Puppy-Proofing my Drip System...

IMQTPI(z9 CA)February 17, 2008

Hi there! I'm a newbie to this forum (so be gentle!).

I was just starting to search when I stumbled onto the thread about PVC vs flexible black pipe. That seemed "close" - but I thought it might be better to start a new thread. I don't think this has been asked before (at least I couldn't find it!)

My story:

We've got a 1/4 acre lot in suburban San Jose - long, hot, dry summers - and I'm trying to maintain a quasi-tropical looking yard (Yes, I use drought-tolerant plants as much as possible, but supplemental water is still necessary)!

We do have a drip system: 1/2" flexible black tubing + 1/4" spaghetti lines w/barb connectors and individual drip emitters. It's all on the surface of the soil, but buried under a light layer of mulch for aesthetics and water conservation... This is all set-up on a series of automatic timers (appx 8 zones, I think) and it all originates with plain ol' City Water.

The system's been off for most of the winter, but "irrigation season" is about to begin...

My challenge:

We have three mini-Dachshunds; one is our "Problem Child!" Princess Annie is our long-haired girl, and the youngest. "Chronologically" she's no longer a puppy, but try telling her that! ;-) She *loves* to chew thru drip lines. Initially, she seemed to prefer the nice, chewy spaghetti lines and every summer afternoon I'd sit outside and play "Let's look for the newest geyser" (While seriously considering investing in Rain-Drip Stock!).

Over the winter, she seems to have "graduated" to the half-inch lines (probably b/c all of the 1/4" lines are long gone!). Pretty much, she's chewed thru about 50% of one of the longer lines, so I am faced with replacing a looooong run of pipe and all the individual emitters (GRRRR!).

My Question(s):

How would I go about retro-fitting the existing system w/PVC (I'll be tapping into an existing 1/2" poly/flex pipe that's been buried, for a few yards, underground b/c it runs under a fence and leads to a separate section of the yard). I'd prefer to not dig that up, if I can help it

Is PVC a good option in my situation? And (apologies if this is an incredibly dumb question), do they make individual emitters - for PVC - that are puppy-proof? Like the spaghetti lines w/drip ends - but maybe something that tastes awful or is otherwise non-chewable??? I need to be able to run the emitters 12-18" from the 'main' pipe to the individual plants.

(Why don't the manufacturers of the flex-pipe add something bitter/peppery or otherwise nasty-tasting to the plastic, I wonder??? Surely I'm not the *only* person w/critter problems!)

* * * * *

Of course, logic would dictate that, perhaps, I'd try to "train" her not to eat the sprinkler lines [insert hysterical laughter here]. But with the size/shape of the yard; and the qty of foliage; and the fact that the drip system is (intentionally) well-hidden behind the landscaping; and weenie dogs can be quiet stealthy (and beyond stubborn) when they so choose... Well, I think you can appreciate my "challenge!"

I'd actually considered spraying the lines w/something nasty (bitter apple?), but figured that'd be a waste of time/money since I don't think there's anything that would reap long-term benefits since it'd, undoubtedly, wash away after a few days...

Anyway, I tried searching this forum to see if anyone else had posted a similar question. Didn't find anything (if I missed it, please point me to it!). I'm looking for any kind of Guidance/Advice/Suggestions for a more long-term solution that doesn't involve daily repairs!

I don't have a bottomless checkbook, but I wouldn't be opposed to spending a little more "up-front" if it'll save me money/grief in the long-term scheme of things.........

Thanks for any advice!!!

-Nancy

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