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Thread: How to bring water into a slab foundation. The concrete is coming Thurs!!!

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    DIY Member MaxBlack's Avatar
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    Default How to bring water into a slab foundation. The concrete is coming Thurs!!!

    This is Tuesday evening and the concrete trucks roll on Thursday: guys I need help!

    I have a trench to my new storage barn foundation, and today the builder was helping me with some service items: A 2" conduit for electric, a 3/4" for telephone, and a 1" PVC pipe for water. We were laying them in a convenient beam/trench/footing. He said "you know, PVC doesn't meet code for water, it can crack & leak under the pressure of the concrete" so I pulled it out. But I really need to get water into the same area in order to take advantage of my trench which is at the front of the building, and I wanted to have a hose bib on the opposite side of the building which would be VERY difficult to get to otherwise (rocky soil, long story).

    So how to bring a water pipe into the same area with the other 2 conduits? Maybe PEX tubing poked-thru a 1 1/4" PVC pipe with a sweet 90 elbow (to protect the PEX) or something? Or just go with the PVC Sch40 pipe, but put a thick layer of sand over these conduits (they only extend 8' in before stubbing-out). I really don't want, as I said in the FRONT of the building, to bring the water pipe out of the trench on the outside of the wall and then pipe thru the walls to get to the backside (about 20' away). Note I'm in So Texas so no such thing as a frost line, though a pipe exposed to air can of course freeze down here several days of the winter.

    There must be an approved way to move water thru a concrete slab???

    Here's a pic showing me in the middle fiddling with tape on the current stub-outs and the trench coming-in from the right. Where the guy with the board and the Hilti leveler is on the left is where I'd wanted the hose bib. I'm happy to run pipes in the walls, but would at least like to get to where the other stub-outs are... thanks for any tips.

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    Last edited by MaxBlack; 12-18-2012 at 04:20 PM.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    You can bring PEX through, and I would put foam insulation around it. That prevents the concrete from touching the pipe and allows for expansion and contraction.

    I've looped plenty of soft copper under and through slabs too, Same thing about protecting the pipe from coming in contact with the concrete.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS loop a copper line through the concrete with a plastic sleeve around it. PVC IS approved outside up to the building, but NEVER inside the building, and definitely NOT under concrete, because you would have to use fittings to make the turn and they could crack.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
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    As of a few years ago (six or seven), a little farther north in Texas, they used rolled soft copper (type K). Any decent building supply house should know what you want if you tell them what you are doing...

    You don't want it directly touching the rebar for sure -- ditto on the plastic sleeve or foam.

    Be careful where plastic meets copper. Female plastic thread split open and male threads can break off. But, that's a discussion that can happen after the concrete goes in!

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    DIY Member MaxBlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    You can bring PEX through, and I would put foam insulation around it. That prevents the concrete from touching the pipe and allows for expansion and contraction.

    I've looped plenty of soft copper under and through slabs too, Same thing about protecting the pipe from coming in contact with the concrete.
    I really like the PEX-with-insulation idea--but omg Home Depot only sells 3/4" in 100ft rolls for $50 bucks. And it doesn't look as if Sharkbite connectors will allow me to use my PVC Sch40 pipe, it only works with CPVC? Oh well, I will sleep on it and run off to the store in the morning.

    Guess it's time I learn about this stuff, and pay the price along the way... Thanks guys.

    EDIT: OK I see HD has 3/4" x 25ft PEX pipe for only $13.84. I may just be able to afford the fittings at that price!
    Last edited by MaxBlack; 12-18-2012 at 07:30 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    You're on the early part of a house build and crying about $50 for a proper water line?

    Ditch the PVC crap.

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    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlarrivee View Post
    You're on the early part of a house build and crying about $50 for a proper water line?

    Ditch the PVC crap.
    He's in Texas. It may look like a house to a mere yankee, but it is really just a storage shed...

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    DIY Member MaxBlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebinky View Post
    He's in Texas. It may look like a house to a mere yankee, but it is really just a storage shed...
    Hmmm I did not know that I was "crying"!

    Thank you bluebinky--my reply to the Canadian might not have been as diplomatic as yours.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; but omg Home Depot only sells 3/4" in 100ft rolls for $50 bucks.

    50' rolls of copper are refrigeration tubing, not plumbing copper. You will NOT get a 60' roll of plumbing copper tubing for anywhere near $50.00, (it would be closer to $200.00). It is a failure waiting to happen if you use it, because it is thinner than any tubing used for plumbing purposes.
    Last edited by hj; 12-19-2012 at 05:28 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Member MaxBlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    You can bring PEX through, and I would put foam insulation around it. That prevents the concrete from touching the pipe and allows for expansion and contraction.
    The deed is done. I also bought a metal 90deg "helper" ell for the 3/4" PEX and the insulation still slipped-over it just fine.

    The Home Depot guy confirmed this was a "normal" way to go, for whatever that's worth. He was sorta cranky; I dunno if it was the early 7am hour, or maybe he was Canadian...!



    Thanks Terry for the instant help, and for maintaining this site. Enjoy your holidays!

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    My mistake I thought barn meant house in Texas.

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    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
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    All kidding aside, I do miss Texas. I've spent a considerable amount of time in several places like Seattle, Toronto, and now San Jose. I can't wait to get back to my place (my workshop is bigger than the house) in good old Waxahachie Texas. I could almost live comfortably there on what I'm paying in California state income tax right now.

    Besides, Texas is way bigger than Canada if you don't count ice

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware we were arctic here...

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    DIY Member MaxBlack's Avatar
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    Please, please bluebinky, do Not speak well of Texas. And especially to your fellow Californians!!! We have too many of them coming here already!


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    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBlack View Post
    Please, please bluebinky, do Not speak well of Texas. And especially to your fellow Californians!!! We have too many of them coming here already!

    You're right, sorry, I'll try to keep it down.

    I lived in the Seattle area for over 30 years, until it turned into California, and I was forced to move to north Texas. I'm not sure which is worse, the constant drizzle with lots of Californians, or the tornadoes, ice storms, lightning, and heat tearing everything up all the time...

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