Monday, February 2, 2009

Sprinkler System Mainline Leak

This from Scott:

I have a sprinkler system that was installed by Choate Irrigation. Choate is a large company that works in most of the metro areas in Texas and does most of the irrigation work for Pulte Homes which is who built my home. I have an area in my yard that is constantly wet even with the system off for several days. I dug in the area and found a leaky connection in one of the supply lines. My question and concern is that the pipe used for the supply line is not sch 40; it is much thinner, is this correct? I am not knowledgeable as to the "rules and regulations" so I would definitely appreciate your advice.

Hi Scott,I doubt that there are any regulations as to using schedule 40 as a mainline for the system."Thin wall" one inch PVC is SDR regulated to a 200 PSI burst rating. If your system was over 200 PSI at operating pressure, when your system came on your yard would look like it was covered by a low hanging cloud!

The specific problem was a poor glue joint. It happens. The general problem is lack of irrigation training and design regulation in a world with a rapidly degrading water supply.

If Choate wants to stay in business, they must be competitive. Competitive to Pulte means "cheap." Cheap means "slam it in the ground guys, the margins are thin." I don't know anything about Choate Irrigation, but I bet they would prefer to bid on quality rather than price. The market (home builders) however does not give them the choice.

When the market is regulated by mandatory water audits for ALL new sprinkler systems, quality will go up. When the market is regulated by who is the cheapest, water waste will stay at it's sad level.

On the other hand, I've seen delivery men for irrigation suppliers kick pipe off of the truck as if pipe doesn't crack or break.

Maybe it was a bad glue job, maybe a defective pipe. Or maybe it is a symptom of something that needs to be changed.

No comments: