Removing a sprinkler system is something that can be done for many different reasons. You might be moving to a new home, you might be doing an entirely new landscape, the sprinkler system could be outdated and need to be replaced, or you simply do not want it anymore.
An alternative to letting it sit in the ground and potentially become a problem in the future, it is better to remove the sprinkler system. This can be done pretty easily with simple hand tools and in a few days.
Materials for the Job
Removing a sprinkler system is not a big job for heavy equipment or renting any power tools. You simply need some basic hand tools.
Before you begin removing anything that has to do with the sprinkler system you should turn off the power to the control box and the water to the sprinklers. You don't want any sudden eruptions of water during the process.
Remove Control Box and Timer
After the power is off you can easily remove the control box from the side of the house with a screwdriver. Disconnect the wires leading to the timer.
Disconnect Irrigation Pipes from Supply Line
If this part is buried you will have to wait until the lines have been uncovered to do this, but most of the time there is a pipe sticking up from the ground on the side of the house. This can either be connected to a hose from an outside faucet, or connected directly to a water pipe going into house. Once you have this disconnected cap the pipe from the house for future use.
Remove Sprinkler Heads
Go around the yard and start removing all of the sprinkler heads from their sleeves. Most of the time this can be done simply by lifting the sprinkler head out of the sleeve and unscrewing it from the sleeve. Sometimes there are a few screws holding it into the housing. Remove the screws and collect all the sprinkler heads.
Trace Irrigation Pipes and Remove
Once the sprinkler heads are removed then you begin the arduous task of uncovering the irrigation pipes. Using a spade or spade tip shovel you can begin digging along the pipes path. Remove all the irrigation pipes and fill back in where you can.
For the most part, you shouldn't have to dig anything, but rather slice the turf and life the ground up a little to expose the pipe. Sometimes, depending on how deep the pipes are you will have to dig an open trench.
Fill in Holes and Place Sod or Seed
Once all the irrigation pipes are removed then you can fill in the trench, if one was dug, and the holes where the sprinkler heads were. Use planting soil with some fertilizer mixed in it. Once tamped down securely, you can either place strips of sod down, or sprinkle grass seed over the exposed ground.