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Thread: Replace meter to house galvanized water line

  1. #1

    Default Replace meter to house galvanized water line

    Hello!

    I need some help and recommendations please.

    I have a galvanized water line from the water meter to the house that I recently discovered is leaking [when I dug up to fix my sewer line].

    Do I need to replace this with galavanized yet again? I've read that'll last another 40 years or so. Should I go with copper? Will that last longer and are there any other advantages or disadvantages to copper? I know that wherever I attach copper to a diff type of metal I need a dielectric union. I've also heard sched 40 PVC suggested as an alternative. Is this in fact a valid alternative?

    BTW, my galvanized line is 1.5" - will reducing this reduce my water pressure? My mom really enjoys the water pressure she has for watering the yard by hand compared to some of our neighbors.

    Thanks for all help and replies,
    Chad

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default Replace meter/supply line

    Galvanized pipe will begin to corrode as soon as it is place in service. Copper is by far superior to galvanized. It doesn't rust and doesn't build up inside. I would not use PVC, but that is personal opinion. Don't confuse pressure with volume. You do need pressure to push water through the pipe, but a small pipe diameter with high pressure will not carry the volume of water of a larger diameter pipe with lower pressure. It's the old math formula of Pi x Radius squared. If you are irrigating from this service, besure the meter is large enough to carry the volume needed.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Pipe

    The size of the pipe required is a function of its length. Few residences require a 1.5" pipe, unless the distance to the water meter is extreme. Once a service pipe requirement exceeds 1", I change from copper to PVC. Either a 1" or a 1.5" pipe will deliver the same volume and pressure for a garden hose.

  4. #4

    Default Choices...sizes etc

    Thanks for the replies.

    The run is about 46 feet. I don't know if that affects the size I should use or what you would term a considerable length.

    My problem with PVC is - I keep thinking its for sprinkler systems, not for drinking water etc. Is this just wrong?

    Is there a time period during which I should not drink the water after installing the new line? Is this true for all options [galvanized, copper and PVC]? Or is this just true for some of them? If so, why?

    Thanks again,
    Chad

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default Replace water line

    PVC is OK for drinking water. I prefer copper, but that's my bias. For a 46' run, 1" copper would be plenty adaquate to supply your home and run an automated sprinkler system, but if you are going to run a sprinkler system, I believe a 1" meter should be used. I have a 1" meter and a 1" copper main line. It splits 3' past the meter into a backflow prevent valve for the irrigation segment then into 1-1/2" PVC to the sprinkler valve manifold. The 1" copper runs 35' into the house then reduces to 1/2" copper through the interior plumbing. Never a problem with pressure/volume.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipe

    46 feet is not long enough to require anything larger than 1", unless you have an unusual house with a large "one time" demand. For that distance I would use copper. It is not worth the time and effort to put a section of copper, then the PVC, and then another section of copper at the house, along with the potential for the transition points to crack. PVC only becomes the material of choice when the size required is greater than 1" and/or the distance is greater than 100'.

  7. #7

    Default Copper vs PVC [Schedule 40]

    Hello again,

    Thanks for all the help and replies so far. As my leak is not serious - I'm still trying to do my research and decide on the best alternative.

    I've been told that if the soil is too alkaline based that the copper line will just corrode. Is there an easy way to test my soil? For instance some chemicals I might have at home, etc or maybe something I can buy at Home Depot or Lowes?

    I'm pretty much sold on copper over PVC if my soil is okay with the copper.

    There is some copper sticking out of the house that attaches to the water line - it looks fairly good with some build up on it [it has been buried down there for 40+ years].

    I've also heard that burying the copper in sand and then packing the dirt in on top of that might help with the alkaline soil problem. Any comments on this?

    Thanks again,
    Chad

  8. #8
    Plumber Plumber2000's Avatar
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    Default

    You could go with PEX if it's allowed in the area, Pex is some good pipe.
    Plumber for 20+years

  9. #9
    Plumber Deb's Avatar
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    Cool Deb

    Generally speaking, if the soil is alkaline, it will corrode all metal pipe...if the soil was kind to the galvanized, it will be kind to copper.
    I live in an area where the soil and water are bad and I run alot of PE (polyethylene) and there is alot of existing PVC. Use brass fittings and marine quality SS hose clamps with PE. The ID of piping like PE that uses insert fittings is smaller than copper or PVC of the same "size".
    Deb
    The Pipewench

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