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How Deep Should Your Sprinkler Heads Be?

Once you have planned the irrigation system has been laid out, you will be able to move forward with having it installed. But then you’ll be presented with a whole new question. How deep should I dig?

Trench digging will be one of the most important steps you will take. You will want to put some thought into this. Not only do you need to make sure you are using the right trench digging method, but you also need to determine the depth. Pipes must be deep enough so that standard lawn care does not damage them.

This post is going to walk you through some of the steps required to help make this decision.

Know This Before you Start Digging

This one is important so pay close attention. Do not start digging trenches on your property until you have called your local utility companies. There could be gas lines, water lines, or other essential lines passing under your property. If you damage these while digging, then you’ll be dealing with a potentially costly mistake. Local companies will come out and flag the areas where pipes are running. Plus they can tell you the depth of these pipes.

You should also check your local ordinances because some places require your system to be buried at a specific depth.

Understand Basic Depth Requirements

In most locations, 8 to 12 inches of depth will work out for the best. This measurement would be from the top of the buried pipe up to the surface. That means you will need to dig your trench a bit deeper than normal to accommodate the pipes. For instance, if you need to bury your pipe at least 12 inches from the surface and you are using 2-inch pipe, then your trench will need to be 14-inches deep. This is a fact that is often overlooked.

Reasons for Going Deeper

Frozen pipes will not be an issue in every location so this is something you need to keep in mind when planning the depth of your pipes. If you bury your pipes at least 10 inches below the ground, then they will be protected from most of those harsh wintery nights. Plus the depth will protect the pipes from lawn equipment. Aeration will not reach that deep and you won’t have to worry about damaging your pipes every time you dig in the yard.

What Tools Should you Use?

Digging trenches requires a great deal of manual labor. If you want to avoid this, then consider hiring a professional to install it for you. They have all of the right tools and the expertise to take care of every step. If you choose to tackle this daunting task yourself, then you will need to choose the right tools. You can grab a shovel and get to digging but this is the most labor intensive method. You can also rent a trencher, which is far less work.

I recommend that you water the entire area for one full hour at least two days before you start digging. This loosens the soil and will make your job so much easier.

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