lines??

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by tammin, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. tammin

    tammin New Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    We recently moved into a home with a built-in irrigation system, including four active zones controlled by a Hardie Rain Dial controller. The four zones include three in the front yard and one in the back yard. There is a four-valve manifold (one front yard, one back yard) and a two-valve manifold (two of the front yard zones).

    We would like to add another zone or two in the back yard, and with the extra valves certainly have the capacity already there to do it. The challenge is I have no idea how to connect the 5/8" irrigation line that is visible above ground, to the pvc pipe that goes to the valves. The one backyard zone is about 50' away from the four-valve manifold, and it is entirely unclear what route the feedline takes from the valve to the irrigation line in the zone. There is a large brick patio and concrete walkway between the two, except for a four-foot wide flower bed.

    I'm new to this (can you tell??) and have no idea what I'm looking for, or how to proceed. Any advice/input would be most helpful and welcomed. Thanks!

    (PS - I don't have any system/layout drawings from the previous owner, nor do I have the name or info on the contractor who might have installed the system).
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima, WA
    I really can follow your description too well, but my suggestion would be to have a lawn sprinkler company come to your home and see if they can sort out where the lines are and the best approach to doing what you want to do. Almost certainly the pipe you think is 5/8" is 3/4" since there is no pipe sized at 5/8".
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  4. tammin

    tammin New Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Yes, I think that is probably what I'll end up doing - either that are just start digging up the yard and see if I can find where the junction is. FWIW the pvc is not 5/8", but the black sprinkler feed lines tha run around the garden are. The fittings have a blue stripe on them - I thought they were 3/4" when I bought a union fitting and it was too big. Local irrigation supply informed me the blue stripe is for 5/8" and that's what I've got. Thanks for the input.
  5. Joerg

    Joerg New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    The question is, does it really matter? 5/8" sound like a drip system though but I might have misunderstood. We had a similar situation when we bought this house. One lone circuit for the whole backyard, not enough pressure. So I divvied that up. Not much in terms of plans either.

    So to figure out where I wanted a split I unscrewed the head of a sprinkler in the middle of the field, carefully shoved a piece of hose into the riser and held the top with a rag to kind of seal off the head area. Then I asked my wife to turn it on and moved the hose up and down a bit. Careful, you'll get soaking wet. That showed me which sprinklers reacted more violently to the pressure changes because that hose blocked much of the tee down in the ground (where the riser of this sprinkler goes into). Consequently those all had to be downstream from this sprinkler I had stuck the hose into. Now I was sure of a good split location and that it roughly evened out the number of heads after a split. I dug it up right there next to this riser, capped off the side that is fed by the original valve, dug a trench from there to the new valve and connected that new valve to the remaining circuit.

    Just leave the feed line for the old zone in there. You can't tap into that anyway because more sprinkler on it would cost you pressure. I just ran a new feedline and new circuit whenever my wife said we needed more irrigation somewhere.

    The procedure took less than an hour. Digging the trench took the whole rest of the day because we have rocks so big that you think the other end comes out in China.
  6. msgale

    msgale Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Joerg, that's a great idea

    using your head
  7. tammin

    tammin New Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    +1 Good thinkin!! Thank you - I'll give your approach a try, Joerg.
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