Our house came with a working sprinkler system but after the construction on the apartment we were left with broken valves and cut sprinkler wires.
The easy thing to do would be to call a landscaper and have him fix the problems. We called around and were quoted over $500.00 to fix the two valves and install a new control panel. Immediately Chris and I did a price check and found that all the items we needed could be found at our local hardware store and if we fixed everything ourselves we’d save over $400.00.
Lowes has better sprinkler parts and are consistently cheaper. If you do this DIY, shop at Lowes.
Parts we needed?
Now, for the 1st part of the DIY – Replacing the Sprinkler Valves.
TURN OFF THE WATER AT THE MAIN SHUT OFF! It would be a funny story to tell your friends, but unless you want to get soaked… TURN THE WATER OFF.
Cut the old valves off the PVC pipe coming out of the ground. They have been glued on and will not come off without force.
Once the old valve is off locate the water source pipe and the discharge pipe. It’s easy to see which pipe does what. One will have watering bubbling out (spraying if you didn’t do step one) and the other won’t. Build the adapters and connect them to the valve. ALWAYS use teflon tape whenever you’re threading pipes together.
Once you have the adapters built and the top threaded onto the valve, attach the adapter pipe to the cut PVC pipe with PVC pipe cement.
The pipe cement is applied to the bottom section of the valve and pushed onto the two pipes coming out of the ground.
Remember how I said to locate the water pipe and the drain pipe… this is because the valve has to go on in the right direction. Orbit has placed arrows on their valvse to help avoid any confusion.
Now that the new valve is on wait about 10 minutes. Manually open the valve to full and turn your water back on. The sprinklers should begin working. WHEN they do, turn the water back off, turn the valve to the off position and now begin to wire the new valve to the control panel.
Part 2 of the DIY – Laying Sprinkler Wire.
Wiring to the control panel is fairly easy. All you need is sprinkler wire.
Waterproof wire nuts.
And a Sprinkler Control Panel.
Our valve is behind our retaining wall and initially we were thinking we’d have to drill through the wall to get the sprinkler wire to the valve but I started digging and managed to thread the wire under the retaining wall and back up to the valve. I am so happy I did and now we don’t have a hole in the wall or an exposed wire.
Once the wire is where you want it use the wire cutters to cut the black protective outer coating.
The White wire is used to Command the sprinkler valve and the colors Control the flow of the sprinkler valve. I used Red for Control. and for the backyard we used Blue for Control. Always use a different color for each valve control.
Strip the colored protective coating from the two wires and cut the remaining unused wires flush with the black out coating.
Pair the White wire to either of the black wires coming off the sprinkler valve. I thought it mattered which black wire to use but apparently it doesn’t! Once you have the Black and White wires exposed and next to one another insert them into the wire nut and twist. The wire nut does all the work for you and the two wires are now interwoven. Repeat this step with the Red and Black wires.
Tape around both wire nuts with electrical tape to ensure no water or dirt gets in.
Now bury your wire about 3 inches under the ground all the way to your Sprinkler Control Panel.
Strip the White/Command and Colored/Control wires. You will put both White wires into the COM slot. Unscrew the screw over the COM slot. Place both White inside and screw tight.
Now the colored wires, we used Red for the front yard and Blue for the back get placed in their own numbered slots. Our control panel can take up to 4 valves.
Secure it to the wall and your done! Now just set the timer and watch your plants survive this summer’s heat!