A leaking irrigation system that has gone undetected can burn a hole in your pocket. Apart from exorbitant water bills, it can make the ground marshy, which can become a nightmare to dry out. It is desirable that you become acquainted with the system so that you can tinker with it.
Detecting the Leakage
Leaks over the ground commonly occur in micro-irrigation modules or in drip. If the supply pipe has been buried beneath mulch/cover, dig it out. Check the spray and bubble rhythm after turning on water. A high pressure irrigation system, apart from micro-irrigation module is likely to sustain underground leaks.
For below ground system, each spray head should be capped. After turning on water, if puddles surface on soil, contact a professional for pinpointing the leak. A deep and wide trench should be dug to work with pipes.
Repairing a Small Leakage
If the seal on pipe joints has become faulty, clamps should be tightened at the seepage site.
If leakage from pipe is observed, it can be fixed with dresser coupling consisting of coupling body, rubber gaskets and nuts (two each). Use a hacksaw for cutting through the pipe after turning off the water. The coupling parts have to be slid on pipe ends. Hold the severed ends at respectable distance and get the coupling nuts and gasket on each pipe piece. Join the pipes through the coupling body and get the nuts tightened. Before burying the pipe, check for seepage signs with thorough flushing of the system.
Repairing Major Leakages
Frost heaving and tremors can pull apart connections. After blocking water flow, remove the damaged pipe portion by cutting out with hacksaw. Prior to repairing PVC pipe, the region earmarked for cementing should be dried completely. Next, PVC primer and solvent cement should be cemented as per the guidelines mentioned in cement can.
One replacement fitting should be slid on each severed end of the pipe to be inserted in the cut out part. The bond should be left behind to set for about a day. A stainless steel hose clamp should be slipped over polyethylene pipe and the fitting should be inserted. Sliding can be made easy by immersing the pipe end in lukewarm water and then tightening the clamp once it gets on the ridged portion. The operating manual of the system should be referred at each step.
After the system installed on a slope has been turned off, if water still flows on for few minutes, it is triggered by low head drainage phenomenon. However, if water leakage is continuous, then a control valve may be at fault. Dismantle the valve for cleaning and replacing the faulty part. Low head phenomenon can be addressed by installing the sprinkler heads with anti-drain valves. You can purchase discrete check valves and get them installed on the pipe. The sprinkler head needs to be lowered appropriately before burying as the check valve will elevate the sprinkler by few inches and also the pressure level may be compromised.
If the drip irrigation hose has sustained tear or hole, first turn off the water. The hose is now to be cut through by an inch before and after the leak. Throw away the damaged piece. Take a cotton swab and apply a thin layer of glue underneath the irrigation. The severed ends of the hose should be stuck on the sleeve. Press the arrangement together tightly to allow the gum to settle down properly. Turn the water on after the glue dries properly.
Never carry out any step in violation of the guidelines of the operating manual. Always ascertain the exact cause instead of just relying on visual inspection. Future structural failures will arise if only superficial solutions are executed hastily. Instead of wasting time and energy on failed components, it is advisable to replace them.
Plastic moulding process is not designed for long lasting solutions. Repair will fail to yield desired results, if the area and components used for repair are unkempt. Proper repairing can be ensured by evacuating the maximum possible mud and water from the leakage source. You can get in touch with Total Water Services in Brisbane for hassle free detection and repairing of leakage in the drip irrigation system.