All Things Gardening forum: Some sort of soaker?

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osudd
Oct 18, 2016 3:59 PM CST
Hey can anyone help me identify what this device in our garden is? There are about 6 of them a D they all have these long solid black rubber hoses extending from them. Is it some sort of soaking device? The rubber tubes say algae resistant tubing.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Oct 18, 2016 4:23 PM CST
To have so many outgoing tubes, and be located right next to your foundation, I would guess something like a central distribution point for irrigation. I thought those were mostly sprayers for lawns, perhaps "pop-up" sprayers. (But there could be buried soaker hoses or more likely "drip line".)

But SIX distribution points sounds crazy unless there is a reason to have dozens of watering "zones".

Do you see anything informative if you do into your basement or snoop around the baseboards inside your house, at the point closest to the photo? If there is a water valve not connected to anything else you know about, try opening that valve and seeing where the gusher occurs. Then maybe stick something into the slot in the picture and try turning it ... see if anything gets wet.

Were they there when you bought or rented the house? I don't know where you're located, but if you have hard freezes, all the presumably-buried water lines may already have cracked or split, so be sure to CLOSE TIGHTLY any valve that you open.


osudd
Oct 18, 2016 4:34 PM CST
Thanks for the response! I dont see anything along the baseboards anywhere. We are in Texas and bought this house three months ago, they were indeed already installed. I'll keep searching g around and see if I can find a valve of some sort
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Oct 18, 2016 4:42 PM CST
Is it possible to ask the previous owner about them?
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Oct 18, 2016 4:44 PM CST
Looks like the lines used in drip irrigation systems. Where do the lines lead?
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 18, 2016 5:08 PM CST
The real estate agent who was involved in the sale should be able to give you some answers. If that fails...ask the neighbors; they always seem to know what's going on. Lastly, you could ask a local company that installs that type of system; often they will 'recognize' work done by other companies and may be able to direct you to the company that installed the system.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 18, 2016 6:23 PM CST
>> I dont see anything along the baseboards anywhere

I would start by finding the hose spigot outside, then figure out "where it comes out of" inside.

Is there a basement or crawl space? If that doesn't help, try to find any water pipe at all, like sink, tub or washing machine. That may lead you to the main indoor water pipes, which you can then follow and at least find out where they appear from and disappear to.

(I learned that it is good to know where your SHUT-OFF valve is. If you ever have a pipe burst, or need plumbing done, you need to be able to turn off all the water going into your house. The prior owners and/or real estate agent OWE you that info, and I would assume that any place with a building code specifies shut-off valves for any habitation.)

(To get anything out of a real estate agent, you might need leverage. "This house is uninhabitable and fails to meet code without a shut-off valve so WHERE IS IT?" might be the leverage needed to get them to bestir themselves. A real estate agent HAS TO know licensed inspectors who know about building codes for residences. In NJ, we ALWAYS had places inspected before making an offer, and several times were saved from buying lemons, even manufactured-home lemons. Such an inspector could probably find both the shut-off valve and the controls for the presumed irrigation system.)

Bummer that the previous owners didn't leave any information! I would think, especially in Texas, that an irrigation system would be a big "value-added" plus.

Unless they installed a cheap one that promptly broke, or they did not drain it and it froze up one winter and all the tubes ruptured.

If you can find any info, especially where the drain valve(s) are, and how to turn it on, and how to open or close "zone" valves, you might have a valuable item already installed.

I don't know if the "New Jersey threat" would be appropriate to apply to this real estate agent. When the prior owners (and their real estate agent) fail to "disclose" something that lowers the value of the property, like "the irrigation system is broken", they are liable for the lost value and might have to let you renege on the sale. (Just a threat, not something you would DO).

But how liable could they be if something is broken, that they never even claimed to have installed?

Umm, is city water expensive there? It might work fine, but be too expensive to use.

(P.S. One other, remote, possibility is that the old septic system failed and there was no room for an in-code leach field. Maybe they had to replace it with a "Rube Goldberg / chemical engineering" kind of septic system. THAT might need that kind of 4-tube drainage system with six outlets. If they failed to disclose that your septic system is the kind that needs frequent maintenance, they REALLY failed to disclose something!)
[Last edited by RickCorey - Oct 19, 2016 10:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Oct 18, 2016 7:36 PM CST
I'm with Jay, it looks like a drip system
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Oct 18, 2016 7:41 PM CST
Here are a few examples of similar drip irrigation manifolds.
http://www.houzz.com/photos/15591777/Orbit-Drip-Irrigation-S...

http://www.bowsmith.com/images/nonstopdripemitter_ml200_seri...

http://www.irrigationsupplyoutlet.com/views/images/uploads/q...
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[Last edited by Horntoad - Oct 18, 2016 7:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Oct 18, 2016 11:08 PM CST
I agree drip irrigation
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Oct 19, 2016 12:57 AM CST
Its a drip irrigation and possibly with a backflow inhibitor. It might have a fertilizer feeder, I don't see a timer, but that can be elsewhere.

I suggest you have an irrigation company come by to take a look at it. They my be able to see where the timer or control functions are and guess where the underground pipes are.

They might not even charge for the visit if they hope you want improvements or repairs.

And you might. If you have a slightly functional watering system, repairs might be worth exploring. Controlled watering can be very water-efficient.
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Oct 22, 2016 7:42 PM CST
Do you have heavy clay soil? Are these on every side of your home? They may be part of your home's stabilizing level system. They're meant to keep your soil from causing heave damage when it alternates between too dry and too wet. We have something like this in our house because of the heavy clay.

A few years ago we put up a fence around our back property and in May of '15 we had only three days of dry ( or non-rainy) weather. I had to dig up and reset more than a few posts because they began to wildly tilt because of the thick slurry that the soil turned into...... I'd leave it be or maybe even have it checked to make sure everything is working.

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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Oct 23, 2016 3:30 PM CST
And I'd venture a guess that Josebaca is correct. Your photos don't appear to have plantings that these provide moisture for. I'd ask your real estate agent for sure but in parts of Texas they put soaker hoses around the foundation to prevent it cracking. I just had major work done to mine due to a cracked foundation. I'd say, find out if that is why they are there and if so, use them. Best wishes and welcome... I tip my hat to you.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Oct 25, 2016 4:39 PM CST
It may have been an old system now defunct. I know when I stopped using my drip irrigation. (Why? I can't remember!!) I left a lot of stuff buried and just snipped off the hoses where they showed above ground. I agree though. ask your neighbors. It's a great way to break the ice at your new home.
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