How to install pop-up sprinklers

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Project Overview

Installing pop-up sprinklers is an easy project that will keep your garden looking healthy. We’ll show you all the tools you need for the job, the important checks to make before you get started and how to measure, cut and join your poly pipe. 

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This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How To Install Pop Up Sprinklers
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Make connecting irrigation pipes easier

When connecting poly pipe for irrigation projects, like installing pop-up sprinklers or water features, soak your pipe ends in hot water. This will soften them and let you mould the ends to suit the fittings that join the pipes together.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Check before you start digging
2 Roll out the poly pipe
3 Dig out the trench
4 Lay the poly pipe
5 Cut the pipe and fit the attachments
6 Attach the pop-up sprinklers
7 Seal the end of the pipe
8 Cover the pipes and pop-ups
9 Connect the poly pipe to the tap
  • Step 1. Check before you start digging

    Before you start digging a trench for the polypipe for the pop-up sprinklers, check with the authorities that there aren’t any water, gas or electrical pipes or cables where you plan to dig. You can call 1100 or go to www.1100.com.au to find out if it is safe to dig in the area you want to.

  • Step 2. Roll out the poly pipe

    The easiest way to roll out the poly pipe is to lay it at the edge of the garden where the irrigation is being installed. Use an irrigation pin to stick one end of the poly pipe firmly into the ground, then unroll the pipe until you reach the corner. Cut the poly pipe to length and pin it into the ground. Repeat this process until you have laid out and cut all of the poly pipe you need.

  • Step 3. Dig out the trench

    Use your spade to dig a trench in the garden bed for the poly pipe and pop-up sprinklers. Make sure that the trench is deep enough for the top of the pop-up sprinkler to be level with the soil once the poly pipe has been covered back over with the soil.
  • Step 4. Lay the poly pipe

    After the trench has been dug, lay the corresponding sections of poly pipe into them. Secure the pipe into the ground with an irrigation pin, every one metre. Repeat this until all of the polypipe is secure in the trenches that you have dug.
  • Step 5. Cut the pipe and fit the attachments

    To make sure the poly pipe is cut to the right length, lay one pipe over the other and cut them with pipe cutters where they meet. Slide a locking clamp over the end of each piece of poly pipe. To make fitting the elbow into the poly pipe easier, dip the pipe end in hot water to soften it. Once soft enough insert the elbow into both ends of the poly pipe to join them together. Slide the locking clamps into place and tighten them with the pliers. Repeat this process until all of the pipe is connected.

  • Step 6. Attach the pop-up sprinklers

    Wrap Teflon tape around the elbow where the pop-up sprinkler will be attached. This will make sure the seal between the two is tight. Screw the pop-up sprinkler into place, making sure it is as far down on the elbow as possible. Repeat this step for all of the pop-up sprinklers.

  • Step 7. Seal the end of the pipe

    To seal the poly pipe at the end of the sprinkler, cut a short piece of polypipe and attach it to the elbow and hold it in place with a locking clamp. Attach an end piece to the end of this piece of pipe. This will give you the flexibility to add-on more poly pipe and pop-up sprinklers to your garden in the future.

  • Step 8. Cover the pipes and pop-ups

    Before you cover the pipes with soil, check that there are irrigation pins at regular intervals, about every metre, to hold it securely in place. Use your spade to cover the polypipe with soil and cover the sprinklers so that the top of them is at soil level. 

  • Step 9. Connect the poly pipe to the tap

    You can connect the poly pipe to the tap with a click-on irrigation tap fitting. Make sure it is securely connected so water doesn’t leak. Then turn the tap on to make sure the sprinklers are spraying in the right direction. If the sprinklers need adjusting, pull up the centre of the pop-up and adjust the top ring so it sprays water where you need it.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Gardening gloves
  • Hammer
  • Locking clamps
  • Multi-grip pliers
  • Pipe cutters
  • Spade

Materials

  • 19mm poly pipe
  • Click-on irrigation tap fitting
  • End cap
  • Irrigation pins
  • Pop-up sprinklers
  • Teflon tape
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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