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Thread: repair pvc supply line immediately after pvb?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member GSK's Avatar
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    Default repair pvc supply line immediately after pvb?

    Name:  busted sprinkler line #2.jpg
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    I noticed a leak coming from the outflow ball valve of my pvb leading to the pvc pipe that goes to the valve box. I tried to unscrew it, and when it came off, it was broken. The male adapter threads of the pvc are now in the copper ball joint thread, and I have a busted pvc pipe leading to the ground. any idea how I can fix this?
    Last edited by GSK; 08-13-2011 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Added pictures

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Take the valve off (just) to make it easier to work on. Use a small saw blade, like a piece of hacksaw or a fine tooth jigsaw, and make several cuts through the PVC using care not to cut much into the valve threads. Then with a thin screw driver, you should be break out the PVC in pieces. FWIW, I make my transitions from copper to PVC in a bit easier place to work on. I also avoid PVC male threads.

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    DIY Junior Member GSK's Avatar
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    How do I reconnect the valve to the pvc? The threads on the pvc, which are male, are damaged. Is there a union or something I can use to screw into the valve and then go over the busted pvc thread?

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    First, you have to figure out how to arrange all that so the pvc is not tweaked at an angle like that. The broken elbow has to be replaced...not enough threads left on it. Cut all that out and down past wherever you said you broke the pvc. Start with a male adapter or a slip x ips street elbow. Work your way around. If there is not enough movement on one end or the other, use a union or an 'expando' slip coupling.

    Go to HD and cruise the PVC aisle...all the necessary fittings will become apparent to you

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    First, you have to figure out how to arrange all that so the pvc is not tweaked at an angle like that.
    Ja, we cannot see what is off to the right of those pics but it sure looks cocked up. It's hard to judge size but I'm guessing from the #1 on the valve body that it's a 1" fitting. If you could find a 1" braided hose with ends or using barb ends, you might prevent it from happening again.

    I'm not familiar with that PVC riser you call a pvb so not sure if it comes apart or not. Maybe it could be cut off and an elbow glued onto it? Maybe you could chase the threads with a home-made die. I've taken a threaded EMT coupler and cut small slits in it with a skinny disk in a Dremel tool to make a thread chaser.

    If you warm up a threaded PVC coupler in hot water it might expand enough to go over the damaged threads.
    Last edited by LLigetfa; 08-14-2011 at 07:23 AM.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member GSK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Ja, we cannot see what is off to the right of those pics but it sure looks cocked up. It's hard to judge size but I'm guessing from the #1 on the valve body that it's a 1" fitting. If you could find a 1" braided hose with ends or using barb ends, you might prevent it from happening again.

    I'm not familiar with that PVC riser you call a pvb so not sure if it comes apart or not. Maybe it could be cut off and an elbow glued onto it? Maybe you could chase the threads with a home-made die. I've taken a threaded EMT coupler and cut small slits in it with a skinny disk in a Dremel tool to make a thread chaser.

    If you warm up a threaded PVC coupler in hot water it might expand enough to go over the damaged threads.

    It's a febco 765-1 pvb, with ball valves attached.builder installed. Previous homes built in this sub have all copper piping where I have the pvc.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member GSK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    First, you have to figure out how to arrange all that so the pvc is not tweaked at an angle like that. The broken elbow has to be replaced...not enough threads left on it. Cut all that out and down past wherever you said you broke the pvc. Start with a male adapter or a slip x ips street elbow. Work your way around. If there is not enough movement on one end or the other, use a union or an 'expando' slip coupling.

    Go to HD and cruise the PVC aisle...all the necessary fittings will become apparent to you
    The existing PVC and the ball valve both say 1"- so would I need a 1" street elbow? You don't need it to be slightly bigger to fit over the PVC?

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSK View Post
    ? You don't need it to be slightly bigger to fit over the PVC?
    Oh Boy!! Are you sure you want to do this yoursef??? Well, we all started out somewhere.........Get on over to HD >>>>you will see that a 1"pipe fits INSIDE a 1" fitting. One of the mysteries of plumbing stuff: the numbers don't mean much! Nothing in this equation will MEASURE 1". It just IS "one inch" size. Get your hands on some pieces and this will all make sense to you! It really is doable.

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    DIY Junior Member GSK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Oh Boy!! Are you sure you want to do this yoursef??? Well, we all started out somewhere.........Get on over to HD >>>>you will see that a 1"pipe fits INSIDE a 1" fitting. One of the mysteries of plumbing stuff: the numbers don't mean much! Nothing in this equation will MEASURE 1". It just IS "one inch" size. Get your hands on some pieces and this will all make sense to you! It really is doable.

    I thought that sounded wrong. That's what the guy at Lowe's told me I had to do! Glad I checked here first. Anyway, HD didn't have the street elbow (they've never heard of it), but Lowe's did. Before I do it, is there any way for me to replace most of the PVC with copper? Copper male thread, elbow, and then most of the way down to the ground before it joins to the existing PVC? How would I do that?

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I have no clue as to what you call a pvb, but I would put a copper street ell or copper nipple into a regular elbow, then a length of copper pipe. After than, I'd transition to PVC, avoiding a male threaded PVC fitting. The thread in a female are weak and easy to break under stain. Yes, the copper fittings will cost more than PVC, but they will give you a much better connection.

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    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    I have no clue as to what you call a pvb
    PVB, Pressure Vacuum Breaker. Its not visable in the photo.Name:  PVB.jpg
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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    OK, so it's a backflow preventer. Be sure you have it certified annually, they do fail after a time. Easy for the tester to repair, they usually have parts with them. Nothing wrong with PVC for an irrigation system, but as previous stressed, avoid threaded male adapters and don't PVC under the stress of bending. I'd stay with copper until below the ground level. Once under ground the PVC will have pretty good stability. You might want to consider a copper union on each side of the PVB in case you need to remove it for the winter or repair.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    OK, so it's a backflow preventer. Be sure you have it certified annually,.
    Around here, backflow preventers like a PVB installed on a single family residence, irrigation system, do not require annual testing. Loophole? maybe/

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    It may be correct that these devices do not have to be annually certified. I based my statement on the requirements for a double check BF and my city's requirements. If they do not have to be inspected, then in my opinion, it is a serious loophole.

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    DIY Junior Member GSK's Avatar
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    No inspections here, either. Didn't even know that there were places that had to have them inspected.

    Thanks to everyone who has advised me. I cut off the busted piece of PVC today and made a dry fit of everything before I glued it all together, and it looks like it will still have some pulling away force on the male adapter once it's in the ball valve. The new pieces are just short from making a perfect fit, maybe less than a quarter of an inch, even after extending the riser up to make my PVB level (it was on an angle before, to meet the male adapter). If I put it together the way I have it ready to go now, I think the same problem will happen again. Is there a PVC union or some other small piece that would fit between the elbow and the ball valve that could make up the difference?

    Oh, and I couldn't get the busted threads out of the ball valve. I tried cutting it, but it wouldn't budge, and by the time I gave up I had started to cut into some of the threads. I bought a new valve instead.

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