How to convert manual sprinkler system to automatic: Upgrade Your Lawn

Upgrade Your Lawn Convert Manual Sprinkler System to Automatic
Upgrade Your Lawn Convert Manual Sprinkler System to Automatic

To convert a manual sprinkler system to an automatic one, hire a professional sprinkler installer. They will evaluate the existing system, design a new one, and replace or add necessary components.

The conversion process involves adding an automatic controller, sensors, valves, and possibly new sprinkler heads. Having a flourishing green lawn is dependent on consistent watering. Traditional manual sprinkler systems require effort and a schedule to maintain, which can be a struggle for busy homeowners.

This is where upgrading to an automatic sprinkler system comes in handy. With an automated system, the lawn irrigation process can be programmed and customized to suit specific needs and schedules, thereby saving time and energy. It is possible to convert an existing manual sprinkler system to an automatic one. This process requires careful planning, design, and professional installation. In this article, we will discuss how to convert a manual sprinkler system to an automatic one.

Evaluating The Existing Sprinkler System

How To Check The Condition Of Your Existing Sprinkler System

Before converting manual sprinkler systems into automatic ones, it is essential to evaluate the current system’s condition to determine whether it is worth the upgrade. Here are some key points on how to evaluate the condition of your existing sprinkler system:

  • Check the sprinkler heads and make sure they are free from any damage or blockages.
  • Inspect the pipes and valves for leaks and cracks.
  • Evaluate whether the sprinkler’s coverage is adequate and if all areas of the lawn are getting enough water.
  • Look for signs of poor water distribution, such as dry areas, soggy spots, or over-saturated soil.
  • Determine whether your current system is providing consistent watering, with consistent water pressure and good water distribution.

How To Assess The Water Usage Of Your Existing Sprinkler System

Assessing the water usage of your existing manual sprinkler system is important to determine whether an upgrade is even necessary. Here are some essential points for assessing water usage:

  • Evaluate your water bills over several months to determine how much water your lawn needs.
  • Determine your current system’s water efficiency and compare it to automatic sprinkler systems’ water efficiency.
  • Calculate the coverage area of your existing sprinkler system and evaluate whether it provides water to every part of your lawn.
  • Check whether you are overwatering some parts of your lawn and underwatering others.
  • Determine whether there is water runoff, which can lead to soil erosion and potential damage to your home’s foundation.

Analyzing The Issues Linked With Manual Sprinkler System

As mentioned earlier, manual sprinkler systems might not be ideal for several reasons. Here are some of the essential points to consider before converting a manual system to an automatic one:

  • Manual systems require physical labor, and you have to remember to turn them off and on.
  • With manual systems, there is a significant possibility of overwatering or underwatering certain lawn areas.
  • Manual systems do not have the flexibility of setting up specific watering schedules, which leads to wasting water.
  • Manual systems may not be as efficient as automatic sprinkler systems as they might distribute water unevenly, leading to dry patches or over-saturated soil.
  • Manual systems require close monitoring, keeping you from other essential activities.

Why It’s Time To Upgrade To An Automatic Sprinkler System

There are several benefits of upgrading to an automatic sprinkler system, including:

  • Automatic sprinkler systems save water, helping you conserve the environment and save money on your water bills.
  • Automatic systems offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to set schedules and forget about them, freeing you up to attend to other essential responsibilities.
  • Automatic sprinkler systems distribute water evenly, ensuring optimal growth of your lawn, flowers, and plants.
  • Automatic systems regulate water pressure, ensuring consistent water distribution, and preventing runoff, and soil erosion.
  • Upgrading to an automatic sprinkler system increases your property’s value and enhances its curb appeal.

With all these benefits, upgrading to an automatic sprinkler system is a smart investment. It saves you time and money, allows you to conserve water resources, and provides efficient watering for your lawn, garden, and plants.

Planning The Conversion To Automatic Sprinkler System

Importance Of Planning The Installation Of An Automatic Sprinkler System

It’s essential to plan the installation of an automatic sprinkler system carefully. Here’s why you should do so:

  • It will save you money in the long run by reducing water wastage and preventing over-watering your lawn.
  • A well-planned automatic sprinkler system will ensure that all areas of your lawn receive the right amount of water, preventing both under-watering and over-watering.
  • A proper plan will help you avoid potential problems like water run-offs that could cause soil erosion.

Additionally, check out: How Automatic Sprinkler Systems Work

How To Measure The Lawn And Yard Accurately

Measuring the lawn and yard is a major step in the process of converting a manual sprinkler system to an automatic one. Here’s how to do it correctly:

  • Use a measuring tape to measure the length and width of your lawn and yard accurately.
  • Multiply the length by the width to obtain the square footage of your lawn and yard.
  • Take note of any obstacles that could impact water coverage in your lawn, such as trees, sidewalks, driveways, and slopes.

Things To Consider Before Deciding On The Type Of Automatic Sprinkler System

Before deciding on the type of automatic sprinkler system to install, here are a few things you need to consider:

  • Soil type: Determine the soil type in your lawn and yard to help you choose the right sprinkler head type.
  • Water pressure: Check the water pressure in your area to pick the right sprinkler heads that can work with the available pressure.
  • Water source: Identify the water source you plan to use for your automatic sprinkler to ensure that it will be sufficient to meet your lawn’s watering needs.
  • Budget: Determine your budget and select an automatic sprinkler system that fits within your financial plans.

Choosing The Right Sprinkler Heads And Zones

Choosing the right sprinkler heads and zones is a critical step in converting your manual sprinkler system to an automatic one. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Choose the type of sprinkler head that matches your soil type and water pressure.
  • Decide on the coverage area for each sprinkler head or zone to ensure that every part of your lawn receives the right amount of water.
  • Consider using a mix of sprinkler head types in different zones in your lawn to maximize water distribution efficiency.

By following these important guidelines, you can successfully convert a manual sprinkler system to an automatic one and provide your lawn with the perfect amount of water it needs to thrive.

Installing The Automatic Sprinkler System

How To Install The Automatic Sprinkler System

Installing an automatic sprinkler system can save you time and effort in maintaining your lawn. Here are the steps to follow for a successful installation.

Steps To Follow For Digging Trenches, Laying Pipes, And Installing Sprinkler Heads

  • Measure your lawn area to know the length and width of your sprinkler system.
  • Mark the area where you are going to install the system, and then dig trenches around the marked area.
  • Lay out the PVC pipes on the trench in a manner that water can flow down to each sprinkler head from the main water source.
  • Set up the sprinkler heads in strategic spots on your lawn, making sure that they cover the desired areas.
  • Connect the sprinkler heads to the PVC pipes using fittings in the trenches.
  • Install a backflow preventer at the point of connection between the main water source and the system to ensure a clean water supply.

How To Ensure The Correct Flow Rate, Water Pressure, And Sprinkler Coverage

  • Select the sprinkler heads with the right water pressure and flow rate for your yard by calculating the water intake capacity.
  • Determine the water pressure in your area by using a pressure gauge and install a regulator to manage the water pressure in your system.
  • Measure your lawn area to avoid an unbalanced flow rate and water pressure in areas with fewer sprinkler heads.
  • Adjust the sprinkler heads’ coverage, so they don’t over or under-water your lawn.

Installing an automatic sprinkler system is an investment in your property’s value and your family’s comfort. Follow these steps to install a sprinkler system and maintain a beautiful lawn all summer long.

Read also: Install Automatic Sprinkler System with Our Step-by-Step Guide

Maintenance And Troubleshooting

How To Maintain The Automatic Sprinkler System

The benefits of converting a manual sprinkler system to an automatic one are numerous. Not only does an automatic system help save time and energy, but it also ensures that your plants and lawns receive the appropriate amount of water they need regularly.

However, an automatic sprinkler system also requires maintenance and troubleshooting to operate correctly and efficiently. Here are some tips on maintaining an automatic sprinkler system:

  • Inspect the sprinkler heads for clogs or leaks regularly.
  • Clean and replace the filters in the system.
  • Check for proper water pressure in the system.
  • Adjust the sprinkler heads to ensure that all areas of the lawn get the appropriate amount of water.
  • Keep an eye on any weather changes; adjust the watering schedule accordingly.
  • Schedule an appointment with a professional for regular inspections.

Tips For Regular Maintenance And Troubleshooting

Although automatic sprinkler systems are designed to prevent homeowners from spending long hours watering their lawns manually, occasional maintenance and troubleshooting are essential for an efficient system. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule regular system inspections with a professional to ensure that everything is working as it should.
  • Look out for any brown or dry patches of grass, spoilt landscaping, and standing water, as these may be signs of a fault with the system.
  • Conduct a test on the system regularly to detect any faults.
  • Inspect the sprinkler heads for blockages or water leaks.
  • Check the water pressure to confirm that the system is balanced.
  • Regularly check the timer to ensure that the programmed settings are still accurate.

Moreover, explore: How to Install an Automatic Sprinkler Timer

Common Problems Of An Automatic Sprinkler System And How To Fix Them

Like any other equipment, automatic sprinkler systems are inclined to faults. However, most of the problems are easy to troubleshoot and even easier to fix. Here are some common issues with automatic sprinkler systems and how to resolve them:

  • Clogged or damaged nozzles: Check and clean the clogged or damaged nozzle and replace it if necessary.
  • Waterlogged soil: Installing drainage tiles to reduce the amount of excess water on your property.
  • Damaged or broken pipes: Replace the broken parts of your irrigation system.
  • Inadequate watering: Adjust the sprinkler heads to ensure that all areas of the lawn receive the right amount of water.
  • Malfunctioning controls and timers: Replace old or damaged timers with new ones or reprogram your existing ones to prevent malfunction.

By regularly maintaining an automatic sprinkler system and troubleshooting common problems, your system will continue to operate efficiently, and your lawn or landscape will remain in optimal condition.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Convert Manual Sprinkler System To Automatic

How Much Does It Cost To Convert A Manual Sprinkler System To An Automatic One?

Converting your manual sprinkler system to an automatic one can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500. The total cost will depend on factors like the size of your lawn, the type of system you choose, and the complexity of installation.

How Long Does It Take To Convert My Sprinkler System?

The time it takes to convert your manual sprinkler system to an automatic one will depend on several factors, such as the size of your lawn, the type of system you choose, and the complexity of installation. Generally, it can take anywhere from 1 day to 1 week to complete the conversion.

Can I Install An Automatic Sprinkler System Myself?

Installing an automatic sprinkler system yourself is possible, but it’s not recommended unless you have experience in plumbing or irrigation systems. The process involves digging trenches, laying PVC pipes, and connecting water lines and electrical wiring. It’s best to hire a professional for the job.

What Are The Benefits Of An Automatic Sprinkler System?

An automatic sprinkler system offers several benefits, including saving time and water. The system can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times, ensuring your lawn receives the right amount of water without wasting any. Additionally, an automatic sprinkler system can increase the value of your home.

How Do I Maintain My Automatic Sprinkler System?

Maintaining your automatic sprinkler system is important to ensure it continues to function properly. Regularly inspect the system for leaks, check the heads for clogs, and make any necessary adjustments to the programming. It’s also important to schedule professional maintenance and winterization services.


As you can see, converting your manual sprinkler system to an automatic one comes with a variety of benefits. Not only will it save you time and effort, but it will also save you money in the long run. A fully automated system means less water wastage and more efficient use of resources.

Luckily, the process of converting your manual sprinkler system to an automatic one is not as complicated as it may seem. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your lawn and garden receive the necessary water they need, without any hassle.

Remember, it is important to consider the unique needs of your lawn and garden when selecting and installing your automatic system. With a little research and insight, you can enjoy a beautiful, green lawn with minimal effort.


  • David Mark

    David Mark is an experienced gardening guide with over 20 years of experience. He is passionate about helping people learn about gardening and creating beautiful, healthy gardens. David's love of gardening began at a young age, when he would help his parents in their backyard garden. He quickly learned the basics of gardening, and as he grew older, he began to experiment with different plants and techniques. After graduating from college, David worked as a landscaper for several years. This gave him the opportunity to work on a variety of different gardens, from small backyards to large commercial properties. He also learned how to install irrigation systems, build raised beds, and create patios and walkways. In 2005, David decided to start his own gardening website. He quickly became known for his expertise and friendly personality. He has helped hundreds of people create beautiful gardens, and he is always happy to share his knowledge with others. David is a certified Master Gardener, and he is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He is also a regular contributor to gardening magazines and websites.

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