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Thread: Water Main

  1. #1

    Default Water Main

    I am in the process of taking out some of the galvanized piping out of my house. I am not sure how much I need to replace. From what I can tell the main line comes into the house and meets a shut off valve (under ground). Then it splits and runs to the hot water heater and the length of the house to run upstairs(both are partially under ground). How much of this galvanized piping do I need to replace? Should it be replaced with copper? Can you bury copper pipping?
    I live in Toronto so I am trying to abide to what ever code there is.
    The house is approx. 100 years old and has no water meter.

    Thanks
    Steve

  2. #2
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Brugmans View Post
    I am in the process of taking out some of the galvanized piping out of my house. I am not sure how much I need to replace. From what I can tell the main line comes into the house and meets a shut off valve (under ground). Then it splits and runs to the hot water heater and the length of the house to run upstairs(both are partially under ground). How much of this galvanized piping do I need to replace? Should it be replaced with copper? Can you bury copper pipping?
    I live in Toronto so I am trying to abide to what ever code there is.
    The house is approx. 100 years old and has no water meter.

    Thanks
    Steve
    If your galv pipe is 100yr old, then yes it's time to replace. It's on borrowed time and doesn't owe you anything! It's probably being held together by rust and dirt. You should replace whatever you don't want to break at 3AM on Christmas Sunday while you're on vacation for a week. Chances are just working with it will cause a leak to develop somewhere else in the house.

    You can run copper underground. It should be the thicker kind (M, I think, no?), but if you're encasing it in concrete, I would first run some sort of PVC conduit before putting in the copper. A lot of slab homes seem to develop leaks under the slab and I would bet its from the concrete. Personally, I would run it above ground where possible.

    Jason

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The quick answer is, take it all out. Galvanized pipe is galvanized steel and while the galvanizing slows rust and corrosion, it does not stop it. Mineral contents in local water make it impossible to predict and exact lifespan, but 40 years is fairly typical. Before the pipe begins to leak, corrosion builds up inside and can reduce the inside diameter of the pipe to that of a soda straw. Many years ago, galvanized pipe was state of the art, but like many other things, it is no longer considered a suitable pipe for plumbing. The best replacement is still copper except in areas that have minerals in the water that attack copper. Copper certainly can be buried. PVC can be used underground to bring the water to the house, but it can not be used inside. CPVC is OK inside, but I would avoid it unless the mineral contents of your water are hard on copper. Another product that is being used now for interior water supply is a flexible tubing called PEX. There is a real advantages to PEX when repiping because it can be pulled through walls and around corners without having to tear the house apart. It has not been around long enough to evaluate its life expectancy. I would recommend you consult with a professional plumber to evaluate your needs and give you some help in determining what is best for you.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Sooo, how are you billed for water??? Or are you not?

  5. #5

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    They bill me a percentage of what they think I use.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for you response I greatly appreciate it.

  7. #7

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    Thanks as well for your response.

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