Finding underground plastic lawn sprinkler lines

Page 1 of 2  
Other than trial-and-error digging, are there other tricks or special equipment for finding them? Perhaps there is something like a stethoscope attached to a pointed metal rod that I could use to probe the ground while water is running.
They are only about eight inches deep.
TIA,
Ray
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Try a metal detector especially if the line has a control valve set of wires -- Further most lines run point to point between heads (not a lot of curving) -- Why are you trying to locate the lines?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
1_Patriotic_Guy wrote:

In my situation, control valve wires wouldn't parallel any of the lines for any appreciable distance. And as you will see below, I'm only concerned about the line from the valve to the first head. (As an aside, two of the four heads are fed from elbows, not tees. So there must be a Y someplace.)
-- Why are you trying to locate the lines?
I have one zone out of five that none of the four heads pop up. When I turn on that zone, I hear a rush of water for 5-10 seconds, then the water flow stops 100 percent (the very sensitive flag on the water meter stops spinning).
The direct route from this zone's control valve to these four heads would require passing under the driveway. (The original builder did not install sprinklers.) One of the local pros said they would never do that. (Risk of breaking the line.) They would take the much longer route around the back, side and front of the house. That route passes right by a large maple tree, which has surface roots, and a gum tree. So I suspecting that a root is pinching the line.
Ray

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have seen sprinkler contractors run the line under the driveway after it is poured. There is a special machine that does this (similiar to machine that runs underground cables). I have never seen a root pinch a line but it seems possible, but what is it pinched against, perhaps the underside of the driveway? Otherwise I would expect the root to move over or under the line. I suppose 2 roots could be pinching the line between them. If your line really takes the long route, that sounds like a lot of line. Is the soil easy to dig or hard? How long has the sprinkler line been in and did you own the home when it was installed?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
1_Patriotic_Guy wrote:

The local irrigation shop showed me a section of line that a root had wrapped around, reducing its cross-sectional area in half. Maybe I'll go over there and photograph it.
Otherwise I would expect the root to move over or under the line.

Even though the soil is heavy, it's rather easy to dig, especially since the lines are only about 8 inches deep. I've owned the home for four years. The house was built in 1968, without sprinklers. The best clue would be the model of the Richdel controller (446PRi) and when it was discontinued. I know that the models of the Hardie valves and the Hunter heads are discontinued. My guess is 15 years ago.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I get two pieces of straight bailing wire about 15" long. Bend a 3" leg on both of them. Hold them loosely by the three inch leg in a fist so they can sway and turn. Get them pointed straight out in front of you. When you walk over the line, the two will swing in, and parallel each other. Done it many a time to find sprinklers, water pipes, sewer pipes, electrical lines, etc.
Had many a person argue it is witching, and won't work, but no one who has seen me do it has said such a thing. I have seen people who can't get the fist right put them in two empty Tabasco bottles. They make some high dollar ones that have swinging arms inside a hollow tube that ride on a small ball bearing in the bottom.
But bailing wire works for me. Amazed many an old timer and made a believer out of them. Once almost had to walk back from a quail hunting trip because the driver was a religious nut and he thought I was posessed with the devil and practicing black magic. True story.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sep 2004 22:30:46 -0700,

And what exactly, sir, is the principal behind that? If it isn't WITCHING!!! :-)
Seriously, I've seen that on TV. What is that all about?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Proclaimed on Tue, 28

on
can
it
lines,
I really don't know the explanation. It just works, for me, anyway.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I saw a man do this on my farm in Michigan. I don't believe in such stuff, but it worked for him. I picked up the stick after he left and tried it myself, and it dipped over the underground pipe(!). I'm sure it must be auto-suggestion, or something, but... ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Dowsing with a divining rod? ..........rain dance....ear candles......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Dowsing? We were talking about finding sprinkler pipes. Now, go take your medicine.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have clock operated electric valves on my system. I have had that symptom and the cure was to adjust the valve or replace it.

Around here, Las Vegas area, it's normal practice to jet under existing driveways and that's what sprinkler equipment manufacturers recommend -- look at one of their instruction sheets. Problem with long distribution lines is the pressure loss which limits the number of heads you can put on one branch.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SJF wrote:

I've already replaced the diaphram in the valve. Didn't solve the problem. There's not much that can go wrong with the solenoid or its plunger, but I still suspect it.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the manual bleed would bypass solenoid opeation
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

of
Have you tested the valve and is it easily accessible? Symptoms indicate to me is that it is not working or not getting power.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

they shold be laid on a perpendicular grid, unless the ditches had to dogde large obstalces a time of installtion. also a long uninterrupted line, or a grid alignment change might send a pipe off at a weird angle.
you could jam a hose down one of the heads (the nearest to valve) and see whre water comes out. at disassembled valve or the other heads.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
try opening the manuel bleed screw on the valve and see if you get a continous flow until closed . if you do then i would bet either the 24volt slonoid is bad or maybe the wire connection is bad
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
http://www.rvtravelog.com/wolfsummit.dir/wolfsummit1.htm couple pieces of 12 bare copper or coat hangers around 24inch OA has worked well for me any easy to bend/cut somewhat stiff and light wire handy it'll find mineral deposits or elect pipes too. Older trick than the electrical contractor that instantly made me a dowser. gotta hold em light, teeter the balance sort of.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This sounds like a wonderful excuse to purchase/ borrow an infrared digital thermometer like the Fluke 51? http://us.fluke.com/usen/products/Fluke+60+Series.htm?catalog_name=FlukeUnitedStates I'd turn on the water to that branch and put a bucket over the sprinkler head. I would expect the cool water flowing in the pipe below the surface would create a temperature differential.

are there other tricks or special

A bit of a long shot.....
Mr Fixit eh
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sep 2004 18:42:34 GMT,

You too huh? I'll believe it when I see it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.