I have a 1 inch line buried from my house pressure system to the barn, and it has a very small leak somewhere. Is there some additive that could be circulated through this line to stop the leak? Rather than digging it all up.

  • Sodium Silicate (water glass) will seal radiators, but I doubt it works very well on soil buried pipes. Plus most things that would do the job won't be good for the plants and animals. – Fiasco Labs Dec 7 '14 at 19:18

Start digging. And next time, use 160 or 200 PSI black polyethylene (NSF-PW rated - ie, suitable for potable water, per Fiasco's comment) rather than PVC. (You may not "need" the pressure rating, but it gets you a thicker wall which makes the pipe even more durable .vs. the normal 100 PSI stuff. And digging is something you don't want to have to do over.)

In any case PE pipe is much more durable than PVC when faced with rocks, movement, etc.

  • And if this is used for drinking water (humans, animals), the Poly Ethylene pipe needs to be NSF rated. PVC also will develop splits when water freezes inside it, make the ditch deep enough to be below the freeze depth so you don't overly test the flexibility of PE vs the rigidity of PVC. – Fiasco Labs Dec 7 '14 at 19:11
  • ...well, yes, water pipe is normally NSF-PW rated. – Ecnerwal Dec 7 '14 at 22:43
  • Not necessarily on black Polyethylene when you go to purchase it. Irrigation grade isn't NSF. You have to check. I ran into that last summer while doing a project. – Fiasco Labs Dec 7 '14 at 23:24

Probably the leak is at one of the fittings. Dig out both ends and wipe the fittings dry and clean. After an hour or so run your fingers under the fittings and check for water drops. If the leak proves to be somewhere in the pipe it may be easier to rent a ditch witch (trench digger) and just replace the whole line with proper hose.

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