Install Your Exterior Water Lines: A Comprehensive Guide
In order to provide water supply for outdoor irrigation, sprinklers, and pools, it is essential to comply with the building codes of your locality. To ensure that the installation is done correctly and avoids issues, the pipes must be set below the frost line to prevent freezing during cold seasons. It is also important to insulate any exposed pipes to avoid freezing. The recommended material for exterior water lines is thick-walled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping.
Before the installation process, conduct a physical survey of the designated area and ensure that there are no trees, shrubs, or any other landscaping that may interfere with the water system. Check thoroughly for underground cables like phone or electric cables that may be present to avoid any accidents during the installation.
Design the layout of the water lines on a paper, making it simple and straightforward to cut down on complexity. Once you have the layout, draw with the exterior boundary marking paint the outline of the waterline in the designated area. Measure the lines and factor in the needed couplers, valves, sprinklers and faucets, and other required connection joints. Ensure you add a 10% margin of error into your measurements.
Rent a trencher to dig a level trench along the painted lines and make sure you dig the trench according to the local building codes for the area. Excavate the trench, removing all soil and placing it beside the trench on one side.
To start the installation process, turn off the water supply before installing the waterline. Begin by adding a connector for the exterior water line that connects to your existing water supply line. Cut the existing pipe with a hacksaw and install a T-coupler. Rasp the edges of the PVC pipe, remove the shine from the end of the PVC pipe by buffing with an emery cloth, and wipe with a clean rug, apply PVC primer to both ends of the cut waterline and the inside of the slip-fit T-coupler. Swab the inside of the T-coupler with PVC solvent and the exteriors of the cut pipes to slide one end of the existing water line into one side of the T-coupler, turn the pipe a quarter or half turn while holding the T-coupler in the other hand. Repeat the process for the other side.
Add a small section of the pipe to the T-coupler following the same procedures. Add a PVC slip-fit ball valve and then repeat Step 7 through Step 9 to complete the connection. Follow through with the entire process of connecting pipes together one section at a time while using elbow connections to make turns or slip-fit connectors to link straight pieces all the way to the end.
After finishing the last connection, allow the solvent to dry for at least two hours before turning the water supply back on. Turn on the feed to the exterior water system slowly by aligning the ball valve handle with the waterline. Check the system for any possible leaks and repair them before continuing. Use dirt from the trench to cover up the waterline and tamp the soil down until it is firm.
Before using the solvent to glue the T-couplers and pipes together, dry-fit them first and use a permanent marker to denote the coupler's positioning during the exercise. Remember to make the cuts as straight as possible while using a hacksaw for better connections. When you want to add faucets or risers for sprinkler heads, use T-couplers and add them at the proper locations. T-couplers for faucets and risers require the leg of the T-coupler to stand vertically. Ensure proper alignment of all T-couplers during the installation.
In case you have a preference for the usage of threaded PVC line, be aware that slip-fit joints have a higher success rate than their threaded PVC joint counterparts. Depending on where you are, specific regulations may mandate the implementation of anti-siphon valves for exterior water lines – this serves to prevent any contamination that may occur due to backflow within the water supply system. In the event that you lack experience with trenchers, utilizing a pick and shovel for manual digging may be an alternative option for laying water lines. However, should you opt to use a trencher, it is crucial that you follow the instructions for safe operation to minimize the likelihood of any mishaps. As of May 17, 2012, this information remains applicable.
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