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twilightcall 08-02-2008 02:55 PM

Frost line 12 inch or 18 inches, Southeast TN?
I am redoing my main supply line and I had a few plumbers come out and estimate the job. I live in southeast TN and it stays fairly warm but does get below freezing in the winter time not everyday but happens. 2 plumbers said they only need to dig down 12 inches to bury the supply line from the meter to the house. The other 2 said it needs to be at least 18 inches to be safe. What is the best thoughts here?

Marlin 08-02-2008 03:23 PM

It's not a big deal to dig an extra 6", I would just go 18".

Yoyizit 08-02-2008 03:30 PM

My 2000 IRC doesn't list it, which makes me think it changes quite a bit even within the same county and your terrain.
E-mailing the local building code can probably help.

You could try Googling
"frost line" TN
but many hits seem to be people's opinions rather than "code."

fungku 08-02-2008 03:33 PM

Well, I'd go at least 18 inches anyway.

Someone tilling a garden or anything could hit something 12" (that's some serious tilling, I know! haha), but 18" is fairly safe.

So it may be your frostline is 12" where you live, but for safety of not breaking the pipe with digging (or various other things that effect the pipe, like if it were under a driveway), 18" would be minimum.

edit: I also second Yoyizit with contacting local building dept.

p.s. right now I'm imagining rsome old lady planting a rose bush and then an exagerated stream of water shooting into the sky. :jester:

Yoyizit 08-02-2008 03:41 PM

edit: I also second Yoyizit with contacting local building dept.

Thanks, Mr. Ku.

JDC 08-04-2008 06:46 PM

Oh how I wish we had to only go 18" deep with our waterlines here in Cincinnati. Minimum of 42" here. If I were you, I'd definitely go 18" just to be safe. Hell, knowing myself like I do, I'd probably go 24" cause I till REAL deep for my garden. lmao :jester:

mstplumber 08-05-2008 07:39 AM

I hold a Tennessee Master Plumbing License and it is my understanding that the minimum depth of a water line is 18". However...

It is also my experience that each municipality maintains it's own enforcement standards so in some areas 12" might be legal. I know in Nashville it is 18".

I would go with 18" to be safe.

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