redoing all galvanized pipe to copper question

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  #1  
Old 08-09-11, 08:36 AM
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redoing all galvanized pipe to copper question

I am re-plumbing the entire house to copper. my question comes from where to start the copper. i see where the water comes into the house, there is about 1 ft of pipe coming up out of the ground with the entire house cutoff valve built in. do i bring the new copper to this valve? or do i need to dig up the rest of the line and have the water company shut off the line and run it all the way back to the main? I know this would be much more money and head ache. i just want to make sure i do this right and run it properly. i am fine with all the plumbing, i just need to know how far to run this back.
thanks!
 
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Old 08-09-11, 08:51 AM
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It's up to you and how much money you want to spend. You should not need to have the water company turn off your water since it can usually be turned off at the meter. Running a new supply line will require a permit and inspection so if you do decide to do it make sure it is buried to the proper depth and the water line must pass through a conduit through your footer or foundation. Personally I would not do a new supply line unless you have a reason like a leak or low water volume.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 08:59 AM
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Keep in mind, your electrical may be grounded to the plumbing - if so, make sure when you change out to copper to reconnect the ground wire afterwords.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 09:10 AM
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Hi,

You have alot of options but it depends on what you have.

As far as in home piping IMO pex pipe is the better option. Why do you want copper?

And what is the main line pipe material? If its galv. pipe I would replace. You can replace with trenchless technology. If its copper or poly I would just leave it.

Let us know.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 08-09-11, 10:50 AM
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the supply line appears to be galvanized too. but i can only see an inch or two of it before it goes into the ground.
Mike,
Copper has been the way to go from my understanding but i have not done any projects in years. why do you use pex? i have a little time before i start so i am trying to get everything figured out so i am not in the middle and have questions.
also i didn't know there was a trench-less option to hook into the main.
thanks again
 
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Old 08-09-11, 11:36 AM
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Hi,

Pex is a giant labor saver. Cheaper by far. I personally would not use anything but pex for new construction and retro fits.

I would run H/C to a manifold and run homeruns to each fixture.



If you see galv pipe going into the ground or foundation you can assume its galv from the home to the street.

There are several ways to pull a new pipe. Galv is alittle harder because the pipe dont split. The whole pipe usually gets puuled out. Just a hole at the street side and one where the pipe enters the home needs to be made.

I would find plumbers in your area that perform this work and get a few estimates.



Wheer is the meter? Is there a curb stop at the street? How many ft?

Mike NJ
 
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Old 08-09-11, 11:48 AM
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I have a number of rental houses and when there is a repair or re-plumb it is always done with PEX.

Benefits of PEX:
For one thing you are not using a torch inside the walls of your house.
It's highly resistant to freeze damage. I've never had PEX fail due to freezing).
It's much easier and faster to install.
Less expensive than copper.
Crimped PEX joints are nearly idiot proof. The only time they leak is when you forget to crimp them.

If you do decide to go with PEX contact some plumbing suppliers in your area. Generally their price is considerably better than the big chain home improvement stores.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 06:29 PM
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Just throwing one more opinion in there...
After completely replumbing a house with copper a few years ago, then doing a PEX retrofit a few months ago, I would do PEX again in a heartbeat. Once you get the hang of crimping (and realizing you can't crimp sideways in a too-small cutout), it's quick and easy.

As for the main line, I'd say replacing it depends. If it's galvanized, you probably should plan on it, but it'll cost. I'd say it depends on how long you plan on living in the house. If you have good pressure and don't plan on living there for years and years, it's probably not worth the cost. On the other hand, if you're planning on staying a while, it probably makes sense to replace the whole shebang.

You have a big project ahead of you, but with some good planning, you should be fine!

Good luck!
 
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Old 08-11-11, 07:31 AM
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i checked last night and the main line from the meter to the house appears to galvanized too. its about 40-50 long. so i guess i should replace that.

what is code for depth? i was thinking of just digging up the old one and replacing it but i didn't know if code depth had changed. the house was built in 1953. we live in southern California so freezing isn't a big issue.
also, this is a complete redo of the house, i was in pretty rough shape when we got it. when i pull the permit, can i run the line for the meter to the house and get it signed off, then come back in a few months and do the rest of the plumbing? i ask cause the yard was a wreck and we are trying to level it and put sod down to make it look better but i want to run this line instead of digging it up once i complete the yard. we are doing the kitchen, plumbing and wiring the entire house after the new year but i really want to not dig again if possible.
thanks!
 
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Old 08-11-11, 08:19 AM
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Check with your building inspections or applicable department for the proper burial depth. Where I am in NC 12" is the minimum.

Make sure to call and have your buried utilities marked before you dig. You don't want to accidentally find a gas line.

Also insure that you use a conduit where the water line passes through your foundation. It's a somewhat new requirement. I generally use a section of PVC pipe. The size is not too important but smaller means knocking a smaller hole through the foundation so I usually use 1 1/2" or 2". Just mortar it in place through your foundation and then pass your new water line through it. You can seal the space between the conduit and water line with spray foam or mortar if you want but I don't think it's required.

If you can I would get one plumbing permit to cover all your work. It will save you the cost of two separate permits if they will allow it and if your work extends into next year it should grandfather you to the rules in place when you pulled the permit, protecting you from new requirements half way through the project. You can do the water supply line and when the work is done ask for that portion of the work to be be inspected since that open trench is a hazard to children in the neighborhood and you'd like to cover it up as soon as possible.

Be ready for a possible headache where your new water line joins the meter. I have seen a variety of fittings used and many are not sold at local home improvement stores. You may have to contact more commercial type plumbing suppliers to find what you need.
 
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Old 08-11-11, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
....

Make sure to call and have your buried utilities marked before you dig. You don't want to accidentally find a gas line.
...
hi weiky and folks

I had to do some digging up to replace pipe and found out here in Pa. we have a single convenient number to call to find out what utilities are buried on your property. They mail you a nice email report that includes gas, electric, water, phone, etc.

I bet you have something similar in California.

Good luck!
 
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Old 08-11-11, 04:20 PM
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Dial 811. It's available in all states to reach your local location service. Started in 2007.
 
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