Drip irrigation install is leaking everywhere


Old 01-16-12, 05:46 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Santa Cruz
Posts: 57
Drip irrigation install is leaking everywhere

Hey guys,

I want to install two timer-controller, anti-siphon drip irrigation valves for a landscaping project. I am having some issues with leaks and wanted to ask for some advice before I toss a grenade at it and give up. Here's the big picture:

First of all, I used the same connection technique for all of the threaded joints: the black filter, the black 30PSI pressure reducer, and the input & output ends of both valves. My technique is four wraps of teflon tape around them, and then hand-tightened + extra 3/4 or full turn with a wrench. In the case of the input & output ends of the valves, I tightened the threaded white PVC ends until they bottomed out against the valve (about 2 turns past hand-tight).

It's really nerve-wracking, because there are seven threaded joints, and the rest of it is glued PVC. So once you let the PVC dry and turn the water on, you have 7 potential places to test for leaks, and if there's a leak in any of these 7 places, there is no option but to cut out PVC and try again, because you're not able to tighten anything. (I am not having any issues with my PVC joints leaking -- I think I've got that mastered!)

I am experiencing leaks in the following:

1) The black filter has a built-in clean-out valve at the bottom that slow-leaks even when it's closed. It is brand new. Does this stuff just LEAK and people ignore it? It drives me crazy. I'm pretty sure I'll have to cut this out to replace it.

2) Three of the threaded joints are leaking: the inputs for both of the valves, and 30PSI end of the pressure reducer. To fix these, I'm going to have to cut them out.

Some advice would be appreciated here. I thought four wraps of teflon tape and getting the threaded connections a little-more-than-hand-tight would do the trick. Well, truthfully, I was 95% certain that they'd leak and I'd end up having to cut them out and agonize over them. That's why I didn't bother gluing up the outputs yet, thankfully -- they are just dry-fitted.

Do I need 5 wraps? Am I over-tightening? Should I just use pipe dope, even thought it voids the warranty on the valves?

And here is an issue I'm having with a the Irritrol anti-siphon valve that is driving me mad. The solenoids have a manual-open lever that I open to flush out the system. When I then closed them, the left one is fine, but water began leaking out of the solenoid area on the rightmost valve. So I tried to tightened down the solenoid, the manual-open valve, took the solenoid off and inspected the O-ring inside of the solenoid body, and everything looked fine. Still leaking. So I cut the damned thing out (which is why there is a coupler on its input line) and exchanged it for another one. Got the new one glued up and installed, flushed it out, and the new one leaks in exactly the same fashion! This can't be a coincidence. The one on the left does not leak at all. Perhaps these need their solenoids cycled by the timer or something? Maybe the PVC glue contaminated it? I am really at my wit's end here. This is the valve:

Thanks for your help!
Sponsored Links
Old 01-19-12, 12:56 AM
mike1059's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 68
To help with your leaks let's start with #1, unthread the clean-out plug and a couple of wraps of tape should take care of this one. #2, if the output sides of the valves are dry fitted, just pull the joints apart, unthread the valves, retape the threads with about six wraps of 3/4" tape, retighten the fittings being carefull not to crack the valves by going to tight. #3, the internal bleed ring. these can be infurieating to deal with, but a trick I learned for this is to loosen the ring a bit then use some tape like a string in the gap then retighten the ring.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes