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Irrigation Blues

Posted by blueberrytalk on August 27, 2009

The problem began over 25 years ago with some irrigation line with brass compression fittings. The joints would blow apart with normal city water pressure. Since then it was an effort to find inside diameter fittings but nothing was the right size. If the fitting was too small we would wrap with silicone tape, heat the pipe with a torch to soften and use pipe clamps. If too large we would heat the pipe til soft and force a fit. With all the problems we were reluctant to tee into this line. The picture below shows the irrigation line taped to a metal pipe. To add to this line we started with the metal pipe forced into the irrigation line and added a tee just below the tap. The tee leads to an extended line. Admittedly, not very pretty.

tee to line extension

tee to line extension

 A few days ago, we had workers in the field when one of the compression joints started to leak. We turned off the water and headed to Home Depot with the compression joint to find a solution. Home Depot sent us to Bartle & Gibson. They didn’t recognize the fitting. They sent us to Andrew Sherit. Andrew Sherit didn’t know the fitting but they supplied us with a bronze cap. It was the wrong thread but could be forced to work. (see picture below) Water was returned to the pickers and the broken joint sealed off.


solution 1 -bronze cap solution 2 -plastic compression fitting

Next day, when the pickers were gone, we headed to Home Depot with a short length of hose in hand. After measuring the inside diameter, and looking puzzled, the salesman measured the outside diameter. One inch! Of course we have compression fittings for 1 inch. They come in bronze or plastic. See solution above. Twenty five years of frustration ended. Moral of this story: Educate yourself with internet search before heading to the store.

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