Are you looking to automate some of your lawn maintenance by installing an outdoor sprinkler system? If so, follow these tips for planning the layout for a basic sprinkler system.

Locate Your Water Supply

You are going to need an outdoor water supply for the sprinkler system, so you need to figure out what pipe you can tap into. This is usually an outdoor spigot near the side of your home. However, if you do not have an outdoor spigot, you'll need to figure out how to get a water line to the outside of your home. This can make the job much more complicated and require a plumber for assistance.

Check Your Flow Rate

You'll also need to figure out if you have enough water pressure coming out of this pipe to make the outdoor sprinkler system work. Thankfully, you can figure this out using some basic math. Time how long it takes to fill up a 5-gallon bucket of water from the same spigot, which should give you a good idea of how many gallons of water come out of the spigot each minute. For example, if it takes 15 seconds to fill up that 5-gallon bucket, you know that it can output 20 gallons of water per minute.

Determine Your Sprinkler Layout

Now that you know the flow rate, you can determine how many sprinklers you can use for your sprinkler layout. A sprinkler head will state how many gallons of water it uses per minute as its flow rate, and your sprinkler system will not be able to exceed the amount of water that each sprinkler head requires. It is common for sprinkler heads to have a flow rate of 1 gallon of water per minute. In an example where your spigot has a flow rate of 20 gallons per minute, you would be able to use 20 sprinkler heads with a flow rate of 1 gallon per minute.

Each of those sprinkler heads will have a radius of what type of water coverage they provide. You'll then need to plan out approximately where those sprinkler heads will go to cover your entire lawn. This will involve plotting out your yard on graph paper and drawing the radius of each sprinkler head to get it right.

If you are having trouble figuring out a plan for your sprinkler system, it may be time to call in professional help. Visit websites like to ask a lawn sprinkler system installation company for assistance with planning and installing your sprinkler system.