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billt102 07-20-2009 06:20 PM

Water Supply to Ranch
I have just installed a new 1" water supply to my ranch to supply a couple of hydrants and the 3 room house.

The total run is 1000 feet to the house where I split and neck down to 3/4 and go another 400 feet to the barn.

I have installed this with black poly (HDPE) 200 psi CTS, and intended on using all brass compression fittings with the steel inserts...

I had some leftover fittings and some pipe from a similar installation I did with a friend, and I needed to purchase some additional fittings from a local water works supply house (you can't buy this stuff at the home improvement centers)

One of the tees is the 1"x3/4"x3/4"... it was supplied to me as a TEE body with a 1" CTS compression fitting by MPT adapter and two 3/4" compression x MPT that needed to be screwed together...
here's where I got "cute" with it and started ad-libbing. I removed the capped end of two 3/4" compression type ball valves and threaded them directly to the brass tee body. This seemed to thread together just fine, the threads appeared to be the same and I went on down the road.

I got even cuter. I decided to use this concept at the first tee to a hydrant on my property and bolted a galvanized tee body directly to the 3/4" uncapped compression end of a 1x1x3/4 tee (for a hydrant) so I could tie on later to run a service to a future shop building. I threaded the 3/4" uncapped compression end of a valve to the galvanized tee body and connected a gate valve and plug to it via a nipple for future connection..

WELL it leaked like a sieve at the galvanized tee... It also leaked at my house splitter contraption tee with valves, but it was not tight due to me wanting to leave the valve pointed up.. i turned it another 3/4 turn and I think it's stopped leaking.

Here are my questions.

Are these threads on the "compression" type fittings the same as "regular" pipe thread (such as found on the brass and galvanized valve bodies)? Someone said the compression threads were different, but I don't think so on these large size fittings. They felt normal and tightened up OK...

Are there any inherent issues with interconnecting brass and galvanized threaded fittings? I was under the impression that it was a common thing to do. Now that I have these leaks and I am going to pull the assembly back out, I only want to put it back together once. but I have decided to also add a main line shut off on the 1 inch feed so I do not have to go all the way to the meter to shut off the water. I want to make sure and use the right stuff. I am going to get some pipe dope thread sealant to use on the galvanized (in addition to the teflon tape I have been using). Suggestions? Am I crazy?

Thanks for your help guys, I hope my "description" is clear. Guess this stuff happens when you wander away from the original plan.

Gary Slusser 07-21-2009 12:37 PM

Compression fitting nuts are straight threads, pipe threads may screw on but nowhere near right.

That distance is quite long for 1", and 3/4" is small for 400" and to a barn. And I would not use CTS, IPS gets you more water and has less friction loss.

And I would have used insert by whatever fittings and double hose clamps instead of compression fittings.

billt102 07-22-2009 02:40 PM

Thanks for your input Gary. I did not mention I have a civil engineering background and the 4-6 foot elevation drop more than made up for the head loss on the black poly. I ran the calcs first and the lines are already installed and I've got lots of pressure and volume through 150 foot hose at the end of that run.... it filled up a 150 gallon water tank in about 15-20 minutes....

Now I am trying to stop the leaks at my two "tee" configurations...
Are you certain that the threads on the large size compression fittings are straight? I have only one leak left and have been able to seal everything else with a little more muscle.

I have both tees still opened up and plan to disassemble tonight. I will replace the leaking compression tee with a pair of compression x MPT adapters and a brass tee body and hopefully that will do the trick.

billt102 07-22-2009 02:50 PM

.... in additon I felt like the insert and clamp fittings would have added quite a bit more loss at the fittings than the compression, since they neck down a full size. It would have saved me money to go the other way, indeed. I just don't like to bury stuff hose clamped together. Probably would have been fine with 160 psi IPS and those fittings in hind site, given less loss on the pipe itself. I am in Texas in heavy clay too, that contributed to my decisions as well as contractor input. I certainly appreciate your thoughts Gary, and you are probably right about those threads.

Gary Slusser 07-22-2009 04:54 PM

We hang up to 1.5 hp 5 gpm pumps 500' deep on PE pipe with extended insert fittings and 2-3 opposed clamps, and bury it 4-5' deep with insert fittings and hose clamps without problems.It's been done for 40 years and many water company customers' service lines are the same way.

I've never heard of pipe thread compression fittings.

4just1don 07-22-2009 08:58 PM

I "heard" the combo of galvinized and brass corodes one or the other,,but is done more often than not, try comboig them ABOVE ground and not below.

In nebraska contractors put in light plastic pipe and plastic fittings,,,then charge you every year when they have to come back to FIX it!!(read job security).

Last underground water I ran was 1 inch also,heavy pipe and all brass fittings with double hose clamps and nary a leak in YEARS and YEARS when custom job was a fix and repair regularly,,,guess which way "I" favor!! I started digging it up my self cause he did more damage than good ,replaced plastic,crap fittings with brass and had NO further probs!!

Sounds like you did a GOOD job there,,keep up the good work,,,just remember to go first class with all brass and you cant go wrong!! less problems with double stainless steel clamps than comp.fittings!!

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