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Person sticking PVC pipe into dirt.

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.

Steps

1Connect 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.
Person connecting a converter to brass ballpoint.

2Measure 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. 
Person sticking PVC pipe into dirt.

3Cut 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. 

Person using saw to cut through PVC pipe.

4Measure 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.

Person using pencil to make a mark on PVC pipe.

5Attach the solenoid

Put the joiner onto the PVC pipe and screw the solenoid onto the joiner. This completes the dry run of the piping.
Person screwing solenoid onto a joiner.

6Tape 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.
Person taping and screwing thread join to a pressure point.

7Use a spanner or multigrips to fasten tightly

After hand tightening, use a spanner or multigrips to finish the job.
Person using spanner to tighten something.

8Prime 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.
Person priming and gluing joins on PVC pipe and elbow.

9Attach 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.
Person attaching a solenoid using tape.

10Fit 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.
Person cutting holes into valve box.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.