Leak in water line outside ... what is ...

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Honest Bill, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Honest Bill

    Honest Bill New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Arkansas
    the best way to fix it?

    We have a 60's ranch with about 25 feet of galvanized water pipe from the water meter at the street to the point where the water enters the house (pretty much a straight shot). Our soil is rocky (Boston Mountains in NW Arkansas) and there are two large trees near the water line.

    We just discovered a leak in our water line (the water pipes in the house sound like water is running, even though nothing is turned on) but don't know exactly where it is. With the help of our plumber and the city water department, we've isolated the leak to outside the house. I've been told by a couple of plumbers that it's not worth trying to locate the leak and fix it because of the age (40 years) and type (galvanized) of pipe. Rather, we've been told that we just need to bite the bullet ... dig a trench and put in a new pipe. Time of year (cold) and expense are unfortunate, as well as the fact that there is a concrete block wall and fence that the water line goes under.

    Anyway, one plumber says to go back with "tough pipe" (plastic?) and the other says to use sleeved copper. Any suggestions as to which one is best for our application?
  2. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    I'm partial to copper, others will suggest plastic.
    The major point of consideration is your water content...explore how well copper inside your home has held up, at the water heater for example.
  3. Honest Bill

    Honest Bill New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Thanks for the quick reply, Grumpy.

    Pardon the ignorance, but exactly what do I check at the water heater to see how well the copper has held up?

    Also, one plumber mentioned that earth movement and tree roots are a couple of advantages to "tough pipe" ... it can bend a little, whereas the copper will shear and fail.
  4. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,339
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    I have drilled water lines thru the rocky hill sides and sandy bottems of the
    Little Miami river.Used only T/K soft copper never had a problem.Hydrazion water drill.
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