I placed some decorative fountains in my south-facing front yard and have run a 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC irrigation pipe that runs underground to the back of each fountain so that I can install an automatic refill valve. The pipe comes up through the ground, through the concrete platform and from there is exposed to the harsh desert elements. It can get up to 122 degrees in the summer. It's been 115 so far this year.

I've been looking online for some type of sleeve to protect the white PVC that comes up from the ground. I need about a foot or so for each of my two fountains. The elbows have gotten slightly "toasty" looking and are now sort of amberish in color due to burning in the sun. For the time being I've wrapped and tied some torn white blanket bits to protect the pipes from further damage but it looks tragically ghetto at this point. Since these pipes will be pressurized at all times I want to do all that I can do prevent failure which could be awful (e.g coming home to a geyser shooting 20ft into the air and wasting tons of water for who knows how long).

I don't mind if I have to replace something every year or so as the sun and heat destroy everything out here.

Any recommendations?

  • 1
    wrap it in aluminum foil
    – Traveler
    Jul 5, 2022 at 4:24
  • 1
    Yes, Aluminium flashing is what I have used for this. Jul 5, 2022 at 4:31
  • 2
    Could try using larger(1 1/2inch) diameter PVC/whatever pipe cut in half length wise. Will look the same as the plain pipe but should give some space between the pipe and protection.
    – crip659
    Jul 5, 2022 at 10:40
  • Aluminium kitchen foil is a little fragile, but aluminium adhesive tape could work. you might want to fit flow restrictors in-case there is a plumbing failure. where are you getting the water from Lake Mud? (previously known as Lake Mead)
    – Jasen
    Jul 5, 2022 at 11:49

3 Answers 3


It will get destroyed by UV light.

Sand it. Prime it. Paint it.

The sanding is to scuff the surface so the primer has something to mechanically engage. (it's not going to chemically engage with the PVC).

Use a good alkyd primer. Then use a latex house paint. White is better as it has better albedo (reflects more light, doesn't get as hot).


We used to paint pipe exposed like that, with a high soludity paint UV grade.

Or box it in, ie make a cover even with insulation.


Since it's only a foot or so, you could transition the PVC to brass, copper, or stainless steel before it emerges from underground. The metal pipe will be impervious to heat and sunlight. If you like the look of white pipe, just paint the metal pipe with a suitable white paint.

  • Perfectly acceptable. Will work. A lot of effort.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 7, 2022 at 14:24

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