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Locating a kink or obstruction?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    We have a zone going from the back to the front of a house. Two rotors in back, four in the front. Total gpm of 12 on a one inch supply with 70 psi..

    The two rear rotors work perfect, the four in the front come up half way and just kind of drain out.
    The closest front one to the rear of the house is close to some good sized trees and I suspect some root invasion to some loose fittings.

    Any advice before I start digging to find the problem?

  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    Pull some pipe from the good heads to the weak heads. Don't waste time trying to find a tree-root constriction. Charge accordingly. (a lot)
  3. Or....
    Crawl around on your belly listsening to the ground....
    Stick a shovel in the ground and shove the handle into yor ear....
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    "I have to charge extra, Ma'am. I'm a Shovel Whisperer."
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    As Tony said, get on your hands and knees and feel around. Try putting your hands on any exposed roots. It should tremble or vibrate.

    I have to disagree with this WetBoots. It could be a simple 1-2 hour fix, and work good again for another 10-15 years. I don't agree with a lot of you on the old - rip it out and replace it - thought process. This is why we REPAIR systems. I would be pissed if my mechanic just ripped crap out and replaced excessive parts in my engine, when it could be as simple as a clogged fuel filter.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    I just don't have a lot of luck finding tree root obstructions, and by the time I axe out enough roots to actually follow the pathway of a pipe, it runs into time, for which I charge a bit, and it tears the hell out of a lawn or a bed. Last one I tried to find and fix ended up going right underneath a specimen evergreen in a totally rootbound bed. The tree was probably worth five figures, so no need to screw with it.

    I wonder if that sonic pipe tracer someone posted a link to, would signal an obstruction.
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I'll agree not all tree root problems are a quick fix, but not all need a new line pulled in. We had one a couple weeks ago I posted about that we had to trench 30'-40' each on two zones to re-route pipes. But I have done a few that have been simple. had people tell me I look like and Indian with my ear to the ground. they were just laughing until I found the problem. Then they were amazed. then sad when they get the bill :laugh: :laugh:
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    A lot of my root situations go beyond shovel work, and it takes an axe to get to where a pipe might be, in yards knit through with maple tree roots. I can see chopping at a leak, although the water would sometimes appear at least ten feet away the actual break.

    PROFESSORRAIN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    root in pipe bad news right off the bat it causes a void therefore causing a leak what happens when you cut the root off and it rotes away,maybe a call back for the "root listener"? sorry about spelling early saturday morning!
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Like others have already stated most times the best solution is to reroute a new line around the trees. However, if you really would rather find the pinch spot and dig it up first to see if you even can get to it and make a repair, you can dig up the pipe in a good spot upstream of the pinch, cut a section out and then run a wire electrician's fish tape through the pipe. Mark where it starts getting resistence, pull the fish tape out and then lay it on the ground in the same direction you probed. It should be fairly close to the point where the pinch STARTS. Be advised though... there could be more than one pinch and you'll just be wasting your time. Better off in the long run to reroute around tree problems.

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