Outdoor Plumbing Projects: Sprinklers & Irrigation, Hose Bibs, Ponds & Fountains, More

man holding nozzle

Running a water supply out of the house and to the yard is in some ways easier than interior plumbing: Pipes that are exposed or run in trenches are usually easier to install than pipes run through walls and floors. And most outdoor projects call for supply lines only -- no drain and vent lines.

Projects in Outdoor Projects

Because outdoor plumbing is not protected as well as interior plumbing, you must take care to keep it from harm. Local codes set standards to make outdoor plumbing safe. Use only pipes and valves designed for outdoor use. Bury pipes deep enough so they will not be disturbed by normal gardening activity. Draw a map showing pipe locations so you can avoid hitting them if you do any digging later. Where pipes are exposed clamp them firmly to stable structures.

If you have freezing winters, make sure you can drain all the lines in the fall. Run supply pipes at a consistent slope so water cannot collect in low spots. Install valves, faucets, or sprinkler heads designed for draining. Or plan to open the system and blow compressed air through the pipes.

Some outdoor work -- digging trenches by hand for instance -- is physically demanding. Unless you are used to such work, go at an easy pace and take plenty of breaks. Consider renting a machine or hiring laborers to make the job easier.

This section describes projects that are not difficult, especially if you have basic plumbing skills taught elsewhere in this book. All the installations make outdoor living more enjoyable and hassle-free. An outdoor kitchen equipped with running water means fewer trips to the kitchen. A window box drip irrigation system keeps flowers blooming on the hottest days and eliminates the chore of daily watering. And adding a new hose bib or two can make watering and other outdoor chores easier.

The techniques in these projects can be used for other outdoor installations, such as fountains, pools, or spas.

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