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Old 02-01-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
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Undergound Water Line


When we tied to city water 16 years ago, I hired someone to trench and run a 3/4" PVC line from the meter to the basement of my house. 250'. Since then a paved driveway and car parking area were installed on top of the water line. I have had to fix two leaks since the original install. Luckily the leaks were accessible. But I am concerned that the next one could be inaccessible.

I want to use something other than PVC when I have this line re-routed. Any suggestions on something different than PVC. Something that can be bent in a big half circle to go around the obstructions on open land. Something with no couplings. Something very strong. It must be somewhat pliable and easy conversion to the PVC in the basement. Thanks in Advance........ John

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Old 02-01-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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Undergound Water Line


Ayuh,... 1" soft copper would fit the bill,.. but be awlfully Expensive....

Although, metals have fallen with the economy,..??...

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Old 02-02-2009, 02:03 AM   #3
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Undergound Water Line


You might try polyethylene water pipe (black poly). I'd recommend at least 1" 160#. It usually comes in 100' and 300' rolls.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:58 AM   #4
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Undergound Water Line


I second the PE pipe and if you have to use fittings along the way, use red brass, not plastic and double SS pipe clamps on each end of the fitting.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:52 AM   #5
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How does copper pipe (roll) rate as far as longevity compared to the polyethylene. I want something that I can have installed and forget about it. Thanks John

If copper is better thats what I will use.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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Undergound Water Line


I think that would depend more on your soil type than the product. I used PE and haven't given it a second thought, nor will I until I have to perform maintenance which I fully expect to be way down the road....
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:25 PM   #7
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Undergound Water Line


Ayuh,..

Around Here,...
1" copper is mandated by the local water districts....
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:25 PM   #8
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I personally wouldn't use copper, just because of the pinhole leaks from minerals in the soil, I would use PEX, they sell 100' and 300' rolls of it and the cost is much cheaper then copper.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:28 PM   #9
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I personally wouldn't use copper, just because of the pinhole leaks from minerals in the soil, I would use PEX, they sell 100' and 300' rolls of it and the cost is much cheaper then copper.
Thanks for the advice. Should I go to 1"? I have 3/4" now. I like the PE/PEX idea. Is this the black colored rolls of pipe I have seen in the big stores or is this something I need to go to a supply house for?
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #10
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Undergound Water Line


No its not the black pipe, it comes in three different colors, red , blue, and white. It uses crimp fittings, basically you slide a ring(usually a copper ring) on the pipe then insert your fitting in the end of pipe and slide the ring up to the edge of pipe and fitting, about 1/8" to 1/4" from edge then you use a tool called a crimper, you place it over the crimp ring and squeeze until it compresses the ring around the pipe and forms the pipe around the fitting, once its crimped its not going anywhere. The Crimpers are expensive but you maybe able to rent a pair of 3/4" crimpers, which shouldn't be much. Also I would rap any of the copper crimp rings in some duct tape to protect them from the minerals in your soil. Its very simple and DIY. The most work for you would have is digging the ditch.

If you havn't had a problem with having a 3/4" main before, I don't see the point in adding a 1" main, especially if the meter is only a 3/4" meter.

and you can buy the fittings and pipe all at Lowes or Home Depot

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:04 PM   #11
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Polyethylene (PE) or "black poly" and Pex (cross linked polyethylene are similar but not the same. I think PE will be cheaper and does not require any special crimping tools.

The fittings are ribbed insert fittings, I recommend brass, and are secured with 2 stainless steal hose clamps at each connection, as mentioned previously. I get the best connection after lightly heating the end of the pipe, with a hand torch, before inserting the barbed fitting.

250' is a long run. You may realize some pressure loss due to "friction loss" when you run the water especially if you use 100' rolls of pipe. Also I don't think 1" 160# PE is not going to be much more than similar 3/4".
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:15 PM   #12
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I am personally sold on pex, anything you can freeze and won't burst has got my vote (the fittings will break if frozen).

I understand what zosoplumber is saying about size, buuuut if it were me I would use the 1" even with the 3/4 meter (meters can be easily replaced, buried pipe can not) just to be on the safe side. You do not know what future changes you will make. Sprinkler system, extra bath?
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:21 PM   #13
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You might try polyethylene water pipe (black poly). I'd recommend at least 1" 160#. It usually comes in 100' and 300' rolls.
Although that is what the well guys used when they drilled my well, I am not sold on it.

I have had to repair a couple of leaks in my sister in laws irrigation system because of the fine little ground rodents we have here chewed through the line.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:43 PM   #14
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Undergound Water Line


I would use 1" 160lb. pure core flex pipe if you can find it. (its blue) if not just 1" flex pipe 160lb. would be fine and you will never have a problem with it.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:04 AM   #15
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Undergound Water Line


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I have had to repair a couple of leaks in my sister in laws irrigation system because of the fine little ground rodents we have here chewed through the line.

If the OP is going below the frost line, I doubt rodents would be an issue. Around here PE is the standard for long fun installs, and it works fine. MOST lines are installed a min of 5' deep.

The suggestion to use the torch to warm the pipe before inserting the barbed fittings is a good suggestion, and it works well.

Since the price is so reasonable, I'd really suggest stepping up to at least 1" as mentioned and consider larger...you'll never regret installing a larger main to the house. I have 1" from the main to the meter (400 feet away) and 1-1/4" from the meter to the house that reduces to 1" just inside the basement wall. We've not and any flow or pressure issues.

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