Sometimes it’s the little things

So I’m making some minor changes to my drip irrigation system and need a couple of 90-degree turns and a couple of T splitters for 1/2” poly pipe, and go to Lowe’s to pick them up.

This is what they’re selling:

OK, bright blue instead of gray. Then I looked closer. Instead of having a flange/bump all the way around and a place to put a ring clamp, they’ve transformed the bump into spiral threads. No more fighting to get the fitting into the hose, it just “screws in”.

Here, close-up:

Haven’t had to resort to “hot water in a mug” to soften the pipe or grunting trying to “push fit”, just twirl and done. I’ll still use a ring clamp although that might not be necessary at anything but pretty high pressure, the fit is about perfect and there are a good 8 threads or more to lock it in, and keep twisting and there’s room for a ring clamp if you want it.

Maybe not as big a leap as “shark fittings” to replace sweat soldering for copper pipes, but a nice little improvement.


My only thought is that the spiral creates a potential path. Water doesn’t really care if it has to run in circles to escape, it takes whatever it can get. Then again, I imagine that drip irrigation isn’t exactly high pressure.

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Drip irrigation is the same as household pressure, at least in that part of my system, which is about 80 psi. However if you look at the closeup, there is still a shoulder at the corner (with a 360 degree flange) where you can put a ring clamp if you want. (Yes, the pipe will twist on all the way up to the turn. I tried it; the threads don’t continue but have enough grip to keep the pipe moving forward.)

As it turns out, one of those in my system will have pressure, the other is just a drain from a rain barrel so it will have none at all. I haven’t put the ring clamp on either, so at some point I will find out if it “pops off” or not.


I found an insertion tool for the 1/4" drip line and parts, when cold it’s sometimes a real challenge oto jam them in, but it’s limited, so I’m still looking…

This is what I found to be handy…


I’ve also herd of folks using, carefully, a propane torch to heat up the tubing to make it more flexible to insert stuff… I always think of it after I’m done!

I’m sure it works, but I think I’d try a hair dryer first. When it comes to applying fire to something that is probably flammable I might be a wimp.


I do my joining out in the field, where electricity is hard to come by. My system: thermos with hot water. 1) Fill thermos with hot water. 2) Take thermos to job site. 3) Open thermos. 4) Dunk tube in hot water. 5) Push on connection. I think I could handle that even without the instruction manual.


The propane torch, as used for soldering copper piping, in the old days, trigger pull, instant on, thanks to its sparker… On n done… On to the next one…

I do have a heat gun, once used for heat shrink tubing, even soldering coax shield connectors, likely draws 10+ amps, so a heavy cord to drag around, and adds the hazard of electricity & water, not a good mix…