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Unclogging Clogs?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Critical Care, May 19, 2007.

  1. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    The question is how to unclog clogs in drip distribution tubing, or as far as that goes any line including poly and pvc.

    I've come up against the first big time clog in a drip system that is giving me a tough time. End caps are open on the line but no water - I mean nada - makes it through. Anyone else have this happen?

    I'm going to try adapting over a garden hose to fit on the end cap and back flushing the line, and if that doesn't work then who knows... maybe try fishing a long wire up the tubing, Draino, Roto Rooter?
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Air compressor?

    Or have sheshovel replace it all.
  3. I see drip tubing with zero flow because of roots closing up the tubing...
  4. Midlo Snow Maker

    Midlo Snow Maker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    good ole roots, great reason not to use drip
  5. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Got it unclogged today.

    It wasn't a root problem, but rather rocks or bark entering into the system after an adapter to pvc had broken.

    I pulled the line up from the bark mulch, hooked a garden hose up to the end of the system and put it under pressure. Working from the hose I could locate the clogs by squeezing the tubing. The tubing could easily be squeezed below the clog but not above where the line was under pressure. There were three spots that I had to locate and work loose.

    Well... I'm glad I wasn't trying this trick with pvc.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Now that is the best idea you have had yet! However I would have done what Critical did to find the problem and try to correct it before I replaced it.
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Yeah great. Had one the other day all above soil and bark so easy trace through the jungle they had. they had staked/stapled the line so it didn't move and the trees and shrubs had grown enough to pinch in in about 15 different spots. You would find one and have a sigh thinking it was done, then more work to dooooo. 3 hours later and slivers, thorns and plenty of scratches crawling this line and I had it running, at least for the next few years. I am thinking drip is not worth it yet then again it keeps me busy.
  8. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    1. Launching rocks out of the tubing with a compressor did sound like fun...

    2. But watching Sheshovel replace the system sounded even more entertaining.

    My biggest problem with drip, so far, has been dogs chewing up tubing and components. How long do you think that a couple dozen microsprays would last sticking up in front of a couple German Shepard puppies? Oye Vey!
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    On a couple of occasions we've used our electrical "fishing tape" to unclog galvanized lines. Sometimes though it will break loose the clog and then the clog will reform further down the line.

    We have one site that is awaiting us to come out and reroute for the last two sprinklers on a manual zone with galvanized lines but we're waiting until school is out as there's extreme vehicular congestion in front of the school where we have to stage for this repair. We'll dig up at the last working sprinkler, put a SCH 80 TOE nipple into the ganvanized tee and then trench in new PVC line from that point on, installing new sprinklers where the two existing clogged sprinklers are located.

    The clog occurred because a substitute site custodian didn't know how to drive a golf cart and ran over the PVB for this area. They've had to resort to dragging a hose to water this area. :dizzy:
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    We have munchkins and crazy site personnel that yield hoes and shovels. That's why we hardpipe everything now and install spray pop-ups with various nozzles depending on what we're trying to accomplish. :laugh:

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