Enhance Your Sprinkler System: Add an Irrigation Zone

Enhance Your Sprinkler System: Add an Irrigation Zone

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Issue with the Existing Sprinkler System
  3. The Importance of Adding a Zone to the Wooded Area
  4. Understanding the Basics of Irrigation
  5. Step-by-Step Guide to Adding a Zone to the Sprinkler System 5.1. Locating the Valve and Main Line 5.2. Shutting Off the Water Supply 5.3. Installing the Tee and Valve for the New Zone 5.4. Wiring the New Zone 5.5. Connecting the Zone Line to the Valve 5.6. Configuring the Clock 5.7. Adding Extra Zones
  6. Choosing the Right Heads for the New Zone 6.1. Understanding Rotor Heads and Spray Heads 6.2. Installing the Heads and Adjusting the Arch 6.3. Connecting the Heads to the Pipe 6.4. Stabilizing the Heads
  7. Conclusion

How to Add a Zone to an Existing Sprinkler System 🚰

If you have a wooded area on your property that is not getting enough water from your existing sprinkler system, adding a new zone can solve the issue. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of adding a zone to your sprinkler system, while also providing a basic understanding of irrigation.

1. Introduction

Maintaining a lush and healthy landscape requires adequate watering, especially for areas with plants that have different water requirements. An efficient sprinkler system with properly configured zones can ensure that every part of your yard receives the necessary amount of water to thrive.

2. The Issue with the Existing Sprinkler System

Our client contacted us because they had a wooded area on their property that was not receiving sufficient water from their existing sprinkler system. As a result, the newly planted seed in that area was not getting the water it needed to grow. To address this problem, we were called in to add a new zone specifically for the wooded area.

3. The Importance of Adding a Zone to the Wooded Area

Adding a zone to the wooded area is crucial for ensuring that the plants receive the appropriate amount of water. Each zone in a sprinkler system can be individually controlled, allowing for precise watering based on the specific needs of different plant types. By creating a new zone for the wooded area, the client can ensure that the seed receives sufficient water for successful growth.

4. Understanding the Basics of Irrigation

Before diving into the process of adding a new zone to the sprinkler system, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of how irrigation systems work. In a typical sprinkler system, there is a main line that carries water from the source, such as a water supply pipe, to various valves. Each valve controls a specific zone, which consists of a lateral or zone line that supplies water to the sprinkler heads. The clock, also known as the controller, sends signals to the valves to open and close, allowing water to flow through the system.

5. Step-by-Step Guide to Adding a Zone to the Sprinkler System

Now let's walk through the process of adding a new zone to the existing sprinkler system. By following these steps, you can ensure a successful installation and proper functioning of the new zone.

5.1. Locating the Valve and Main Line

Begin by locating the valve that controls the existing sprinkler system. This valve is typically found near the main water supply line. The main line runs in a clockwise manner, with the wire following it. If you encounter any issues with the main line, it is important to know how to shut off the water supply to prevent any potential damage or flooding.

5.2. Shutting Off the Water Supply

To shut off the water supply to the sprinkler system, you have two options. The easiest way is to locate the valve on the main line that enters the house and shut it off. Alternatively, you can shut off the water supply in your basement or crawlspace. It is recommended to install a threaded plug or cap on a tee to prevent any residual water from draining out and potentially causing freezing or system damage during the winter months.

5.3. Installing the Tee and Valve for the New Zone

To add a new zone, you will need to install a tee on the main line. This tee will serve as the connection point for the new zone line. Position the tee appropriately and connect the valve to it. This valve will control the water flow to the new zone. Ensure that the arrow on the valve is facing the lateral or zone line.

5.4. Wiring the New Zone

Next, wire the new zone by connecting the common wire to the valve and the zone wire to the appropriate terminal. The order of connection does not matter since it is a 12-volt system. The common wire is connected to all the valves, while the zone wire is specific to each zone.

5.5. Connecting the Zone Line to the Valve

Connect the zone line or lateral, which carries water from the valve to the sprinkler heads, to the valve. This line is responsible for providing water to the new zone. Ensure that the arrow on the zone line is aligned parallel to the fence or in the desired direction for optimal watering coverage.

5.6. Configuring the Clock

Program the clock or controller to recognize the new zone. Most sprinkler system clocks are user-friendly and allow for easy programming. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for specific details on configuring the clock. Make sure to assign the new zone to a specific number or name for future reference.

5.7. Adding Extra Zones

If you require additional zones, you can easily expand the capacity of your sprinkler system. Depending on the clock model, you may need to insert a modular wire extension and configure the clock to recognize the new zones. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for adding extra zones.

6. Choosing the Right Heads for the New Zone

Selecting the appropriate sprinkler heads for the new zone is crucial for efficient watering. There are generally two types of heads: rotor heads and spray heads.

6.1. Understanding Rotor Heads and Spray Heads

Rotor heads are suitable for larger areas and can shoot water at a greater distance. They typically require a 3/4-inch pipe connection. Spray heads, on the other hand, are best for smaller areas and have a shorter reach. They generally require a 1/2-inch pipe connection. Consider the specific watering needs of the wooded area when choosing the heads.

6.2. Installing the Heads and Adjusting the Arch

Once you have selected the appropriate heads, follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. Typically, the heads need to be inserted into the ground and connected to the pipe using a threaded connection. Adjust the arch of the heads to ensure optimal watering coverage. This can usually be done using a tool provided with the heads.

6.3. Connecting the Heads to the Pipe

Depending on the type of head, use either a 3/4-inch or 1/2-inch connection to attach the heads to the pipe. This can be done using a threaded connection or a funny pipe, which is a flexible tubing that simplifies the installation process.

6.4. Stabilizing the Heads

To prevent movement and ensure proper coverage, stabilize the heads by packing soil around them. This will prevent the heads from shifting or angling, which can lead to uneven watering. Use a pipe cutter to trim the funny pipe or PVC pipe, and secure the heads in place.

7. Conclusion

By adding a new zone to your existing sprinkler system, you can effectively water a wooded area or any other part of your landscape that requires specific watering needs. Following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can ensure a successful installation and optimum watering coverage. Enjoy the benefits of a healthy and vibrant landscape!

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