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I am planning to cap off some sprinkler lines. I found the PVC line that leads there. I was watching some YouTube videos to find out what I needed to do and I see some that use PVC caps with PVC primer and PVC cement. And there are others that seem to put a plug into the PVC and clamp over it.

The reason I'm doing this is that there is a leak and I do not need to use the sprinklers at all.

Is there a preferred method for this?

Thank you for your help

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  • Why not install a shutoff to the sprinkler system and shut off water to it? Easier to deal with if you ever do need to run the sprinklers or the next person wants to use them. Commented Nov 3, 2023 at 20:40
  • The previous homeowners did install a sprinkler shutoff but for reasons unknown to me, it only controls the sprinklers on the front lawn, whereas the leak is in the back. The plumbing of the house was redone a few years ago (before we moved in) and it's very convoluted and will need to be dealt with appropriately in the coming weeks. For now, I want a quick stop to the leak to manage my water bill.
    – Marc J
    Commented Nov 3, 2023 at 20:41

2 Answers 2

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A cap goes onto the exterior of a pipe, whereas a plug goes into an existing fitting (or, sometimes, into the pipe itself). There are situations where one or the other is more convenient for the person doing the work, and certainly situations where "I'll just use whatever I have on hand rather than run to the supply store."

There's no general rule that one style (cap or plug) is better than the other. There is a difference in attachment methods though. You've mentioned PVC primer and cement with the cap, and some kind of clamp with the plug.

When rigid PVC is used in pressurized service it is generally joined with solvent cement or threaded fittings, not clamps. This is because the pipe is hard -- it would require too much force for a clamp to securely hold against the pressurized water inside the pipe.

Clamps are used for pressurized service with softer tubing, though. For example indoor PEX and outdoor polyethylene commonly use barbed fittings pushed into the tube with a clamp or crimp band around the outside to secure the fitting.

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  • Ah yes, this makes sense. I guess I could clamp the connected hose but it seems cleaner and more permanent to cap the PVC.
    – Marc J
    Commented Nov 3, 2023 at 21:33
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If you want to close it off permanently, do the cap and glue. If you plan on resurrecting it, then the temporary plug would be best. Also, if you're in a freeze area, you'll want to make sure you can get the lines blown out before capping it off so things don't freeze and crack the lines, causing issues in the future for someone else.

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  • Thank you for this. Yes, permanent is ideal as we don't use it at all. In time, we will get the sprinklers properly removed. Thankfully we're in Southern California so freezing isn't an issue.
    – Marc J
    Commented Nov 3, 2023 at 20:43

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