replacing water line to house

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Old 03-20-03, 04:33 PM
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Question replacing water line to house

We are tired of repairing the water line that runs from the meter to the connections under our house. We thought we would just replace the whole line. Would appreciate any information that meets code without overkill as to the type of piping to use. I am counting on my brother-in-law to make the connection at the meter as he installs fire sprinkler systems and knows what he is doing. We are dealing with 30-40' of replacement and live in the Seattle area. Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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Old 03-20-03, 07:49 PM
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replacing water line

How many times have you had to replace it? I know that a lot of houses built down here in the early 80s had some crappy polyXXXXXX??? stuff that tended to fall apart. You could drive through some neighborhoods and see water seeping out of 1/2 the yards, I do remember there was a huge class action lawsuit. However if you're handy (even better get your brother in law to do it) it's not bad to do. The worst part is the spadwork. Call a supplier to the plumbing trade and ask what most pros are using for this job. Any worthwhile counter sales person should be able to make a recommendation and tell you what size and sell you the fittings as well.
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Old 03-20-03, 07:55 PM
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If the pipes gonna be burried I think it's type-M if but you should check code because you do need to use the proper rated pipe for under ground.

"Somebodies going to post me straight on this"
 
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Old 03-21-03, 10:09 AM
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One-inch PVC white plastic would be good for a main supply line to your house, if PVC is allowed. Least expensive and easy to plumb (just cut, prime and glue the connections).
If copper is required, it probably would be type L or K (medium and heavy). Type M is lightest weight, normally used for indoors.
Mattison is right...check with your Building Inspection Department for local code, permit and inspection requirements first.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 03-21-03, 12:36 PM
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The existing pipe is some type of black hard plastic stuff. PVC?? We have had 2 leaks in the past 6 months. If things are going great we only have leaks every couple of years. The soggy area that developes is a sure tell sign. The line is about 18" underground. We plan on laying the new line right next to the old. What causes these leaks is a mystery to us. They are usually in the same spot where there is little to no foot traffic. They just happen.
 
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Old 03-21-03, 12:53 PM
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I felt I was wrong on the type m. It was about 8 years ago had replaced burried heating pipe w/type L I think it was.

Can't even rember lunch!

White PVC is sch40 right? What's psi rating on that? Seems like you would at least use sch80 "grey" for supply line.
 
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Old 03-21-03, 01:01 PM
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Schedule 40 white plastic PVC is what is used for residential water supply line.
That black plastic stuff is thin poly-something, I think, and as you're finding out, won't hold up well. PVC or copper will last FAR longer.
As long as that 18" depth is below your local "frost or freeze line", it should be O.K. Check with your Building Inspection Department.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 03-21-03, 01:16 PM
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Hi Erica. I work for a water utility and here's a couple of tips for you on your project....

USE COPPER. I don't care how expensive it is , you can get fleible copper tubing in lengths long enough to go from the meter to your house WITHOUT ANY JOINTS. Joints are more susceptible to leaks than pipe. WHITE PVC is MUCH MORE RIDGID than copper so if the ground shifts it can't move with it so it WILL snap.

If you ever had a problem with low pressure when you're using several fixtures at the same time (ie, when you run the dishwasher, washing machine and try to take a shower upstairs but the pressure just isn't there) NOW is your chance to improve that. It may not fix it completely, but it WILL help to place a larger diameter line. I would recommend that you place a line that is NO LESS than 3/4 inches. 1 inch is WAY BETTER. If you try to pass 10 gallons per minute through 40 feet of 3/4 inch copper line you lose at least 5 pounds of pressure (psi). In comparison, if you had a 1 inch copper line you would only lose 1.5psi in the same scenario.

LEAVE SLACK in the line when you lay it in the trench. DO NOT STRETCH IT TIGHT. This way it has room to move with the ground.

REMOVE ALL ROCKS (golfball size and larger) from the immediate vicinity of the line. It is best to put sand or fine soil in the trench first, then your service line, then cover it with about 2 inches of sand orfine soil before putting back the stuff that you pulled out of the trench.

Good luck with this project. If you have any other questions post them here and I'll respond again.


As for why your leaks happen, think of water moving through your pipes as a very flexible(and heavy) piece of steel. when you turn on the water it moves. when you turn off the water it stops moving, but it still has MOMENTUM and INERTIA. These forces bounce back and forth in the pipes causing a bit of movement. Lots of times the pipe is resting on a rock so this slight back and forth movement causes the rock to rub through the line after several years. This is another reason to use a single length of pipe without joints. Joints hold up less well to this "bouncing" than solid pipe will.

If you want to know more about this phenomenon (and you probably don't) run a search on the web for the term "water hammer"
 
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