Once you find the location of the broken pipe, one way to fix it is with a compression coupling. Instead of replacing a long section of pipe and connecting it with solvent cement, the compression coupling replaces the damaged section and does not require glue. Using this approach can be a inexpensive and quick fix for your sprinkler system.
What you’ll need
Installing a compression coupling on a sprinkler pipe can be a good DIY project for handy homeowners. In addition to the coupling that matches the size of your sprinkler pipe, which you can find at a home improvement store, you’ll need a few other tools and materials:
- Hacksaw or PVC pipe cutter
- 2 pairs of channel-type pliers
- A rag or towel
- Shovel to expose the pipe
We recommend you purchase two compression couplings at the store, just in case you have a large break.
Steps for repairing a broken pipe with a compression coupling
- Cut out the broken pipe
Using your hacksaw or pipe cutter, cut a 1-inch gap to remove the broken section. If the crack or hole is larger than 1 inch, cut out the appropriate length but then you will need two compression couplings with a new section of PVC pipe between them. After cutting, clean and remove burrs from ends of the pipe.
- Slip on compression nuts and washers
Take one compression nut from the fitting and slide it over a section of pipe with the threads pointing to the gap. Then slip one of the rubber washers over the same section of pipe toward the compression nut. Repeat for the other side of the pipe.
- Insert the coupling
Slide the body of the compression coupling over the pipe (it doesn’t matter which side at first). Adjust the coupling so the middle of the body is positioned over the gap in the pipe.
- Slide washers and nuts
Hold the coupling in place, then slide the washers and compression nuts toward the threads of the body. Make sure the body doesn’t move out of place over the gap. Twist the nuts onto the coupling with your hands.
- Tighten the compression coupler
Grab the center of the coupling with a set of pliers – and hold in place. Take the second set of pliers and tighten each of the compression nuts. Avoid overtightening as you could break the plastic part if too much force is applied.
- Check the seal
To test the compression coupling, turn the water on and look for any leaks. If a small amount of water trickles out, use your pliers to tighten that side a bit more.
- Refill the hole.
No leaks? Congrats you’ve successfully fix the pipe joint. Fill the hole back up with dirt and bury the pipe. Your sprinkler system should now work like new.
It can be frustrating when your home sprinkler system isn’t working the way it should. If you have a broken underground pipe on your hands, you can take comfort in knowing that it’s a relatively easy fix.
Of course, if you prefer to leave the repair to the professionals, you can always call the friendly team at Pratt Plumbing. We’ve been providing Amarillo with expert plumbing service for over 55 years. To schedule an appointment, call us at (806) 373-7866.