Please see the photo. We had a (plastic!) stake hit this (red circle). There doesn't appear to be any leaking from the red circle. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of spray from the bottom of the elbow joint (the Yellow Arrows indicate the direction of the spray). If you click the photo you can actually see part of the crack on the bottom of the elbow joint.

EDIT: As oriented in the picture, the bottom two pipes (with the T and the straight through) are NOT AFFECTED, as far as I can tell.

I'm at a loss as to how to repair this. Any ideas?


  • Are both pipes leaking, the straight through one and the one with the tee?
    – JACK
    Jun 29, 2020 at 2:31
  • JACK, I'm not sure (I only had about 2 seconds to assess). I don't think the red part is leaking. Unless you're asking a different question: the only leaking is from the TOP pipe (with the red circle) which joins the elbow. The pipes on the bottom do not appear to be leaking.
    – justin
    Jun 29, 2020 at 2:32
  • The yellow arrows indicate the DIRECTION of the spray FROM the elbow joint. Sorry for not making that clear.
    – justin
    Jun 29, 2020 at 2:38
  • is it spraying where the yellow arrows are, or is it spraying from the middle of the red circle?
    – jsotola
    Jun 29, 2020 at 2:52
  • @jsotola it is spraying from the elbow joint where the yellow arrows are, and it's spraying down. there is a crack at the bottom of the horizontal part of the elbow joint
    – justin
    Jun 29, 2020 at 2:58

3 Answers 3


You'll have to cut the tee pipe on both sides of the tee. Cut the pipe two inches from the edge of the tee in both directions. Also cut to the left of the red circle. Bring your cutout piece to your home store and get new parts and construct a new piece to fit exactly in place. Get three slip connectors to connect the three pipes to the existing ones.

  • That makes sense. Wish I could "unglue" the elbow from the Tee.
    – justin
    Jun 29, 2020 at 2:53
  • I've seen videos of people "un-gluing" fittings, they used a dremmel recip saw to carefully cut thru the fitting in several places and pry off the cut parts. Seemed very tedious and I doubt it would be successful. Jun 29, 2020 at 5:28
  • OK, this might be OT, but my dad was a farmer and old school farmers tended to patch things in, shall we say, not the most workman like manner. If this isn't a main line and only used when it's zone is operating, just wrap it with several strips of cut inner-tube and put several clamps over it. Sure it'll leak it bit, but if not a main line, isn't that what a sprinkler system is supposed to do? LOL Bring out the inner farmer in you. This post is partially in jest, but really if just a zone circuit it might work for you. Jun 29, 2020 at 5:31
  • @justin There are all kinds of "wishful thinking' ways to fix this but only one right way: replace the broken stuff. I can't count how many times I tried to jury rigg a fix only to finally go back and do it right and say "Why didn't I just do this from the start".
    – JACK
    Jun 29, 2020 at 11:51
  • @justin JACK has described the appropriate process for "ungluing" PVC pipe - you cut out the glued connectors and replace them.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 29, 2020 at 12:48

See diagram. Instead of slip (or sleeve) connectors you can have stronger glued joints. It will be less fiddly also. Excavate around the tee, and much more along the upper pipe. cut the higher pipe past the injury, and the pipe going into the tee at a matching place. Also cut as expected on the other side of the tee. Think carefully about the order of joint connection, fitting without glue first.

The reason for excavating the top pipe more is so that it can move more. The last connections would be two vertical pipe connections at the same time.

Ingredients: 3 elbow connectors, one tee, some pipe, primer, and glue.

enter image description here

  • Not at all a bad idea! TBH, though, tightening down a hose clamp may be an easier way to get a leak-proof joint for someone not used to working with PVC. Of course, everyone's gotta learn sometime.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 29, 2020 at 12:52
  • @FreeMan That's a good idea too. I've used the "4 elbows" fix a few times myself. Jun 29, 2020 at 15:29

Two possibilities come to mind. First of all, is this a pressurized main line? or a distribution line that only has pressure when the zone is being operated?

  1. It looks like a glue failure from the impact. One trick my plumber buddies use is to put a shop vac on some part of the plumbing and suck in some heavy glue (like Christies Red hot Blue Glue) by applying the dauber to where the pipe enters the elbow. I don't think that will work in this case, but wanted to mention it.

  2. If #1 doesn't work you'll have to get into the Tee below that elbow. Expose more of the pipe by removing more dirt to give yourself some working room. Then cut out the Tee and replace it with something like this: Repair connection with Tee

Cut the pipes at the correct length for the repair Tee. Then cut the damaged part of the upper pipe (order of cuts doesn't matter). Hopefully you can find one of these fitting with a slip /glue rather than thread. That will get you started.

  • The elbow joint is physically cracked, so I think #2 would be necessary. Bummer!! Was really hoping for an easier answer. Wish there was a way to "unglue" the elbow from the Tee.
    – justin
    Jun 29, 2020 at 2:53
  • 1
    @justin, there is no glue ... the compound that is spread on the joint is a solvent that melts the pipe and the elbow, and the two fuse together when the pipe is inserted into the elbow
    – jsotola
    Jun 29, 2020 at 3:12
  • There might be the off chance that there was no solvent used to begin with, and it just comes apart... but if that is not correct, you risk ripping the entire thing to pieces due to brittle plastic.
    – Nelson
    Jun 29, 2020 at 4:48

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