If you are thinking about making a few changes to your irrigation system that involve connecting plastic pipes to metal ones, you’ll need to be aware of some of the issues to which such connections will give rise. Plastic and metal piping can be combined; but you have to be careful how you go about doing so.
You will make your plastic to metal linkage with threaded connections. Use a plastic male thread to connect to the metal female threads. If you do the opposite—use a plastic female threaded connector with a metal male connector—the new joint you create will either leak or break. This is because polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics stretch far more easily than metals do. A female PVC fitting joined together with with a male metal fitting will tax the female fitting to the point where it will crack and leak.
It’s also important to know that the standard threads used on pipes and fittings are not uniform in diameter. The reason for this is that as the threads are screwed together, the male fitting gets compressed while female fitting stretches. This results in a very tight joint that won’t leak.
When creating plastic to metal threaded joints, you’ll need to use a sealer/lubricant. Doing so will help lubricate fittings making it easier to screw the mail and into the female: it will also help seal the joint and guard against leaks. Three products you can use for this purpose are Teflon pipe dope, Teflon tape or PTFE tape. If you are working on pipes associated with a sprinkler system, Teflon or PTFE tape are the two best choices because your pipes could carry pipe dope residue into the sprinklers and clog them up.
Irrigation systems need specialized care and attention because the wrong choices could cost you time and money. Whether you’re in need of installation or repair/replacement services, the dedicated professionals at South Austin Irrigation can help you maintain your irrigation unit in top condition so that watering can be one less thing you’ll have to think about.
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