Project Overview

A solenoid is an electronic valve used to automate your irrigation system. In this video, we will show you how to attach a solenoid to a tap or mains water line in your garden.
Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to install sprayers and drippers

Step by Step Instructions

1 Connect a converter to the brass ballpoint or tap
2 Measure the PVC pipe to fit
3 Cut the PVC pipe with a hacksaw
4 Measure and cut the second PVC pipe section
5 Attach the solenoid
6 Tape and screw your first thread join to the pressure point
7 Use a spanner or multigrips to fasten tightly
8 Prime and glue the joins on the PVC pipe and elbow
9 Attach the solenoid using thread tape
10 Fit the valve box over the solenoid and cut holes for the pipes
  • Step 1. Connect a converter to the brass ballpoint or tap

    Lay out a dry run of the PVC tubing and fittings. Start with a converter, which connects the brass ballpoint or tap to the PVC tubing.
  • Step 2. Measure the PVC pipe to fit

    Put the PVC pipe into the converter. Use the elbow fitting as a reference for where to cut - you will need to cut the pipe so it’s high enough to clear the ground. Make sure you leave enough room for the depth of your fitting. Mark with a pencil. 
  • Step 3. Cut the PVC pipe with a hacksaw

    Put on your safety gear and cut the pipe to the right length using a hacksaw. Afterwards clean up the edges by removing any fragments left over from the sawing. 

  • Step 4. Measure and cut the second PVC pipe section

    Put the pipe into the converter and add the elbow. Place the second piece of pipe into the elbow and measure where the solenoid will sit. Before you cut the pipe to size, remember the solenoid and pipe will need to fit under a cover, so take that into account when measuring.

  • Step 5. Attach the solenoid

    Put the joiner onto the PVC pipe and screw the solenoid onto the joiner. This completes the dry run of the piping.
  • Step 6. Tape and screw your first thread join to the pressure point

    Use thread tape on all the threaded joins to prevent leaks. When putting tape around the threaded joiner, apply the tape opposite to the way the thread screws in. Then hand tighten onto the converter.
  • Step 7. Use a spanner or multigrips to fasten tightly

    After hand tightening, use a spanner or multigrips to finish the job.
  • Step 8. Prime and glue the joins on the PVC pipe and elbow

    Make sure you are using a PVC primer and specific PVC glue for high-pressure pipe. Prime all the joiners to clean them and make the glue bind properly. Apply the high-pressure glue. It dries very fast so make sure you put the parts together quickly.  Use the brush on the lid of the glue.
  • Step 9. Attach the solenoid using thread tape

    Tape the solenoid thread, again applying the tape opposite to the way the thread screws in. Then screw in the solenoid, using a spanner or multigrips for final tightening.
  • Step 10. Fit the valve box over the solenoid and cut holes for the pipes

    You will need to place a valve box over the solenoid to protect it from rain. Using tin snips, cut holes into the valve box to run the pipes out.  The valve box has cut-out templates on it that you can use as a guide. Place it over the top of the solenoids. Once the rest of the pipes have been run through you can mulch up to the box to blend it into the garden.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Hacksaw
  • Knee pads
  • Multi-grips
  • Pencil
  • Safety gear

Materials

  • Fittings
  • Glue
  • Primer
  • PVC pipe
  • Rag
  • Solenoids
  • Tin snips
  • Thread tape
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