Best type of earthquake resistant connection from pitless to tank?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by stoneaxe, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. stoneaxe

    stoneaxe New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    wa state
    After finding my well problem was a busted off 1" PVC to MPT fitting screwed into the pitless adapter, I started thinking about some type of less brittle way than PVC pipe to get from the well to the pumphouse- I think either settling or earthquake activity resulted in the breakage.


    Is there stronger better way? the run is about 20'. How about 1" black plastic line, the stuff that comes in a roll-?
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    My line is black poly. When I had the pitless installed I insisted the installer drill the hole very close to the bottom of the trench so that settling would not be an issue. I also had him use an elbow so if there was any movement, it would rotate on the threads.
  3. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Location:
    ct
    PVC is brittle, so when the weight of the backfill material settles it will split the PVC adapter, same thing happens when guys use a nylon adapter. And then there are the guys who put a steel adapter into the brass pitless.....

    The absolute best way is to use a brass insert x male adapter & put the hole for the pitless at the bottom of the trench
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,516
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Rubber Hoses.

    And Plate anchors.
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,586
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The ditch is going to settle no matter what you do. I usually water pack the bottom of the ditch as best I can. Then I will pull up on the underground pipe a few inches for 10’ or so from the pitless or frost free hydrant. I place a few small sticks under the pipe to hold it up as high as possible, then back fill and water pack some more. Eventually the sticks will rot out or sink into the mud with the pipe. This way when the ditch settles, the pipe is relatively straight into the pitless or hydrant.

    As for earth quakes, I think you would want something flexible. At least use a few elbows and put a few bends in the pipe so it isn’t perfectly straight and doesn’t crack on expansion or contraction.
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Nothing like a roll of glueable flex PVC on the truck and reinforced clear "hose" rated at 150psi to make life very easy. Also, or, use 1" flex water heater connectors, SS wrapped in the hole and at the tank. You trust them in all fixtures of your house, so why not in a pumphouse? Also, I got 100+ copper flex water heater connectors from gov surplus for a few dimes, and I use them everywhere 3/4 stuff is useable. http://www.falconstainless.com/price_list.html#Water_Softeners

    Never break in a freeze because of its corrugations, and instant unions... Then you have PVC slip repair couplings, which slide up and down as needed.

    Had to replace 400' of unfindable 1.25" PVC pipe under my drive way up a mountainside. Isolated one leak and bypassed it. Then another in 2 days. Kept pump running FULL time - and it put out 25 GPM plus. Not a spot of water anywhere on the hillsides or surface - go figure. Did it when I was younger and poorer, and hadnt planned on several earthquakes. Replaced with 160 poly. Seems like that takes any abuse.

    Then there is the old swing joint made with 2 street el's.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  7. stoneaxe

    stoneaxe New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    wa state
    I checked with falcon, they do not reccomend the SS flex for underground use. Tell me about the flexible glueable PVC?
  8. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,586
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I think the flexible PVC stuff is called "spa-flex". I don't think it is supposed to be underground either. But I have a 20' piece of it underground going around a tree that hasn't given me any trouble in about 20 years. I put it in before I knew you were not supposed to. :)
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The flexible PVC that I found was not rated for nearly the same pressure as the rigid. I use poly.
  10. stoneaxe

    stoneaxe New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    wa state
    We used 1" poly.
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,516
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Poly is the worst to use if the ground shifts, Unless it is inside of something stronger.


    It will pinch closed in a heartbeat.
  12. stoneaxe

    stoneaxe New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    wa state
    You are referring to a kink caused by a bend, and not a pressure collapse that flattens the pipe?

    If there is that much ground movement, it will be the least of my concerns- we are in a class 4 quake zone here, but utter destruction only comes every 300 years or so. The last one was January 1700.........!;)
    Hmmm. So far, the ground movement has been minimal- the last one was 15 years ago or so, I left the shop and went into a field and the ground was rolling in waves. I think that was what cracked the PVC pipe threads at the pitlesc.
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    The "spa flex" is very versatile stuff. 150 psi working rating, and no reason not to bury it. I believe the original flex was not potable rated, but they make some now that is. And how could stainless steel in a well pit be considered buried? Buried or not, should outlast everything. 1" braided SS water heater connectors top and bottom seem best, as long as you take the time to sand or file the nipples the gaskets connect to FLAT and wider face than the factory output. They cut the gaskets and cause leaks in a few years. I suppose you could use PEX as long as it does not get sunlight.
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