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How deep can a poly puller pull, if a polly puller could pull poly?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by WalkGood, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Went on a service call to a long time customer, for a leak in their front lawn. Walk over to a depression in the lawn, and my foot goes down a ways. The turf is basically holding me up.

    I hold out my long shovel horizontally ready to fall in, back away and ask the home owner if this is where the cesspool is located. It is not, but I'm still cautious.

    Turn on the zone and the turf bubbles with water after a full minute or more. I reach thru the turf to find the leak. My hand keeps going down down down. I'm up to my armpit when I find the poly leaking. I can feel a cut on the dead bottom of the poly.

    OK, time to dig... and dig....


    Not very clear in the picture, but that 3/4" poly line is over 24 inches below the sod level. I doubt a machine pulled it THAT low. But no idea WHY anyone would dig that low to run sprinkler line.

    Homeowner has lived there more than 40 years. Doesnt remember when exactly the system was first installed, probably about 30 years ago he says.

    He does remember a big tree used to be in that general area. Maybe someone dug under some roots? Why not go around? Maybe when that tree was removed there was a big hole, and the line drooped in or had to be repaired and it was allowed to lay that low before the hole was backfilled. Still boggled why someone would run sprinkler line that deep.

    It's all beach sand down there after the 5" of top soil. Long Island is a huge sandbar after all. It's not likely that the lawn was built up after the poly was run.

    I patched the break with two 3/4 x 1" poly couplers and some 1" poly (company doesn't stock 3/4" stuff except the adapter couplers).


    Basically had my head and shoulders in the hole to slip the couplers into the pipe. Musta looked like Winnie The Pooh with my lower body sticking up out of the ground.
  2. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Almost forgot, here's the hunk of poly I cut out.


    Notice it is scuffed up and there is a groove in-line with the cut. Maybe when it was being pulled, it got scored on something and waited all this time to fully open up.

    Wish I had taken the picture, but there are some old brass nozzled spray heads on that property on an abandoned zone. The head is a 4 inch disc of some sort of plastic (bakelite?) with the brass nozzle in the middle. These discs are located in a redbrick walkway, with brick carefully cut around the disc.

    I also recall changing a head last year and at the end of the poly was a brass or copper tee with the PGP head threaded on. At the end of the zone, the other end of the tee was crimped over (maybe solder filled too) creating an elbow. I did take a cell phone pic, but the phone has long since died and been replaced.
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Actually quite amazing that it lasted this long before a problem occurred. With sandy soil there's usually the chance that it had been leaking for quite some time before showing external symptoms.

    I hate standing on my head doing repairs. If something is extremely deep then we call out the Bobcat backhoe. Here's a couple of pics of a QCV that developed a leak. It had been lost/abandoned years ago when a parking lot was built. Extra dept was added when the edge of the parking lot was bullnozed to create a slope the mowers could handle. Since all I had to do was cap off the line I decided to lay a piece of plywood out and make the repair. It was 36" deep and I developed a bruise on my ribs from catching the end of the plywood.

    Willow Glen Anandoned QC Line Repair 8-2-07 P2-01.jpg

    Willow Glen Anandoned QC Line Repair 8-2-07 P2-02.jpg

    Messages: 18,668

    Put some meat on those ribs Purp.:) Thank goodness for Henry. I'll never have to reach deep into a hole again. It takes a special odd strength to get some of that work done. Short strong accurate movements.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I like the lean look. :)

    Sounds more like your last date... with yourself. :laugh:

    Messages: 18,668

    You are hot today. :cool2:
  7. EO1CB

    EO1CB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Looks like someone didnt want to take the gas pipe blade off before pulling this job. :drinkup:
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,221

    I've had to do repairs on poly that was over three feet down, but no doubts that some fill had been added to the property. Inch-and-a-quarter pipe, and about an hour to pinpoint each leak.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    A good sized plow can pull 2" Poly Conduit at 36".

    Who knows what sort of plow they used there.

    At that depth, I would have double clamped that poly.
  10. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Not a poly break, but a deep (5') main valve leak


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