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Designing your Sprinkler System? 5 key steps before you start.

March 1, 2019

When designing your own sprinkler system, it’s hard to know where to start. But we’re here to help. Below are five critical pieces of information to gather about your system to get you started and on the right track. Once you have these you’ll be ready to start designing on your own, with the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer creating your custom plan is simple and FREE!

1. Know your Water Source:

Before getting started on your design, it’s important to know where you’ll be getting your water from. Is it municipality (such as a water district) or a well or pump? Getting your water from a municipality is most common. Only if you have a well or pump that directly supplies your system should you check Well/Pump.

2. Determine your Pipe Type:

Three types of pipe are generally used: Copper, Galvanized, and PVC. To find out which type your home has, compare your source (at your water meter) to the pictures in the figure at the right.  If your water source also supplies your house then you can usually determine the pipe type at the location in which it enters your home. If not, then it’s time to get your hands dirty and dig down to the pipe to see which one you have.

3. Measure String Length:

For this step, just take a string and measure the length of string that’s required to wrap once around the water source pipe. Connect the two ends and take record of the length on a ruler. Pipe diameter affects flow rate.

4. Static Pressure Test:

The next step of the Static Pressure Test is super important.  You’ll need a pressure gauge to get the reading. Try to perform this test at the time of day you will be using your sprinkler system, which might mean getting up early or staying up late. Regardless, make sure other water sources are being used in your home at the time you perform the test, because these will artificially lower the reading. To learn more about how to perform the pressure test, check out the video below:

5. Bucket Test:

Almost there! The last step is the bucket test. Any sized bucket will do as long as you know how big it is. Like the pressure test, it’s best to do these tests as close to the time of day as you’ll be using your sprinkler system. To perform this test, record how long it takes to fill up a bucket from from a hose faucet. Here’s the formula for knowing flow rate: Flow Rate = Bucket Size (gallons)/ Time (seconds) *60. To learn more about how to perform the bucket test, check out the video below:

With this information you’re ready to get started designing a plan. Visit the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer to get started.

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