How to Repair Drip Irrigation Tubing

Drip irrigation tubing is tough stuff and can withstand a lot of abuse (e.g., being walked on, being left in the cold or heat), but it isn’t bulletproof. So knowing how to repair a bad section of tubing comes in handy the next time:

  • An errant shovel grazes it while doing some DIY backyard work.
  • Man’s (and woman’s) best friend uses it as a chew toy.
  • The neighbor kid (whom you hired to mow your lawn for $5) mows the tubing too.
  • Burrowing rodents decide that the buried tubing is a great place to get some water.
  • You thought you had all the water out before the freezing weather hit.

The list could go on and on, but accidents do happen, and luckily tubing repair is pretty easy. One note here is that repairing tubing is much easier if it is above ground. A lot of people like to bury drip irrigation tubing (which doesn’t alter the integrity of the tubing), but we do caution about burrowing rodents and how they have a knack for finding buried drip irrigation tubing. Spotting and repairing a bad spot in buried tubing is more difficult.

Once the Bad Spot is Located, You will Need 3 Things:

  • A tubing cutting tool or sharp household scissors
  • A coupler fitting (all fittings barbed, compression & perma-loc will work)
  • A section of similar tubing (if the bad spot in the tubing is longer than two inches)

If the Bad Spot is 2 inches or Less:

Start by cutting out the bad spot in the tubing. Take care to make even, clean ends in the good sides of the tubing. Next, push one side of the good tubing onto the coupler. Once secure, push the other side of good tubing onto the remaining open side of the coupler. That’s it; the tubing is repaired.  Check out our video on repairing tubing. (Note: It’s not the greatest production, but it gets the point across :)

For Tubing with Bad Spot Over 2 Inches:

You will need the three materials listed above, but you’ll need two couplers instead of one, as you will be splicing in a section of tubing instead of connecting the two pieces. Again, start by cutting out the bad section of tubing. Then cut a length of extra tubing that will match what you cut out minus the extra length of the exposed part of the couplers. Next, use the couplers to join the sections of tubing together. Voila! Repaired tubing.