Step 3: Install the zone valves

Installing the zone valves when installing an in-ground sprinkler
Photo: Brian Smith
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Dig a trench from the main water line to the valve box location, as indicated on your plan. At the end, dig a hole about 18 inches deep and 2 to 3 feet long.

Line the hole with 2 inches of gravel, then set the valve box into it. The box lid should be flush with the grass.

Next, following the manufacturer's directions, glue together the manifold and attach the zone valves. Set the manifold in the valve box.

Run 1-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe from the main water line to a backflow-prevention device and then connect it to the manifold.

Dig a shallow trench from the valve box to the location for the timer, according to your plan.

Lay the 24-volt underground wire in the trench and connect it to the wires leading from each valve.

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    Tools List

    • pvc pipe cutter
      PVC pipe cutter
    • 100-foot tape measure
      100-foot tape measure
    • trenching shovel
      Trenching Shovel
    • trenching machine
      Trenching Machine,
      rents for about $75 a day
    • adjustable pliers
      Large adjustable pliers
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • tongue-and-groove pliers
      Tongue-and-groove pliers.
      for tightening threaded PVC fittings
    • ratcheting screwdriver
      Screwdriver,
      for installing the wall-mounted timer

    Shopping List

    1. DRIP IRRIGATION TUBING

    2. MARKER FLAGS

    for marking sprinkler locations before trenching



    3. FLEXIBLE PIPING

    connects sprinklers to PVC pipe



    4. 3/4-INCH AND 1-INCH PVC PIPE

    5. ASSORTED PVC FITTINGS

    6. GROUND STAKES

    to secure drip-irrigation tubing



    7. ASSORTED SPRAY NOZZLES

    8. POP-UP SPRINKLER

    9. PVC CEMENT AND PRIMER

    10. ZONE VALVES

    11. VALVE BOX

    for housing the valves



    12. BACKFLOW PREVENTION DEVICE

    keeps irrigation water from flowing into home’s water supply



    13. GRAVEL

    for spreading under the valve box



    ] 14. BARK MULCH

    for covering the drip irrigation tubing