Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Finishing upgrades to our irrigation system

Ok, so for those of you still reading about my irrigation issues, I promise this will be the last one you will have to read for a long time! First, the good news - yesterday while Little M was napping I fixed the broken pipe, and installed our new turn on & hose attachment! Here is the after picture, just before I filled in the hole with dirt (and before I mowed all those weeds masquerading as grass!)
So here's how I did it. And this is all thanks to the people at the local pipe store that helped us out on the weekend to make sure we got all the right supplies! Yesterday the weather finally cleared up and the grass dried off, so I decided to get down to business. I started by laying a towel down on the ground to keep dirt off the pipe parts while I was putting them together. I put all the pipe parts and glue and primer down on the towel near where the broken pipe was.
Then I used the PVC pipe saw that we picked up to level off the top of the broken old pipe. It wasn't that hard, I just had to focus on making a level even cut. Oh, and I had to dig more dirt out around the pipe so that I could get the saw and my hand down to that depth.
It was interesting (and hopefully not a problem in the near future!) to notice that the pipe thicknesses were different. The new pipe is 'schedule 40', which is much thicker and sturdier. It's actually surprising that we hadn't broken the pipe before now, with the old rusted out turn on! I think that longer term we likely need to replace all the old pipe back to the main pipe line, but hopefully it can last another few years.
The next step was to get started with the primer. The helpful guy at the pipe store told us to first apply a coat of this purple primer to all PVC surfaces that would be touching once we put the pipes together. This is where I went slightly off track... I managed to get the primer all over my hand when I tried to open the tight lid of the can... Oops. Not to worry, I then read the can and it didn't talk about any skin-eating properties of the primer. Great. So I kept going and swabbed the primer (there is a little brush/swab thing attached to the lid of the can) all around the inside of the joiner, and around the outside top of the old pipe in the ground.
The primer can completely dry, but I didn't let it, and instead started right on applying the blue glue. I made sure to swab the glue generously and evenly over the area where the pipes would come in contact, to get a good seal. The pipe guy said to not skimp on the glue, so I slathered it on. I didn't take a picture of the glue on, because it sets very quickly. I had just enough time to slather it on the outside of the old pipe in the ground, slather it on the inside of the joiner, and then push them together. After I pushed them together all the way, I gave them a slight twist, to allow the glue to bond together even better. Then you are supposed to press the two together firmly for 30 seconds. Here is the result:
I kept on doing the primer and then the glue, to assemble piece by piece to get all the pipe sections together. Here is a mid-way through picture, just after I installed the hose attachment. This is what I am most excited for - having a hose that we can use for watering our fruit trees, that isn't running off of our house well & electricity!
And here is the after picture:
Not that I want to start putting together PVC pipe for a living or anything, but it was really quite simple! I think the most important things to consider were exactly what pipe pieces you need, and where you want all the attachments to sit (for example, we had to go back for another joiner and more length of pipe since we wanted the hose attachment to be above ground).


  1. I've seen my husband do this a hundred times, but I have never had to do it. I think it is quite easy, looks like you did a great job!

  2. Fantastic post, very well written, and it contains many useful facts. I appreciated your professional manner of writing this post. Thanks


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...