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Old 04-11-2012, 08:23 PM   #1
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rural water supply line


I'm probably crazy, but I want to try and install our water supply line myself. We bought a lovely but just-logged rural property and the distance from the public water supply to our building site is 1,700 linear feet. There is also an approximate 30 foot rise in elevation and a creek to cross. We plan to build a small home, probably two bathrooms, a washer, kitchen and a garden. I would like to install two spigots along the route, one at about 500 feet and one at about 1200 feet.

I know there is a way to calculate the size of pipe needed, but I'm guessing a 1 inch diameter PEX. The supply line will be buried about 2 feet underground (we will rent a walk behind ditcher) and the soil is very sandy. I've already told you I'm crazy, but am I also nuts to want to try and do this myself?

Ambitious in East Texas

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Old 04-11-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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I don't think you're nuts but I think you're undersized. You'll loose 15 psi in elevation alone - not sure how much lose for that footage. I'd also consider a different pipe like sch 40 pvc or poly-but thats me.
Check around the web, you should be able to find some sizing charts. You'll need to know the developed length, elevation change and pressure at your source

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Old 04-11-2012, 09:25 PM   #3
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Agreed with above. The sizing calculation is fairly simple, but I definitely wouldn't go with 1" pex. Inside diameter of 1" pex fitting is 3/4" give or take 1/16 or so.

There's nothing wrong with using pex in general if it's allowed to be used as a main water service in your area, but you may want to upsize the line if you go to pex. If the terrain is fairly flat and the ditch is straight PVC should be pretty simple to install.

Do you have a rough idea of the size of home you want to build on the property? Fixture unit calculations need to be included to get fairly close on the sizing.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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You will need to start with as big a pipe as it will allow and reduce down as you go, but I don't know at what intervals you will need to step down the size of pipe. You will be happier with schedule 40 and glue the dickens out of it. A pipe that long and up hill 30 feet will have some pretty good pressure in it. You need to find out all the specs before starting. Sorry I couldn't be much help.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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Maybe give this calculator a try? If it works, let us know what it spits out for a 1" or 2" line.

http://www.efunda.com/formulae/fluid...e_friction.cfm
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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rural water supply line


Thanks for the three replies. I called the water company and the technician said the pressure at the meter is around 70 psi and the meter line is 3/4 inch diameter. He suggested a one-inch pvc line and said I "should be fine". I tried the calculator, but the iterative nature of trying to find the flow rate took a while and it cut me off before I was done.

I asked him about PEX versus PVC and he said they haven't heard of any problems with PEX, but he prefers PVC because it is "known" to work well. Have you all heard of any problems with PEX? It sure seems easier to work with. I may be dancing around some big stumps.

THANKS!
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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rural water supply line


An update on my previous post....I called the local plumber (recommended by the water company) that does a lot of rural water lines. He said I need a minimum 1.5 inch diameter supply line (otherwise I would get a trickle at the house) and that PEX doesn't come any bigger than 1 inch. He quoted me $7,600+ to install the line. Along with the $1,600 to install the meter, wow! I'm going to call a well man!

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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Last time I ran a water service that far with k copper I started with a 2" tap and dropped it down to 1 1/2" about 300' or so from the house ,then down to 1" about 50' from the house.
Id check into having it done in some long bore shots and just dig pits where your transitions are going to be done,the boring guys can pull it in for you from pit to pit when they pull their rods back saving you lots of work.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socdog View Post
....and that PEX doesn't come any bigger than 1 inch.

He's feeding you rubbish. I've installed plenty of 1-1/4" pex myself, and have seen installations with 2"


Maybe he just doesn't like pex.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:39 PM   #10
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P.S. I just did the calculations out of my book, figuring roughly 1700 feet total developed length and 30 feet of elevation increase, figured for two toilets, two lavatories, two tub/showers, a kitchen a clotheswasher, and 4 hose bibbs. . .


My chart only goes up to 1000 feet, and a 3/4" meter tops out at 55psi on a 1000 foot 1-1/4" line only gives enough flow rate for about two thirds of the fixtures I listed above. The next line bumps you to a 1" meter.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #11
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Wow, there is a lot of contradictory information out there.

THis is off subject and I apologize, but I notice you are in Crescent City, Cal. We lived in Arcata and Brookings, got married at the forks of the Smith River, and had our honeymoon at Ship-Ashore.

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Old 04-12-2012, 08:47 PM   #12
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Very cool. Small world.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:47 AM   #13
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rural water supply line


Some things to consider:

1) You will be required to install a meter pit at the property line. Most municipalities have a per month charge based on the size of the meter.
2) IMO polyethlene 160psi piping is the way to go for this application. It is relatively inexpensive, durable and easy to install.
3) As mentioned above, getting a horizontal directional driller to come in may be your best bet. I have worked with drillers that could put your service in with only 1-2 pulls.
4) You didn't mention the size of the watermain at the road. These can be as small at 2-3" and in that case the municipality wouldn't let you put in anything larger than say 1".
5) When the watermain was originally put in, it was likely it was done by petition (what we call "local improvement") and that all the customers would have had to foot the bill for the main. Sometimes this is done upfront, other times it's done once you actually connect. I would check to make sure this fee was already paid otherwise it could cost 10k to connect.
6) Unfortunately I can't give you an exact sizing, however, from what I've seen, a 2" is likely what I would put in.
7) Get an estimate for a well.

hth

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:19 AM   #14
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Figuring out the losses is not as complex as seems to be suggested. Referring to Cameron Hydraulic Data (standard text), we see that for old pipe (we all start out young, we get old eventually), 1-1/2 inch diameter standard weight steel (1.61 inch inside diameter), the head loss at a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute is 1.45 feet per hundred feet of pipe. Figure you for 2000 feet equivalent, including bends etc., you get a head loss of about 29 feet plus the 30 feet of rise, total loss about 60 feet or approximately 26 psi. This leaves you with 44 psi at the house, a little low but acceptable.

With 1-1/2 inch type K copper tubing, loss is 1.24 feet per hundred, about 25 feet total, so a little less than steel. The confusion about the availability of large size PEX pipe is understandable, since there is a very similar type of pipe called high density polyethylene (HDPE) as opposed to PEX (cross linked polyethylene). The HDPE pipe is available in sizes up to 63 inches in diameter, is rated for water use by AWWA (American Water Works Association), comes in long rolls, and can be butt fused using a thermal process where joints are necessary. This is the pipe I would recommend for the job, not PEX, which is typically used indoors for water lines and heating applications. Should you decide to pursue HDPE pipe, I recommend you discuss your specific application with the manufacturer.

One manufacturer is JMM, look them up at www.jmm.com. They are capable of manufacturing a continuous roll of HDPE pipe in the required size, which in your case is likely to be either 1-1/2 inch or possibly 2 inch if you need higher flow rate than 10 gpm.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:14 PM   #15
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Before I would rake out $7K, I would have a well drilled and be done with it....for that kind of money our local well-drillers will drill a 6" well with a cast iron casing and 1.5 hp pump.

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