DIY Sprinkler Installation - Swing Joint and Nipple Fittings

DIY Sprinkler Installation - Swing Joint and Nipple Fittings

How To Use Swing Joints, Nipple Fittings, and Risers for your DIY Sprinkler System 

The final step in planning the installation of a Rotor or Spray Body is to choose how to attach the component to the chosen fitting (Saddle Tee, Insert Fittings, etc.).  No unlike the previous decisions you have made there are several installation methods to choose from when selecting fittings.  The most common methods are as follows:

  • Swing Joint Assemblies
  • Schedule 80 Nipples
  • Cut-Off Risers

All of these fittings are connected to your lateral or distribution line using either a 1/2" MPT or 3/4" MPT to fit the FPT fitting you have chosen to use.

Swing Joint Assemblies

Swing Joint Assemblies provide many benefits to Sprinkler System installations and can provide versatility for placing your Rotor or Spray Body.  Swing joints usually consist of two  MPT fittings joined by a piece of 1/2" Tubing (often referred to as Swing Pipe).  They can either be assembled from individual parts or purchased pre-assembled.  

Advantages of Swing Joint Assemblies:

Often times when Irrigation Distribution and Lateral Lines are installed there are variation in depth due to the nature of the soil and/or obstacles underground.  In addition to this, the rigid nature of these lines does not allow for flexibility needed at times when installing a Rotor or Spray Body.  Depending on how they are installed swing joints can allow movement vertically and/or horizontally for components.  This is desirable for placement slightly away from a Lateral Line or can allow for vertical movement after installation.  A Swing Joint will protect your Rotor or Spray Body from damage from being run over or stepped on.  In addition to this, Spray components can often extend over the soil line  over time due to soil errosion and settling, making them vulnerable.  The use of a Swing Joint can allow for easy movement or adjustment after installation to adjust for these occurrences.   

Note: Due to pressure loss experienced using 1/2" Swing Pipe, it is not recommend to install a Swing Assembly longer than 12 inches.  Swing Joints can be used for both 3/4" FPT Rotors and 1/2" Spray Bodies.  In general most Swing Assemblies come with a 1/2" MPT input thread and either a 3/4" or 1/2" MPT output thread. Teflon Tape Should Be Used For Swing Assembly Installation

Illustrations of Swing Joint Assemblies:  Although Swing Joint are available in both Blu-Lock and Conventional Sprinkler Fittings either can be applied to either system used. Links to pre-assemblied Swing Assemblies are shown below.

Pre-Assembled Swing Joint Assemblies

These illustrations provide examples of installing Swing Assemblies at both the end and mid-point of a lateral line.  It should be noted that the line fitting is installed horizontally for easy vertical movement of the Swing Assembly.  This will be the case for most pre-assembled Swing Joints and Assemblies.

Pre-Assembled Swing Assemblies

For 3/4” FPT Rotors

·  - 1/2” x 3/4” x 12" 

· See custom assembly options below.


For 1/2” FPT Spray Bodies and Rotors

 - 1/2” x 1/2” x 6"

 - 1/2” x 1/2” x 12"


Pre-Assembled Swing Assemblies

For 3/4” FPT Rotors

· BLSW0706 - 1/2” x 3/4” x 6"

· BLSW0709 - 1/2” x 3/4” x 9"

· BLSW0712 - 1/2” x 3/4” x 12"

For 1/2” FPT Spray Bodies and Rotors

· BLSW0506 - 1/2” x 1/2” x 6"

· BLSW0509 - 1/2” x 1/2” x 9"

· BLSW0512 - 1/2” x 1/2” x 12"

Swing Joint Assemblies can be easily constructed from scratch using either system.  For simplicity illustrated the breakdown of parts for a basic Swing Assembly all of which can be found by clicking the links below.
For traditional Swing Assembly Fittings Click Here For Blu-Lock Swing Assembly Fittings Click Here

Continue to Using Cut-Off Risers and Schedule 80 Fittings


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