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How to Raise Or Lower Sprinkler Heads Using Funny Pipe

First, it really is commonly called “funny pipe” in the industry. It is also known as swing pipe. Since Funny Pipe® is a trademark owned by Toro, and swing pipe can refer to other products, we will refer to it by the generic term: flex tubing.

The great advantage of doing a repair with flex tubing is the flexibility it gives you when positioning or raising/lowering your sprinkler head. Instead of a rigid location on a piece of non-movable PVC, flex tubing offers a large range of movement, allowing you to place the head where you want it.

To use a flex tube connection. you need a length of tubing and fittings. The fittings are all press fit, meaning you don’t have to mess with primer and cement. The tubing is cut to the length you need. Cut a little bit long, it bends but doesn’t stretch.  You need a male thread fitting on both ends. Push the fittings into each end of the tubing and install. Because it’s flexible you don’t have to worry about cutting the exact length needed to get it to the proper height. Put to position and height, backfill and pack the soil. Done.

A couple of small hints before we go. Install the fitting into the PVC pipe before you push on the tubing. Otherwise you will be spinning a foot long piece of tubing in a circle to get the fitting into the PVC. Make sure there are no kinks in the tubing when it is installed. It is very durable and fairly hard to kink but some people are over-achievers. Come back after it has run a cycle or two and check for settlement. As the backfilled soil gets wet it will compress and might cause the head to sink. Because it’s on flex tubing you just have to move it side to side a little to loosen it, pull up and it’s back where it needs to be. Pack the soil one more time and that should be it.

A final, major advantage of flex tubing: resistance to impact. On a rigid connection any downward force, such as a car missing the driveway and running over the head, goes straight down through the connection and PVC pipe, possibly breaking one or both. Flex tubing gives with the soil and absorbs the impact, saving you from another repair.

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