Lesson 6 – Attaching The Sprinklers
Spacing between sprinklers
The sprinklers must be attached to the piping with no more than 8 cells between the sprinklers. For portrait panels, the sprinkler will be attached in the center, one per panel (6 cells between sprinklers).
For landscape panels, attach the first sprinkler 4 cells from the end of the row and then space every 8 cells. If the sprinkler spacing is on a panel edge after spacing the 8 cells, space the sprinkler with 7.5 cells of separation, as shown below. Then continue spacing at 8 cells for the next sprinkler.
Location of sprinklers
There are two clips on each side of the sprinkler that need to be attached. IMPORTANT: pay attention to where sprinkler locations are punched. There are a few obstructions on the underside of the panel that can get in the way of the clip attaching.
- The main obstruction is at the ends of each panel, the panel frame for the edge of the panel will get in the way.
- Microinverters can also get in the way if the manufacturer placed them against the panel frame.
- On tilt racking stems (not flush) on roofs, the vertical racking support and/or wind guard support can get in the way.
Obstruction for clips on underside of panel – racking support on commercial rooftop tilt racking.
Punching the mounting hole
For each of the sprinkler attachment locations, punch a hole at a slight angle towards the panel using a pipe hole-puncher. When the sprinkler is attached, it should be pointed at an angle of about 75⁰ from the top surface of the solar panel.
When punching the hole, you should hear a click as the hole is punched. In situations where the pipe has been in the sun and is hot, the plastic may be more flexible and more difficult to punch through. In these cases, pressing harder into the hole may be necessary. Be careful not to punch through the other side of the pipe, and avoid moving the hole-puncher around while in the hole, as this will widen the hole.
Attaching a sprinkler
When a sprinkler is removed from the package, it will be flattened out as shown in the 1st photo below. Twist the top part 90⁰ from the mounting section as in the second photo.
IMPORTANT – The two pieces should be tightly pressed together to prevent leaking.
Then position the sprinkler over the punched hole.
Push the sprinkler in until the stem becomes embedded in the pipe and snaps into place (1st photo below). Before installing the clips, make sure the sprinkler is aligned correctly with the control tab resting on the panel frame (2nd photo). Make sure the sprinkler is pointed 90 degrees relative to the panel edge.
IMPORTANT: If the sprinkler base is removed from the pipe, the hole in the pipe will be much larger than it needs to be. Over time, this hole will leak. If a sprinkler base is removed from the hole, replace with a plug and punch a new hole nearby.
Attaching clips – Attach two clips to each sprinkler as shown above (3rd photo). Start by hooking the clip to the upper part of the frame of the panel, and then bring it down over the sprinkler assembly to hook it in place on the lower part of the frame. Make sure you hear the click as the clip snaps into place.
IMPORTANT: Make sure the control tab is resting on the panel frame and not the bottom of the sprinkler head. If the sprinkler is positioned like the picture on the right below, it will be more difficult to attach the clips. The sprinkler will eventually pop off from water pressure. If clips are hard to put on, the position of the sprinkler may need adjusting.
Clip must be attached on both sides of the sprinkler as close as possible to the shaft. If the clip doesn’t seem to be attached firmly, adjust the clip as explained in Loose-fitting clips.
When clipped, the vertical angle of the shaft should be about 75⁰ from the top surface of the solar panel.
Repeat this step for each of the sprinklers to be installed on the solar panel array.