In my lawn sprinkler system, one of the PVC lines starts off at a normal depth around 6 inches but slopes down and ends up 2 feet down and leads to nothing. The pipe just ends, not even capped off. It looks like it was intentionally bent. What does this mean? Was it just a potential area for expansion of the system and the installer bent the PVC instead of capping it? Or does it have some sort of purpose like drainage? The line runs parallel to the driveway and slopes down to the edge of the lawn.

  • If it's wasting water, you may be best served by capping it. I don't think there's any drainage necessity fulfilled by an open pipe. Maybe a head's missing?
    – alt
    Jun 3 '14 at 11:51
  • 2
    Small irrigation lines (thin-walled 1/4" to 1/2") are often just bent over and held that way (tied, or a slightly bigger piece of tubing slipped over them) rather than being capped; it's a "good enough" seal, it's cheap, and it's easy to open up and reseal if you want to drain the system (eg for winterizing). If you've got bigger tubing, I'd be guessing.
    – keshlam
    Jun 3 '14 at 20:09
  • Since you say it's not capped, that would imply you have the two-foot-deep end exposed and can see what it does. What happens when you turn on the sprinklers? Does it gush water? If not, then perhaps it isn't actually part of your sprinkler system. And when you say bent, are you referring to the downward slope, or a different change of direction, or actually folded over and pinched closed? If pinched closed, then we aren't likely talking about PVC, but rather some other flexible tubing. More details would help.
    – Grunthos
    Jun 4 '14 at 15:21
  • @Grunthos Yes, the end that is approximately 2 feet down is exposed. I followed it right down from an intersection in the mainline so it's definitely part of the system. It's a 3/4" PVC and the last 8 inches or so are bent upwards about 45 degrees, so it's essentially pinched closed. Nothing comes out when the system is on. I'm actually having issues with this zone (no pressure) and am wondering if it's related to this pipe.
    – PJS1987
    Jun 5 '14 at 0:07

To answer my own question (after a bit of research)...

In terms of following standard sprinkler system layouts, there is no technical reason why a downward sloping pipe would just end and be bent. This seems to be a unique feature to this system. Most likely, the pipe was laid for future expansion. Perhaps budget was an important issue at time of installation, or perhaps the design changed at the last minute. It could be that it was not designed professionally and the layout was changed around a lot through trial and error. All one can infer with the information known is that a pipe is bent and essentially capped off (since water does not seep). It's not causing a loss of pressure in that case. If anything, perhaps the pump is having to work ever so slightly more to maintain the pressure in that zone (since there is a bit of more pipe to cover). If there is little or no pressure in a zone that was at one point working then it has had a change in it's supply, either a loss from leaks, or an issue at its source (the well). But those are whole other issues.

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