How to Install a Lawn Sprinkler Pump for Surface Water


Read your manual for installation, operation, and safety information. This guide neither supplements nor replaces the Owner’s Manual.

How to Install a Lawn Sprinkler Pump for Surface Water
The addition of a sprinkler system makes it much easier to ensure proper watering cycles for any lawn and garden. Some systems take water from the house, some from separate wells and other from lakes, streams, canals, rain barrels, etc. Changing the water supply from a well or house supply to a surface water supply is a simple procedure. If the system originally had a house supply then there are extra costs involved, but if the system already draws from a well then the process is even simpler.
Please note that provisions must be taken to prevent irrigation piping from freezing. These provisions include a method to drain the intake line completely and for removing the inlet from the water source before the source freezes.

Cost (0-5 scale): 3
Difficulty (0-5 scale): 3

Items Needed:
• PVC pipe the same size as the current intake pipe
• PVC glue
• PVC primer
• PVC fittings - type and number determined by installation
• Suction basket
• Foot or check valve
• Three 60-pound bags of concrete
• Hack saw
• Tape measure

Step One – Measure Length of Inlet Pipe
Determine the distance to the water source from the pump. This is essential to know the length of PVC pipe needed to produce a new intake pipe. Turn the irrigation system off at the circuit breaker panel to ensure the pump does not try to operate while changing the intake line.

Step Two – Assemble Foot Valve and Suction Basket to Pipe
Attach the foot valve to the end of the PVC pipe. Then attach the suction basket to the foot valve. Attachment procedures differ for each basket design.

Step Three – Submerge Suction Basket
Stack two bags of concrete on the bottom of the source of water in no less than three feet of water. Place the PVC pipe with the suction basket on top of the concrete with the suction basket three feet past the concrete bags into the source of water. Place the third bag on top of the stack to hold the intake in place and off the bottom. It may be necessary to extend the intake pipe to make sure the suction basket remains submerged at all times when the sprinkler system is in operation.

Step Four – Connect Suction Basket to Pump Inlet
Glue pipe together until the pump location is reached. Each joint must be airtight. Ensure the pipe is positioned with no ‘dips’ in the pipe and that the pipe slopes downward all the way from the pump. Attach the new intake pipe to the intake port of the pump.

Step Five – Prime Pump and Test System
Prime the system. Turn the system back on and test to ensure the pump is withdrawing water from the source.