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Thread: lead water service line replacement

  1. #1

    Default lead water service line replacement

    We have a 0.5" lead service line that was tapped in 1901 in Denver that gives us good pressure 80 psi but very poor flow ~2.5 gpm. The main line is ~30' (in the street) from the meter pit and another 50' to the hot water heater. The city requires the line be buired 4.5', so that would be more hand digging than I would want to or can do. We have two quotes to put in new 0.75" copper line between $4000 and $5000, which seems high for a days work and does not include the permit fees. Any comments or suggestions to help us reduce the cost?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    Cave Creek, Arizona
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    Default line

    In most areas the city would install the pipe from the main to the meter for a nominal cost. There is nothing you can do to reduce the cost, other than to find a cheaper plumber. If you have to do the replacement from the main to the meter, that often requires a lot more cost and paperwork than the portion from the meter to the house. But since the work is the same either way, I would install a 1" pipe rather than a 3/4" one.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Yakima WA
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    7,244

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    As HJ says, the labor is this same and the difference in price minimal, so go with a 1" line. One way you might be able to save some money is to rent a trencher and hire someone to operate it if you don't feel able to do it. If you have a plumber do that labor, you will be paying a lot more than you would be able to hire casual labor.

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