What Size Pipe Should I Use For A Sprinkler System? (Explained)

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Are you in the process of installing your home sprinkler system? From putting in the pipes to sizing them up, there are many aspects to think about. For example, what size pipe should I use for a sprinkler system?

The size of the pipe to use for the sprinkler system depends on the capacity. You may either use PVC piping or polythene pipes that will bring water to the sprinkler heads. If you use the PVC pipes, the size should be between ½ inch to 2 inches and for maybe 8 GPM pipes, use the ¾ inches pipes.

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Can You Use ½ Inch Sprinkler Pipe?

One most important thing you need to consider before investing in a sprinkler is the kind of pipe you use. The piping typically affects how the sprinkler will perform and the amount of water that the sprinkler will throw to a certain zone. Before selecting the sprinkler you want to use, ensure that you determine the area you wish to water first and the flow rate from the pipes.

No matter the pipe you choose to use, it is crucial to ensure it is bigger than the sprinkler inlet. But this should not matter so much since even when the tube is small, it may work just fine. So, you can use the ½ inch sprinkler pipe even though it is pretty tiny.

The ½ inch sprinkler pipes usually are more prominent in PVC pipes. Here you will find that most water pipes range from ½ to 2 inches, but this mainly depends on the system’s capacity. If your system’s ability is about 4GPM, then the ½ inch pipe will work perfectly in it.

Sometimes, it may be hard to know where to use the 1/2 inch pipe or whether it is right to use it. When determining the right size of water pipes to use, you need first to calculate the flow rate that the water will flow. One of the best ways to determine this is by selecting the water flow in a bucket against the time it starts running to when it stops.

By carrying out this process, you will get the flow rate in GPM, which should tell you whether or not to use the ½ inch pipe. While it is okay to use the ½ inch sprinkler pipe, you should know it comes with certain drawbacks.

For instance, the laterals of this pipe usually clog since it is narrow. Also, it can hold only a tiny amount of water at a time since the tube is pretty low. Moreover, you cannot get this kind of pipe in most places apart from those with the SCH type.

Also, if you are going to use the ½ inch pipe, this means that you may require to have a different kind of pipe that may be larger than this if you need to do repairs. Furthermore, this pipe is not that flexible, so you may not be able to make any adjustments to your sprinkler system if you are using it.

What Size Pipe Should I Use For a Sprinkler System?

For water to reach your whole yard or irrigation, you need to ensure that you use the correct size pipes. Good size pipes will ensure that there will be an efficient and effective flow of water to all the parts of your garden without any hiccups.

There may not be the perfect size that every household should use when sprinkling water, but it all goes down to the kind of garden you are using and what you want to achieve.

The size of the pipe you select should also depend on the water flow rate. When the size is correct, it will ensure little to no friction, therefore, reducing the chances of pressure loss so To avoid this, you should ensure that the pipes you use are a size up with each other.

PVC pipes are most common for irrigation and may come as either schedule 40 pipes or schedule 80 pipes. Both of these pipes can handle pressure pretty well; therefore, they tend not to break quickly. However, the walls of schedule 80 pipe have thicker walls, making them suitable when building an above ground system.

For most pipes, the size will range between ½ inches and 2 inches. The ½ inches one is pretty tiny and tends to clog quickly and may, in the long run, not be able to supply the sprinkler with the water it requires.

The 2 inches one, on the other hand, may be quite large therefore forcing the sprinkler to throw so much water that it should typically do.

According to the up codes, It advises that the size of the pipe from the source of water to the sprinkler head should be above ¾ inches. The sprinkler does not risk clogging at such a point and will supply water at the correct rate and pressure.

To determine the right size of your pipe, check the water flow rate. You can get the flow rate by simply using your stopwatch and one-gallon bucket, and by doing this, you may not necessarily get the right GPM that is suitable.

But, the GPM you get should guide you on the size of pipe to use. For instance, if you get 8GPMs, then it works well with the ¾ inch pipe. For 13 GMPs, you should use the 1-inch water pipe, and for 4 GPMs, you require the ½ inch pipe, which is not the best size to use.

Also, you can use different water pipes at various stages of your piping system.

For instance, you can employ a 3-inch water pipe at the water source to ensure a reduction in the water pressure. If you plan to have other branches from the main water pipe, you can get water pipes ranging from 3/8 to ¾ inches and ensure that the water passing through them is low to prevent overwatering.

If selecting the correct pipe size to use is an issue, a larger pipe size always wins. It does not trap sediment and debris; therefore, It will not clog your irrigation system.

Should I Use ¾ or 1 Inch Sprinkler Pipe?

You can use either of them, but at least there must be one that is pretty more effective than the other.

The one-inch sprinkler pipe will work much better since it is significant. However, you may find that these two function almost the same way since even the ¾ inch one is also a good pipe size.

Even so, size will always make a difference, so you should expect that the 1-inch pipe performing more efficiently. Usually, the sprinkler inlet is small; therefore, it makes a good match since the tube is significant. It will fit in more better.

So, if you were to select the size to go with, choose the 1 inch one. It may be larger than the inlet, while the ¾ inch one is not as large.

In some sprinklers, they may have two different sizes of channels, and such suggests that you use a pipe of the same size as the inlet or the larger one relative to the largest bay.

Therefore, before selecting the size to use, ensure that you first study the size of your inlet. Also, it is essential to determine the water flow and pressure. Be sure that the pipe you use does not increase water pressure, resulting in the pipe bursting.

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There is no specific type of pipe that you can use on a certain sprinkler head, and the correct size will depend on the type of irrigation system you have and the size of the sprinkler head.

All you need to do is ensure that the one you use does not lead to water overpowering or does not increase the pressure of the pipe, so it is better to use one whose size is large but mostly use one that is 3/4 inches or more.