Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fixing the sprinkler

As you know, I found a sprinkler pipe in the ground when I was digging a hole day before yesterday. And in the process, I managed to cut it with the spade.

It was off on the side of the hole just barely visible, after I scooped all the dirt out. So I turned on the water to that zone, and instantly we had a fountain out of a dirt hole. Ohhh, not good.

With the new baby arriving yesterday and rain off and on all day, I covered the hole and put it off for another day. But in the afternoon, I shopped for repair parts.

First I went to Lowe’s. They had a section of irrigation parts in the plumbing aisle. The smallest piece of 1 inch poly pipe was a 100 foot roll. They didn’t have the straight inside nipple to connect one pipe to the next. This is a basic component. I walked around and found an associate and inquired about the pipe in smaller lengths.

They had to get the gal in charge of that aisle, and I sat and waited for a period of time until she showed up. She led me over to the white CPVC pipe and told me to use it as a repair. For the inside nipple, she led me to the plastic parts designed for clear plastic tubing like fish aquarium tubing. Offering me a 5/8ths fitting for the one inch pipe. She didn’t have a clue how any of the stuff in her aisle was used, or what it was for.

This is fairly typical of my experience in Lowe’s. They have a lot of stuff, and if you are knowledgeable enough to pick out what you need then that’s great. But they will always be missing critical parts that seem the most basic. Not just out of it, which I would understand, but rather they don’t carry them at all.

Next it was to Home Depot. Farther away, but more of a lumber yard, rather than a home do it your self place. (My opinion) I went to the irrigation aisle and the associate walked right over to me and asked to help me. I said that I had a split in my poly, and that I had dug it up yesterday before the rain.

He walked over to a bin, and handed me a 2 foot section of 1 inch poly irrigation pipe and the 2 inside nipples to attach it to the existing pipe. He wanted to know if I had the shears to cut the pipe, and I replied that I would use my tree pruning shears. Well,,,,,, that will work, but not exactly what they were intended for.

He never asked me what size the pipe was or what parts I wanted, he knew exactly how it was plumbed without my explanation. They had bins with various lengths of the pipe pre cut in several sizes. And they had the pipe connectors in 100 count boxes for contractors, as well as sold singly.

Total cost for the pipe was $1.47 and each nipple was .47. The encounter took longer to type out here than it did at the store.

So today I spent the morning digging out the hole larger around the pipe. Without messing up the plastic tubing! The dirt is full of gravel from when they built the house, and it digs like concrete. The pipe is in and the grass is back in place. I haven’t turned on the sprinkler yet though.

If it leaks underground, what the heck, its an irrigation system right?

Retired Rod


  1. hehe, if it leaks underground there will be a sink hole as the pressure creates quite a jet of water for any size hole. The ground will be soggy and will eventually show, but it sounds like you did the right thing anyway. Did you clamp the pipe over the nipples with a screw clamp?

  2. There is never any pressure in the pipe, since it is beyond the valve. There is only water present when the zone is on, and then just enough to cause the sprays to work for about 20 minutes every other day. They do not seem to use any clamps, since they wold corrode fairly quickly under ground.


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