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Lesson 7 – Hooking Up The Water Lines

Lesson 7 – Hooking Up The Water Lines

Check the local code for any special requirements for hooking up water lines in this type of installation. Since garden hose attachments and hand-tightened associated fittings are used, there shouldn’t be any special requirements.

Deployment of main water line from water source to control box.

 

 

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Routing the pipe

The water source for this installation is simply the garden hose faucet normally used for residential units. A Y-type fitting will be attached that will provide the second water outlet for the waterline, so the garden faucet can be continued to be used as before when needed.

Cut a length of piping that will cover the distance from the bottom of the control box to the faucet. The pipe should be cut squarely and not at an angle.

Consider the routing possibilities around obstacles, etc., and attach and clamp the piping as necessary in at various points along its length. Make sure its firmly attached so that it won’t be affected by weather, falling debris, being tripped on, etc.

   

 

Water source attachment

The pipe is now attached to the garden faucet attachment by using the female adapter type compression fitting shown in these diagrams. This fitting will be attached to the end of the pipe, and then connected to the garden faucet attachment.  The following steps for assembly are very similar to the procedure used for end plugs:

  1. Smooth out any burrs on the end of the pipe to make assembly easier and to prevent damage to the fitting gasket. The outer surface of the pipe should not have imperfections or indentations where fitting makes contact with the pipe.
  2. Unscrew the blue ring nut from the female adapter assembly, and put it onto pipe as shown above (1st photo) followed by the white clamping ring. Make sure the clamping ring is positioned correctly, with the larger diameter facing the fitting.
  3. Insert the pipe in an axial direction into the fitting body (black part), pushing it past the gasket, until it touches the internal stop (2nd photo).
  4. Tighten the blue ring nut by hand, as shown in the 3rd photo above. Tighten firmly but not stressfully by hand. This supplies the compression needed to make a water-tight connection.

                                 

Faucet Y-attachment and Brass Coupling       Brass coupling and adapter elbow         Total connection to hose bib

 

 

Click here to watch the next video before continuing

 

 

A brass coupling is then threaded onto one of the outlets of the faucet Y-attachment. Apply a generous amount of Teflon tape to the threads before screwing it on.

Then apply the Teflon tape to the outer threads on the brass coupling before attaching the female end of the compression fitting assembled in the previous step. This pipe fitting assembly is then screwed onto the faucet tap in the same way you would attach a garden hose. Make sure the connection is tight and secure enough to prevent any leaking. If leaking still occurs, add additional gaskets provided with the Y-attachment. Additional tightening with a plumber’s wrench may be necessary but be careful not to overtighten.

After the garden faucet connection is made, keep the faucet turned off until installation is complete and ready for testing.

 

Alternate water source attachment

Instead of using the faucet Y-attachment and brass coupling fittings for attaching to a water source, it’s possible to add plumbing to the water supply as shown below. This can be done by following these 6 steps:

  1. Shut-off your water supply at the meter.
  2. Tap into the outside faucet line connection and Install an appropriate tee as shown.
  3. Drill a hole through the foundation or wall sill for the new faucet water line to run through. The hole should be at about the same height as the original faucet to allow for drainage. Make the hole no larger than necessary for the pipe
  4. Install the connection fittings, as shown.
  5. Feed the piping out through the basement wall attach Faucet 2.
  6. Seal the hole in the sill or foundation with caulking compound.

 

 

Control Box attachment

The compression fittings used for attaching pipe to the control box are already in place at the water inlet end on the bottom. Use the water inlet fitting to connect the pipe coming in from the garden faucet attachment.  Use the water outlet fitting(s) to connect the pipe from the panel rows. The following steps for assembly are very similar to the procedure used for end plugs:

  1. Smooth out any burrs on the end of the pipe to make assembly easier and to prevent damage to the fitting gasket. The outer surface of the pipe should not have imperfections or indentations where fitting makes contact with the pipe.
  2. Unscrew the blue ring nut from the compression fitting assembly, and put it onto pipe followed by the white clamping ring. Make sure the clamping ring is positioned correctly, with the larger diameter facing the fitting.
  3. Insert the pipe in an axial direction into the fitting body (black part), pushing it past the gasket, until it touches the internal stop (1st photo).
  4. Tighten the blue ring nut by hand as shown in the 2nd photo below. Tighten firmly but not stressfully by hand. This supplies the compression needed to make a water-tight connection. The ring nut must be tight but does not need to contact the external stop of the fitting body

 

Deployment of water line from control box to panel assembly

 

Restriction on number of sprinklers per water line

There are from 1 to 3 water outlets on the control box depending on the size of the solar array. Each outlet is fitted with an internal pressure valve (see diagram). A single water outlet cannot have more than 25 sprinklers connected to it, to keep from losing too much water pressure. To equalize and ensure adequate pressure with multiple valves, design your system so each valve feeds to an equal number of sprinklers. You want to avoid having one valve feed something like 25 sprinklers while the other feeds 5. Ideally, each valve should feed 15 sprinklers in this case.

 

Planning the pipe connections

If one row contains 12 sprinklers or less, two rows can be connected together, and run to the same water outlet. If there are more than 12 sprinklers per row, each row must run to a separate water outlet.

The piping for the panel row (or rows) has an open end used for the water inlet. Elbow and T-type compression fittings will be used to attach each open end to the piping that runs to one of the water outlets on the control box.

Analyze the layout and determine which rows will have elbow and T-fittings, and how the rows will be matched with the water outlets in the control box. If a T-fitting is used, it should attach to the row that is closest to the control box.

 

As a general rule, try avoiding designing the system with tee and elbow compression fittings spaced far apart. Keeping them close together will ensure higher pressure throughout the pipe line.

 

Routing the water line

Cut a length of piping that will cover the distance from a water outlet on the control box to the open pipe end on the closest row. If necessary, cut the additional piping that will run from other water outlets on the control box to open ends on other rows according to the planned layout. Consider the routing possibilities around obstacles, hazards, etc. when cutting the pipe.

If two rows are to be connected together to the same water outlet, cut a length of pipe that will cover the distance between the two rows for attachment.

Remember to cut the pipe squarely and not at an angle.

Attach and clamp the piping as necessary in at various points along its length. Make sure the piping is firmly attached so that it won’t be affected by weather, falling debris, being tripped on, etc.

 

For vertical piping, running the line up alongside a gutter downspout usually works well, as the piping is tie-wrapped along its length. To keep the piping hidden from view, routing the pipe inside the gutter downspout may also work. Routing the pipe along the outside wall of the residential unit exposes the piping, but it is probably the next best option.

 

Attachment to the control box

The piping from the panel rows is attached to the water outlet fittings on the control box according to the planned layout. Use the step-by-step procedure for control box attachment explained earlier. Make sure you remove any burrs and bevel the end of the pipe to make assembly easier and to prevent damage to the fitting gasket. The fitting is assembled as shown below: