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Is there anything more relaxing than sitting by a bubbling brook with a book and a cup of tea?
The noisy rush of water gently lulling you to sleep will have you nodding off so hard you’ll wonder if you’re overdosing on chamomile.
As long as you prepare your irrigation system ahead of construction, a water feature in your backyard can be as lovely as your own personal Walden.
However, if you do not take the necessary steps to prevent damage to the sprinkler system, a sprinkler leak could transform your lovely water feature into a swampy bog.
How do you prevent this? With a few simple steps.
First of all, you will need to find a contractor to install your water feature.
Once you have selected the highest quality licensed and bonded contractor and signed the proposal, the next step will be for them to mark the area where the water feature will be installed.
Next, your sprinkler company should come out and move the irrigation components out of the area where the water feature will go.
At the very least, some sprinkler heads will need to be moved or capped off, if they are located in the area where the new water feature will be going.
If there are any valve boxes in the area, they will need to be moved as well.
Moving sprinkler heads is considerably easier than moving valve boxes. This is because moving sprinkler heads necessitates only digging up the sprinkler head, cutting the feeder pipe, inserting a new fitting into the funny pipe, adding more funny pipe to the line, and then putting the sprinkler head in its new location.
Moving a valve box is a much more time consuming and involved process. The valve box itself must be excavated, then the hub of mainline and lateral pipes, sprinkler wire, and valves needs to be removed. Then, the mainline pipe, sprinkler wires, and feeder pipes must be trenched over to the new location out of the way of the work area, and then the valve manifold must be rebuilt all over again.
And ideally, the valve(s) should be replaced during the process because the work is so time consuming that if you do it all again in a few months because you have old valves, it will be infuriatingly frustrating.
Moving mainline pipes and sprinkler wires is also considerably more time consuming than moving sprinkler heads, but at least there is no valve manifold to redo.
Once your irrigation company has moved the sprinkler system components out of the way of the new water feature, it would be wise to ask them to mark the irrigation heads, pipes, wires, and valve boxes immediately around the work area also to avoid any additional inadvertent damage to the sprinkler system.
One other thing I will mention is that some people choose to add a hose bib to their sprinkler system somewhere near the water feature. This can make filling up the pond or adding water considerably easier.
Adding a hose bibb to an irrigation system is not terribly difficult, as long as the mainline is relatively close to the new water feature.
Tapping into the sprinkler mainline pipe involves:
- Shutting off the water to the irrigation system.
- Cutting the mainline pipe.
- Gluing a PVC tee onto the mainline.
- Running a new PVC pipe over to where the new hose bib will go.
- Gluing a 90° PVC fitting to the mainline.
- Running new pipe above ground.
- Cutting the pipe to the appropriate height.
- Gluing a PVC pipe fitting to the pipe sticking up.
- Attaching the hose bib to the pipe.
- Waiting for the glue to cure
- Turning the water to the irrigation system back on
You may want to convert the pipe to copper underground at some point for added stability. You might want to brace the hose bib with rebar. Or you may choose to have the hose bibb installed in a valve box underground so that it’s not sticking up. But none of these options are necessary.
Now that the sprinkler system has been prepared, it is time for your new water feature to be installed. The landscaping company or pond installation company that you use will dig out the area, lay down some waterproof lining, install a pump, put some pretty rocks down, and voila! Your own private Walden will have sprung from fantasy to reality.
Get yourself some Adirondack chairs and start relaxing. Now!!!