Bringing in a new water supply line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by davesnothome, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. davesnothome

    davesnothome DIY Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I want to bring in a new water supply line to replace the current galvinized.
    Its a straight run from about 17 ft in the front of the house and enters the basement of a 2 story 100yr old home. I have a wood front deck (porch) at front of house that is directly over where the pipe enters. Is this a possible tactic...it was mentioned to me. If I dug down and around the outside City water shutoff valve and located and cleared around the valve. Would it be possible to remove the existing gal pipe, attach say pex or something to the old galvinized pipe, use a pipe wrench inside the house and hammer and drag the new pipe in with the old pipe. Reason for this, and Im looking for Ideas is Im very close to a big tree with lots of big roots....looking for any alternatives.
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Anything is possible when time and money do not hold you back, and I would guess you can pull this off if ...

    1) Is there a flexible supply line of sufficient-for-you size that has the same-or-smaller OD of your existing line?
    2) If so, is there a coupling available for connecing the new line to the old without being grossly larger?

    To try what you have in mind, I would use a hydraulic jack inside the basement to pull the old line with the new one attached, but be *very* sure of that attachment!

    Either find or fabricate a device for using a jack to pull a pipe, then be sure to plate your basement wall in some way so you will not push the part of it under the jack on out under the yard.
  3. davesnothome

    davesnothome DIY Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I was figuring that what I would do is, cut the old pipe off outside before the shut-off and then fish a cable through the center of the existing pipe from inside the house to the outside.With the galvinized pipe having a bigger diameter then the 3/4 pex, I would have a tappered nosing fit in front of the pex with the cable running through the galvinized and running through the pex ( the entire length of the pex) and clamped and folded over on the last part of the pex. If I use hydralic jack pull it in like you mention (good idea) and pull the gal pipe and cable at the same time...the gal pipe "should" pull it in with the nose of the pex tappered. Im just trying to think of it as a possibility.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    3/4 " pex is not adequate for a house. It's ID is closer to 1/2 inch galv or copper. You need 1" pex or polyethylene.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,286
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pull

    1. The galvanized will have to be a straight piece of pipe.
    2. THe galvanized will probably be so corroded internally that you will nto e able to thread a cable through it.
    3. You need a "Come-A-Long" to pull it so the tension will be directly on the pipe.
    4. You pull against the FRONT of the PEX, not the end.
    5. If it is going to work, you can attach the PEX to the galvanized, and then pull on the galvanized with a chain.
  6. davesnothome

    davesnothome DIY Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I understand what your saying about pulling from the front of the PEX but I just figured that at least if I have a cable of some sort running through both the galvinized and the pex if the connection lets go, ( hoping it won,t ) I would still have the cable attached. Im just thinking about this...tree roots, the deck and all creating a problem. I could remove the deck boards if I had to...but trenching through the tree roots is the biggest concern. Any other alternatives you could think of is much appreciated.
  7. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes, the cable through to the far end of the PEX would be useless since the PEX is not rigid and could not be pulled (actually pushed) either way from the far end. However ...

    Running a cable through the galvanized and just letting it hang loose at both ends could possibly prove useful later on if the galvanized broke somewhere underground. At that point, you would still have a cable running through to use for pulling the remainder of the galvanized either way.

    Another possibility might be to hire a company with a hydro-bore setup where they put a controlled (steerable) "head" on the end of the PEX and use water to clear the way for the Pex to be pushed on through. But for only 17', the cost for that might be a couple-of-hundred dollars per foot or more!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,438
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've used a air compressor equipped dirt boring rig before.

    It's not directional though. It goes in a straight line.

    I tried pulling pipe through before, by grabbing the old galvanized, but had no luck with that.
    Things were breaking and flying everywhere. It was too scary, so I shut that idea down.
  9. that is hard , hard work

    we used to do stupid stuff like that back in the late 70s...... that is very hard , dumb work
    if you have a tree nearby, just forget about it...
    you cant win...

    used the hose and a drill to drill out from the
    basement , it made a hell of a mess

    my father would have a dummie hand dig the hole out by the water meter them we
    would bore out from the home and pray that we would hit the hole.....

    I got the honor of pulling the pipe back,
    and broke my own nose one time useing a 5 foot long galvanized pipe for a lever and pipe wrench on the pipe we were pulling back out... the wrench slipped and basically I smacked myself full force in the face real hard.. left the imprint of the pipe threads in my cheek.

    almost knocked me out , got a black eye and broke nose

    but it probably knocked some sense into me too
    at the same time. I can still see the imprint under my left eye,,



    and that was the last one we ever did,,,,,

    never again......no more.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,398
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    There are plumbing companies that can use water to tunnel and insert a new PVC line. 17' would be very easy for them. Let your fingers do the walking.
  11. davesnothome

    davesnothome DIY Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I live in Ontario, Canada and I can,t locate any such company after searching the internet...however, I have heard of that before.
  12. davesnothome

    davesnothome DIY Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I found a guy who does directional digging....problem is, he has no problem boring down and steering it in through the basement floor. approx over 5ft deep closer to 6ft. He needs to be back 20ft from the starting point and then it tappers down. So at the meter and in front of it towards the house about 7 or 8 ft I would still need to bring in a digger. He quoted me $1200 to just bore the hole, nothing else...no line installed. Another guy quoted me $3500 plus tax to do the whole job with 1" copper. His idea is dig around and ahead of the meter,then breakup the basement floor and find the galvinized pipe and make sure there is no elbows...connect to the gal with 1" copper and with the bucket of the loader drag it out slowly...would only have to be pulled about 10ft if he dug a trench from the meter towards the house. He said he would slide aircraft cable through the gal before dragging it out. Then he would put in a new valve as well at the meter and finish the concrete and make all connections and clean-up. Seems pretty reasonable to me??? Im thinking its gonna be 3500-4000 taxes in. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about....he said it could be less if things go good....yeh right!!! it wont be less...hahah
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,398
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I don't think your original idea of pulling the pipe out will work, but I suppose there is nothing much lose by trying. I think a backhoe may be in you future. I know that tearing up you yard is not a pleasant thought, and certainly there will be a cost involved. You might hire someone with a strong back and weak mind that would hand dig the trench for less that the backhoe and that would not tear up the landscaping so much. I would suggest 1" K copper once your trench is dug.
  14. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If your going to go to all the trouble of digging up the yard it would be crazy to connect to Galv. pipe for the last few feet...
  15. davesnothome

    davesnothome DIY Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    not connecting to galvinized Cass...just connecting to it to try and do a pull through. I want that stuff gone, going to go with 1" copper into the house reduced to 3/4 after the inside meter to a Vanguard Manifold and a PEX home run system. The interior is pretty much already run, just waiting for the new copper coming into the house to bring it all together. I have the Vanguard unit mounted close to the water heater and most of my runs will be short ones. I,ll get some pictures as I get closer to finishing things.
  16. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I think if you can get a strong cable through the galvanized pipe then you can use a pipe bursting head or a pipe splitter to explode/stretch/break the existing pipe and pull the new pipe in at the same time. You would need a come along and something to attach it to.

    My two cents.

    Jason
  17. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Wait ... why are you doing this?

    My 3/4" (I think) galvanized line is original to the house (1923). It's 86+ years old now. When I first moved in pressure was low, flow was low. It was bad enough that water air would suck in upstairs if the washer and sink were on downstairs. Sucked (no pun intended).

    Turns out that after opening and closing the main shutoff a few times (for unrelated plumbing repairs) I seemed to have dislodged some blockage (probably rust and scale) at the valve. Flow and pressure are good now.

    Here in Columbus the line is my responsibility, so I just pay $35/yr to a reputable water line insurance company to fix it in the event that it breaks. My meter is inside the house so if it breaks I don't have to pay for water or the repair. Got anything like that in your area?

    (I do hope it breaks soon so I can get it repaired for peace of mind.)

    Jason
  18. davesnothome

    davesnothome DIY Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeh, I hear ya...but man after seeing one gal pipe that they used to use in the basement for a washer....almost made me sick...that water was nasty rusted. Our water in my area is very hard water...everyone here has water softeners. Id spend that insurance money on your health...LOL . I,ll bite the bullet on this one..get it done and have peace of mind now, as opposed to later....
  19. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,286
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    splitter

    A "COME-A-LONG" to pull a pipe burster on galanized? How about a 10 ton, or larger, hydraulic piston? And even then the pipe would probably pull loose before the splitter could even dent it.
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