reusable trench

iamvivekMay 13, 2010


I have a plan for my front yard that I am working on.

For phase 1, I have dug a trench and laid a lateral PVC line for a drip system.

In the future I plan to lay another line for the sprinklers, and then another for the trees. And maybe one more to pull landscape wires.

Since it's a long term project, I wanted something to fill the trench with. So that when I want to install additional lines (reuse the trench) it is easy to do. It's a pain to have to re-dig the trench every time.

I was thinking of using pea gravel, but was not sure if the sharp edges of the gravel would damage the PVC pipe?

Any ideas.


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The simple answer is - whatever gravel you can find that is the cheapest will be fine. There are a couple things about trenching for irrigation that you may also want to consider.

1. If you're only stubbing this out for future use, I would recommend visiting the following site - it's probably one of the best resources online for a layman's guide on how-to design and install an irrigation system...

2. the depth of your mainline[1] needs to be at least 18" + (outer-diameter of your pipe). For a 2" (inner-diameter) SCH40 PVC pipe, that would be approximately 21" deep. Because this pipe is always charged with water, you want to make sure that it's out of reach from the errant stab from a tool (shovel, pickaxe, cast-iron tiki-torch, etc)

3. Once you're done with your trench, only fill it halfway at first and then flood it with water for a couple minutes. It'll help the gravel and soil settle around the pipes evenly and they'll be a lot less likely to break.

**I'd honestly recommend that you hold off until you've done a little more research. Your mainline should be as short in length as possible while also being large enough in diameter to support the flow your system will require.

But you can't know how much flow you need until you've figured out where each head is going to go and which type of nozzle (360, 270, 180, 90, etc.) and distance for each pop-up as well as pressure and flow requirements for rotors.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 8:30AM
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