• In this how-to video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to install automatic sprinklers.


    1 Test the water pressure and water flow coming from house.
    2 Calculate the proper number of sprinkler heads per zone.
    3 Install automatic valves and low-voltage wiring.
    4 Use vibratory plow to simultaneously dig trenches and pull 1-inch-diameter plastic pipe underground.
    5 Connect pipe sections within each zone using elbow fittings and metal clamps.
    6 Attach flexible pipe to elbow, then trim it to the proper length.
    7 Attach sprinkler head to flexible pipe.
    8 Hold sprinkler head at the proper height, then back fill around it with soil.
    9 Once all the heads are installed, test the system.
    10 Program the electronic timer for worry-free, automatic lawn irrigation.
    • 2 to 4 days, depending on size and complexity of the sprinkler system
    • Difficulty: Hard
      This is a job for an experienced lawn-sprinkler installer.
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • Vibratory Plow
        Vibratory plow,
        used to dig trenches and bury sprinkler pipe
      • propane torch
        Propane torch,
        used to head plastic pipe prior to connection to fittings and sprinkler heads
      • tubing cutter
        Tubing cutter,
        used to cut plastic water pipe

      Shopping List

      1. Automatic lawn sprinkler system, including zone valves, low-voltage wire, water

      2. Pipe, plastic fittings, flexible pipe, pipe clamps, and sprinkler heads

      3. Pinchers,

      used to crimp metal pipe clamps