I have a very long line of rhododendron bushes which are hardy but are
starting to wilt.
I noticed the animals chewed right through the thin plastic in just a
couple of spots.
I can't for the life of me, find where the water comes from that feeds
this irrigation line (it has always been dry since I bought the place
from the bank, owner unknown to me).
To get a background on this thin piping, what is an accepted repair
And, normally, how does it get it's water? I find no sprinkler electrical
box that feeds this line???
Normally it's connected to a water source. This black poly irrigation
line is so cheap that there is no point in trying to repair it. After
you figure out where it's connected to water replace it. Google poly
tubing and follow the links that look like they belong to irrigation
or sprinkler sites. I think I got 500' of 5/8" for about $50 not long
If it's always been dry while you've been there, and there are holes
in it, it's probably an abandoned line. The controller may have been
removed and the feed line reconfigured.
Repairing such things is problematic. The pipe is cheap enough that
running a new line would probably take less overall time and cost less
money than buying fittings and such. Might be an exaggeration, but
not a big one.
You won't know if you repaired all of the holes without locating,
patching, testing, locating...repeat a number of times. Digging a
100' trench one foot down in typical soil might take a couple or three
hours depending on who's doing the digging.
Snip off a 6" piece of it. Take it to a supplier, and buy an adapter to go
from a garden hose to it, or better yet, get a T so you can go into the line
at any point. Connect hose, adapter, and black line. Turn on hose. See
where water comes out, and repair accordingly. If it is water water
everywhere, you might reconsider and replace all. Maybe there is enough
still there to salvage with new plugs, feeder lines, and bubblers. It is
simple to double the ends over and put on the figure eight terminators if
the whole pipe is open on the end, and it is simple to buy some more tubing,
and splice and repair. Digging up several hundred yards of this sounds like
a big job. You might get lucky, and find that it was done in sections.
Don't forget to install a pressure reducer if you put on an automatic timer,
as water hammer will blow those little 1/4" fittings right out.
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On Tue, 06 Sep 2011 11:33:46 -0700, Steve B wrote:
I like this idea the best!
It allows both for temporary watering of the oleander bushes and for
debugging as to where the leaks lie.
The water pressure I have is tremendous. I don't know the pressure but it
shoots out from a hose about, oh, twenty feet or so (way more than most
So, I will ask OSH about the pressure reducers too!
I'd also focus on figuring out what it might be or might
have been connected to for water supply. Usually
irrigation systems like that are fed from the house, but
could be fed from somewhere else.
If the pipe is shot in many places, it may be easier to
have a new piece pulled by an irrigation company.
Depending on the soil, they usually don't trench it,
they just pull it with a tractor that makes a slit in the
ground. I've pulled 500 ft of it in 15 mins. And the
pipe is inexpensive.
Also, apparently you don't know if this has heads,
is drip, etc? That's another factor. Sounds like it
may be an amateur job because for that length of
run pro would typically be pulling 1" pipe.
On Thu, 08 Sep 2011 21:00:46 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Thats interesting. Here, it's along both sides of a driveway so they
could drive up and down the driveway, with a slitter to the sides.
The only problem might be the bushes themselves are grown out to the
driveway, even though they're planted about 18 to 25 inches (or so) back
from the driveway. They could have been planted in the 80's when the
house was built! (I don't know.)
It has little quarter inch (or a bit smaller) tubes running out at
intervals, from what I can see popping above the leaf debris & rocks that
used to cover the entire hedge floor.
I doubt this was amateur simply based on everything else at the house is
professional. I'm amateur! But not the people before me!
They do have at least two pipes together on each side, so, I assume the
first pipe does half the bush while the other does the other half - but I
don' know that for certain until I flush it with water to see what
Generally they will use a small machine, sometimes walk-behind, that
has the plow mounted in the middle. I've never seen one with the plow
mounted off to the side, because it would constantly try to pull the
machine off track, and you wouldn't be able to maintain a straight
The two pipes could very well two different installations. The first
one failed so the second one was installed.
I use it a lot. I don't bury any of it, I just cover it with mulch.
Why bury it? If they are running pipes down the sides it might be the
irrigation syle with built in drippers. That's typically 1/4"
though. You can also insert drippers directly into the 5/8 at each
Frankly I woul dnot spend any time trying to figure out what's there
isyou see that the pipe has holes in it and is old. Just start from
scratch. I suggest the 1/4" with built in drippers for a row of
bushes. Run 5/8" to one end and then run two pieces of 1/4" with
drippers down each side. That's how I irrigate my row of blackberry
It goes down the driveway. The house is on a hill. The driveway winds up
the hill. It's about 300 long strides, so, I figure it's three hundred
yards long. All along, on both sides, are oleander bushes. They survive,
even in our long summers without rain. But they're wilting brown.
I'll look for that at OSH later this week. Thanks!
What you mean is that there must be a water supply. I agree with you.
What I'll do is dig up one line at the top of the hill and see if I can
follow it to the water feed!
There seems to be two lines of tubing down each side. It's only slightly
buried most of the way as it pops up for a foot or two in a variety of
spots. So I'd say it's only 'covered' and not 'buried'.
In spots, it's exposed to the sun. I didn't realize it was cheap. If it's
only $50, then I think I'll replace the whole thing.
However, digging a trench in the hard-caked mudpack will be a lot of
work. I might be lucky in that pulling up the old trench (after soaking
with water to loosen the mudpack) might leave just enough 'trench' to
cover the plastic tubing from the unrelenting sun.
That's what I will do! It seems like the only logical approach because I
can't find the water source by just looking!
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