Sprinklers are a great way to keep a lawn and other landscaping watered, but not everybody wants or can use an underground system. An alternative is to construct an above-ground system out of PVC pipe. An above-ground sprinkler system is also more easily expanded, repaired and maintained because the pipes are easily accessible. Installation of such a system is almost identical to an underground system, except none of the equipment will be buried.
Lay sections of PVC pipe end to end in the pattern that you want to build the sprinkler system. Begin at the sprinkler manifold and end at each sprinkler head.
Cut the pipe to length as needed, using a PVC saw. Make cuts as straight as possible.
Swab one end of PVC pipe with primer and then glue, and push the end into the receiver on a sprinkler valve within the manifold. This is the starting point of the supply line.
Continue adding lengths of PVC pipe by connecting each end with a coupler. Apply primer and glue to each end of the coupler and press together to secure each connection.
Make bends in the line, based on the desired outline of your system, by adding 90-degree adapters where appropriate. Swab each end of the connector with primer and then glue, and press into lengths of pipe.
Split the line where needed by installing a "T" adapter. Swab each end of the connector with primer and then glue, and press into lengths of pipe.
Attach a 90-degree riser adapter at the end of each line (where the sprinkler head is to be installed). Swab each end of the connector with primer and then glue, and press into lengths of pipe.
Screw PVC risers into each 90-degree riser adapter by turning clockwise until tight.
Screw sprinkler head assemblies onto each riser by turning clockwise until tight.
Turn on the sprinkler system and check each connection point for leaks. Fill leaks with PVC glue.