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How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

Posted by love_the_yard z9A Jax FL (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 4, 12 at 13:19

Boy do I need help. I accidentally cut off a irrigation riser with my weed wacker. It broke off with a jagged edge and has to be replaced. Now I've replaced plenty of sprinkler heads and risers throughout my yard with no problem. But this is the first one I have encountered that was glued in! I'm tearing my hair out - what to do!? I can't just unscrew this riser. I need to dig a bigger hole, I am sure. But I don't even know what parts to buy - where to cut - how to fix this thing. Yikes, what a mess. Please help!

As you can see in the picture below, the broken riser is in a corner of the lawn, right next to the sidewalk and front porch:
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The former home owner painted the risers brown:
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Ever since the riser was broken, I have kept an empty plastic bottle over the top to keep dirt from falling in. (The bottle was kept over the top while I was digging the hole.)
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Thanks so much!
Carol


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

Ok this is quite simple really so it will be easy to explain. That pipe is standard 1/2" pvp so fittings will be simple. Get a 1/2" SXT 90 Ellbow. Buy 4-1/2" TXT street Ells which are BLACK. They will be called Flex Ells or Slip Ells I forget what they are called but basically they are black 90degree elbows with a female and a male end. These fittings DONT get glued ever. They are made from a pvp that dosent bind up like white pvp when threaded together. Get a 1/2"x6" poly nipple. DONT use pvp nipples. And get whatever sprinkler head you wish. I cannot see in your picture but I would use a 4" Toro popup with a 1/4 head either 15', 12' or 10' nozzle. 15' is a standard size.

Get a hacksaw blade (take one out of a saw you have) and cut the pipe 2-4" below grade level. When you install a hacksaw blade in a saw the teeth point forward (away from you) but when your using one in your hand be sure the teeth are toward you.

Carefully cut the pipe off (put a rag around the blade in your hand or use gloves) as level as you can but dont be too concerned. Then glue the 1/2" SXT Ell on the pipe with the threads facing away from both sidewalks. Thread 2 of your black Ellbows together and thread the other 2 together. Thread both elbow groups together with the nipple between them so you should have a black elbow threaded to another black elbow threaded to your poly nipple threaded to another black elbow threaded to another black elbow. These elbows will allow you to set your sprinkler head at whatever height you wish so your pipe or fitting depth is much less important.

Now thread your "swing joint" you have made up to the what pvp SxT Elbow you glued on the pipe. None of the treaded fittings need to be very tight. Water proof is not necessary and you want the fittings to slip some so you can set your head height. Next thread on your sprinkler head and remove the nozzle insert (the nozzle of the head). Turn on your water with your head above the ground and flush out all the dirt and glue that may be in the pipe. Flushing for 1 min should be more than enough. Now reinstall the nozzle and screen and lower your head to be level with the dirt. Fill in your hole and make sure the head is level with the dirt once you have packed in the dirt tightly.

All done!

Good luck,
Tom


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

Tom,

Thank you so much for the help. I carefully read all of your great detailed instructions and think I understand.

A question: I don't have a hacksaw, but I do have 1) a pvc ratcheting pipe cutter and 2) one of those pipecutters that has a circular blade that you tighten like a c-clamp and swirl around the pipe. (It was my Dad's tool.) What I'm worried about is that the broken vertical riser pipe is so brittle. Do you think that if I can get a clean cut, it is ok to keep using it? I had thought it was going to have to be removed as part of the repairs - hence why I was so overwhelmed - but if you think it is ok to keep using, that makes this somewhat easier!

The old riser was 3 feet tall with a spray head on it. I do plan to change it out to a popup sprinkler. One of the benefits of this little project is getting the head moved away from the front porch and wood railing. (It's been on my list.) I have some leftover Toro Funny Pipe from previously relocating other heads so I may use your suggestions but incorporate the Funny Pipe to get it out a little farther from the sidewalk and porch.

Thanks again for the quick, detailed reply! You made my day!

Carol


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More information

Well, guess what. I have the broken off piece here - the markings at the top read "SPEARS USA 1/2" SCH 40 PVC1". It's about 2 foot long - so I decided to practice cutting it first. Well, it is not nearly as brittle as I thought. I am unable to cut it with the ratcheting pvc cutter. The pipe just squashes down and the blade will not go through. So I am going to have dig a much bigger hole in the ground and use the circular pipe cutter. Or buy a hacksaw. Or look in Dad's garage and see if he had one. Which I'm sure he did. :)

Carol


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Hacksaw blade

Hey - I just re-read your instructions. So I can cut the pipe just wearing gloves and using a hacksaw blade - don't need the actual hacksaw. Might be able to do that!

Carol


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

How did your repair go?

Tom


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

Tom, thanks again for all of your great advice. Stopped at Home Depot last night to get the parts. After much consideration and your excellent explanation of how I can work with the parts that are still in the ground, I ended up buying the three parts shown in the photo below. The flex pipe is 18 inches. (I already have a 4-inch popup sprinkler, not in picture.) What do you think? Will start the project this afternoon.

You are a real life-saver. I am really grateful for your time and guidance.

Carol

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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

Please DONT use that flex pipe. It is a terrible material. Sry you bought it but grab the blue material in one hand near a black end and hold the end of the flex pipe (black part) in the other...pull apart and you will see a clear tube under the blue. This stuff is just terrible. You have the correct white part and one of the black 90 ells. You can buy different length poly nipples rather than that flex tube.

If you want a distance more than they have in nipples just get 2-1/2" male adapters and a short piece of 1/2" pvp pipe. Just use the male adapters and pipe to make your own length nipple.

Good luck,
Tom


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

You got it - thanks for saving me once again. Superbowl kept me from getting to it today - will get the correct parts tomorrow and then go at it!

Carol


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

Tom, wanting to make sure I buy the right thing. Can't really find any info on internet about "PVP pipe". All the searches ask if I really mean "PVC pipe"? Can't find any manufacturers, images, nothing. Is it the same as Sched 40 PVC pipe?

Thanks,
Carol


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

Oh gawd sry about that ....ment PVC pipe.....sigh...my bad.


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

No problem, my friend. You have been awesome help!

Got the broken pipe squared off today. The ratchet cutter did it - I just had to give it a bit more wiggle with the blade. Cut it as low as I could. Got the 90-degree Sched 40 socket glued on. Covered it with a plastic bag and rubber band to prevent dirt entry while it sets up. Have the rest of the parts to assemble on Wednesday. I will take photos.

Carol


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

For future note....on small pipe sizes (anything under 1 1/4" pipe) the pvc glue sets up in just a few min.

Good luck,
Tom


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RE: How to replace Glued-In Riser next to Sidewalk?! (photos)

Tom, Finished the project today. Followed the instructions you gave in your first post above to the letter. Your plan worked perfectly. I forgot to take pictures, but you've probably seen enough of these in your lifetime. My irrigation system is back in business. Thank you SO much for your time.

Carol


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