- Before Drawing Lateral Pipe: Set Selection Cycling to -2
- Drawing Lateral Line Piping
- Lateral Pipe and Shut-Off Valves
- Valve-in-Head (VIH) Rotors
- Piping to Drip & Schematic Areas
- Using Multiple Pipe Classes
- Lateral Line Error Checking
- Insert Pipe Sleeve
- Insert Manual Pipe Hop
We recommend reviewing the Pipe Data to determine which type of lateral pipe you'll use on your project before beginning the actual piping process.
It's assumed that you've already grouped, or Circuited, your lateral heads into zones that will be controlled by one valve, and that the flow for a grouping does not exceed the maximum allowed by the water source or point of connection (POC). After locating and placing a control valve for the lateral system, you can pipe those heads to the control valve.
In previous versions of Land F/X, deleting a section of pipe that had already been called out would turn the pipe labels into "zombies" that cluttered the drawing. We've engineered the Verify Laterals tool to make those "zombie" labels disappear. For details, check out our Zombie Pipe Labels Power Tip.
Before Drawing Lateral Pipe: Set Selection Cycling to -2
Before you start drawing lateral pipe, make sure to set the Selection Cycle system variable to -2. This setting will prevent a selection dialog box from popping up as you draw your laterals, which in turn requires extra mouse clicks.
Type SelectionCycle in the Command line and press Enter. When prompted to enter a value, type -2 (that is, minus 2).
Drawing Lateral Line Piping
To begin piping, select our Draw Lateral Pipe tool:
F/X Irrigation ribbon, Draw Lateral flyout
Irrigation Piping toolbar
F/X Irrigation menu, Draw Lateral Pipe option
or type LateralPipe in the Command line
The cursor will turn into a pickbox for you to select a head.
Once you click a head to select it, that head will be highlighted in yellow. You'll also see a pipe extending from the head and following your cursor.
You can then click the next head (or point or pipe).
If you pipe to another head, it will be highlighted in yellow as well.
When you use Draw Lateral Pipe, clicking items such as heads will highlight them to let you know what you've clicked. These highlights will be color coded to indicate the following items when you've piped to them:
- Yellow: head or valve
- Magenta: a point in space
- Cyan: an existing pipe
Green: an existing fitting
Yellow highlight showing selection of a head or valve
Magenta highlight showing that you've clicked a point in space
Cyan highlight that appears when you click another pipe to connect to
Green highlight that appears when you click an existing fitting
Imagine using Draw Lateral Pipe as placing actual pipe in the field.
- The pipe you draw will only connect to items related to lateral line, such as heads, valves, fittings, pipe, or simply a point in space that will act as a fitting. The pipe will not want to connect to items that are not related to lateral lines, such as meters, backflows, trees, etc.
- The pipe will automatically "snap to" heads, fittings, or pipe if they are at the pickbox area of your crosshairs. If you want to place a pipe near an entity, such as a head, but not snap to it, zoom in closely to select the area and avoid the head.
Draw Lateral Pipe makes selections for finding and snapping to an entity in the following order:
3. Pipe to which it can connect a fitting
4. A point in space, where the pipe you draw will assume you are piping to an end point fitting
When you select Draw Lateral Pipe, the Command line will prompt:
Next point or head [Xhair Angle, Arc, Zone layer on/off, Head autosnap On]:
We offer several keyboard shortcuts for drawing laterals. You can type K at any time when drawing laterals to see the screen pictured below, which shows all these commands.
The following keys on your keyboard will help you jump quickly between commands and modes when drawing lateral pipe:
- Type F8 to enter Ortho mode.
- Type a number key (1 through 9) to toggle to the corresponding pipe category.
- Type X for Xhair Angle.
- Type A to draw the pipe as a graphical arc, for better readability.
- Type L to draw the pipe as a line (as opposed to an arc)
- Type C to toggle between pipe categories if you have added more than one type of lateral pipe to your project.
- Type Z for Zone, to turn on and off the Zone (Circuit) layer state.
- Type H to turn on Head Autosnap
You can always type U, for Undo, to undo any command.
F8 for Ortho Mode
Pressing the F8 key will activate Ortho mode, which limits cursor movement to horizontal and vertical directions in relation to the current User Coordinate System (UCS). If you only plan to draw pipe in these two directions, Ortho mode can make your job much easier.
1 through 9 to Toggle to a Specific Pipe Category
Use the number keys to toggle to a specific pipe category. For example, if you type 1, you'll toggle to Pipe Category 1 you've set in the Pipe Data. To toggle to the next pipe category, type C.
X for Xhair Angle
Typing X will activate Xhair Angle (formerly known as Snap Angle) – a Land F/X tool that allows you to orient your crosshairs to a specific angle by:
- Clicking another line (thus matching the orientation of that line)
- Clicking two points in space
- Typing a number, or
- Rght-clicking to bring the crosshairs back to 0 orientation
Note: You can also use the AutoCAD Ortho command, accessed by either pressing the F8 key or clicking the Ortho button. The pipes will be drawn in an ortho (straight) relationship to the crosshairs. This command can be toggled on and off freely while you draw piping.
A for Arc
Typing A during piping will allow you to select another head or point, and then define an arc between where you started and ended. This feature is intended to create a larger graphic arc, and not a pipe hop, which is automatically accomplished during Verify Lateral Piping.
Here's an example of a pipe arc:
L for "Line"
Type L to go back to drawing your pipes as lines, as opposed to arcs.
C to Toggle Between Categories
If you've added more than one class of lateral, you can type C while drawing the lateral piping to toggle between your pipe categories. The first type of pipe you added to your project will be assigned a continuous linetype, and other categories will be assigned other types of line graphics, such as dash-dot, etc. The system will keep track of the length of each class of pipe used. To toggle to a specific pipe category, press the corresponding number key (1 through 9).
Z for "Zone"
Typing Z during piping will toggle the Zone (Circuit) layers on or off. This can prove helpful in clearing the drawing of extraneous information during piping.
H for "Head AutoSnap"
Typing H during piping will turn on Head AutoSnap. Click a head to start piping from it, then type H for Head AutoSnap. As you move your mouse now, you will connect a pipe to any head you pass over, allowing you to pipe a line of heads quickly.
Move the mouse along the line of heads to pipe between them quickly.
You'll need to be a little careful when using Head AutoSnap. If you sneeze, for example, your mouse could go up to heads to which you had no intention of piping. Always use Verify Piping to verify that the heads you just piped are correct, and that you did not connect to any heads unintentionally, or missed some that you wanted to pipe.
Piping to Drip & Schematic Areas
You now have several options for piping to drip areas and Schematic Irrigation areas. For example, placing a valve directly into a drip or Schematic area will cause the area to automatically "read" that valve as if you've drawn pipe to it from the valve.
For information on piping to these areas, see our pages on:
In previous versions of Irrigation F/X, you would have been required to dead-end a lateral pipe from a valve to a drip area for the valve to be recognized as piped to that area. With Version 12.29 (February 2016), we engineered drip and Schematic areas with the ability to connect automatically with valves placed within them. If you've placed a valve within a drip area but that area doesn't seem to be recognizing the valve, you may need to update to the latest version.
Lateral Pipe and Shut-Off Valves
Note that the Draw Lateral Pipe tool will only allow piping to a shut-off valve (AKA gate valve) if valve-in-head (VIH) rotors have been added to the project.
Using Multiple Pipe Classes
Our Pipe Data tool allows you to specify up to 9 classes of lateral pipe and 6 classes of mainline in each of your projects. As long as you meet a few specific criteria in setting up your pipe classes, the system will automatically assign each of your classes to the correct size of lateral or mainline pipe.
Valve-in-Head (VIH) Rotors
Valve-in-head (VIH) rotors are generally piped with constantly pressurized pipe, which, by definition, is mainline. However, you should use our Lateral Pipe tool when piping to and between VIH rotors. Why? Because our system allows areas connected with lateral pipe to be turned into separate stations or zones – plus many designers refer to these pipes as "laterals." The system will recognize the valves in the heads and will treat the pipe as if it's mainline. See our VIH Rotors page for more information.
Lateral Line Error Checking
Lateral line error checking is a critical step in the piping process. You must determine any errors in piping before you proceed with the design. Our main error-checking tools for lateral line piping are Highlight Station, Verify Laterals, and Verify Mainline.
Highlight Station is a must-use tool during the piping process that allows you to confirm that heads are being connected properly and that all heads are connected to the valve.
For detailed information, see our Highlight Station documentation page.
Highlight Station also allows you to colorize specific zones. For more information, see our Colorize documentation page.
Verify Lateral Piping
Once you've piped all heads in the project, you can select the Verify Laterals tool to ensure that you haven't missed any heads.
For more information, see our Verify Laterals documentation page.
Our Verify Mainline tool also plays a key role in error checking your lateral pipe.
For information, see our Verify Mainline documentation page.
Insert Pipe Sleeve
Our Insert Pipe Sleeve tool allows you to insert a sleeve on a particular pipe. Sleeves you place in your drawing will be called out in the Irrigation Schedule.
For more information, see our Insert Pipe Sleeve documentation page.
Note: You can also place a sleeve where no pipe exists. This might be a case where you want a sleeve for future use, or one that is intended for just wire, etc. Instead of clicking a pipe, simply click two points and a sleeve will appear, spanning between those two points. In addition, you can use our Pipe Label tool to label the sleeve as a size of your choice.
Insert Manual Pipe Hop
Our Insert Pipe Hop tool allows the manual insertion of a hop or arc in a pipe that conflicts with another pipe, head, or other equipment.
The Verify Laterals tool provides pipe hops automatically. Our manual Pipe Hop tool is intended for extremely specific situations.
- Getting Started with Irrigation F/X: Join us for this webinar to get going with the essential capabilities of Irrigation F/X. We'll show how to navigate through the Irrigation ribbon and build a familiarity with our conceptual-level tools. You'll also learn the basics of adding equipment to a project, placing, piping, sizing, and scheduling. (1 hr 8 min)
- Irrigation Tools – What You Need to Know: We'll show you the ins and outs of basic irrigation setup using our software. (1 hr 6 min)