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TheWaterbug
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Disconnecting RainDrip 1/2" hoses from couplers/tees

Last year I cobbled together a RainDrip system to water my pumpkin patch. It worked pretty well.

This year I'm reconfiguring it, and I can't figure out how to remove the 1/2" hoses from the !%$!@#$!$%$% compression fittings. The hose is a soft-ish plastic that just inserts into couplers, elbows, and tees that look like this:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/RainDripElbowConnector.jpg[/img]

That green ring has a sharp beveled (?) edge that points inward, so once the hose goes in, it doesn't come out accidentally.

Nor does it come out intentionally, nor after yanking on it, nor after cutting and pulling with pliers and swearing at it. It's very well constructed :)

Has anyone used this system before? How does one get the hoses out? Right now I'm just cutting these fittings off with scissors and using another fitting, but I have a whole pile of fittings in the corner with small lengths of hose stuck in them. And I'm running out of fittings!

Thanks!

p.s. I searched for "drip system" and "irrigation," and the threads seemed to be pretty evenly distributed between Vegetables and What Doesn't Fit, so I chose veggies. Mods, please move this if it's better in a different forum.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

DoubleDogFarm
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Hate these couplers !! :twisted:

Cut the hose off about 1/4" from the coupler. Take a pair of needle nose pliers and grab the lip and twist. It will collapse the wall and roll the hose small enough to pull out.

Next you throw those couplers away and buy these.
https://www.dripworksusa.com/store/easyloc12.php

Eric

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TheWaterbug
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:Hate these couplers !! :twisted:

Cut the hose off about 1/4" from the coupler. Take a pair of needle nose pliers and grab the lip and twist. It will collapse the wall and roll the hose small enough to pull out.

Next you throw those couplers away and buy these.
https://www.dripworksusa.com/store/easyloc12.php
I have dipped my pathetic ladle of ignorance into your glorious bucket of wisdom. Thank you!

I have tried the needle nose pliers method, but I just can't get the $!#@# things out. But no matter, I just ordered a box of couplers from DripWorks. They even have a specific line of products to fit RainDrip tubing, and they're less expensive as well. Thanks again!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

DoubleDogFarm
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I have tried the needle nose pliers method, but I just can't get the $!#@# things out.
They are truely a pain in the ***. Sometime soaking in a pot of boiling water helps.
I have dipped my pathetic ladle of ignorance into your glorious bucket of wisdom. Thank you!
I have a bucket, but I'm not sure it's full of wisdom. :wink: :lol:

Good luck!
Eric

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TheWaterbug
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TheWaterbug wrote:But no matter, I just ordered a box of couplers from DripWorks. They even have a specific line of products to fit RainDrip tubing, and they're less expensive as well. Thanks again!
Late followup, but I got the box of DripWorks couplers. I tried putting them on the RainDrip tubing, but I couldn't get the nut to screw on back over the tubing.

Turns out I was doing it wrong. I was thinking of it like a brass compression fitting for copper tubing. With the DripWorks tubing you leave the nut on the fitting, press the tubing onto the barb, then tighten the nut backwards onto the tubing. I couldn't figure out why the thread direction was backwards; but now I understand.

Kudos to DripWorks for having a very thorough website and very responsive tech support. They responded to my email within a day with exactly the right answers.

By comparison the RainDrip website looks like it's about half (un)finished, and I've had several late, wrong, or meaningless responses to my emails.

If I were to do it again I'd definitely pick DripWorks. But I already several hundred feet of RainDrip product throughout my garden.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

DoubleDogFarm
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I'm glad you like the the new fittings. Yep, You slip the hose over the barbed end and tighten the collar over. I usually install the two tubing ends and rotate the two collars at the same time. Opposite directions. If it's a T, I do the middle one last.


Eric

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TheWaterbug
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TheWaterbug wrote:By comparison the RainDrip website looks like it's about half (un)finished, and I've had several late, wrong, or meaningless responses to my emails.
[url=https://raindrip.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.pbv.v8.tpl&product_id=222&category_id=51&keyword=some+text+here&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=27]Here's one example.[/url]

"Some text here!"
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Late followup on this, but for some reason I can take my compression fittings apart now. :roll:

If I _don't_ cut the tubing off, and just pull with moderate tension and sorta make a small circle with the hand holding the tubing (e.g. like pedaling a tiny bicycle with your hands), then it worms its way out about a 1/16" at a time. After a bunch of "pedaling," it comes off. That part of the tubing now has grooves on it, almost like threads, so it won't make a good seal with a new fitting, so I just have to cut off that inch of tubing.

And with the RainDrip Easy-Loc fittings I just cut a little vertical slit in the tubing at the barb and then pull it off.

So I'm happy with all my drip tubing and fittings now. I don't know what was going on last year; maybe I was trying to do it when everything was cold and hard. It's easy, now.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

DoubleDogFarm
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Glad to hear things are working out for you.

Here is a simple overhead sprinkler setup. Tee fitting, PVC pipe and topped with MP Rotator sprinkler. This assembly is cable tied to a rebar stake. The MP Rotator I'm using covers 16ft. Used properly they should be spaced 16ft apart. This way you get head to head coverage.
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20%20%20Equipment/Overheadwatering006.jpg[/img]
Quick and easy to separate and move for tilling or winter storage.
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20%20%20Equipment/Overheadwatering002.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20%20%20Equipment/Overheadwatering001.jpg[/img]

Eric

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In my experience with compression fittings they are only intended to work once. If you can remove the tubing it will most likely leak upon re-insertion. The plastic compression part will be stretched out and will not hold the tubing as tight as it did before.

Just a heads up...

PlumBob88
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just use PEX! its a lot easier than compression fittings of any kind.

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TheWaterbug
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PlumBob88 wrote:just use PEX! its a lot easier than compression fittings of any kind.
Really? I'm interested in looking at all alternatives, but the RainDrip/DripWorks stuff is pretty simple.

I can cut it with scissors and insert it into a compression fitting (like the one in my original post) in about 2 seconds. Removing from a compression fitting takes 5-10 seconds.

Couplers, elbows, and tees cost about $1 apiece.

If there's something out there that's cheaper and better, I'm all ears!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

holosys
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Re: Disconnecting RainDrip 1/2" hoses from couplers/tees

I used needle nosed pliers and it was an ordeal.

Here is the real problem in an illustration:

You complete a sophisticated RainDrip system with a dozen elbows. Toward the beginning of the daisy chain of elbows, you decide to replace a section. Let's say you simply want to replace the 1st and 2nd elbow and lengthen or shorten the hose between the elbows. Since you can't just pull the hose out of the two elbows, you cut it 1/4" from each elbow as recommended in the article, and try to remove the hose from each elbow.

You discover the hose will not come out, and your strenuous efforts simply cause the 1/4" of hose to start breaking apart, and the elbow begins to get damaged on the outside. Finally abandoning the 1st and 2nd elbow, you completely remove the 2nd elbow, and replace the two elbows and hose (if the hose is now too short). In theory, if the hose is too short to the 3rd elbow, you must sacrifice that elbow by cutting it. If the hose is too short to the 4th elbow, you must sacrifice that elbow. By now, you realize that if ALL the hoses will be too short, you must sacrifice the entire system (all 12 elbows and 100' of hose), and start from scratch.

At some point, unless the hose can be removed from the elbow, a cascade effect will occur requiring the replacement of potentially ALL elbows (and hose, if a longer hose is needed at each juncture).

My first thought is to add a few inches of hose to each juncture, even if awkwardly too long, to take the possibility of losing hose into account. That way, hose can be snipped to remove two elbows at any part of the system, and replaced.

My second thought is to experiment with strong scissors to develop a technique to cut the 1/4" of hose remaining (after you remove the elbow), so the hose can be split, folded, and pulled out -- and practice sitting down in a comfortable chair. Once perfected, you can do it outside when you're on your knees, back hurting, as quickly as possible. If you remain on your knees in a stooping position for too long, you might not be able to stand up (if you're my age), and have bruised knees and bad back!

Finally, as an after thought, buy a good set of garden knee pads with cushions. ;)

imafan26
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Re: Disconnecting RainDrip 1/2" hoses from couplers/tees

The rain drip couplers were designed that way so they won't blow out the way Robert's tubing does. I have never really been too successful taking them apart. I just cut the coupler out and get a new one.
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fuzuku
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Re: Disconnecting RainDrip 1/2" hoses from couplers/tees

I figured out how to make the long nose pliers work and posted a video here:

imafan26
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Re: Disconnecting RainDrip 1/2" hoses from couplers/tees

The raindrip couplers are designed to stay in. I just cut about a foot a way and add a connector if you are going to keep the corner, if not then cut on either side and add whatever connector you need. The needle nose plier did not really work for me. I got a serated knife and split the tubing inside the coupler. It took a while but eventually I was able to cut it out.

Raindrip is patented to only work with raindrip parts. The tubing is not compatible with most other systems.

I know this from experience. When I wanted to extend my raindrip system, the local hardware store stopped selling it and I had to get an end fitting and connect the other brand of tubing to it with a hose bib connector fitting.

Drip mist, and Robert's tubing is compatible. Robert's tubing is generic from my local sprinker supply and it can also accommodate risers and regular sprinkler heads which I use for grass and shrub borders. If you keep uncoupling those, you will have to use hose clamps especially if you have high water pressure and you are not using a pressure regulator.

Netafilm is also only compatible with itself. Hydrotape is only good for a single season and only if you plant in rows so I have never used it.

I have used drip systems for over 30 years because of their versatility and I can put on soakers, sprinklers and even drippers on the trees as long as I have enough zones and pressure. I did pay a landscape company to put in a manifold and six zone timer and 2 zones are grass zones with standard pvc. and 4 zones are drip. The system that is the oldest is the raindrip and it the main lines are starting to deteriorate so I will probably replace them. Lowe's is carrying raindrip again so I can get parts again but I may replace it with Robert's tubing instead. Emitters are interchangeable no matter what system you use but main lines and connectors are not unless you are using beginnings and ends.

I prefer the drip system since I can move it out of the way when I am working in the area, and I hate it when I hit the pvc pipe and have to repair it. I can change the riser heights and I can use low volume heads, shrubblers, vortex, misters, multi heads for soakers, or standard heads on the drip system. I have had to replace parts of the system I accidentally hit or disconnected when I moved it, and replaced a lot of lost and clogged emitters. For this I have a couple of buckets of spare parts and tubing. It is a little harder to change heads on an underground system.

At my community garden timers are not allowed but I have set up my three beds with drip sprinklers and shut off valves so I can work in one area and water the others at the same time. Lately, it has been raining most of the time so the sprinklers are off.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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