Building your own Foundation Watering System
Parts Needed (Most of this you can get from Home Depot or Lowes)
Soaker hose (round black porous hose that weeps water) to go around the entire perimeter of the foundation.
Two Y’s fittings that hook to a hose bib with shutoffs
One pressure regulator (10-20 lb. range)
One vacuum breaker to go on hose bib
Programmable timer that attaches to a hose bib, or an irrigation timer with a zone for the foundation.
BUILDING YOUR SYSTEM
When using a programmable timer select a hose bib close to the middle of the building, this way you have the same amount of hose going in each direction around the foundation.
Dig an eight inch trench eighteen inches away from the foundation all the way around the perimeter.
Install the soaker hose starting at the timer location in both directions around the foundation. Some soaker hoses have a plastic disk with a hole in the center; remove the disk before installing the hose.
Install the vacuum breaker to the hose spigot; this stops backflow contamination into the system.
Install one Y to the vacuum breaker
Install the battery operated timer to the Y
Install the pressure regulator to the timer
Install Y to the pressure regulator
Install the two hoses to the Y
Turn on the system and allow water to fill hose, once pressure has built turn the system off
Back fill the dirt into the trench with the hose at the bottom.
Adjust the timer following the manufacturer’s directions. It is suggested initially setting the timer for 15 minutes twice a day. For example: 1:00 am for 15 minutes, and then 1:00 pm for 15 minutes. Depending on the temperature and rainfall you will have to make adjustments to the timers. Ideally the goal is to try and keep the soil moisture at a constant level. Not too wet and not too dry.
Make sure to check the moisture level around the foundation every month. Stick a small metal rod into ground around the foundation. Then pull it out and see if the soil on the end is moist. If the rod goes in too easy and shows dampness, but no soil attachment, this is usually a sign of over watering. If you can’t get the rod into the ground, because it’s hard and dry, then you are not watering enough. Shrubs and grass around the foundation also indicate effective watering. If they are green and healthy, then your system is probably operating correctly.