I have 800 feet of buried 1 1/2 inch black poly irrigation line. It is fed from a well and feeds 8 frost free spigots. The well has a variable speed pump and I recently noticed that it was running ever so slightly when all of the spigots were shut off. I have a leak....somewhere. I have one suspect as there is a wettish spot in the field, but I'm hoping I don't have to dig it up. Is there any way to seal it without finding and digging it up? Something I can put in the water? Fix a flat for water pipes? This is solely used to water plants.

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    Keep in mind your pipe has an inside surface area of 1.5" x pi x 800 feet. Pi is 3.14, or 3.2 in Indiana. Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


Grab a shovel.

In my experience there is no viable substitute for fixing it correctly. Consider, for instance, what your "fix-a-flat" like substance would do to the 8 spigots, each of which looks like a leak (actually two leaks, a big one when it's open and a little one to drain the pipe and make it frost-free when it's closed.)

Municipalities sometimes apply a material to the inside of failing water pipes, but they dig a hole and insert a tube of the material into a section of the pipe, then expand it to seal the pipe. This is unlikely to be economically viable on your scale.

For finding the leak, you may find air pressure helpful. Stay within the pressure limit of the pipe, though. If your wet spot starts to bubble or hiss, you probably have the right spot. Non-toxic dye (in the water) may also prove helpful.

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