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Old 03-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #1
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Redoing plumbing - water service line (main)


Have a couple of questions on redoing water service line (main) in my home (residential) -- from water meter to house (back) entrance.


The new water main line needs to go from the water meter and run under a sidewalk, thru'/under the fence, into the backyard, and into the back wall of the house (water line entrance).


Depth: 18 inches.


1. When the new service line goes out from the water meter box, does it need to go down to 18 inches right away?


Reason is that between the water meter and the backyard fence there's a sidewalk area (about 4ft from the water meter).


Can the new water service pipe go down 18 inches--after the side walk, or it has to go down 18" before reaching the side walk?


2. There's a requirement that states

"Water service must be laid on a firm bed for its entire length and back-filled with a minimum cover of 12 inches."


So does it mean
- 12" fill above the new pipe and 12" fill below the new pipe?
OR
- 6" fill above and 6" fill below the new pipe?



3. Also, does the 12" fill apply when tunneling under concrete/patio/sidewalk?

(It'd be hard to make a 12" size tunnel under concrete)


Thx.


Last edited by joemc3; 03-28-2014 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:18 PM   #2
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Redoing plumbing - water service line (main)


Quote:
Originally Posted by joemc3 View Post
Have a couple of questions on redoing water service line (main) in my home (residential) -- from water meter to house (back) entrance.


The new water main line needs to go from the water meter and run under a sidewalk, thru'/under the fence, into the backyard, and into the back wall of the house (water line entrance).


Depth: 18 inches.


1. When the new service line goes out from the water meter box, does it need to go down to 18 inches right away?


Reason is that between the water meter and the backyard fence there's a sidewalk area (about 4ft from the water meter).


Can the new water service pipe go down 18 inches--after the side walk, or it has to go down 18" before reaching the side walk?



2. There's a requirement that states

"Water service must be laid on a firm bed for its entire length and back-filled with a minimum cover of 12 inches."


So does it mean
- 12" fill above the new pipe and 12" fill below the new pipe?
OR
- 6" fill above and 6" fill below the new pipe?


Thx.
Ayuh,... How deep ya goin' under the sidewalk,..??

#2 says it needs to be a foot deep in a compacted bed,.....
Pipe generally is a few inches off the bottom of the raw compacted native soils,...

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Old 03-28-2014, 03:01 PM   #3
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Redoing plumbing - water service line (main)


You don't have your location in your profile so we don't know where you live. Two reasons to bury a pipe. Keep it from freezing and to protect it from damage. How deep the ground freezes in your area determines how deep it gets buried. Most places want lines to be set in a bed of sand or stone dust to keep them away from rocks that could break them. Then they want a couple of inches of sand or stone dust on top for the same reason. Then back fill with soil. Crossing the sidewalk before going into the ground kinda makes the line a bit vulnerable wouldn't you say? Sort of looks like you need a trench about a 15" deep or so with 3" of sand/stone dust. Then the pipe. 6" and 6" doesn't give you 12 of top cover.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:08 PM   #4
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According to the requirements you quoted your ditch needs to be minimum 12" deep with no voids under the pipe- bedding material is not mentioned so clarify it with the water dept.

You can probably tunnel under the walk as link as you maintain 12"
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:08 PM   #5
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Redoing plumbing - water service line (main)


Quote:
your ditch needs to be minimum 12" deep
Thx for the responses -- now I think I'm reading the requirement right :

12" backfill means the pipe needs to be at 12" min. depth from ground level.


I'm in CA here and probably the reason requirement is only 12" min depth.


Quote:
You can probably tunnel under the walk as link as you maintain 12
About dropping the line to the required 12" before/after sidewalk,


Initially the new water line would be at a depth of the meter box -- probably only a few inches only below dirt (not above ground).


That's why I wonder if I would want to drop the line all the way to 12" inches right away when the line leaves the meter box and before it reaches the sidewalk,

so if someone in the future would do any digging/irrigation, they won't accidentally hit the new water line.


I just talked to the city inspector and he said since it's only a couple of feet between the water meter and the sidewalk, they won't have a hard requirement to drop the line from the meter's depth to 12" in that section. After the sidewalk the line would definitely need to drop to 12".


The guys I hired dug up that area and they found the old 60 years old galvanized service pipe maintained at water meter depth (a couple of inches below ground) the first 2 feet after the water meter box (we didn't go further yet),

meaning the line didn't drop to 12" immediately after meter box.


Any thoughts? My main thing is not to have the new pipe hit by irrigation machine, etc. Or this is not really a needed concern as this is just the side strip area between the curb and the sidewalk?


Quote:
bedding material is not mentioned so clarify it with the water dept
As for bedding materials -- city inspector said plain dirt is ok. I've bought some fill sand for use also.

Last edited by joemc3; 03-28-2014 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Any thoughts? My main thing is not to have the new pipe hit by irrigation machine, etc. Or this is not really a needed concern as this is just the side strip area between the curb and the sidewalk?
Ayuh,.... You should go as deep as needed, as quickly as possible, to protect the pipe,....

Some years down the road, some guy is replacin' that sidewalk, he knows the water lines crossin' it are at 12" because that's code,...
He digs out for new base material, 'n Rips yer waterline outa the ground, because ya didn't go deep, quickly,...
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:49 PM   #7
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If I was doing your project- I would maintain 12"

As for the bedding material- we use plain dirt as well- just keep the rocks away.

Did you discuss with the inspector in regards to the meter yolk and shut off valve?
The yolk will establish the depth of your service line. Seems how you're shallow though, it may not matter
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:39 PM   #8
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Thats is not what it says.
First sentences says it all must be a min of 18 inches deep or deeper.
Backfill means they want it properly bedded is soil that has no rocks Clean fill.

They want you to over dig by a min of 6 inches backfill with rock free soil run pipe back fill again after inspection. But you must be 18 inches below at all points or better.

Normally you would bed with sand compact it lay pipe inspect it then backfill with sand another 6 inches then use whatever to get to soil grade.

Hope that is clear I read code for a living.
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
You should go as deep as needed, as quickly as possible, to protect the pipe
Quote:
I would maintain 12"
Looks like I'd dig down 15" min and back-fill w/ 3" dirt/sand so the line is at min. 12" depth. I'd drop the new line to 12" immediately out of the water meter box (before the sidewalk), and keep it 12" min. until it gets to the house (back) water line entrance.


Apologize for the confusion. The statement "Depth: 18 inches"

was not from the city requirement article/inspector but from a field utility service person. After some searching, was not able to confirm that was the requirement.


The city inspector was probably more correct,

and was in line w/ the statement in the city's service line inspection checklist article: " minimum cover of 12 inches" -- which I'd consider the more reliable source that reflects the city code.




(Unless I misread anything along that line...)

Last edited by joemc3; 03-29-2014 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:51 AM   #10
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Not trying to steal the subject but when we use to install underground utilities we always laid a tape on top of the utility after a couple shovels of dirt. Just to let people know there's Electric, water, sewer, telephone lines below . Just thought I would throw that in even though residential applications don't use the tapes. You can buy said tapes with the service on it and different colors.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:01 AM   #11
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Redoing plumbing - water service line (main)


Thx for the reminder of the utility tape. I'll go grab one from HD.


I wonder how to lay down the pipe,

as there're two tunnels the pipe needs to go thru':

- 4' tunnel under the sidewalk
- 5' tunnel under the patio concrete


Redoing plumbing - water service line (main)-2-tunnels.png


Completlely unroll the 60' copper pipe first?


Or unroll it half way, tunnel one end thru' the patio tunnel, unroll the rest, then tunnel thru' the sidewalk tunnel?
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:55 PM   #12
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Personally I would just run it into the front of the house vs. going through all of that trouble to go to the back.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:33 PM   #13
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Redoing plumbing - water service line (main)


Quote:
Originally Posted by joemc3 View Post
Thx for the reminder of the utility tape. I'll go grab one from HD.


I wonder how to lay down the pipe,

as there're two tunnels the pipe needs to go thru':

- 4' tunnel under the sidewalk
- 5' tunnel under the patio concrete


Attachment 83245


Completlely unroll the 60' copper pipe first?


Or unroll it half way, tunnel one end thru' the patio tunnel, unroll the rest, then tunnel thru' the sidewalk tunnel?
Which ever way you decide- remember that soft copper kinks very easily and it does not like to roll up again.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:35 PM   #14
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Redoing plumbing - water service line (main)


Quote:
Personally I would just run it into the front of the house
The thing is, there's no existing water pipe anywhere near the front of the house.


I plan to perhaps break up the 5' patio concrete so there's only one tunnel to work w/ (the sidewalk). Perhaps that'd make the job a lot easier.


I'm using type K 1" soft copper piping. Is that ok?

Someone mentioned where the new pipe goes up to the house entrance it needs to be 'rigid'. Otherwise it needs to be anchored to something. There's a shutoff valve to be hooked up where the service pipe comes up also.

(I haven't checked w/ the city inspector on this one yet)


Is that true -- that the 1" type K soft copper pipe needs to be anchored to something where it comes up above ground?


The pipe from the back of the house comes out from the stucco wall like 3 3/4" so there's that gap between the wall and the service line.


Thinking along this line, I wonder if rigid copper piping would last longer than soft copper pipe? Or 1" type K soft copper as the service line is sufficient? But I overheard if using rigid copper pipe underground it needs to be brazed not soldered.

Last edited by joemc3; 03-31-2014 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:02 PM   #15
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Roll of K is the best and the thickest. Use that underground no joints.

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Last edited by COLDIRON; 03-31-2014 at 03:22 PM. Reason: spelling
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