How to Move a Sprinkler System Line

A man adjusting the placement of sprinkler lines in a yard with the words moving a sprinkler line

A well-placed sprinkler system can do wonders for your yard. In addition to keeping your plants and lawn green, a sprinkler system reduces weed growth and preserves soil nutrients. But what happens when your landscaping needs change? If your current sprinkler layout no longer meets your needs, or if you need to make some adjustments, you can move your sprinkler lines. Here are some tips on how to move a sprinkler system line:

Planning Your New Layout

Before you can start moving lines, you have to create a landscape plan. A plan will include visuals depicting where you want your new plants and landscaping components to be in your yard. You can draw your own plans or work closely with a professional landscape designer.

Once you know where everything will go, you can compare it to your current sprinkler set up and figure out where you need to install new irrigation lines or move existing lines. The goal is to make sure all critical areas of your yard receive the water necessary to grow and thrive.

Moving your Irrigation Lines

To move your irrigation lines, you will need a shovel, saw, PVC pipe, PVC primer, and PVC cement. You may also want to pick up some flags or stakes to mark where your new line will go before you start digging. You can also use spray paint or another marker of your choosing.

Ready to move your sprinkler line? The following detailed instructions will help:

  1. Turn off your sprinkler system. You don’t want the water to turn on and create a muddy mess while you’re digging around in your lawn.
  2. Locate the line that you’re moving.  Decide where you want the line to go and place markers to create a visual roadmap you can follow.
  3. Dig a trench along the existing line, exposing the piping.
  4. Dig a second trench where you want the irrigation lines to go. The trench should be 8 to 12 inches deep.
  5. Cut the old pipe where necessary and install an end cap. To install an end cap, clean the area, place PVC cement on the inside of the cap, and push it firmly into place. Hold for 10 seconds.
  6. Install pipe in the new trench, starting at the point where the line will attach to your existing sprinkler system. Work your way down the line until you arrive at the area where the sprinkler head will go. When you need to connect elbows or connectors, be sure to use PVC cement and hold pipes in place for several seconds to prevent the joints from falling apart.
  7. Connect an elbow to the end of the line. This is where you will attach the sprinkler head. Install the sprinkler head, ensuring that it will be properly placed and at ground level once complete.

Testing and Flushing Your Sprinkler System

Before you bury your new line, you must test the system to make sure everything is working properly; after all, you don’t want to have to dig everything back up again if there are issues. Turn on your system for several seconds and walk the length of your line, looking for clogs and leaks. If you find issues, turn off the water and fix them. Repeat as many times as necessary until your line is functioning as it should.

Now it’s time to bury your new line. Start at the sprinkler head, gently holding the head in place and scooping the dirt into the hole around it evenly. Once full, pack the dirt around the head to ensure that it stays in place while you’re filling the rest of the trench. Fill in the trench and pack down the dirt. Consider placing sod or planting grass seed to cover the areas where you dug up the yard.

If the job seems too big or complicated, you should call a professional plumber for help. Contact H.E.B. Plumbing & Sprinkler to develop a plan and get your sprinkler lines moved.