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Thread: Help! I need to replace the line from the water meter to the house

  1. #1
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    Help! I need to replace the line from the water meter to the house

    The water is off and I have a..ahem…lower intestine problem

    two plumbers have been out. One wants to put in copper. The other wants to do some sort of plastic. My daughter talked to them because I was…well.. you know.

    so what’s the best pipe to bury?

  2. #2
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    Shedule 40 PVC pipe...
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  3. #3
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    Maybe 10 years ago my cousin had to have it done and he found someone who was able to sleeve a new line inside the old. Sorry I don't know who it was but he lived in McLean so it was someone local.

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    You're talking water supply line, not sewer line, right? Best ask the city (if you're in one) what is allowed by their plumbing code. What is the current line made of? I'd do plastic if I had to make the choice.
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  5. #5
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    According to Mr. Google: HDPE pipes and PEX pipes are generally the best choices for an underground water line. These durable pipes are resistant to corrosion and rusting, ideal for running an underground water line.

    I would go with the largest size that will fit with the water meter outlet.
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  6. #6
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    Yes, this is the water supply line (not sewer) from street to house. The current pipe is galvanized steel. The run is about 150 feet.

    The reason one guy recommended copper is that the current pipe is used as a ground. I thought a ground just goes to ground. I don’t see why the existing line couldn’t still be the ground unless it has to connect with city pipes.

  7. #7
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    We replaced ours 6 years ago. Our water authority required 1 continuous length of copper tubing.

  8. #8
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    Yea, you need to contact your local jurisdiction to understand what they require for this application. I personally would prefer PEX or PVC, but you need to use what's permitted by the local authorities.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Yea, you need to contact your local jurisdiction to understand what they require for this application. I personally would prefer PEX or PVC, but you need to use what's permitted by the local authorities.

    PVC would be my first choice. Because the old copper is being used as a ground, run a new separate trench. FYI, we have over 800' PVC water lines here. Forty one years, and never a leak. Most is Sch 160 PSI, one inch in diameter.
    Last edited by Bruce Wrenn; 10-25-2021 at 8:55 AM.

  10. #10
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    Definitely plastic whether it's PVC or something else. If it's any distance bore it in. New construction here and they bored it 300 feet from the street through the basement wall. Boring cost me about $1200 and only disturbed the ground at the street and at the house. It might be more expensive than trenching but it was worth it to me to not have to deal with the settling and reseeding.

  11. #11
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    We aren’t trenching. They will use a boring machine.

  12. #12
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    Here where I live if you use plastic you have to have the meter at the road in a vault so if the line fails it is on you and you end up paying for all the water that leaks. But if you use copper the meter is in the basement house. So I went with copper and that should tell you something

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    Here where I live if you use plastic you have to have the meter at the road in a vault so if the line fails it is on you and you end up paying for all the water that leaks. But if you use copper the meter is in the basement house. So I went with copper and that should tell you something
    My meter is in the basement and they read it driving down the street. Plastic has proven itself time and again to be as durable if not more so than copper or pipe. Around here all ne water mains are plastic or more accurately PVC with bell ends. We laid plastic water line on the farm in 1967 and it was still good in 2019 when we sold it. That was a run of a 1/4 mile from the well to a barn. So it tells me that they are behind the times there Jerome.

  14. #14
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    What can be used in one water district, jurisdiction, county or state is likely to be different in another. Some may not have a set requirement.

    If your water pipe is your house electrical ground you might consider copper. If you go with PVC you may want to have a ground rod installed at your electrical service entrance if that is compliant with local code.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 10-25-2021 at 2:29 AM.
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  15. #15
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    We've had hundreds of yards of Schedule 40 PVC in the ground for a little over 40 years, and not the first problem with any of it. It's been branched off of, and added onto multiple times, as well.

    We have well water that is ever so slightly acidic. It's not acidic enough to matter for people, as neither we, nor our children, nor my 105 year old Mother have ever had a cavity. It will, however, eat small holes in copper pipe. I expect you're on city water there, so that will be different.

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