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I asked here a few weeks ago about repairing a hole in a soaker hose, and finally got around to doing it this weekend.

The initial repair went fine: I spliced in a section of regular hose and it is working great. However, when I turned the water on to test, I found a second hole. :( This one is—so far—resisting my efforts to repair it despite using the same method and parts. I'm getting leaks galore.

These hoses were put in by a landscaper about eight years ago. They were totally buried originally, but some areas have worked their way to the surface. Others are still buried and held down by roots that have grown over them. We've had a puppy for the last year who has dug up the hose in a few spots and probably made both of the holes. They look suspiciously like tooth marks - he probably bit the hose in such a way that one of his canine teeth lined up with a hole that was already there.

My question is, should I keep trying to fix it, or is this hose at the end of its life anyway? It looks fine, and I would have to cut through a lot of roots to get it out, so I would rather not. But I also don't want to keep messing with this if the hose is about to give up the ghost.

migrated from diy.stackexchange.com Mar 10 '14 at 20:42

This question came from our site for contractors and serious DIYers.

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    This question seems subjective. If you were asking "How can I repair a soaker hose?", that would be on topic (though it seems you already have asked this question). Asking whether or not you should repair or replace is more up to personal preference, or economical factors. – Tester101 Mar 10 '14 at 16:42
  • Replace. The puppy and the tree roots pretty much sealed your fate. – Fiasco Labs Jun 8 '14 at 23:16
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    I'm wondering why you still need drip irrigation after 8 years - unless it's hydrangeas or something really thirsty like that. Most trees and shrubs should be well established in that time. They should do fine on their own except in the most extreme drought conditions. – That Idiot Jun 25 '15 at 20:31
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Replace it with drip emitter tubing. Soaker hoses suck. They put out more water in the start of the hose than they do at the end, leading to inconsistent watering that can hurt your plants.

With drip emitter tubing, drip emitters are molded into the tubing. The emitters should be pressure compensating which ensures that you get even distribution throughout the length of the hose.

The rainbird 1/2" drip emitter tubing also are designed to prevent clogs.

They're not much more than soaker hoses, especially if you need a lot of feet. You have to get a drip kit that fits on your faucet. Contains a pressure regulator valve and filter. They have these for sprinkler heads too. You should really be using a pressure regulator with your soaker hose too. Might be part of the reason why it needs repair.

  • The hose is connected to the lawn sprinkler system, controlled by a Rainbird timer. There's a plastic pipe coming up in the middle of the shrub bed, with a T on it. There's a soaker hose coming off of each side of the T, stretching out to the ends of the bed. I'm not sure how long each run of hose is, probably 20 - 30 feet. It has been working fine up to now, but the puppy (or something) has poked a hole in each run of hose. If I replace it it'll have to be with something that can connect to that T. The existing hose is 5/8" rubber. Is there some way to make 1/2" drip tubing work? – janineanne Mar 10 '14 at 6:32
  • @janineanne if the plastic pipe is attached to a sprinkler body or you can attach a body use rainbird.com/homeowner/products/drip/RiserConnectionKit.htm If that pipe sticking out is on it's own zone (fairly likely) then you can replace the existing valve with like this rainbird.com/homeowner/products/drip/… you may even have the right pressure reducing and filtering valve on there. Check your valve box. Those are the only two ways I know to attach to sprinkler system. – OrganicLawnDIY Mar 10 '14 at 7:30
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Not sure where you are, but if a soaker hose were left buried for one season here, in the Pacific Northwet, it would be crumbling bits not worth saving. If it has been eight years and you can still identify the hose, you must be somewhere very dry.

Brand new, medium duty soaker hoses are about $12 for 50 feet. It would be instructive to figure out what your time is worth when repairing that hose. My guess it is a lot less than you make at your day job.

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    Actually, I'm about 20 miles west of Portland, OR, so definitely in the PNWet. But the hose is not disintegrating at all; it seems to be in fine shape except for the extra holes (which do look like bitemarks rather than blowouts). It's made of rubber but I don't know the brand; the landscaper put it in. You're absolutely right that there's no financial reason to repair it; I was just trying to avoid cutting the roots to get the hose out. Though it did occur to me that I could just leave the old one in place and put a new one in over it. – janineanne Mar 10 '14 at 6:26
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a flat dual stream soaker hose doesn't respond to most of the couplings available for the single stream variety. A possible solution- insert a suitable sized gas line hose ( a poly type that has been wiped with a silicone-to aid with the insertion into each of the severed pores ( all 4) join- tape with ready-fix type plumbing tape- then secure with an adjustable clamp_ within the normal range PSI exerted for a soaker hose of say--- 25 yds- no problem and should do the trick .... cheaply. you're welcome to this tip frank

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I don't think you should waste the time saving a cheap soaker hose. With the roots going through it that just sounds bad. I think you should think about purchasing a drip hose. Roots don't grow through drip tape like they can through the porous material of a soaker hose. The drip hose I use is easy to use like a soaker hose and is about the same price, but it works much better. It will last a long time if your puppy doesn't chew it up. I use this.

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