How to fix a big drip line hole

Did a shovel slice a drip line? A rock or staple puncture the tubing? An expelled emitter or goof plug create a crater? A gopher or puppy chew the polyethylene? Two-way compression couplings pictured above work wonders to repair these too-big-to-plug holes.

Designed to join 2 tubings to extend lines, couplings come in 1/2″ or 5/8″ diameter (to fit 1/2″ or 5/8″ tubing) and can be found at irrigation or hardware supply stores. Simply cut the line either side of the hole to produce 2 undamaged pieces. Then use muscle and slight twists to insert each at least 1/2″ into the coupling (a little saliva can ease the way). Test to ensure the reconnection is secure.

Benjamin Franklin intoned in 1789, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Let’s amend that to “….except death and taxes and leaks.” Big holes spring up surprisingly often (we logged 3 this week), and each one wastes 50-250 gallons/hour as irrigation runs. Some spew geysers, some saturate surrounding areas, and others gush underground. All cause meter surges, signaling the need to find and fix before more loss and rotted plants.

Fortunately, repairs are easy and reliable with smart plugs for small holes and couplings for big ones.