Originally Posted by tallrick
It is funny to see this because most systems I see around here are terrible. The pipes are
just below the surface with the heads sticking up high enough to be cut off by a mower. When
I was 18 years old I hand dug and installed a sprinkler system using leftover galvanized
pipe and heads from the trash and it still works perfectly to this day. At around 1993 I
installed a system in my parents front yard with PVC and T-bird R50 rotors from a dumpster
at an irrigation company. It was an excuse to try out the ditch witch V30 I had just rebuilt
and teach the coral rock a lesson. I went overboard and buried the main lines 3 feet down
with laterals 2 feet down. No funny pipe there, and some brass pop-ups as well as a few
quick couplers for specialty watering. Electric valves are brass and rebuilt from the
dumpster. Believe it or not none of the sprinklers have broken or needed service in 17
years. The irrigation boxes sold commercially looked cheap so I used a concrete pull box
with a cast iron cover salvaged from a traffic signal trash pile. I just added another zone
with drip irrigation for their potted plants ( parents are getting too old to remember to
water) so it was time to tap in. The controller is also homemade from a discarded fire alarm
panel. I was able to find the main pipe with one simple dig because the plan I made was
totally accurate. It was even easier as I had put a tee in place for this when I built it.
Now for the other story.
I did a favor to a family friend to help fix their broken sprinkler system. This was
installed by an actual irrigation contractor with a good reputation. After seeing my drip
irrigation job he wanted the same and offered to pay for my time and materials to make it
happen. He even had the plans for the system when it was installed 10 years ago! Trouble is
that none of the measurements fit the system and it turned into a treasure hunt in the yard.
Turns out the plans were nothing like the system and I had to guess where the pipes went.
Believe it or not some pipes were only 6 inches below grass surface. While cutting the pipe
I found loose joints on the nearest tee. Must have been poor pvc cement or something. The
funniest thing I found was one rotor with not enough flow had 10 feet of funny pipe! Since
he is going to have a paver driveway installed I replaced the main line from the pump. You
can see the old pipe to the left and the new one to the right. (Yes I am a cheapskate and
instead of primer I use acetone to prepare the pipe so there is no blue stuff) The old pipe
had a cracked fitting probably from being driven over and the lateral fitting was loose as
well. The whole system works fine now
Let me know if you are thinking of installing another system, I've got a bunch of old crap laying around in the back 40 I'd like to clean up; washing machines, old lawn mowers, tires, broken ladders, you know, the typical irrigation system stuff.