Chewed soaker feed hose

(This is the first of what will presumably be an ongoing series of small repairs and improvements around the house.  I’m not sure how to manage it:  individual posts per event?  One post for say watering system, one for sump pump, one for wiring, etc, with individual repairs as updates to those category posts?  And what about just documenting such systems?)

During a routine inspection of the landscape watering stuff, I found a geyser coming from an apparently chewed 3/8″ hole in a poly hose that feeds a series of per-plant soaker hoses on the Saylor side of the house.  The system has been in place for a couple of years, and I’d never seen anything like that.  After I patched it up with Gorilla tape (until I could get a repair coupling), I found another smaller spray from another apparently chewed spot on the same hose.  I taped that one up, too.  The tape did seem to hold fairly well, but I only observed it for a few tens of seconds.  But at least some plants will get more water than they would have until I can get some parts.

I guess I better do such inspections more often.  I also found the main hose feeding the rose garden sprinklers had popped apart and was soaking a few bushes while providing nothing to the others, and a similar smaller spray where a soaker hose connector had failed and come apart.  Since the watering happens very early in the morning, I don’t see stuff like that unless I go looking for it.  I guess the parts don’t last forever!

Update 7/25/11:  All fixed.  The challenge was finding a coupling to fit this hose.  There are an annoying number of similar but incompatible sizes of black poly hose.  I don’t think I even found any of this exact hose to try to match the size, but fortunately, I had discovered I could make an end cap with what might be 1/2″ CPVC pipe.  I had a piece of that and cut couplings for the 2 bad places.  A package of hose clamps and I was in business.  So it’s all done – until the next chewer attacks.

Update 9/3/11:  More hot weather – and more thirsty animals.  I can’t believe how much they chewed out this time!

I had some spare parts for this hose system and used a T that was pretty long and fit this hose.  The critter also chewed up the drip tap that connected the short 1/4″ soaker hose to the feed hose, so I poked that into the stub of hose closing off the other branch of the T.

Unfortunately, there was another chewed hole I missed.  The new connection also leaks pretty badly.

I wonder if I should just put out a bowl of water for the critters – presumably automatically refilled from the watering system.

Update 9/4/11:  OK, I pushed the leaky end of the feeder further into the T and put a “goof plug” into the other hole.  The leak at the edge of the T went away, but the plug didn’t work very well.

I kind of gave up and decided to see how long just wrapping it with Gorilla tape would last as a semi-permanent solution.  I dried the hose off well and washed the area with alcohol before applying the tape. Unfortunately, there was another branch tube coming out 3/4″ away from the failed plug.  That meant I either couldn’t get as much tape to that side of the plug hole as I wanted, or I’d have to cover both – and not get as much at either end as I’d like.  I chose the latter, and did one piece of tape – maybe 3 wraps – wrapped as tightly as I could centered over both holes, followed by a piece at each end.  Because I was taping over the thickness of the first wraps, the last 2 didn’t lie very flat, and I question whether they do any good at all.  (If it had been a single hole, it might have been improved if I put a hose clamp over the tape right where the hole was.  Maybe even a piece of the same tubing maybe an inch long over the tape and under the clamp to apply clamping over a little wider area.)  When I tested it, there was only a small dripping leak.  Not great.  I’ll watch it over time and see how it holds up.


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2 Responses to Chewed soaker feed hose

  1. Carol says:

    Something (a chipmunk?) is chewing through the feeder hose attached to my soaker hose. The feeder hose goes through a pipe under my side walk. I believe he is trying to remove the feeder hose so he can use the empty pipe for a walk way.

    He has done in now several times. I buried that section of hose with stones. He is moving the stone and continues to chew. Any ideas?


    • Jim says:

      Wow – smart (and resolute!) little buggers, aren’t they! Burying in stones was a great idea. Can you cover/wrap that section in something more impervious – or chew-resistant? I bet he couldn’t get through a section of steel pipe slipped over the feeder. What if you wrap that section in hardware cloth (heavy duty chicken wire)? I’d hate to have to chew through that – but then I’m not a chipmunk. I might have heard that critters don’t like to chew through aluminum foil.

      I’m considering painting all my feeders in something nasty – pepper spray or something. Maybe there’s a liquid rabbit repellent that might slow them down. Unfortunately in at least the latest of my problem cases, they attacked where there was already water – probably a slightly leaky connection. And that would probably wash away whatever irritant I put down. I suppose it could be a poison, but I’d really rather not do that.

      Good luck, and let me know if you find something that helps!

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