Setting up irrigation and we have 9 zones. In some areas multiple pipes go along the same trench for quite some distance. Later on I may 'T' off one of the pipes and I'm wondering best to label the pipes so I know which is which (especially if I don't know where I'll tee from yet.


Wrap different colored plastic ribbons around different pipes. Plastic tape doesn’t deteriorate under ground. Sharpie pen doesn’t fade underground. Different colored electrical tape ditto. Keep a map with color chart, and photos of pipe junctions.

  • Put the same marker on the pipes where they leave the valve housing and ideally mark the controller the same way also. Jun 14 '20 at 0:18

Been there ,done that, not well. I recommend an "as built" drawing, accompanied by many photos of the open trenches , easy with todays phones. Be sure to include something in the photo to orient the picture, like the edge of a driveway. I put concrete donut protectors around most heads , partly to help find them . It is surprising how many sprinkler components are difficult to find after 5 -10 years. A poor choice I made was using 1/2 and 3/4 pipe , reducing size along a branch. So now repairs/changes require an inventory of both size fittings; 1/2 is good enough.Along the line you are thinking; at some point when I needed an elbow, I would put in a T with a plug, and for a T , I would use a cross with a plug for possible future use. I added ground level silcocks so soaker hoses or conventional sprinklers could be used. One thing I added later was drain valves at the low point of each branch ( ideally). A sprinkler system is a journey , not a destination. Also get several spare sprinklers if you want to keep the system uniform; the manufacturers regularly change designs. After a few years you will not be able to get matching parts. I use regular pipe, not the flimsy stuff they sell for sprinklers. If you have a second lower cost water meter for your sprinkler, consider putting some secondary lines in the trenches for hosebibbs out in the yard . Something to consider , with the outer blades removed from a rototiller , it will dig about a one foot wide trench several inches deep a good start for the pipe trenches.

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