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Old 05-09-2013, 11:16 AM   #1
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Replacing water main under driveway


3/4" copper water main with small leak runs underneath my fairly new concrete driveway. I have uncovered both ends of the pipe on each side of the driveway, and I am getting ready to cut out a section of cement.

Rather than digging, I am thinking of yanking the pipe out with a winch and either pulling in a new piece the same way, or boring a new underground passage for a new pipe. Ever heard of doing this?

I have even considered making my own boring tool out of some 1/2" rod or 1/2" pipe with a sharpened coupling to act as a bit. 1/2" galvanized is slightly smaller OD than 3/4" copper. I just need some way to chuck it up to my 1/2" drill. Its just 10ft of dirt I'd be drilling thru. I have used a 1.5" garden auger before with my drill, and it works well although it is only 3ft. If I can pull the old pipe and chase the existing pipe passage it may be worth a try.

If I remove concrete, it would be a 17' x 7' x 6" section that would have to be re-poured. I don't have any idea of the cost.

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Old 05-09-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
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Replacing water main under driveway


It's done all the time. There are various ways of doing it including some of your ideas.
A few times I threaded a 1/4" cable through the old pipe, attached it to the new pipe using threaded adapters- then pulled the cable back using the backhoe hydraulics. The new pipe instantly replaces the old pipe.
Others have pushed casing pipe under the concrete-using high pressure water to flush the dirt out of the casing as it traveled under. Then you simply feed new line through the casing.
The last thing you want to do is replace concrete

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Old 05-09-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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Replacing water main under driveway


IF this pipe was leaking before the new drive went in, how come it was not replaced before the pour?
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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Replacing water main under driveway


Rent a pipe pusher and avoid trashing your driveway.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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Replacing water main under driveway


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IF this pipe was leaking before the new drive went in, how come it was not replaced before the pour?
The leak is very small but probably growing. My best guess is that the pipe was damaged during that work a year ago. The pipe is only 1ft deep where I can see it. It may be even less in the middle of the driveway. I didn't watch the work being done, but they used jackhammers, and maybe pounded in stakes or some rebar. Heck even someone using a tamper could damage a copper pipe if there are any rocks in the soil.

Someone also said the lime in concrete will cause corrosion if it touches copper. These are 40yr old pipes - a lot of time in the ground. I will know more when I get the pipe out.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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Replacing water main under driveway


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
It's done all the time. There are various ways of doing it including some of your ideas.
A few times I threaded a 1/4" cable through the old pipe, attached it to the new pipe using threaded adapters- then pulled the cable back using the backhoe hydraulics. The new pipe instantly replaces the old pipe.
Others have pushed casing pipe under the concrete-using high pressure water to flush the dirt out of the casing as it traveled under. Then you simply feed new line through the casing.
The last thing you want to do is replace concrete
The casing pipe idea sounds good since I was thinking of boring for a 1" pvc sleeve to protect the 3/4" and make for easy future repair. Are these adapters (cable to pipe) something you have to make or can you buy them?
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:14 PM   #7
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Replacing water main under driveway


Quote:
Originally Posted by tns1 View Post
The casing pipe idea sounds good since I was thinking of boring for a 1" pvc sleeve to protect the 3/4" and make for easy future repair. Are these adapters (cable to pipe) something you have to make or can you buy them?
You can make or buy them- I just googled "water line puller" and got several hits similar to the one I used.
Looks like you need a fair amount of cash though.
We just soldered a male adapter to the new copper line, then threaded a thread protector (similar to a iron pipe coupling) unto the adapter. Our cable was then attached to the thread protector- the thread protector had pin that passed thru it to catch a loop in the cable end.
As you pulled the cable- it butted up to the end of the old pipe and pushed it out of the ground and the new line replaced it. We use our mini-exc. to pull- just backed it up like a truck.
If your the inventive type it's not too difficult to make
But a garden hose fed up a 1.25" casing pipe might bore through as easily and cheaper-depending on your soil
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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Replacing water main under driveway


Can you post a drawing of the property, and how the utilities run, along with where the house & drive are. Is there anyway that you can run the water line without having to go under the drive? Maybe have the city water relocate the tap & meter for it, if not a well line.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:08 AM   #9
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Replacing water main under driveway


Approx, how many feet of drive way, don't cut anything yet.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:35 PM   #10
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Replacing water main under driveway


"Others have pushed casing pipe under the concrete-using high pressure water to flush the dirt out of the casing as it traveled under. Then you simply feed new line through the casing."


That's how we do it down here,but i don't see why it wouldn't work in dirt also,maybe a little slower,but better than breaking concrete.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:40 PM   #11
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Replacing water main under driveway


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
It's done all the time. There are various ways of doing it including some of your ideas.
A few times I threaded a 1/4" cable through the old pipe, attached it to the new pipe using threaded adapters- then pulled the cable back using the backhoe hydraulics. The new pipe instantly replaces the old pipe.
Others have pushed casing pipe under the concrete-using high pressure water to flush the dirt out of the casing as it traveled under. Then you simply feed new line through the casing.
The last thing you want to do is replace concrete
The casing idea makes a heck of a lot of sense to me, I would drive in a 3 ft piece of sched 40 1 inch pipe with a cap on it, snake and flush it with my pressure washer, or even compressed air, couple on a new piece, repeat till through then if you ever have to replace it again, its no problem, plus you have added protection of the casing in case the concrete cracks.

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Old 05-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #12
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Replacing water main under driveway


This is how it's done.

http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/DI...way-s/6560.htm
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #13
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Replacing water main under driveway


Thanks for the ideas.

The total length is about 18ft, but I am removing some cracked concrete anyway so the length may be as little as 10ft.

I want to have all my options ready up front before the line is cut.

I will probably first try attaching a hose to 1" pvc and see how that drills the dirt right next to my existing main line before I cut the copper.

Another option for water drilling is to cut the main line, plug the far end, and slip the 1" pvc over the copper stub. That way the existing line guides the drilling. As long as there are no rocks right next to the copper, the pvc should drill right thru.

The 3rd option is to chuck up my powerful 1/2" drill to a length of steel pipe with a serrated pipe coupling to act as a bit. How can I attach a 1/2" bolt shank to threaded pipe without having to weld it. I could drill & tap a pipe cap, but it probably wouldn't be centered very well, and I don't have that large a tap handy. There must be some combination of fittings to get me there. How about it?
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:07 PM   #14
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Replacing water main under driveway


Still need that drawing of the property, to show driveway, house, how the potable water pipes run, if it is city or well. As I stated before, if it is city water, it may be easier to just relocate the tap to the other side of the drive, or find another way to run the potable water pipe, so that you do not have it go under the drive anymore.

You can even if available, pull a picture off of maps.google.com, do not have it set to show street names if you wish, and then use paint or gimp to draw in the way the current potable water line runs.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:26 PM   #15
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Replacing water main under driveway


solder a coupling on the old pipe under the driveway ...then solder up a length of new 3/4" soft or hard and then pull the old pipe out the other end...to pull the pipe out from under flatten one end and drill a hole threw it and rent a "tug it" or your car to pull it out http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...9163_200319163

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