Leak in sprinkler valve box


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Old 10-07-17, 09:10 AM
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Leak in sprinkler valve box

By happenstance I just noticed that an out-of-the-way valve box was filled with water. After pumping it out and removing sediment, I found that there was a pinhole leak in the PVC--see circled area in image (what looks like two white lines pointing to approx 12:30 and 2:00 are sprays of water ).

The leak is in the third of four valves. I rather dread the idea of cutting apart and replacing the components. Is there a way to repair the leak that won't fail quickly? Some sort of epoxy, perhaps?
 
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Old 10-07-17, 10:15 AM
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Sorry to say but you most likely have to replace all the fittings to fix. Slight chance of just the ones on leak side but I don't think there is enough room between fittings to get a repair coupler in there,
 
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Old 10-07-17, 10:55 AM
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Ah, drat. So, no to the epoxy?

I'm not familiar with valve box parts. Am I wrong, or is the PVC piece attached to the valves composed of a female slip fit on one side and a male on the opposite, with a male screw fit in the middle? (the one on the right-end looks to just be an elbow). There are four valves in the box; the problem one is the second from the right, the third in the series.

Complicating things is that the left-most valve (the first in the series) is right next to the wall of the box, meaning that I supposed I'd have to disconnect things outside the box. But, you can see a vertical pipe in the bottom-left of the picture. That's the supply; not only does it connect to this valve box, but to two others, elsewhere on the property. So I can only imagine what sort of connectors are buried down there (to the best of my knowledge this is the sole supply pipe leaving the house).
 
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Old 10-07-17, 02:18 PM
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I'm afraid you are in for a frustrating project. It's not rocket science technically but it will be a dirty pain in your rear. I'd start by digging out the box. That will get the box out of the way and you'll be able to see what fittings your dealing with where the pipes entered the box.

I would plan on replacing all the PVC piping in the box. Just go ahead and glue up a new manifold copying the original. Make sure you look at the fittings at each end to the other piping. Do a dry run to make sure you can get any threaded fittings joined and if you need to leave any glued joints loose until it's in place.
 
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Old 10-07-17, 02:19 PM
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Its been awile but I believe the valves have male threads and are screwed into to PVC manifold. Chances are you will need to dig up the entire area, remove the poly lines and take the valves out and replace the manifold.

I agree, epoxy is not going to make a perminate fix, sorry, I feel your pain!!
 
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Old 10-07-17, 02:39 PM
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It won't hurt anything to try an epoxy... and at a minimum it will just delay what will inevitably need to be repaired someday soon. Unless you are of the opinion, if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Who knows how long an epoxy repair may last. I would recommend you try JB Waterweld, the two part putty stick. Slice off maybe 1/2" from the roll and knead it in your fingers. It will take about 5 minutes of kneading it, but it will become sticky enough to hold. It would obviously help if you would turn the water off to the sprinklers so that it could be dry when you do this, but I have on occasion got it to hold while wet.

It seems to help it stick if you repeatedly press it on, then pull it off... press it on, then pull it off, over and over as you knead it until the surface of the pipe becomes as sticky as your fingers are.

Clean your fingers off with paint thinner or wd-40 when you're done.
 
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Old 10-07-17, 04:18 PM
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JB Weld might work. Also look for Atlas pool putty a 2-part epoxy. 10% chance of either working. Shut water off, dry well and scuff up. There is another pool item: A&B epoxy pool putty.
 
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Old 10-08-17, 04:35 AM
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The only repair I have ever heard about that works for PVC pipes is to pull a vacuum on the line and use cleaner and glue which MIGHT get sucked in.

Anything else is just sitting on the surface.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 10-08-17 at 07:05 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary and unwarranted comment
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Old 10-08-17, 08:13 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I'd shut off the water when I saw the leak. It's on the supply side so it's spraying all the time regardless of whether the sprinkler is in use.

It's raining now and for the next day or two, which means I both don't need the sprinklers now but I also can't really work on the hole.
 
 

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