Q & A

How Can I Find My Sprinkler Lines Without Digging?

If you want to dig up an area to change the shape of your garden or put in more effective sprinkler heads, you’ll need to know where your sprinkler lines are first. The location of underground sprinkler lines is not always obvious to homeowners. How can you find the lines that water your garden without destroying your landscaping?

Obtaining a design map from the firm that put in the sprinkler system can allow you to locate the lines without having to dig. Locate the valve box and then trace a line to each sprinkler head on the circuit if this is not practicable. Alternatively, you might utilise a technological water detector.

Finding the sprinkler lines in your yard without a plan can be a time-consuming ordeal. There are a number of alternatives to digging up the entire lawn in order to locate the sprinkler lines. Here are some methods, ranging from the simple to the complex, that you can try.

Use A Design Map To Find Sprinkler Lines Without Digging

If you want to avoid having to dig up your garden in order to discover your sprinkler lines, using the design map provided by the installation company is your best bet. The installation business might have a duplicate of the design map even if you don’t have one.

Once you receive the map, you’ll need to figure out how to read it and locate the same features in your garden as are depicted on the map. Although the sprinkler heads and valve box are the most critical characteristics, the map may also include markings for buildings and paved areas.

After aligning the garden plan with the map, you may physically draw the paths for the sprinkler hoses. Most sprinkler systems use a geometric pattern, and this is likely to be the case for you. They’ll be positioned to provide consistent water coverage and come in a variety of shapes, including rectangles and triangles.

Physically Locate Your Sprinkler Lines Without A Design Map

If you don’t have a copy of the sprinkler system’s blueprints, then you’ll have to go outside and look for the pipes that carry water around the yard. You’ll require knowledge of how a sprinkler system works.

Know Your Sprinkler System Components

The first part is the electronic timer-equipped control box. Simply said, this device determines whether or not your system is active at any given time. Using the panel, you can open and close a valve similar to a tap, which is connected to a solenoid.

An underground box near the control panel will house the solenoid and valve. Pop-up sprinkler heads are connected to the sprinkler system by a series of pipes that originate at a valve box and end at the non-return valve.

Systematic Steps To Locate Sprinkler Lines Without Digging

There shouldn’t be any trouble finding your sprinkler lines if you use logic:

Find the control panel. Typically, you’ll keep the container down in the basement or garage. Locate the point of egress for the cables from the electrical panel.
Find the underground electrical supply line by going outside.
The valve box in the ground ought to be close by. If dirt is accumulating in the valve box, wipe it down and remove the cover.
When there is more than one circuit, a separate valve box is used for each one.
Be aware of which way the water pipe exits the valve box.
Turn on the water sprinklers. There has to be a manual override option on the control panel. Watch to see which sprinkler heads activate first.
If your sprinkler system is straightforward, you can get from one sprinkler head to the next in a straight line.

Points To Note When You Are Locating Your Sprinkler Lines

Most sprinkler systems with more than one circuit are either rectangular or triangular in shape. Finding the lines without digging requires knowledge of the number of circuits.

The typical layout for a sprinkler system is a rectangle. At regular intervals throughout the length of the rectangle, the pop-up sprinkler heads will be aligned such that they spray in opposite directions. In a rectangular pattern, the sprinkler heads on opposite sides will activate at the same time.

With a rectangular layout, there will most likely be a single pipe from the valve box with a T-join in the middle of the first two sprinkler heads.

Mark Out Your Sprinkler Lines And Heads

There are several techniques to mark off the sprinkler lines physically. Locate the direction of water flow from the valve box and proceed in that direction. Turning on the system and watching how the sprinklers activate will tell you this. In order, the one nearest to the valve box will be the first to surface, and the one furthest will be the last.

Use spray paint to clearly delineate the paths that the sprinkler pipes will take. Alternately, you may use pegs and some colourful yarn or thin rope. Tent pegs are ideal, but you may also use short pieces of wire with bent ends to keep the string in place. Plant a little flag next to each sprinkler head if you need to draw attention to them.

How Close Can Sprinkler Heads Be To Each Other?

Finding your sprinkler lines will be much easier if you know how close your sprinkler heads can be to one another. If you want to fix, upgrade, and optimise your system, you’ll need this information, too. The water flow rate, the type of sprinkler head, and the need for “head-to-head” coverage all influence the number of sprinkler heads and the distance between them.

Do not use more than 75% of the available water flow from your source, be it a borehole or municipal supply, to gain maximum efficiency from your irrigation system and guarantee that each sprinkler head functions at its optimum. To get the most out of your irrigation system, you should set up separate circuits for each zone, and water them at different times.

Electronic Water Detection To Find Sprinkler Lines

Hiring an electronic radio detecting equipment equipped with a microphone is the most reliable and scientific approach to tracing the location of your sprinkler lines. Microphones can pick up water movement even in plastic sprinkler pipes. In order to determine how close the probe is to the sprinkler line, it sends out electronic pulses of varying intensities. You can either do it yourself if you’re competent with electronics, or have a professional technician do it.


Using the layout plan provided by the irrigation system installer is the simplest approach to track down the pipes that carry water around your lawn. If you can’t get your hands on a blueprint, you can always just draw the lines yourself. You could also hire a specialist to utilise a radio frequency detector electronically.

Finding your sprinkler lines and maintaining top performance of your irrigation system is both easier and more efficient when you know the ideal spacing for sprinkler heads. When all else fails, it’s time to bring in the experts!




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