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Thread: TEE replacement

  1. #1

    Default TEE replacement

    I've got a tee in my 1" PVC sprinkler line that is leaking. When I cut it out, obviously all the lines will be too short to just replace it....AND, with all the lines buried, I won't have much flex in the lines. I see a couple of choices:

    Couplers and stubs to lengthen the lines, but then how do I get a tee in there?

    Couplers and stubs in two lines, with a union in the third (one of the "straight-thru" legs). I think I have enough flex in the 90-degree line to get a tee on two legs.

    I've also seen those compression repair sleeves with gaskets on both ends. Are they suitable for underground? Will dirt, moisture, bacteria, etc. eat up the seals over time?

    How would a pro plumber approach this repair?

    Thanks for any advice...

  2. #2


    I would probably use regular solvent couplers on two 90 degree legs, on the other I would use one of the quick-fix couplings, more user friendly than a union. I have used the type you described which also work fine. If you are dealing with water in the pipes, you may want to consider using Wet'R Dry solvent.

    Last edited by PEW; 03-11-2008 at 01:14 PM.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    Those Quick-fix couplers make in-line repairs simple. Years ago before they came out, I did some repairs that, while functional, were really ugly! I couldn't wait to throw dirt on them so no one would see. They took 4 elbows, 3 short lengths of pipe, and some accurate measuring to make a U shaped contraption. As I said, they worked and are still working, but these couplers really make the job easy.

  4. #4

    Default Rube Goldberg...

    Yeah Gary...I even drew something like that out on paper. All to avoid that ONE pesky straight section! lol Problem is, no matter how I drew it, I still had to glue two elbows at the same time...and I only have two hands!

    hey, I've also heard of "repair couplers". Supposedly longer than standard and without the ridge inside the middle. I guess they slide completely on a straight pipe, then you position the second pipe, spread cement on both ends, and slide the connector in place. I've never seen them in places like Lowes or HD, tho.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    There are a couple of styles of these couplers. One is not solvent welded at all, it has gaskets on each end and you just screw the nuts down to seal the joint. It's a lot like a copper compression fitting. The other is welded to one end of the pipe then telescopes into a slip coupler on the other pipe. I've used both and it's a toss up in my opinion, because both styles work just fine.

  6. #6

    Default Couplers

    Even underground? I've heard the "gasket" kind (I think they called it a Dressler coupler) don't hold up if buried. Same with a compression tee, which I also considered.

    I'll look into the telescoping version...if I can find one. I like to idea of trusting glue more than gaskets.

  7. #7


    I have had both versions (Quick-fix, and compression) in the ground for many years, never a problem with either type.

    FYI, even the telescoping kind has an internal gasket.

    Don't be afraid to use either, they will both provide a good connection when properly installed.
    Last edited by PEW; 03-13-2008 at 09:13 AM.

  8. #8


    Thanks, PEW!

    I got one at Lowes on the way home today. Looks like it has two internal O-rings.

    Now I can hardly wait for the weekend to get elbow-deep into my backyard!

    Thanks to Gary and PEW for the advice. (But if I screw it up, I reserve the right to come back for more... )

  9. #9

    Default Well, I screwed up!!!

    Got it all in. But apparently, the telescoping fitting is VERY sensitive to misalignment. I have a very small "sideload" on it and the o-rings are dripping about 2 drops/sec. Grrrrr! Dunno if it's a bad fitting or "operator error" (Hey, I'll take the blame if I have to!)

    Here's my NEXT plan: I can unscrew the body and collapse it back down until the o-rings are exposed. I could:

    1. grease the fool outta the rings and hope for the best.
    2. try to find some thicker/firmer o-rings to fit.
    3. slather some slo-set epoxy putty all over and around the stub where the o-rings are, screw it all back together and bury that sucker deep so I never have to look at it again! (Naturally, I'd give it a few hours to set before putting water to it...)

    I'm leaning toward #3. Any advice?


  10. #10
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Metro NYC


    A Kwik Repair Tee lets you cut in a connection without any O-rings involved.

  11. #11
    DIY Member Kiril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Sacramento, CA




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