Aliens attacked my irrigation line!!
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Thread: Aliens attacked my irrigation line!!

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    Dingeryote's Avatar
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    Aliens attacked my irrigation line!!

    No, they wont admit it and keep blaming the dog, but I'm plumb out of answers.

    The wife came into the house telling me that we have a flood going on from the irrigation hoop, and it's washing out the field road, and flooding the barn.
    Sure enough, I get down there and shut off the ball valve to the filter hoop and Maezi injector, and it's coming out of the ground at a full 50gpm or better.
    SOMETHING cut loose.

    So half an hour and 3.5' of sand dug out later, I find this.
    2.5" sched. 40 PVC pressure pipe. Collapsed like a cheap soda straw without breaking, cracking, or seperating from the 90 degree elbow that is just under the sand in the pic. Further down on the other side of the elbow, the PVC collapsed as well, and blew out a 1/2" sliver about 4" long..which is the leak.









    Now here's the rub.
    The night before, I filled the sprayer from the same line several times, and there was no issue with flow rate, and both spigots on the Chemical barn had the normal pressure.

    I have never seen PVC pipe simply collapse without breaking or shattering first.

    What is interesting, is the elbow glue joint held nicely. Another reason to love Christys Blue all in one PVC glue.

    Anybody else ever see this sort of thing?

    3.5' down in sand, so it's not getting vehicle weight, and the lines were drained for winter...Ice just shatters the PVC anyhow.

    Tomorrow is all about digging, to find where the collapsing ends along the line, and deciding wether or not I'm renting a trencher and dropping 30K on installing new trunk lines. Anyone wanna buy a farm?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails may-June14005.jpg may-June14006.jpg
    Texkev and OxPath like this.

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    OxPath's Avatar
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    That's crazy! It kind of looks like it was collapsed in by a vacuum, but I can't imagine what would cause a vacuum powerful enough to do that damage. You might be on to something with the alien theory.


    Edit to clarify: I "Like" the effort and images you included with the post, not the damage to your irrigation system. Also, I might be interested in your farm, but not until you alleviate that alien infestation.
    Last edited by OxPath; 06-08-2014 at 03:52 AM.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    That is strange Dingeryote. Have to wonder if it was a manufacturing fault.

    Edit: Diamond Plastics - PVC Pipe For The 21st Century
    Last edited by Gizmo2; 06-08-2014 at 06:55 AM.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    56FordGuy may be interested in your farm. He likes to be punished by his property. He has a long standing hate relationship with the plumbing at his current place.
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    Ultrapile's Avatar
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    I have seen this in higher temp situations. I do not recall finding it in irrigation lines. I will ask one of our plumbers about this tomorrow.
    Gizmo2 and farmgirl19 like this.
    Kenny
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  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ultrapile For This Useful Post:

    Dingeryote(06-08-2014), farmgirl19(06-08-2014), Gizmo2(06-08-2014)

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    Dingeryote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    That is strange Dingeryote. Have to wonder if it was a manufacturing fault.

    Edit: Diamond Plastics - PVC Pipe For The 21st Century
    I have been wondering the same thing.

    The outfit that did the install went under about three years ago. Owner was old, and was slipping mentally, and things just got away from him.
    They had been in business forever locally though, and were famous regionally for innovations on Orchard irrigation, as well as fruit processing equipment.

    The irrigation was installed right after Katrina when PVC was tough to source, so I wonder if the guys didn't get a batch of the chinese junk that was coming in. They wouldn't have used it if they knew, seeing as how they would have to come back and fix things at thier cost, and the crew is all local boys in good standing.

    Gonna find out now that it quit raining. Back to the idiot stick this afternoon, and more digging.

    At least I got the skeeters dosed yesterday..they were tearing me up something horrible.
    I'll post pics of the section when I get it all out.

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    Dingeryote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultrapile View Post
    I have seen this in higher temp situations. I do not recall finding it in irrigation lines. I will ask one of our plumbers about this tomorrow.
    Ultra,

    Thanks!

    The collapse is about 1.5'-3.5' down, in sand, surrounded by trees.
    The water table here is at about 4' in dry years. Definately cool ground, that never approaches the 70 degree point where PVC starts going soft.
    No blistering, or other signs of heat deformation, and the organic matter(Roots from nearby Oak) near the pipe shows no sign of heat damage.

    Now here's the real head scratcher.
    It's a constant pressure system.

    There's a pressure tank and sensor that keeps the line charged at 50psi.
    When a zone valve in the field opens, the sensor triggers the well pump on pressure drop, and 47-50psi is maintained even with an open 2.5" header line in the field, or 5A worth of drip lines opened for purge.

    A vaccum would have to exceed neg 276psi AND the 50gal pump tank that is a constant 50psi.
    That kind of vaccum would require moving a crapload of water somewhere near the speed of sound...and would be kind of an obvious event LOL!

    I'm flummoxed, but not surprised.
    If I do all the prep for the known and obvious, only the weird stuff bites me in the keester.
    This is just one more strange bite scar.

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    Dingeryote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    56FordGuy may be interested in your farm. He likes to be punished by his property. He has a long standing hate relationship with the plumbing at his current place.
    The plumbing here is normally sane and solid. Not many problems except for freeze damage exploding pipe now and then.

    Ask him how he feels about bottomless mud, flooding, and pumping excess water.

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    Ultrapile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingeryote View Post
    Ultra,

    Thanks!

    The collapse is about 1.5'-3.5' down, in sand, surrounded by trees.
    The water table here is at about 4' in dry years. Definately cool ground, that never approaches the 70 degree point where PVC starts going soft.
    No blistering, or other signs of heat deformation, and the organic matter(Roots from nearby Oak) near the pipe shows no sign of heat damage.

    Now here's the real head scratcher.
    It's a constant pressure system.

    There's a pressure tank and sensor that keeps the line charged at 50psi.
    When a zone valve in the field opens, the sensor triggers the well pump on pressure drop, and 47-50psi is maintained even with an open 2.5" header line in the field, or 5A worth of drip lines opened for purge.

    A vaccum would have to exceed neg 276psi AND the 50gal pump tank that is a constant 50psi.
    That kind of vaccum would require moving a crapload of water somewhere near the speed of sound...and would be kind of an obvious event LOL!

    I'm flummoxed, but not surprised.
    If I do all the prep for the known and obvious, only the weird stuff bites me in the keester.
    This is just one more strange bite scar.
    I have a few questions:
    1) Do you have a booster pump down stream of this collapsed line?
    2) Are you absolutely positive it is Sch.40 PVC?
    3) Were there tree roots in contact of the pipe near the collapsed line?
    Kenny
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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    The aliens used a tractor beam to beam up several thousand gallons of water.
    Wrap the new lines in aluminum foil.

    Sorry for the less than helpful post.
    Dingeryote likes this.
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