Burying a water line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by dripdrip, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. dripdrip

    dripdrip New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    NE
    Hi. I'm burying a water line between buildings. I'm hoping to use polyethylene, and was told to surround it with sand by a plumber. (Yes, I'm going below the frost line.)

    Can I sleeve it in schedule 40 PVC *instead* of using the sand?

    Thanks,

    DD
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  2. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    970
    Location:
    ct
    Yep, we do it all the time using 4" sch 40 for the sleeve
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,818
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The one I did a couple of days ago was surrounded by "dirt".
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,054
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Why would you avoid using sand around the pipe? You don't need to use a plumber to shovel sand. Any DIY'er can do it. You don't need a truckload of sand. You can pick up a few bags of sand at most any big box store.
  5. Caduceus

    Caduceus Master Plumber

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It's always advisable to 'snake' HDPE or PEX water services in the ditch, y'know kinda side to side like a snake (not snake like a sewer snake). This allows for expansion and contraction of the pipe. In my area we don't sleeve with pvc except for the last 10 feet or less before entering the home and any sleeving in the ditch is done with the next larger size of HDPE so that there is some giving when expansion/contraction occurs.
  6. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    425
    Location:
    California
    Another vote for sand.
  7. Caduceus

    Caduceus Master Plumber

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yeah, I left that out of my last post. I would just do sand, too. Best protective fill for plastic pipe. You could even run a locator (copper) wire in the ditch in case you need to find it in the future.
  8. dripdrip

    dripdrip New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    NE
    Well it's about a 100 foot run, and the backhoe bucket is 16" wide. So roughly how much sand would I need? Does it just need a little all the way around the pipe?

    Thanks!
  9. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    425
    Location:
    California
    Good thing that you asked!

    The pipe should have 2-3 in under it and 2-3 in around it. The rest can be dirt.
  10. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,314
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Don't go 16 inches wide, save sand.

    Using bag sand is a bit if a joke.

    Get a load delivered.


    Good Luck on your project.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,818
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    About 2 cubic yards or a bunch of bags, neither of which are "cheap".
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,054
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Well... that was before I knew it was a 100 foot long trench a foot and a half wide. I don't know how deep the frostline is in NE, but I assumed a trencher cutting a 3 inch wide trench.

    That's not to say you cannot make a narrow trench in the bottom of that mammoth one. One has to wonder what the existing material is and just how hostile it might be to the pipe.
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,818
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I either use the "hostile" dirt, or let the customer furnish, and place, the sand, then backfill the trench.
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