You can install your own sprinkler system for $200-$300.  Having one installed costs 10 times as much.

It usually costs $50 to $100 to have your sprinkler system blown out for the winter.  You can do it yourself with a one-time purchase of a $150 air compressor.


Both Rainbird and Toro make good sprinklers and have bottom drain plugs.  I have a backflow device that is specifically made for sprinkler systems, and it cost about $50.  That kind of backflow device is required by my city ordinances. You can check with your city, to see what they require, if anything.  If you need one, you install it on the main water line before you get to the sprinkler valve box.  You typically put it on an outside wall on the back or side of your house. If your city does require them, they will also require that they be inspected every spring.  Typically, local landscaping companies offer a sprinkler turn on service, that includes this testing.  I saved money and turn on my own sprinklers, but have to pay them to do the testing. I believe it is about $30 per year. Here is a picture of my backflow device. You will notice a certified testing tag on it.

The best sprinkler pattern is Edge-To-Center, where the edge of one sprinkler arc just touches the center of both its closest neighbors.  In the figure below, Sprinkler 2 reaches from the center of Sprinkler 1 to the center of Sprinkler 3.

This diagram shows how to wire the valves to the controller.

Here is how to wire the controller:

Here is a wired controller, of a different brand: