• In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey explains how to install a drip-irrigation system.


    1 Dig series of trenches across yard to minimum of 4 inches deep; space the trenches about 12 inches apart.

    2 Run PVC pipe from water supply to trench.

    3 Fabricate two manifolds out of PVC pipes and fittings.

    4 Set the manifolds in trenches at opposite ends of yard.

    5 Attach one manifold to the water-supply line.

    6 Run series of polyethylene drip lines back and forth in across yard between the two mainfolds.

    7 Attach the drip lines to the manifolds.

    8 Test system for leaky fittings and to ensure the emitters are slowly dripping water.

    9 Backfill the trenches and plant grass seed or lay sod.
    • Difficulty: Moderate to hard
      even with a trenching machine there's plenty of shoveling to be done
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • trenching machine
        Trenching machine
        used to dig trenches for irrigation system.
      • trenching shovel
      • pvc pipe cutter
        Pvc shears
        used to cut pvc pipe

      Shopping List

      1. PVC pipe and assorted fittings

      2. PVC primer and cement,
      used to join together PVC pipe and fittings

      3. Polyethlene drip line with built-in emitters