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Raindrip Drip Irrigation Leak
Old 06-09-2013, 10:09 PM   #1
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Raindrip Drip Irrigation Leak

Anyone w/ experience with these.........I actually set up a fairly large one for vegetables some yrs back w/ 1/4" tubing and don't recall any problems.........
I know I ended up using some TFE (teflon) tape on some on the threads so I guess I might have had some small leaks that were fixed by that and I don't recall much trauma from that experience.

Today I tried to set up a much smaller version water with just 2 plants w/ the same type kit. Initially I tried w/o the TFE tape and had a very small leak at what they call the swivel adaptor to anti-syphon junction. I imagine it might have sealed itself in time w/ mineral deposits from our hard water but I decided I was going to make it perfect w/ the TFE tape.

Of course you can guess the result.......things got much worse . I suppose I was more surprised that it worked as well as it did initiallly. The washer in
that swivel adaptor (where you plug in the 1/4" tubing) didn't seem to fit very well in that piece so I sanded off the 3 "ear"s on the washer. It seemed to fit better after that but still didn't look right. After unscrewing to install the TFE tape, the leak got much worse . I installed a new washer which had the same sizing and fit issue.......I sanded the circumference to make it fit better but the leak stayed same.

I couldn't really tell if the leak was from the anti-syphon /swivel adaptor
junction or from the anti-syphon itself (which has some holes) so I installed
an old anti-syphon from the old system. No change.

The reviews of this system (small sample size) and similar systems made
by Raindrip are bimodal............some people love them and others curse the problems.........including leaks.

Anyone have any experience fixing or not fixing the leaks. I thought that
TFE tape was for pipe threads, not hose threads which these are since the seal is supposed to be made at the washer, not at the threads.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:19 AM   #2
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Are you talking about this adapter? Amazon.com: Raindrip R325CT 3/4-Inch Hose Thread Swivel by 1/4-Inch Compression Adaptor: Patio, Lawn & Garden
Where is the leak? Does it drip on the side of the nut or in the middle where 1/4" connection is made?
I had used these in the past, periodically changing washers without issues.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Are you talking about this adapter? Amazon.com: Raindrip R325CT 3/4-Inch Hose Thread Swivel by 1/4-Inch Compression Adaptor: Patio, Lawn & Garden
Where is the leak? Does it drip on the side of the nut or in the middle where 1/4" connection is made?
I had used these in the past, periodically changing washers without issues.
Thanks for the reply, sailor. Yes, I think that is it. Instead of a filter washer,
I have a 10gph flow control which is basically a small hole in a disc which restricts the flow , and a washer around it.
It is connected upstream to an anti-syphon part. The leak is between the
anti-syphon part and the swivel adaptor or possibly it is coming from the anti-syphon part itself. I can't be sure because the flow is so large. I spoke to somebody at the hardware store today who suggested that if the line downstream was blocked, the anti-syphon would start releasing water.

Initially when the leak was much smaller, it was clearly from the junction between the anti-syphon and the swivel adaptor, not from the 1/4" tubing
connection. I don't know why things got so much worse after I unscrewed those 2 parts and put teflon tape on the hose threads. Even when I went back and removed the tape, things were much worse than they were in the beginning.

The other thing I noticed is that the washer around the 10gph flow control didn't seem to fit very well and I'm surprised the initial leak was as small as it was. After I unscrewed it and reinstalled it things were never the same.
I didn't think installing the tape would have cause a blockage downstream
but maybe it did if a piece of the tape broke off.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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Can you temporary unscrew anti-siphon and attach the adapter directly to the spigot?
Also can you see any dents in the front surface of the anti-siphon pipe (where the washer is being compressed)? Or dents inside the adapter on the other side of the washer?
Another test would be to attach a regular garden hose instead of the adapter and see if it also leaks in same place if you close/kink it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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Teflon tape should not be used on plastic fittings. Teflon tape is not a true sealant. It does make it easier to screw pieces together. What happens is it is so easy to screw together over tightening often occurs leading to a fracture on the female side of plastic fittings.

The first thing to do is follow the advice of the others and determine where the true problem lies. If it is a sealant problem use a product RectorSeal #5. It is a pipe thread sealant for metal and PVC pipe. Do no over tighten. This a common product used on water and natural gas lines and can be found at Lowes, Home Depot, etc.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:15 AM   #6
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sailor.........thanks again for the helpful comments/questions.

packrat.......thanks for the comment about TFE tape and plastic pipe.
I wasn't aware that was a controversial issue. I guess it is true that a little learning is a dangerous thing..........when I was working , I saw people using TFE tape routinely..........but I'm pretty sure that it was on metal threads, not plastic.
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