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How to Add a Sprinkler to an Existing Line

Adding a sprinkler to an existing line can help improve the water coverage of your lawn or garden. This guide will take you through the necessary steps to install an additional sprinkler head seamlessly. Note that this task may require some basic knowledge of your sprinkler system and a little bit of do-it-yourself experience.

Materials and Tools

To add a sprinkler to an existing line, you’ll need:

  • A new sprinkler head suitable for your system
  • Pipe cutter or hacksaw
  • PVC pipe or flexible riser (compatible with your existing system)
  • PVC glue or appropriate connectors for your system
  • Teflon tape
  • Shovel
  • Sand (optional)


Step 1: Plan Your Installation

Identify the best location for the new sprinkler head within the existing line. Consider areas that are lacking in water coverage. Make sure the new sprinkler head will not be too close to sidewalks or driveways to avoid water wastage.

Step 2: Turn Off the Water

Ensure that the water supply to your sprinkler system is turned off before making any cuts to the lines to prevent water from gushing out.

Step 3: Dig with Care

Carefully dig around the area where you will be installing the new sprinkler. Be cautious of the existing water line and any underground cables or pipes. Remove enough soil to work comfortably around the pipe.

Step 4: Cut the Pipeline

Once you’ve located the pipeline, use a pipe cutter or a hacksaw to make a clean cut where you want to add the sprinkler. If cutting PVC, ensure that the cuts are straight to prevent leaks.

Step 5: Install the T-Fitting

You will need to install a T-fitting to branch off from the existing line. Apply PVC glue to the inside of the fitting ends and to the outside of the pipe ends. Push and twist the fitting onto the pipe to secure it. If you’re using flexible risers with barbed fittings, you may simply need to insert the barbed end into the cut line and secure it with clamps.

Step 6: Attach the Riser

The riser connects the T-fitting to the sprinkler head. Use Teflon tape around the male threads of the riser before screwing it into the fitting and then the sprinkler head. If using PVC, the riser will also need to be glued to the T-fitting.

Step 7: Position the Sprinkler Head

Place the sprinkler head at ground level. For stability and to prevent clogging, place some sand at the base of the sprinkler head. Ensure that it’s pointed in the correct direction for optimal coverage.

Step 8: Check the Connection

Before burying the pipe, turn on the water supply to check for leaks. Make sure the sprinkler head is operational and rotates or sprays correctly.

Step 9: Backfill the Trench

Once you are satisfied there are no leaks and the sprinkler head works properly, backfill the soil and press it down firmly around the new sprinkler head. Restore the surface area to your satisfaction, whether that means replacing grass or other groundcover.

Adding a sprinkler to an existing line doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right preparation and materials, you can enhance your irrigation system within a few hours. Remember to always begin with a plan and work patiently and carefully to avoid damage to your existing system. If you encounter difficulties or if your system is complex, consider hiring a professional to ensure the job is done correctly.


If you have any questions or need any type of sprinkler system repair, the experts at SprinklerRepair.com will be glad to help. Give us a call or (888) 427-5022 to set an appointment.