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Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

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  • Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

    Some background first. My front yard sprinkler and drip irrigation takes water from a 3/4" PVC line that comes off of the 1 1/4" main that supplies water to the property from the meter. The backyard doesn't have any irrigation, which I want to install.

    Option #1: The easy way is to install a bunch of anti-siphon valves, grouped at one corner of the house, next to the existing ones (front yard valves). 3/4" Sch 40 PVCs are then run to each zone from each valve. Estimate 8 valves total for the backyard. In total, I need about 700' of 3/4 sch 40 PVC.

    Option #2: The alternative is to tap into the main water line and run 1" (or larger) PVC as an irrigation main line around the perimeter of the property. From this irrigation main line, I would run 3/4" PVC to each valve, which is placed near its respective zone.

    I like option #2 because of more flow, less pressure lost over the length of the run (~300' total length), etc. Also, much less 3/4" PVC is needed. Having a dedicated main line to tap into for future irrigation expansion is nice.

    My problem is that I have only worked with copper pipe once (small garage sink project) and never ever tapped a main line with copper pipe before. The 1 1/4" main that enters the house is copper. The front yard sprinkler feed is T-ed off before the shut off valve to the house's water supply. I plan to leave this alone, but install another T fitting to feed the backyard main irrigation line (option #2 above).

    Should I tackle this myself or hire a plumber? I'm pretty handy and would really enjoy the challenge and experience, but am nervous about screwing things up. Any advice?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

    have a plumber tee into the main and raise a copper line with a shut off ball valve. then at least you'll have a way of extending the line around the yard.


    normally your sprinkler manifold is in 1 central location where you then extend the downstream lines to the different zones. unless you have a park like setting, or a frost concern, valves are typically 6" minimum above the ground. better yet, install a backflow preventer on the irrigation main and then your irrigation valves can be buried. also you might need a drain valve for winter time.


    PVC should be buried and out of the suns UV rays. unless its UV rated. I prefer schedule 80 pipe for the main.


    some home centers have decent cheat sheets for sprinkler designs and layouts. also Rain Bird, Champion and Hunter should have a decent site to download the tips.


    Rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

      Rick, thanks.

      I took a few pictures this morning. Looking at the picture, the location to tee off for the irrigation main line would be below the existing one that is on the right. I was wrong about the pipe size; it's 1 1/2" for the house main line.

      I considered installing a backflow preventer so as to be able to bury the valve underground and a irrigation main line, but abandoned the idea after I built my valve manifold group. I think this is a better way of doing it.

      Any recommendation for a backflow preventer for Nothern CA? I am thinking maximizing the size of the irrigation main (i.e. 1 1/2"). I tend to overbuild.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Re: Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

        I'd do what said. At least have a plumber stub it out for you, then u can go off from there , at least if you make a mistake past that point, u can turn it off and still have water to the rest of your house.

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        • #5
          Re: Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

          I would just Tee in after the shut off and run a line to the back side and then put in a second set of valves (if one want to use the valve with built in back flow or use a balck flow and then just the valves, If you only run one circuit at a time you will have plenty of water if you size your heads correctly. (at the same time when running the line to the second set of valves un the control wires as well, (I usually ran them in a pipe for a little more protection),

          if One uses the black poly pipe there are saddles for it that the rises screw in to and make putting
          the sprinkler system very easy, with the saddles there is a small coring tool that cuts the water passage after the saddle is put on the poly pipe, and one can rent a pipe puller and pull all the poly in and only have to dig down where your heads are, the pipe puller cuts a slot in the lawn and has a Chinese finger type thing that the poly hooks in to so it can be pulled, (one needs some one to unroll the poly as it goes in, I always used the 1" poly,

          https://media.toro.com/Documents/Irr...inkler-pig.pdf

          when you put in the valves you will want a union on one side if you do not use poly pipe, (with barbed hose to pipe thread) so it can be removed, as the valves will need to be replaced, so one side will need to be free so the other side can unscrew,
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          • #6
            Re: Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

            Downunder we would need to get an ENGINEER involved so as to legitamise the whole project. Probably have to get an Architect as well, just another pro to add to the project. He would probably supervise the whole thing. The ENGINEER would use his Professional capacity to check all your risk assessments were in order. Oh I forgot the Water Board would need to send out another ENGINEER to assess the impact it would have on the town main.


            or you could just get a hack plumber who generally knows a bit about this and can cut the tee and valve off for you to play after. Backflow, yeah I am a little biased towards WILKINS

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            • #7
              Re: Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

              ahem.. ATTENTION ATTENTION!

              "Hire a professional. Or hire Rick. err... Hire Rick the Professional!"
              ~~

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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              • #8
                Re: Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

                Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                ahem.. ATTENTION ATTENTION!

                "Hire a professional. Or hire Rick. err... Hire Rick the Professional!"

                Yeah I reckon Rick will get in the festive spirit and step-up and help you over the bar so as to speak.................!!!!!heheheeheheeee

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                • #9
                  Re: Main line tap. DYI or hire a plumber?

                  Backflow Preventer. Many plumbers can tell you how to install and adjust it over the phone. Just call around.

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