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Old 07-06-2012, 01:39 AM   #1
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Desperate Measures


My wife and I bought a house two years ago in a secluded country setting, we fell in love with the view.

We had a leak in the line supplying water to the house this January that was caused corrosion of the the iron adapter that connected the 1.5" black PVC pipe to the 1" copper stub that protrudes under the foundation. I had a plumber come in and fix that.

Last month I noticed a drop off in water pressure and checked the meter, it was leaking approximately 3 gallons per minute. I've dug and looked everywhere but can't find the leak or any wet spots. Bear in mind that the supply line is between 200 - 250 yards long and I'm not sure exactly how it traverses the property. The meter is across a heavily wooded area that has a stream with rocks the size of a dishwasher and includes a 150' change in elevation up to my house. We did locate two unused water lines that apparently previous homeowners have abandoned and the neighbors who own the property that our water line crosses stated that the previous owners "had a lot of problems with their water line".

I've shut off the water and installed a bulk water tank and pump, we can obtain water to fill the tank from hydrants that the local water company maintain for residences that they just can't reach due to terrain. I've contacted five contractors, three didn't show up, one did and said he didn't have the equipment to do the job, one can do the job but he's got more work than he can handle and quoted at least $5,000 to get'er done.

WARNING of impending brain storm!:

Would it be possible to run a smaller pipe of some kind thru the existing pipe and provide some low volume flow to my house. I could use that to fill the holding tank and then pump it into the house at a pressure that would be usable. The engineer from the water company suspects that the existing black rolled PVC pipe was connected with barbed connectors secured by hose clamps and one of them has failed or a rock has rubbed a hole thru the pipe somewhere. If I could insert say 1" ID pipe I believe that I could get back in business without the 3X / week trip to haul 150 gallons of water to the house.

Thanks for bearing with me,

Rick

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Old 07-06-2012, 06:34 AM   #2
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Desperate Measures


That won't work----the tubing would hang up inside the old pipe--


Consider renting a mini-excavator and doing it your self.

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Old 07-06-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_R View Post
My wife and I bought a house two years ago in a secluded country setting, we fell in love with the view.

We had a leak in the line supplying water to the house this January that was caused corrosion of the the iron adapter that connected the 1.5" black PVC pipe to the 1" copper stub that protrudes under the foundation. I had a plumber come in and fix that.

Last month I noticed a drop off in water pressure and checked the meter, it was leaking approximately 3 gallons per minute. I've dug and looked everywhere but can't find the leak or any wet spots. Bear in mind that the supply line is between 200 - 250 yards long and I'm not sure exactly how it traverses the property. The meter is across a heavily wooded area that has a stream with rocks the size of a dishwasher and includes a 150' change in elevation up to my house. We did locate two unused water lines that apparently previous homeowners have abandoned and the neighbors who own the property that our water line crosses stated that the previous owners "had a lot of problems with their water line".

I've shut off the water and installed a bulk water tank and pump, we can obtain water to fill the tank from hydrants that the local water company maintain for residences that they just can't reach due to terrain. I've contacted five contractors, three didn't show up, one did and said he didn't have the equipment to do the job, one can do the job but he's got more work than he can handle and quoted at least $5,000 to get'er done.

WARNING of impending brain storm!:

Would it be possible to run a smaller pipe of some kind thru the existing pipe and provide some low volume flow to my house. I could use that to fill the holding tank and then pump it into the house at a pressure that would be usable. The engineer from the water company suspects that the existing black rolled PVC pipe was connected with barbed connectors secured by hose clamps and one of them has failed or a rock has rubbed a hole thru the pipe somewhere. If I could insert say 1" ID pipe I believe that I could get back in business without the 3X / week trip to haul 150 gallons of water to the house.

Thanks for bearing with me,

Rick
Ayuh,... Even stuffin' a 1/2" line through it, It would get hung up on the 1st fitting you encounter...
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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Desperate Measures


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Consider renting a mini-excavator and doing it your self.
Heh, much to my surprise the only thing necessary for renting a mini-backhoe from Sunbelt was a credit card. No qualifications, training or anything. Pay 'em and they trailered it to the house.

Didn't take too long to get the hang of it, but the first 30 minutes were terrifying. Smooth, slow motions on the sticks are the key to avoid killing yourself or wrecking anything nearby.

Trying to push flexible tubing through the existing line is unlikely to work. At some point, not far into the job, the drag of the tubing inside the existing line is going to cause too much friction. Think pulling a stocking over your head, bunch it up and it goes smoothly, stretched out over your face and it drags to a stop. The same would likely happen to the tubing along the inside.

You might want to consider digging at certain points along the line to isolate the leak. Dig down, break the line and pressure test it back to the last tested point. If it's not holding pressure then you're closer to the leak. This would make for less digging. A few holes dug for testing is less work than digging up the whole thing. Might even be practical to do it by hand versus trying to learn to use a backhoe and wrecking the pipe right away.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
We had a leak in the line supplying water to the house this January that was caused corrosion of the the iron adapter that connected the 1.5" black PVC pipe to the 1" copper stub that protrudes under the foundation. I had a plumber come in and fix that.
Am I correct in assuming that you have PVC pipe going to your house?

Based on my experience with PVC for sprinklers.....I would not want to use it as a main water supply line. Additionally....Black? As in DWS pipe? That is intended for the crape that comes out of your toilet?

Personally...I would confirm what kind of pipe you have....and if it is PVC....go rent that mini backhoe....dig a new 'deeper' trench and lay down copper pipe...unless you can get some of the flexible pipe that comes on a big ass roll...which in your case may not be a bad idea....since it's almost 1000'.

Or...it might be cheaper to dig a well....
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #6
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Desperate Measures


If it's black and was rolled out then it was probably some form of polyethylene. When he mentioned rocks the size of dishwashers I get the impression drilling a well might be rather expensive. And then you're at the mercy of well water quality conditions.

It would be interesting to know what sort of 'problems' the previous owners had. That might shine a light on how your current problem has developed.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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Id start out with as big of a tap on the water main as your utilitie company will allow and reduce it down to 1" somewhere just before the house so you get plenty of volume and pressure going that far with it.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:33 PM   #8
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where are you located need to be down below the frost line?
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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Desperate Measures


Why a mini escavator and not just a ditch witch?
I agree 100 % of drilling a new well, the drop in pressure and flow has to be off the charts for a run that long.
I used to live in NH which is also called the Granite state, with the right drill rig it will go through rock like butter.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:44 PM   #10
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Why a mini escavator and not just a ditch witch?
I agree 100 % of drilling a new well, the drop in pressure and flow has to be off the charts for a run that long.
I used to live in NH which is also called the Granite state, with the right drill rig it will go through rock like butter.
Everytime ive tried trenching a water service i always end up digging a hole at some point,so an excavator just makes my life easier anyway!
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:50 PM   #11
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I only suggested a mini ex because of the rocks---the Ditch Witch trenchers are great in average clean soil.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:00 AM   #12
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Desperate Measures


Gents,

Thanks for the input! I figured that pushing a line back down the old service was impractical, but you never know if someone has found a better mouse trap. Especially when you haven't been plagued with mice in years.

Just as further info, I'm in West Virginia and it does get cold in the Winter, so the line needs to be buried at least 36" deep. The wooded area/ravine it crosses is steep and rugged enough that a Ditch Witch wouldn't be practical. I've operated a small back hoe one time several years ago but this is too much of a project for me to tackle by myself.

Guess I'll just wait till i find a contractor that needs to put a kid thru college.

Thanks again for looking,

Rick
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:07 AM   #13
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How about having somebody bore the part that goes through the ravine and digging the rest?
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:59 AM   #14
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I have pushed a 1/4" cable down 3/4" water service lines before. Once out the other end I attach the new pipe (copper) to the cable using a special head and pull it back. As it is retrieved, the old pipe comes back as well and the copper takes it's place in the ground. When completely pulled through you simply connect both ends of the new pipe to their terminals.
My longest pull was 60ft - I know it can be done further but probably not the distance you have, especially your terrain and soil conditions. You'd have to break it into sections. It will work with 200lb. poly pipe though. Something to think about

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