What is PVC Pipe?
PVC pipe is the hard thick white plastic pipe used to carry water throughout a sprinkler system. Make sure you know what size PVC pipe you’re repairing. The most common size is either 1 inch or ¾ inches for sprinkler systems, but can often be as small as a half inch or as large as and and a half inches.
Problems with PVC:
PVC is stiff, and brittle. It holds pressure in the system, so if you notice a particularly wet spot in your lawn or a random loss of pressure in a certain zone, you probably have a leak in a PVC line. The best way to find a broken pipe is to look in your yard for green spots that don’t have a sprinkler head right there.
How to Repair PVC:
Parts used in PVC repair:
To repair a damaged PVC pipe, repairs can be made with PVC extensions in tight areas that are difficult to reach around, or a PVC union if there isn’t enough room for a PVC extension or slip fix. PVC unions are usually harder to use, because they have to have the perfect amount of space in the pipe in order for both parts of the union to match up and screw together properly.
Remove the broken section
To repair the damaged sprinkler pipe, if it’s punctured or cracked, dig down to the pipe, and dig more than enough room around the entire pipe, on top, on bottom, and on both sides. You need enough room to move around. Once you’ve dug out enough room, make sure you take good sharp pipe cutters, and cut a straight, clean new edge onto the pipe on both ends. Take a clean rag or cloth and clean and dry the inside and outside of the pipe on the new cut. This will allow the glue to create a much more solid and clean seal and reduce chances of leakage.
Repairing the PVC Pipe
Now that you’ve cut out the damaged part of the PVC pipe, it’s time to fix the pipe. Take the dry, clean sides of the pipe that you’re patching, and put on PVC primer to clean the pipe even more and help bond the glue to the pipe. After priming both the fitting AND the pipe, you will need to apply PVC glue to the fitting and the pipe as well. Follow the directions on the primer and glue bottles as far as usage goes. Make sure you give your pipe and fittings enough time to cure before testing, and make sure you test before you bury the new fix.