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a_lost_shadow 04-19-2012 10:19 AM

Old water supply line
I'm in the process of upgrading the water supply line between the meter and my house to support a new sprinkler system. I've run into one small snag, and was wondering if I could get some advice.

For the final connection to the meter, the water supply line runs for around 8' under concrete. I'd figured that for that small section, I could reuse the existing pipe. And designed the sprinkler system accordingly. House is behind me in this photo.

Now when I dug up the existing line to confirm that my design would work, I noticed two problems. First the existing line looks like it's been in the ground for awhile:

Second, the meter has shifted so there's not much room to connect a new line to. The meter to house supply line is the few inches before the meter at the top of this photo.

As a path forward, I'm considering doing the following:
1) Turn of water at the meter
2) Cut into the current line in the piece after the one I want to reuse, and see how badly corroded it is.
3) Remove the pipe back to the final 10' piece that connects to the meter.
4) Hook up the new PVC supply line to the house, using a new coupling or a compression coupling depending on how bad the threads have become.
5) If the line is badly corroded, figure out how to replace that final 10' segment.

However, I have the following questions:
1) Can a compression coupling work properly on a corroded galvanized pipe?
2) Is there anything in the UPC requiring the replacement of corroded galvanized pipe?
3) In case it becomes necessary, what would be the best way to remove this existing pipe?

My current ideas at removal:
1) Brute force
- Unscrew the pipe from the meter
- Bend up a section of the pipe
- Bang on the bent up section with a sledge to pull it free from the ground
- Bang a larger replacement sleeve into the hole left behind, and feed new PVC through it

2) Water method
- Use a high pressure nozzle on an end of PVC to bore a hole next to the existing pipe
- Unscrew the existing pipe and work it into the hole to pull it free
- Again bang a sleeve in and put PVC in the sleeve

joecaption 04-19-2012 12:36 PM

Not sure how your area works but from the street to the meter the water company would flip out if they saw me messing with it.
I'd be calling them with the concerns you have.

a_lost_shadow 04-19-2012 02:33 PM

Sorry if I wasn't clear, I'm not touching any of the water company's lines. I'm only replacing/touching the meter to house supply line. But still I'll check with them, maybe they'd be willing to redo their side of the meter connection so it's once again centered in the box.

rjniles 04-19-2012 04:00 PM

I can't tell from the pix if that is concrete or grass around the meter boxes? If grass dig the meter box out-it just sits over the meter. It will give you room to work.

If concrete-???

Ravenworks 04-19-2012 04:26 PM

You should plan for the worst and hope for the best.
You may find it extremely hard to break the joint at the meter.
You may be able to pull the new pipe through when you pull the old one out.
The water excavation may work if not,you'll need to saw cut the slab about four inches wide and patch it afterwards.
As Joe said,water companies are funny about these kind of things you should check.

TheEplumber 04-19-2012 06:49 PM

199 Attachment(s)
Your sidewalk looks like it is a public walk. My city won't let me touch it without permits and the pour-back must be done by a company bonded with the city. Your town may be different.

Your meter hasn't settled, its just full of dirt.

To answer your questions-
1) No
2) Not really. This would be up to your city code.
3)Pull a new pipe as you remove to old one. Simply put, a cable is threaded through existing pipe. New pipe is attached to the cable. As the cable is pulled back, the old pipe comes out- it is followed immediately by the new pipe

a_lost_shadow 04-19-2012 10:52 PM

I checked with the water company, and they're fine with what I'm doing. But there's nothing I can do about the meter's location in the box.

rjniles, the meter box is surrounded by pebble topped concrete, which spans the property line. Thus the reason I don't want to touch it if possible. The neighbors don't mind if I cut into it on my side, but I'd rather not if I don't have to.

eplumber, If I have to cut into the concrete, I'll just touch the pebble concrete and not the sidewalk. My plan of last resort is to make a hole on the other side of the sidewalk, and drive a sleeve under it like I did my driveway. Then I'd have a little jog over to line up with the meter.

As for the meter's location, I had assumed that the meter was originally installed to line up with the knockouts at the bottom of the box, instead of at it's current location. Also, the picture's don't show it all that well, but the soil level in the meter box is around 2" below the bottom of the meter box walls.

Thanks for the cable idea. One question, does it work well with pulling a larger piece of pipe into the hole? I'd like to run a larger sleeve, thus allowing easier replacement if any pipe breaks under the sidewalk.

Thanks everyone for all the help.

TheEplumber 04-19-2012 11:12 PM

199 Attachment(s)
I have not used a cable with oversized pipe but if not much larger I don't see an issue. To pull the cable we used a mini excavator.hooked the cable up and pulled as if pulling a car..
Your short pull could be done with a come along perhaps
You mentioned PVC. Do not use female adapters to connect to male threads. Female adapters are known to crack, even months after back filling.

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