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Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

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  • Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

    I'm currently installing the plumbing for the landscaping as part of my yard remodel. One thing I was wondering is how to test for leaks in the pipes that are after the control valves. I do not want to test and look for leaks with runing water as I do not want to flood the yard and waste water but unlike the pipes upstream of the vales which can be pressurized the downstream pipes cannot since they will be connected to the various irrigation components. I would like to look for leaks in advance of covering them up and eventually most of the piping will live under the new flagstone patio.

    Any suggestions on testing for leaks?

  • #2
    Re: Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

    Put a plug in all the openings but one , put a pressure gauge on it and air it up.. if the line has a auto drain it wont hold pressure for long
    With the water on it is easier to find a leak...
    Just watch it when you turn it on if you see a leak just fix it

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    • #3
      Re: Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

      an auto drain

      he's in san diego it's 75 and sunny all year long.

      just cap each riser and turn the water on. the sprinkler back flow / anti siphon preventer might leak a little, but that's normal for a sprinkler valve with built in atmospheric vacuum breaker.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

        You Lucky no winter guys

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        • #5
          Re: Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

          Originally posted by DELCASE View Post
          You Lucky no winter guys
          I don't know about that. Winterizations and Spring turn ons (Why don't they call that Springizations) are a nice boost to my income every year.
          "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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          • #6
            Re: Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

            I have no idea what an auto drain is - and seems like I don't need to know. I must clarify that we do have a winter though - it is 65 instead of 75 . Actually in winter the temp can drop quite low at night - 40s is not uncommon and occasionally even 30s - but it quickly warms up to 65 - 70 as the sun comes up (desert climate).

            Yes I thought about capping and pressurizing the system but what about air trapped in the pipe. I take it you guys are suggesting that I glue the cap on for a watertight seal. Currently the 3 zones do not have any emitters and apart from one zone the other 2 zones do not have any plants - these will only be planted at the end of the project. Since there is no lawn there will be no sprinkers - I'm plannng on installing drip emitters.

            On a related question - let's say if you have a leak at a PVC joint how do you fix that. I know with copper you can resweat the joint but what do you to for PVC. To date I've never had a leak in my joints but I wondered what the fix is if you do and you cannot move the pipes.

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            • #7
              Re: Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

              No dont glue on any thing extra
              your emitters screw into a tee or a 90, that is were you can cap it
              If you do have a leak and your pipes dont move you can use a flow span coulping it is easy to work with
              Cap it and turn on the water..look for leaks..if you have one you will know right were it is

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              • #8
                Re: Testing irrigation plumbing for leaks

                Good suggestion thanks. I have a spare compression coupling so I guess I can use that - have a piece of capped PVC in one end and connect the other end to the pipe I want to test. I can loosen the coupling to bleed any air first then tighten and look for leaks.

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