Building a portable spray sprinkler with pvc pipe and Rain Bird irrigation parts from Home Depot.
Several years ago I got tired of buying garden sprinklers that just didn’t work. One day, while installing an underground sprinkler for a client, I thought, “If someone would just use this wonderful sprinkler technology for building a portable, hose connected sprinkler…” Then I asked myself one of my favorite questions, “I wonder what would happen if…” That’s when I got busy and designed this sprinkler. It’s easy to build, and it really, really works.
I’m going to give you instructions for building an inexpensive, light weight, versatile sprinkler that shoots out a fine spray. A list of materials will appear at the end of this article so you can copy, print, and take it to the store for help. One of the good parts of this sprinkler is that you can move it around while it is running without getting wet. Assembly time is approximately 30 minutes start to finish.
You will need a ten foot piece of ¾ pvc pipe (not pictured) and the parts in the picture. I will show you how to use them one at a time. You may use fancy rachet pipe cutters (pictured, cost about $10) or you may use a hack saw. There is only one cut to be made. I’m sure they will cut it at the store for you if need be. You will also need a flat work surface. I use a patio here, being sure to use newspaper to catch any dripping glue. Here are the parts:
The nozzle, Rain Bird 15h (fifteen foot, half circle) will come in a package that looks like this. Be sure it has the pipe adaptor and filter with it:
The nozzle, adaptor, and filter will look like this:
A swivel hose adaptor -1/2 female pipe thread (fpt) by 3/4 female hose- looks like this
Sometimes it’s called a “combo tee” but, specifically it is a 3/4 slip by 1/2 fpt (female pipe thread) tee.
And then, there is a “combo ell”, or 3/4 slip by 1/2 fpt elbow.
You will need a can of pvc cement. I use the rain or shine blue glue. It works well.
These are nice ratchet cutters and only about ten dollars. You may also use a hack saw, or smile real nice at the guy at the store and he’ll cut it for you.
To start the project, cut the ten foot, 3/4 pvc pipe in half. This will give you two 5 foot pieces if my math is correct. You may use shorter pieces if you wish.
Screw the 1/2 inch riser into the tee and then screw on the hose adapter. It will look like this:
Paint some glue on one of the pipe ends and stick it into the tee. Note the newspapers spread out to keep glue from dripping on the work surface.
Glue the second piece of pipe into the other end of the tee.
The project will look like the picture below. The reason for doing this first is to orient the pipe so that the other pieces will be straight up.
Screw one of the 1/2 inch risers into one of the combo elbows
The next step is tricky. Be sure the hose adaptor is flat on the work surface as you glue the elbow onto the pipe. Make sure that the riser in the elbow is as straight up as possible. If it’s a little crooked, it’s ok, but the straighter the better.
If you look at the top of the Rain Bird nozzle, you will see little lines in part of it. This shows you where the water will go. When you install it, make sure that the lines are pointing away from the hose hookup. They can always be adjusted by turning.
Screw the nozzle with the adaptor onto the pipe at both ends
And the nozzle, installed, should look like this
Hook it up to the hose and turn the water on. You may adjust the spray by turning the nozzle. It doesn’t have to be way tight.
Micky is delighted with her sprinkler. The grass seed was up in a week. For timing, you may wish to try 20 minutes in one place for sufficient water. It may vary.
There are lots of different Rain Bird nozzles to choose from once you get started watering, and they may be easily changed. On my front bank, I use the sst nozzle which throws a rectangular pattern and covers a space of 30 feet by 4 feet. It waters the flower bed without soaking the street. Then there’s a 15 foot adjustable nozzle that gives you all kinds of patterns after you fool with it a bit. Check them out.
Here is a list of materials that you may copy, print, and take to the store:
1 – 10 foot piece of 3/4 inch pvc pipe. (you may wish to get it cut in half at the store)
1 - 1/2 fpt (female pile thread) by 3/4 swivel hose thread adaptor.
3 – 1/2 inch by 6 inch threaded risers (may be called nipples)
1 – 3/4 inch slip by 1/2 inch fpt (threaded) tee
2 – 3/4 inch slip by 1/2 inch fpt elbow
1-small can pvc cement
2 – Rain Bird 15H nozzles with pipe adaptors (sometimes called shrub adaptors)
That’s it! Have fun with the sprinkler.
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