Sprinkler line leak

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  #1  
Old 04-27-16, 07:30 AM
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Sprinkler line leak

Hello All,

See below pics. I just had my install substantially completed on Sunday. They still have to come back to compact, seed, and straw but I wanted to wait until after we get rain to let the trench settle.

I woke up this morning to find a significant leak from the water main to the valves.

They stacked PVC pipes on top of each other. The bottom pipe is the one leaking. I can't see to confirm this yet, but it feels as if whatever glue or seal they used to connect the two pipes did not work. I don't feel a hole in the line.

I did notice that this leak had enough pressure to create a 2 1/2 foot hole under the pipe into the ground!

I am now freaked out that the rest of this job is shoddy. They are coming back out today to fix this.

Do you have any advice on what I should be watching out for or etc?

I am not very excited to see what my water bill will be.

It kind of looks like my lawn vomited.

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  #2  
Old 04-27-16, 09:01 AM
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Be on the lookout for signs of other leaks. Most important are those upstream of your valves since those connections can leak continuously. When no zones of your irrigation system are on and no water is being used in your house look at your water meter. It should not be moving or indicating water flow. If it is it could mean there is a leak somewhere.

Leaks downstream of your irrigation valves are sometimes harder to detect because they will only leak when that zone is on. Be on the lookout for a zone that doesn't seem to have as much pressure or flow as the others. Since your system was recently installed you know where the piping is so you can walk the trench are looking for sink holes and soft or muddy spots.
 
  #3  
Old 04-27-16, 11:15 AM
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When no zones of your irrigation system are on and no water is being used in your house look at your water meter. It should not be moving or indicating water flow.
Awesome! I am looking forward to going to the meter and crossing my fingers that it's not spinning!
 
  #4  
Old 05-01-16, 06:16 AM
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All,

The crew came back and replaced the line that was leaking.

See this photo of the break in the line:

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So when they patched this up and we tested the system, another line broke! Same type of break in the line. See this photo of the break:

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So the crew tells me that the lines are busting because of the water pressure is too high. My neighbor says the lines are busting because they probably aren't using the right materials.

I on the other hand am freaking out because I've already paid these guys.

What do you think?
 
  #5  
Old 05-01-16, 06:35 AM
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What is your water pressure? If you don't know pressure gauges are at HD or Lowes. they screw on a hose bib. Plumbers will come in later and tell you what a normal pressure is. Is that line on supply or discharge side of valves?
 
  #6  
Old 05-01-16, 07:00 AM
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I will go get a pressure gauge today. Will it need to be connected to a hose that a sprinkler head is connected to?

I forgot to mention that they turned the sprinkler system shutoff valve back a little bit as they believe it's a pressure issue.

To my best knowledge, the first photo was on the supply side. The other was on the discharge.

I am assuming "supply" side is everything in between the water shut off and the valves. Discharge is everything after the valves.
 
  #7  
Old 05-01-16, 10:23 AM
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I am assuming "supply" side is everything in between the water shut off and the valves. Discharge is everything after the valves.
Correct.

I forgot to mention that they turned the sprinkler system shutoff valve back a little bit as they believe it's a pressure issue.
Interesting..... as doing that will do absolutely nothing for system pressure unless a zone is running.

Your pipe says right on it "200 PSI". Your water pressure can't be anywhere near that.

I am puzzled. I'm not a sprinkler installer but I've seen plenty of systems installed and have serviced many and I have never seen any that used hard PVC pipe. I've always seen black poly used.

In my opinion... that pipe is defective. It's old and hard or something ran it over and cracked it.

A pressure gauge can be screwed onto any outside faucet.
 
  #8  
Old 05-01-16, 01:01 PM
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Interesting..... as doing that will do absolutely nothing for system pressure unless a zone is running.
Would you mind adding additional clarification on this? If this line is split off from the water main an d the shut off is turned half way off for example, wouldn't that mean that the pressure would be at 50%?

I am puzzled. I'm not a sprinkler installer but I've seen plenty of systems installed and have serviced many and I have never seen any that used hard PVC pipe. I've always seen black poly used.
Is it a bad thing that they used the hard PVC? What is black poly?

As far as the PVC goes, I don't believe that it is defective. It failed in 2 different places and I am rather certain that the PVC materials weren't handled roughly from HD to my house.
 
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Old 05-01-16, 01:04 PM
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A pressure gauge can be screwed onto any outside faucet.
It's installed now. I'm going to give it 48 hours as it says on the package.
 
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Old 05-01-16, 01:18 PM
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If you were flowing water thru the pipe and you set the valve for half way..... for the sake of this discussion... then yes the water would be at half pressure.

If you put a cap on the end of the pipe.... the same thing as all the zone valves being off..... the water will seek equal pressure. Remember....there is no flow.... so nothing to reduce. The water seeks its own pressure in all areas.

I can't comment on PVC used for sprinkler systems. I can tell you this.... I wouldn't use PVC at my house.

Hard Poly.... Poly Pipe for short....is Polyethylene plastic pipe and comes in rolls.

From a sprinkler supply company.....

Here are the top 5 reasons why to use Poly Pipe versus PVC
1) Comes in 300' rolls whereas PVC comes in 20' sticks which you have to glue together
2) More durable to cold conditions where the ground freezes and thaws, freezes and thaws
3) PVC is very brittle and tends to break or crack if installed in rocky soil.
4) Poly Pipe is the pipe builders now use to run your main water line from the street to the house
5) Poly is more flexible to bends which is important because 99% of all sprinkler systems have their valve boxes
.........on the side of their house and the pipe must make a bend to get to the front or back
 
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Old 05-01-16, 02:55 PM
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I'm with Pete on this, pipe was defective or run over. I know your house should not have any where near 200 PSI. Valve turn down would reduce flow but not change pressure. Back 20 to 30 years ago all I ran was PVC pipe foe sprinklers, no poly than and all done in warn weather areas.
 
  #12  
Old 05-02-16, 05:04 AM
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Hey guys,

If it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have luck at all.

I installed the pressure valve yesterday afternoon:

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I check it this morning and it's filled with water!

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I would be astonished if I had water pressure at 200PSI, so I am probably wasting my time. But nonetheless, will this thing not give a reading on an anti-siphon valve? Or is this valve is the cause of the gauge filling up with water?
 
  #13  
Old 05-02-16, 05:43 AM
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The needle has gone all the way around. It's almost impossible that you have more than 200 psi water so I'd say it was a defective gauge especially if you didn't see it move when you turned the water on.
 
  #14  
Old 05-02-16, 08:30 AM
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I agree with Dane..... the gauge is defective.
 
  #15  
Old 05-02-16, 11:55 AM
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To me it looks like the needle is on bottom side of pin. May have pegged gauge. Does it go around when you disconnect it? If not bad gauge. Did the gauge move when you turned the water on?
 
  #16  
Old 05-02-16, 12:01 PM
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I don't recall what happened the first time I turned the valve on with the gauge connected. I'm over it. I would be astonished if I had a water pressure issue since all of my neighbors all have irrigation systems.
 
  #17  
Old 05-02-16, 12:05 PM
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I am chalking up the damaged sprinkler pipes to the following:
  • PVC pipes damaged during install by rock or during backfill
  • PVC pipes defective from the manufacturer

I talked with the local sprinkler supply store here and they agree. They also mentioned that in this area (knoxville), most people have PVC pipes installed for their irrigation system.

Going a step further, I am not that impressed with the quality of the install so that should say something about the PVC pipe damages.
 
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