Overhead Irrigation Overview

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There are many ways to irrigate a plot. On my farm I choose overhead irrigation using Rain Bird Impact Sprinklers and an Orbit 4 Zone Timer.

These pieces are common, easy to replace and and will last a very long time if taken care of properly.

  • Starting with the timer box, you will need adapters to connect the poly tubing to the timer.
  • Running the hose to each sprinkler will require a pipe cutter and plumbers tape.
  • On & Off Valves are recommended so that you can work on the line and shut off the water to the each header without having to walk all the way back to the timer.
  • Always use Hand fitting Perma-Loc 3/4 inch couplers and adapters so there are no pressure losses and every item can be adjusted by hand, for ease of use.
  • Always make adjustments before finalizing the irrigation or cutting the line.
  • Optional; leave slack or use Tee couplers and Elbow couplers to keep lines nice and tight, instead of curved and in the way.

Rain Bird Impact Sprinkler

4 Zone Timer

General 4 zone watering timer by Orbit, 2 more valves will be needed for a complete set up.

Valves for Expandable Timer

Two of these will complete the set of 4 zones for the previous timer.

Micron Filter

Filters particulates, makes heads last a lot longer, put the filter on before the timer.

3/4 Inch Poly Tubing

Used to connect Main Lines to Spinklers

On & Off Valves

Recommended to have on the lines so that flow may be adjusted, pressure, and the ability to turn off the water to the valve on the fly.


Used for fitting the poly tubing to the timers

An additional coupler may be needed to attach the rain birds to the poly, depending on your set up.


Hose Clamps


Additional Needs;

2 x 4 x 12 Treated Lumber. Cut in half for 6′ posts for sprinklers. Bury 2′ into the ground for a 4′ tall post.

Pipe U Straps will keep the tubing snug to the post.

4 thoughts on “Overhead Irrigation Overview

  1. Crista

    Sounds interesting. & I so appreciate the visuals of all the parts – with their prices! However, not being mechanical, for me to be able to replicate your system, I’d need the most basic of instruction, including a decipher of all the technically-named parts. Look forward to your video!

  2. Bonnie

    Is there a more complete description of this set up? All I see is the photo of the impact sprinkler on the left and a list of part on the right. I’m interested in this setup, but would need a lot more info. Also, do you use a pressure regulator? thanks!

    1. Eric Wolf Post author

      I am working on a more in-depth guide, for now, this was a resource somebody asked me to make for them so I decided to host it on here as well. Check back soon for updated, thanks for the comment. I don’t use a pressure regulator, usually only drip irrigation needs a pressure regulator. I am so far from my well that I don’t have any issues with that. I do however use a Valve Breaker which is used to break up pressure by the spigot. It can be found here; https://amzn.to/2DXAbJ0

      It’s description; “The American Valve MVB is a brass vacuum breaker that protects against the flow of polluted water back into the potable water supply. It contains a manual freeze relief feature to protect the valve during freezing conditions. Eliminates back-siphonage into water supply .”


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