One of the most painful things that happens with an irrigation system is when a fitting or pipe bursts underground. It can waste a lot of water while at the same time it can stop your system working properly and can cause a lot of damage and a big mess! The next step is digging it up and doing a PVC pipe repair.
There are a couple of techniques that are normally used to repair pipes depending on the size and situation. These are:
- Fit in new pipe and fittings with glue in couplings
- Fit in new pipe and fittings with a compression coupling
- Fit in new pipe with PVC Lock fittings
Up until recent times, the only real method to repair small irrigation pipework was to perform a number of solvent glue joins with various fittings. To be able to get this to work properly, you need to turn off the water supply, then drain and dry everything otherwise the glue bond won’t form and it will not set properly.
How To Carry Out A PVC Pipe Repair
To Perform A Glue Join:
- To get a glue connection to seal and hold pressure, first you need to have the water supply turned off
- Once the pipe ends are cut clean and square, then all the water needs to be drained out and the surfaces are all dried
- Once dry, then the surfaces should be primed with PVC primer solution to soften the plastic
- Now everything is primed, a light and even coat of PVC solvent cement (Glue) should be applied to the pipe and the fitting and immediately they should be pushed together \
- The fitting should be turned slightly so that the glue is spread in the joint evenly and the fitting should be checked to ensure the fitting doesn’t “push” back off the pipe end before it sets
- Wipe the join clean of any excess glue as this can corrode the pipe over time
- Once the fitting has started to set, then it should be left to “cure” for the time allocated on the glue label. This also depends on the water pressure you are running. Sometimes for garden irrigation you may only have to wait for 30 minutes or so
- Now run the system to check for leaks and to see if the fittings hold pressure before burying the pipes
If you are going to use a compression joiner, you may still have to fit some of the pipework with glue joins and then the last straight join In the pipe is completed with a compression join. They are quick and easy but as they are relying on a screw down rubber seal, they can be tricky to get water tight.
The other method for repairing pipes is PVC Lock. Hydro Rain has developed this range of products to quickly and easily repair irrigation pipes. It uses no glue and can be done wet or even underwater.
The PVC Lock range is made up of conventional type PVC fittings (elbows, joiners, tees, couplings etc.) with an innovative type of barbed O-ring connector.
To Perform A Repair With PVC Lock:
- Cut the pipe to length, cleaning the edges of the cut pipe
- You might want to mark 1” in from the end with a pen so that you don’t push the pipe too far into the fitting
- Push the fitting onto the pipe and if needed turn the fitting so that it is oriented properly. The fitting will turn 360 degrees even under pressure so you can adjust it if need
- The fitting is instantly sealed and is ready to take its full rated 1033 kpa of pressure immediately
- If something needs to be adjusted or altered, then the simple metal removal tool is slipped into place and the fitting simply slides off. Push the pipe back into the fitting and it will seal again
Both of these methods are equally suitable for successfully repairing your broken pipe but depending on the situation, once could work better. We have the full range of both glue, glue fittings and PVC Lock on the shelf in Bunbury and the staff here to give you advice on the best method. In addition if you would like some help, out mobile service staff are more than happy to come out and get the repairs done for you.
Give us a call on (08) 9721 3577 or email us today to see how we can help.