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Thread: Underground pipe install.

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    Default Underground pipe install.

    Hey all,

    I’m going to install a ¾” main water line, (from the water meter to the house). In some areas here in Phoenix, the soil is aggressive, and will deteriorate copper pipe from the outside inward. Is it a good idea to bed and shade the copper pipe with sand, or just wrap it with pipe plastic sheathing? Or, would it just be better using schedule 40 or 80 plastic, (glue together) pipe?

    Thanks, Mike

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    If agressive soil prevent a long life for copper then why not pursuit other options for materials. See what is allowed. PEX, PVC, & Black Polyethylene are all used in other areas of the country and hold up quite well.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Unless you have a one bath home, the 3/4" will be undersized.

    http://www.terrylove.com/watersize.htm

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipe

    We usually only use PVC when the line has to be 1 1/4" or larger. I have installed many, many copper water lines all over Phoenix, and have never had any fail because of the soil conditions. I have repaired some which deteriorated because they were in a spot which was always wet, however.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Most of the local water dept's out here have gone to sch 80 polyethelyne. cheap and effective.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I've never heard of sch 80 PE. Or any other sch PE. It's rated by psi.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    If agressive soil prevent a long life for copper then why not pursuit other options for materials. See what is allowed. PEX, PVC, & Black Polyethylene are all used in other areas of the country and hold up quite well.
    Thanks...I will look into what is allowed, (per code) here in Phoenix. The copper I have ran into that went bad was around 15 years old. The whole house had to be re-plumbed.

    Thanks!

    Mike

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    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Terry;156794]Unless you have a one bath home, the 3/4" will be undersized.

    Thanks Terry. I did check out your pipe sizing page. This house is kind of in the older side of town, and I will be looking at it tomorrow. A lot of the older homes were plumbed in with 3/4" and even to top it off, the used galvaized pipe. The owner told me over the phone that his was galvanized, and the volume is really bad. I find out tomorrow, what size his meter is, and what size he has going into the home.
    On your chart, I noticed that even if you only have a 3/4" meter, you can pick up some fixture units by installing 1" of 1-1/4 pipe...interesting. Although, if it went beck to ¾” at the house, you probably wouldn’t pick up much, unless there was a hose bib there, or an irrigation system branch off there outside of the house.

    Thanks again,

    Mike

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    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    We usually only use PVC when the line has to be 1 1/4" or larger. I have installed many, many copper water lines all over Phoenix, and have never had any fail because of the soil conditions. I have repaired some which deteriorated because they were in a spot which was always wet, however.
    Here are some photos of a house, where the copper pipe under the slab was leaking. The first repair was about 12 years after the house was built, and then I did another repair about 15 years after the house was built.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Brain cramp Gary, I meant the heavy stuff.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default copper

    Interesting. I have NEVER had a house in Phoenix that had that problem. And only a couple of under slab leaks that could not be attributed to poor workmanship during the original installation.

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    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    Default Yep

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Interesting. I have NEVER had a house in Phoenix that had that problem. And only a couple of under slab leaks that could not be attributed to poor workmanship during the original installation.

    Yep, before I did the repair and pour back at his house, I begged the home owner to call a licensed company to do a complete re-plumbing on his house. He told me that if I don’t want to do the repair, that he would get someone else to do it. So I did the repair, and the pour back, and needless to say about 3 months later, he did get a complete re-plumb job.
    His house is located on the North side of Camelback mountain, (if you know the area of Phoenix). And remember, this house was around 15 years old.

    Thanks, Mike

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    if you only have a 3/4" meter, you can pick up some fixture units by installing 1" of 1-1/4 pipe...
    Yes, it has to do with friction loss.
    If you order a milk shake and use the small straws, it takes a long to suck it up. Same thing with a small straw, I mean pipe that is any kind of distance. It's slows down the water considerably.
    A larger pipe, like a 1-0" or 1-1/4" reduces drag.

    The only time that I have installed a 3/4" water service was to a one bath home. And most of the time, I installed a 1" pipe anyway. There is almost no cost difference, and it future proofs the home for any added plumbing or bathrooms later.

    Two bath homes need 1" services
    Three bath homes need at least a 1" and in some cases 1-1/4"

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    Default Back to you....

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Yes, it has to do with friction loss.
    If you order a milk shake and use the small straws, it takes a long to suck it up. Same thing with a small straw, I mean pipe that is any kind of distance. It's slows down the water considerably.
    A larger pipe, like a 1-0" or 1-1/4" reduces drag.

    The only time that I have installed a 3/4" water service was to a one bath home. And most of the time, I installed a 1" pipe anyway. There is almost no cost difference, and it future proofs the home for any added plumbing or bathrooms later.

    Two bath homes need 1" services
    Three bath homes need at least a 1" and in some cases 1-1/4"

    Thanks Terry…I did go check out the existing water service, and it was a ¾” galvanized line, with a 5/8” water meter. It’s kind of typical out here in the older part of town. One of the draw backs of putting in like PEX pipe, (or another nonmetallic type pipe) is that I will loose the grounding to the house. If I do install a nonmetallic pipe, (per code) I will have to install two ground rods, six feet apart, and then clamp them, via #4 copper wire, to the hose pipe…nothing ever easy! The run, (meter to house) is only about 40 feet, so maybe up-sizing would make a little difference, but with a 5/8” meter, I’m not sure if it would be noticeable.

    Thanks big T,

    Mike

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    but with a 5/8” meter, I’m not sure if it would be noticeable.
    My mothers home has a 5/8" meter. I changed the water line from a 3/4" to 1.5" water lines. It made a huge difference.
    She is 250 feet from the meter, but to give a simple example, on the irrigation on the back side of her property, I ran a 1-1/2" PVC line 250 feet, and then downsized to 1" for another 100 feet. The irrigation works that way on the back zone.
    With the 3/4" line, it didn't work.
    It's the same 5/8" meter.
    She runs four zones on her one acre property.
    Last edited by Terry; 09-30-2008 at 11:45 AM.

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