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Drip Issue

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by IRRITECH, Oct 15, 2006.


    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 931

    Okay Guys, here's an interesting one for you. We installed a system about six months ago and used about 5000 feet of rainbird drip. Homeowner called about two months ago and said there was a leak. Went to fix it and discovered that some animal (squirrel, mouse, whatever) had chewed a hole in the pipe. Fixed that under warranty. Just went back yesterday and found six more spots where the drip had been chewed through. We install 1000's of feet of drip a year and I have never seen this. Any Ideas?? And would you continue to warranty the work?
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Is the line covered with mulch or rock? Seems that they wouldn't bother it if it was covered... Also, and this may sound silly, but have him give the critters a place to drink. Most of the time they are sensing the water in the lines and simply are thirsty. Not to say that some squrrils aren't just buttheads and will do this sort of thing. Gophers also will go for the lines, any signs of those around? Iv'e seen them chew holes in garden hoses that were laying in the same spot for a few days! Time to trap...

    I'd not warranty any of it, if it was installed properly (covered with mulch, ect.) then it's in no way your fault. If anything maybe give the owner some repair couplings and in a nice way tiell him it's his problem now because you can't control wild animals.

    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 931

    Its a Lake House. There is more water than anyone, or thing needs. Yes it is covered with mulch. The garden zone is not, but they are not chewing that. They are goin under the straw and bark. It's weird.
  4. This is a common problem in my area. Chipmunks/ground squirrels chewing up drip tubing. Once they start there is no stopping them, they also teach their young that they can get water from the tubing. I have also seen the tops of spray heads chewed off for a drink of water.
  5. Used to be rabbits where I lived in the desert.....

    I don't think anything can be done other than hard piping the system or burying it deeper....or call Carl Spackler.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Your troubles (and/or the homeowner's) have just begun. The home owner should have been advised of the drawbacks of PE tubing vs. varmints and should have been offered the opportunity of hard pipe instead of poly. Varmints + PE should have indicated no warranty whatsoever. Besides the obvious chewed problems the system will now have clogged emitters downstream. Watch for plants not getting enough water. Even if you installed an end cap at the major ends of the PE to flush the lines out you'll never get it all. Sad to say but somewhere down the line if the varmints are not controlled you'll have to "Sheshovel" the whole thing. Either that or you'll be back there quite often fixing and replacing drip items. :laugh:

    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 931

    Clogged emitters are not going to be the problem. W/ .9x12 line in12-18" rows water isn't going to be a problem. The slope, driveway, propertyline and rock would have made it prohibitively expensive to hard pipe and this was explained to the HO pre-bid. I Think I'll leave them a roll of drip and a bag of couplings and call it that. Although I hate to leave a job this way. Like I said earlier, we install alot of drip and this is a first.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Bet it's not your last though. :)
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Hayes, I've never had a critter issue and we have installed miles and miles of drip.

    I have seen a bored dog chew tubing though, but never a small varmit.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Neither had Irritech... until now. :)

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