How to Design A Sprinkler System

How to Design A Sprinkler System

Aug 23rd 2023

Maintaining a healthy and flourishing lawn requires more than watering and regular mowing. You also need a well-designed sprinkler system that provides even and efficient water coverage. A carefully designed sprinkler system not only saves water but also saves you time and money. Designing a sprinkler system for your lawn or garden is a daunting process. So, there are factors you should consider to have an efficient and cost-effective irrigation system for your lawn.

In this blog, our irrigation experts discuss the necessary steps to design a sprinkler system for your landscaping that will keep your plants and grass green and thriving. Let's begin!

  1. Evaluate and prepare your lawn for the sprinkler system

The first and foremost step to designing your sprinkler system is evaluating and preparing the area of your lawn where you want to install a sprinkler system. For it, determine your lawn's actual size, shape, and unique characteristics. You will need to measure the dimensions of your yard, note any slopes or irregularities, and evaluate how much water is available from your water source. Any error in measuring lawn size can impact the entire design. In fact, inaccurate measurements are a common cause of sprinkler system replacement.

For this task, you'll need a tape measure, pencil, and graph paper. Measure the length and width of your lawn using the tape measure and draw it to the scale. For instance, you can use a scale of one square to 10 ft. Take the measurements from one side of the building for an accurate base of your measurements because most buildings have square corners and straight sides. You should draw all landscapes as well as hardscapes and other barriers in your drawing, such as your driveway, pathways, tree locations, and house.

In addition, preparing your lawn for a sprinkler system includes finding a safe location for your water source. The water source flow output is important as it'll help you determine the number of sprinkler heads required and the size of pipes you need for the mainline.

  1. Determine water pressure and flow rate

Water flow and water pressure are two imperative aspects of any sprinkler system operation. You need to measure the water pressure and flow rate to ensure proper coverage and to design an accurate system. Insufficient water pressure can be the cause of sprinkler system failure.

First, decide the source from where the water supply will come for your irrigation line. To measure the flow rate, turn on the faucet and timer and measure how long it takes to fill a gallon-sized bucket. However, if the water company provides the water, ask for your property water pressure report.

In addition, check the water pressure throughout the house because it differs from area to area. You can use a water pressure gauge to measure the water pressure by attaching a gauge to the spigot of your water source. Switch on your spigot to gauge your water output. Most homes have water pressure between 30-50 psi and a flow rate of 5-10 gallons per minute (GPM). Besides, take note of any obstacle between your home and the sprinkler system, such as trees, buildings, or any other structure that may block water flow.

  1. Divide the area into zones

Next, divide your property into zones to prevent over or underwatering your plants. Dividing the lawn into multiple zones will help you counter dry spots and diseases that may occur from overwatering or underwatering. By following this step, you will get to know the water coverage needed for different areas.

Zones may include reduced irrigation zone, limited irrigation zone, routine irrigation zone, and no irrigation zone. The factors you should consider while dividing the lawn include sunlight, water, soil type, and type of plants.

Shady areas require less water than an area getting full sunlight. Some plants require different amounts of water, so organize them according to watering requirements. After considering all these factors, check out your landscape to decide where you should put sprinkler heads so they'll be effective during watering hours.

  1. Choose your sprinkler heads and other equipment

Correctly choosing your sprinkler heads is one of the most necessary steps in designing your sprinkler system. There are various types of sprinkler heads, and their choice varies depending on the watering needs of your zone. Some types include Rotor sprinkler heads, spray heads, fixed sprays, bubblers, solid stream rotors, and drip irrigation. All these sprinklers feature different flow rate, pressure, and coverage.


In addition to sprinkler heads, additional equipment you'll need for your sprinkler system are timers, control valves, valve boxes, an irrigation mainline pipe, lateral pipes, sprinkler risers, wiring, and water meters. As all sprinkler systems aren't designed the same, make sure to stick with one sprinkler brand for effective output.

At DripWorks, we have an ample selection of sprinkler heads and all irrigation equipment of top-notch quality. Since the brand matters, we deliver sprinkler heads and other sprinkler system items of high-quality brands like K-Rain, Rainbird, and Hunter. We have everything you need for your DIY sprinkler system.

  1. Design the layout of your sprinkler system

Designing the layout of your sprinkler system is essential before you connect the pipes. Draw out sprinkler head locations and spraying circles on your map. Ensure your entire lawn or garden gets watered by including the spots in the design where nozzles start and finish.

Place the heads at least 30 cm away from trees, walls, and fences. In addition, measure the distance from one irrigation head to another and make sure it is equal to the sprinkler's radius to accomplish head-to-head overlap.

However, you can widen the space between sprinklers if your lawn is odd-shaped. If you're looking for a design service to make the layout of your system, our qualified design agents can help you by designing your sprinkler system layout.

  1. Measure and determine the piping layout

Finally, combine small sprinkler heads into clusters of various circuits, and each cluster will be controlled by one valve. Next, group valves together and connect them to the irrigation controller. Afterward, arrange the pipes, sprinkler heads, fittings, and valves so they can function smoothly. Make sure the piping is the right diameter to supply consistent water flow.

Once you have followed these steps and designed your sprinkler system, now is the time to install the irrigation system based on your design.

The Bottom Line

Designing your sprinkler system might seem complicated, but with thoughtful planning and attention, you can create an efficient system that promotes lush and thriving landscaping. By following these six steps, you will be able to have a cost-effective sprinkler system that provides optimal coverage, and you will enjoy your beautifully irrigated lawn. At DripWorks, we have a vast selection of sprinklers, valves, spray heads, and other irrigation system items you'll need to design your home sprinkler system.

Additionally, if you're not into designing your own sprinkler system, you can purchase our professional design service. Our qualified design agents can design and plan the right irrigation system for your lawn. Visit our design service page for more details!

If you have any queries about installing your sprinkler system or seeking quality equipment, you can contact us via live chat, filling the form, or visit our store.