Fixing drip irrigation line

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capitalG
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Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by capitalG »

We inherited a fairly nice backyard with our house complete with drip irrigation. The irrigation seems to work quite well, keeping our native plants lush with minimal impact on the water bill. I recently discovered a break in one of the lines (tube severed on two sides, likely either the dog or some critters) and am figuring out what do.

I'm planning on heading to Home Depot to buy some tubing of same diameter (1", best i can tell) and disconnecting the ripped tube at closest junctions and replacing. I have no idea what brand/make this system is - is the tubing used fairly standard or are they brand-specific dimensions/connectors? The only identifying mark is a red stripe along the length of the black tubing. And the tubing isn't coming off the junctions very easily - is it typically a threaded connection or do I just yank it off?

Sorry, lot of basic novice questions, appreciate the advice from those of you with experience...
livesoft
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by livesoft »

What does YouTube.com say about your setup?

Here is a good Rule: Before going to Home Deport or Lowe's or other DIY place, consult YouTube.com.
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neilpilot
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by neilpilot »

The drip supply tubes & fittings are fairly generic. Bring a short piece of the damaged tube to the store, to confirm the proper tube replacement and fittings.
Housedoc
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by Housedoc »

You can slice old tubing off connection with a utility knife. To make new tubing easier to slide on use a mixture of dish washing soap and water or gently heat with a torch held at a distance. Try to get same wall thickness tubing.
hicabob
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by hicabob »

The connectors are "barbed" on the ones I'm familiar with - a one way push fit is the idea. Cut them off by slicing thru the hose with a knife then clean the hose end up. Youtube is your friend. Experiment with a bit of hose and some fittings. It's easy and all kind of cool parts are made.
Animals can wreak havoc with them. I had an old cat who enjoyed chewing on them.
livesoft
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by livesoft »

Instead of a torch to heat the plastic, I just boiled a pot of water then took the pot of water outside and soaked the hose ends for a minute to soften up the plastic before pushing on to a barbed coupler.
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nordsteve
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by nordsteve »

If the hole is small, don't bother replacing the whole section. Instead, cut out the short section with the leak and insert a coupler.
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HueyLD
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by HueyLD »

livesoft wrote: Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:05 pm Instead of a torch to heat the plastic, I just boiled a pot of water then took the pot of water outside and soaked the hose ends for a minute to soften up the plastic before pushing on to a barbed coupler.
+1 with a pot or several pots of boiling H2O. It is a lot safer than open flame.

It will require quite a bit of your strength to "jam" the hose end into an "I" or a "T" coupler. Good luck.
livesoft
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by livesoft »

^I doubt "boiling" is the required temperature. Maybe 150 deg F? I don't know. One can experiment safely ... or consult YouTube. :)
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Housedoc
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by Housedoc »

Open flame a lot more fun than hot water. You can burn a weed or 2 growing while you are there....HA
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capitalG
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by capitalG »

Thanks for everyone's advice - a pair of "I-couplers" and some hot water (208 degF for me, I checked on my boiler :wink:) did the trick. Bad news is now that I know how easy it is to redirect drip lines, I picture myself tinkering with them all summer...
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bertilak
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by bertilak »

capitalG wrote: Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:42 pm Thanks for everyone's advice - a pair of "I-couplers" and some hot water (208 degF for me, I checked on my boiler :wink:) did the trick. Bad news is now that I know how easy it is to redirect drip lines, I picture myself tinkering with them all summer...
You might want to get a tubing cutter. Look them up on Amazon. Makes short work of cutting drip lines. The cut is straight and clean. The one I got is no longer listed on Amazon but there are many similar ones. My order history shows:

Koram Irrigation Hose Tubing Cutter Scissors-Style Cutting Tool for 1/4" to 1.25" OD PVC PPR PE Pipe $9.99.

I had plenty of connectors left over from the original installation. They too can be had from Amazon. Be sure to get the right diameter!

I think I just used a little water and muscle to hook things up, but it was on a hot day and the tubing was exposed to the sun for a while.
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SimonJester
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by SimonJester »

capitalG wrote: Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:42 pm I picture myself tinkering with them all summer...
This will become both an obsession and a chore. After 18 years in my current house, I can say that there inst a single summer that I have not had to do something on my irrigation system...

I have a Frankenstein system with a mixture of obsolete Rain Jet 7/8" piping (good luck finding those fittings), and 3/4" standard , and micro drip.
I have learned a number of tricks dealing with that 7/8" proprietary pipe...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
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BigFoot48
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Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

Post by BigFoot48 »

I have drip irrigation all over the yard, most inherited and some I installed. It's all buried 4"-12". The older tubing lines randomly starts leaking a few times a year, requiring cutting out the leaking area and installing a coupling or a larger segment of tubing and using two couplings.

The most widely used supply tubing is 1/2" (0.710/.700" OD). You should measure your existing tubing to get the right size couplings. Couplings can be bought that accommodate different OD tubing sizes on each end, but 0.71" appears to be the most common. Some tubing is stiffer than others and more difficult to use. I like the softer tubing. I use an old pair of garden pruning shears to cut the tubing.

I have never had a need to heat up the tubing to install couplings. I just wet the tubing and coupling with spit and shove the coupling on. I do like a screw-on Raindrip coupling that my Ace Hardware sells that makes installation even easier as it accommodates different tubing sizes and doesn't require much shoving to install, but is more expensive. I use this where there's a leak not requiring a new tube segment, just a coupling to replace the 1"-2" of tubing.

I often cut off existing couplings and replace them as its easier than trying to pull leaking tubing out of them. I then remove the tubing using needle-nosed pliers and re-use the coupling if it's in good shape. Hot water might help in this!
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