Adhesive help!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Howard Roark, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 805

    Hello all,

    Well I don't do sprinklers, evidently I just break them. A customer of mine pulled out one of his rainbird sprinkler heads that we broke, and claims he was unscrewing it and it just pulled off. The coupler was attached to a flexible ribbed dark grey 1/2 inch pipe. Do you guys know what adhesive to use to attach it back? I called rainbird, and after being on hold for 10 minutes the tech support guy came back and said they couldn't comment on what to use because they don't sell the pipe, just the head. He told me to go to Home Depot and ask them, to which I replied I'd have better luck going and asking a hobo underneath one of the highway bridges here in town.

    The homeowner tried PVC glue, and it shot up like Old Faithful on him.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,017

    Gluing flexible pipes in sprinkler systems is something you just don't do, because those flexible materials are not glue-able. If the broken piece is a 'poly' cut-off riser, you need to buy a new one. The Home Depot stores do stock such things, and a good hardware store may also have them.

    As for hobos under the highway bridges, I wouldn't know. maybe you could check their website. :p
     
  3. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 805

    Well he went and bought a new head, and screwed it on to the old coupler. So what you are saying is that the coupler just slides on to the flex pipe, you bury it, and the water pressure should just lift the head and not the whole thing off the pipe, with no glue? Nothing actually broke, but on the coupler I thought I saw a pink color inside where it fits on the pipe in the ground, making me think there was an adhesive.
     
  4. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Trying very hard to picture your situation and I see a couple of possibilities. Is the "coupler" you are describing barbed in any way? Or do you have a true pvc type socketed fitting? It is quite possible that the flex pipe you mention is "agri-flex" and actually glues up to a schedule 40 fitting. I saw a fair amount of this when in the Dallas area. Agri-flex doesn't work as well here in northern climates. The glue joint must remain flexible, and in these colder climates, that doesn't remain true. If it is agri-flex, you have to use a flexible pvc glue. Either the grey that is manufactured for this type of fitting or a blue glue like "turf-tite" that is labeled for flexible connections. You claim the customer is "screwing" this fitting on to the pipe. If it is a threaded connection, it is very possible that the poly riser has become worn to the point that it no longer will grip the threads of the head strongly enough to prevent the head from being launched. Extract the poly nipple and replace it and all will be good. If it is indeed a barbed fitting, either dig back enough to shorten the flex pipe and then replace the fitting with a new one as well, or replace the short piece of flex and it's fittings and you will be on the road to solving the customers problem.
    Good luck and let us know what you actually have in that hole :)
     
  5. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 805

    Thanks very much for the replies.

    I should start over to hopefully make this more understandable.

    The top of his sprinkler head broke, therefore he tried to just unscrew it to replace it. On the bottom of the head is threads, that thread onto a coupling about an inch long, 1/2 inch in diameter. While attempting to unscrew the head, the coupling just "came off" of the flex pipe in the ground. It's not PVC, but a flexible, dark gray plastic like pipe that is ribbed on the outside. My system at home is pvc, so everything just screws on and off. So looking at this, I wasn't sure if the coupling just pushed on the pipe, and the dirt held it all in, or if there was a glue that held this in. I'm thinking this may be the agri-flex you're speaking of. So in reality, all I need to do is put the fitting (that has the head already attached to it, threads are fine) on the pipe with or without glue.

    Thanks again for any help. Perhaps flexible PVC glue might due the trick!
     
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,017

    I think the lack of proper terminology here will be an insurmountable hurdle. Got a photo? Truly, a picture will be worth a thousand words. Unless this is some homebrew project, the only truly ribbed connector would be a poly riser, or cut-off nipple, with pipe threads on each end. There is a sort of flexible PVC, which can be glued into PVC fittings, and some versions of it have a spiral reinforcing band that might look something like ribs, but to the touch, the outer surface is smooth like ordinary PVC pipe.

    I wonder, is there any funny pipe that would have a 'ribbed' look to it. That sort of flexible pipe is supposed to wiggle onto special barbed fittings, and stay put without being clamped, but there must have been some combinations that failed. Myself, I wonder about the barbed fittings made of PVC, because it's a softer plastic, and can't dig into the soft funny pipe like the harder elbow fittings do.
     
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Maybe he's talking about those goofy flexible risers that have threads on them that your supposed to cut to the appropriate length.
     
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Agri-flex is smooth and all of it I have ever seen looks black. Even if it had been exposed to sun in an installation, it still did not bleach or look grey. This sounds more and more like a poly cut-off riser that has become stripped. Is the PVC coupling that is being screwed into the head threaded on both ends? Male threads into the head and female threads on the "bottom"? If so, this flexible riser is not more than 6" long and is cut to size to adjust head height. They wear out like this on a regular basis. The poly cut-off riser is designed to strip/break/fail. It is the weak link in case the head is impacted or struck to prevent pipe damage and minimize head damage.
     
  9. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 805

    I do apologize for my inexperience and appreciate everyone's patience.
    The fitting that screws onto the bottom of the sprinkler head, has female threads only on one side, which is the side that threads to the bottom of the head. The other side, that slides over this flexible pipe that is in the ground, has no threads at all inside, just smooth. It slides on to the pipe, but is not a very tight fit. It also appears to have pink residue inside, so I was wondering if that was a type of glue. The flexible 1/2" pipe in the ground may be just an extension off of regular PVC in the yard, I don't know as there's only about 4 inches of it exposed. But it is flexible, ribbed on the outside, and obviously bent 90 degrees to be pointing upward so this fitting can slide on it.

    I can possibly get some pics this week. I suppose I can draw it out and scan it so you can get a better idea.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Yanno, that almost sounds like someone used flexible electrical conduit for risers with one of those threaded ell fittings that are designed to grip the tubing on the outside rather than a true insert type fitting. This is just a Wild-assed-guess however.

    Jerry R
     

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