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Old 06-19-2018, 08:40 PM   #1
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Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations


I was digging a hole for plants in the garden when I accidentally banged on one of my irrigation pipes, causing it to dent and break at one of the joints. I'm no DIY expert, so I'd like to know the best way to repair this pipe. The part that makes this non-trivial is that the pipe broke right at the edge of a 3 way joint.

I measured the circumference of each size of pipe for you, I believe the 4 1/4 circumference pipe is 1" based on my google searching, and it's weird that there is a smaller pipe (the sizes aren't consistent). Please see the attached photos.

I am familiar with some basic stuff I'll need, such as pipe glue and primer. If this was just a straight pipe, I know I'd probably use something like a quick fix coupling to repair it. Again I'm no expert, this is just what I picked up from my research. The quick fix coupling doesn't seem like it would work here because of that joint... so I'm out of ideas!

Thanks in advance for any guidance.
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Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations-img_20180619_201853.jpg   Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations-img_20180619_201939.jpg   Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations-img_20180619_201947.jpg   Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations-img_20180619_201954.jpg  
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:31 PM   #2
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Re: Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations


It appears to be schedule 40 PVC. It is much easier to gauge PVC pipe by measuring the outside walls across. What you have looks to be a 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/2" TEE. The one 1/2" pipe has a 3/4 in. to 1/2" reducing bushing in the TEE for it to go in to.

Check to see if my sketch numbers match your pipe sizes. As it may not be schedule 40 at all. My sketch is schedule 40 dimensions.

Just a matter of getting the right fittings, primer/glue and cutting all the pipes back enough to install the fittings and couplings and glue it all back together. Just dry fit all the pieces to be sure they work, BEFORE starting to glue any of them.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:39 PM   #3
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But I can't measure the diameter when the pipe isn't cut. Isn't circumference / pi good enough?
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:43 PM   #4
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Re: Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations


Sure you can, it does not have to be in the hundredths of an inch. Clean the dirt off of the pipe in a small section. Hold your measuring tape above the pipe almost touching it. While looking straight down on top of the pipe/tape, measure the width of it like in my sketch. The distance from one side of it to the other. It does NOT have to be taken at the end of the pipe, just anywhere along the pipe.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:46 PM   #5
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Ah good idea, I will try that. Assuming I get all the pipes and supplies I need, what would you recommend step by step for repair? Thanks again.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations


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Originally Posted by voidpointer View Post
But I can't measure the diameter when the pipe isn't cut. Isn't circumference / pi good enough?
That's actually a much more accurate way of measuring the size of the pipe instead of trying to make of the diameter across it. Even when you have a piece of pipe in your hand using the method you mentioned will give you better results.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:25 AM   #7
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Re: Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations


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That's actually a much more accurate way of measuring the size of the pipe instead of trying to make of the diameter across it. Even when you have a piece of pipe in your hand using the method you mentioned will give you better results.
Too good. If a person cannot eyeball measure the OD of a pipe with a 1/16 of an inch graduated tape measure and instead has to get out a calculator to measure it using a math formula, they are going to have a hell of a time doing pipe fitting work.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:25 AM   #8
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While I really appreciate the advice on properly gauging the size of the pipes, at this point I don't have a good idea how to repair this step by step. Something like this maybe?

1. Cut the pipe to the left of the joint, cut the pipe leading to the sprinkler head, and cut the bent part of the broken pipe to the right
2. Attach a new 3 way joint on the left pipe using that adapter
3. Attach the sprinkler pipe to the top part of the joint (this moves the position of the sprinkler head on the surface, which is not ideal)
4. Attach the right pipe to the left opening of the joint using a quick fix coupling? If the coupling only joins inlets I may have to insert a small piece of pipe into the left opening of the joint first I think...

Thoughts?
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations


You'll need some sections of pipe of the correct diameter and a coupler each side of the T. You will need a fitting that matches the one connected to the bottom of the sprinkler head. Can't tell what's there in the pics. Since that length of pipe is short, it's easier to replace the whole thing.

For the other two joints, cut the existing pipe back and use the new pipe and couplers to put it back together.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:08 PM   #10
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Re: Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations


............ How I would do it..........
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:34 PM   #11
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Re: Busted irrigation pipe; need repair recommendations


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Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
............ How I would do it..........
Wow thank you so much for the diagram! This is very very helpful. I will use this to pick up all the parts I need at Home Depot and get started on repairs. The only thing I think I am unsure about at this point is the best way to cut the pipes. I've seen a few $80-100 ratchet cutters (not sure if that's the correct term). Those seem like they would be the best here, since there's not much room in that hole to use a saw or anything...
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