Hold it right there. You’re about to install a sprinkler system. You’ve got your tubing, your connectors, your spray heads and rotors, your valves… What else…. Tools! Maybe you already have what you need but let’s take a quick check just to make sure. Adrian Sanchez here, for Sprinkler Warehouse. Let’s talk tools.
Marking Flags To Identify Underground Items
As you’re figuring out where you’re going to place your sprinklers, you’re going to want some marking flags. Sticking a random stick in the ground ain’t going to cut it. And you’ll find a pen and paper really handy for your layout notes, arithmetic, and keeping a shopping list for the inevitable forgotten items and surprise issues. You want to keep those trenches straight. I like to use barking spray paint on a guide wheel.
Measuring Tape To Ensure Accurate Cuts Of PVC And Trench Depth
You’ll need a measuring tape. Be mindful of the size of your yard. You’re going to want a tape that will cover the length of your yard. You don’t want to be using a 12-foot measuring tape. And then marking multiple spots where the tape starts and ends. And then add it all together. That’s just a big pain.
A Spade And Trenching Shovel Will Help Dig For Irrigation
You’ll absolutely need a shovel to install a sprinkler system. Here we have various types. You don’t have to have all of these. But each one has a particular specialty that makes it handy to have. This is a trenching shovel. This design is created specifically for digging narrow trenches. This is a drain spade. A lot of folks call them a sharpshooter. They’re perfect for when you need to create a hole straight down.
For instance, we use them a lot when digging holes for the 12-inch pop-up heads. This is a sod cutter. The squared-off tip is especially good for digging clean straight trenches.
A Leaf Rake Or Garden Rake Will Be Useful After Backfilling
Later when you’re backfilling those trenches you’ll find rakes helpful. A leaf rake. A leaf rake like this one will help gather bits of dirt in the grass and smooth things out. But a garden rake is your workhorse.
A mattock is another way to tackle digging trenches. They’re a lifesaver when it comes to dealing with rocks, roots, or hard compacted soil. And if you’re doing a good amount of trenching, you may consider renting a trencher. Now a tamper is not absolutely necessary. I mean you could just walk around and jump up and down on the dirt, sure. But a tamper will help press the dirt down really flat. So, after a few weeks, you won’t even be able to tell that there were trenches there. Just don’t get carried away with tamping. It’s possible to break PVC by smashing this thing down too hard.
A Lopper Or Axe Will Help Cut Through Roots
Dealing with roots can be a real pain. When you got some established trees you’re working around, a mattock may not do the trick. So, you’ll probably need a set of loppers. Like these, or an ax, or even a chainsaw. But be safe.
Boring Tools Help Run Pipe Under Sidewalks
Roots aren’t the only obstruction. Sometimes you need to go under a sidewalk or driveway. I got a couple of options to deal with that. One is a Sidewalk Sleever. And if you’re going to use the Sidewalk Sleever, you’re also going to need a large sled to drive it. Another option to get under the sidewalk is a boring kit.
Now you use these. With a bit of PVC pipe and some fittings. You connect it to a water hose and use the water to blast a hole under the sidewalk. A siphon pump like this one will help you pump out a trench that should have been filled with water. If you happen to find a leak or a broken pipe while you’re installing. This will help move water out of the way. So that you can affect a repair.
A Hand Trowel Will Come In Handy For Backfilling Around Sprinkler Heads
This is a hand trowel. At times during the installation, you’re going to have to get on your knees and get in there with your hands. This little guy will be helping you backfill around the sprinkler heads. And while you’re working on your knees you’re also going to probably want some knee pads.
Water Meter Key To Turn Off Water At The Source
To turn off the water to the house you may have one of these. It’s called a meter key. I had one that came with my house when I bought it. If you don’t have one, a big crescent wrench or a pair of pliers will work just fine.
Ratcheting PVC Pipe Cutters
You’re going to want a ratcheting pipe cutter to cut your PVC. You could use a hacksaw. But it would just take three times as long. A pipe cutter is going to save you time and headaches. If you’re only working with poly tubing or funny pipe you can get along just fine with a non-ratcheting cutter like one of these.
You’ll need PVC cement and primer to connect all the PVC fittings. Unless you’re using only Blu-Lock fittings. Which I do recommend. They’re great! Sometimes PVC cement is called glue. Same stuff. And also not a tool per se, but be sure to have some Teflon tape on hand.
Running Sprinkler Wire
If you’re installing a new system with a timer or you’re adding an automatic valve to a current system. Then you’ll be running a wire from your timer to your valves. That means you’ll need a pair of wire strippers. And don’t forget waterproof wire nuts. If you’re installing your timer you may need a drill. And if you’re mounting the timer onto brick, or a cinder block, you’ll need a masonry bit. If you’re making access into a wall to run your electrical. You will need a paddle bit for your drill.
Some sprinkler heads can be adjusted with a small flat-head screwdriver. But you’ll find it much easier to have the proper tool for the brand and model of the sprinkler heads you’re purchasing. Here are a few of the adjustment tools available. Rain Bird, Irritrol, Hunter, Signature, and Toro.
Remember, Sprinkler Warehouse has everything for your irrigation needs. So, your trees, lawn, flower beds and gardens are lush and beautiful. And if you have any questions about our products chat with one of our superb customer service agents on Sprinkler Warehouse dot com. They really know their stuff and they’ll get you squared away. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for helpful tips, tutorials, and general sprinkler instruction. For Sprinkler Warehouse, I’m Adrian Sanchez. Later irrigator.