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Starting Member


Wednesday, May 27th 2009, 4:31pm

Connecting fittings to PVC pipe without cutting

I am installing a residential irrigation system and have been led down the garden path for over 10 months by a California company named "Dripworks". I spent a lot of time on drawings and other figuring during this time. When told during the first call last year that I planned on using PVC pipe for the main feed line the answer was: "No problem".

I bought 250' of schedule 40 3/4" PVC pipe and started installing it around our property in North Carolina and the next thing I know they tell me "we don't fool with PVC pipe". That's really pretty bad.

I'm hunting for someone who will tell me how I hook up 1/4" or 1/2" tubing to 3/4" PVC pipe for irrigating trees, shrubs and flower and vegetable gardens without having to cut the pipe and install a tee. I've got 2.6 acres on a mountain side in Western North Carolina and will probably be installing about 500 to 750 feet of PVC pipe. It's absolutely necessary to have a rigid delivery pipe because of the terrain.

Can you help me with some direction or point me to where I might get some information about how to do this?


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,294

Location: Metro NYC


Wednesday, May 27th 2009, 4:41pm

Anything but normal slip fittings would mean extra work for a pro, so they wouldn't bother considering anything else.

You biggest issue probably remains connecting your drip tubing to a fitting that has a threaded end to connect to standard pipe fittings.


Supreme Member


Monday, June 1st 2009, 9:42am

Without seeing an over all plan, and understanding exaxtly what you've done so far, I'm a bit confused as to why you are not installing Tees at your various connection points as you install the pipe (unless you're trying to use a pipe-puller). But then, I don't understand what's wrong with cutting into the pipe to get Tee's installed. And I'm completely clueless as to why you think you must have "rigid pipe" just because of the terrain of your property (unless you are trying to install this suspended rather than burried).

And again, without knowing the full details of your plan, I would personally want to use 1" PVC for the distances you are talking about rather than 3/4" to minimize pressure losses over the distance you are talking about. (If you've already purchased the 3/4", haven't installed it, but can't return it, I would suggest starting with 1" near the water source, and once you are far away from your water source, drop down to 3/4" as you get closer to the distribution points).

As for how to connect drip irrigation to 3/4" or 1" PVC supply lines, I used some pipe-thread to drip tubing connectors I found at Lowe's. Basically, this connector has a 1/2" male pipe thread on one end, and a special twist connector on the other end designed to hold 1/2" drip irrigation tubing. I ran burried PVC out to the distribution points and ended the PVC at a 1/2" female pipe thread fitting. I then built a section of 1/2 copper pipe that would run underground for about a foot, a 90 degree elbow to turn and head to the surface, and another 90 degree elbow at the surface to turn parallel with the ground. The copper included female pipe threads at each end. The copper was connected to the PVC via a short piece of funny pipe, and the drip tubing was screwed into the other end of the copper tubing. This allowed for a rugged section of pipe coming up out of the ground (i.e. something that could stand up to being stepped on, weed wackers, and isn't attatched rigidly to the much more breakable PVC).

But to back up even farther, I'm going to suggest that you use 1" PVC rather than 3/4" PVC, at least at the start. Since you are talking about some pretty good distances (i.e. hundreds of feet), you might want to run 1" PVC to minimize pressure losses

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