Domestic Irrigation System Tricks of the Trade

Here are a few tricks of the trade from irrigation professionals that will make your life easier when setting up and installing an irrigation system for your home garden.

Drip Line / Poly Line

To straighten drip line after it has been rolled, leave it for a period in the sun, preferably on a warm surface such as a concrete path.

To attach fittings with ease, soften the end of the drip line by placing it briefly in hot water.  The softened pipe will slide on to the fittings much easier.

Drip tube will move over time due to expansion and contraction with changes in temperature.  When laying drip tube on the ground, stake the tube in position at regular intervals using “J” pegs to keep it in place.

Never install drip tube taught. Always allow some slack in the tube to allow for contraction in colder temperatures.


Controllers should not be installed on the same circuit as high power consumption items such as fridges, garage door openers, microwaves or air-conditioners. These items can generate electro-magnetic fields which may trigger sporadic operational problems with controllers.


Always use a wire connector with a waterproofing sealant.

Where possible always install continuous runs of cable between the controller and valves.   Avoid cable joints at points other than valves.  This helps locate possible sources of “shorts”.

At solenoid valves, loop the cable so that there is sufficient slack to enable the solenoid cable to be removed from the valve, if needed.


Always check the location of underground services before you start to trench.

Before you start, assemble a sprinkler head to a lateral fitting to gauge the depth required for lateral trenches.

If laying multiple pipes in the trench, lay them side by side with a small gap separating them, rather than on top of each other.

To tunnel under a path, connect a hose to a length of galvanized pipe via a hose adaptor.  Turn the water on. Direct the stream of water on to where the tunnel is to be created. Push the pipe into the soil and gradually create a tunnel under the path.

Installing Valves

Install valve boxes on a solid, level base and make sure they are flush with the ground surface.

Take note of the flow path arrow on the valve and connect the valve in the correct orientation.

Installing Sprinklers

Before connecting sprinklers operate each valve manually and individually and flush any debris from the sprinkler lines.

Ensure that sprinkler heads are installed vertical and flush with the soil surface.

With the sprinklers operating, adjust arcs and radius of throw so that each sprinkler is delivering water to its intended area.

For further advice on designing and installing a home irrigation system, visit our Store Locator contact your local Think Water store.

This tip was provided by Toro Australia, a Think Water Preferred Supplier who have a variety of irrigation controllers and drip tubing available for residential applications.


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