Leaking water main

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Seattle38, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Seattle38

    Seattle38 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Bothell
    Hi!
    Well, I've got a leak in the main between the meter and the house. The existing main is in an unknown region of a vast front yard and I've begun to trench for a new line. I plan to install type k soft copper and I have to make three bends to overcome a small rise between the meter and where it enters the house; the line is about 50 feet long. I have a few questions:

    1) the copper pipe will enter the basement below grade (as it does now), should I sleeve the pipe as it travels through the concrete wall? and with what should I sleeve it with? (dear Liza....)

    2) to prevent leaking around the main as it enters the basement, what should I seal it with?

    3) Should I sleeve the entire main to the meter with something to protect it? Rigid pipe won't work given the bends I have to make, are there other options?

    4) How does the main connect to the meter? what is typical?

    5)The soil is pretty rocky, should I bury the line in sand before backfilling?

    Thanks!
  2. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    1. Yes. PVC will do.

    2. I usually use some sort of roofing patch. Anything that is all weather resistance and ofcourse water proof.

    3. You dont' need to sleeve the copper once it's inside the house.

    4. The meter usually has a 3/4" nipple coming off of each side of the meter.

    5. Yes, lots of sand.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    In Bothell, the water meter will have a 3/4" female fitting. You can use a 3/4" male adapter, short piece of copper and a 1" x 3/4" coupling if you have a two or three bath home.
    If you have four bathrooms, you will need to increase to 1-1/4"

    You may have a hard time finding type K copper, but a lot of L Soft is used in Bothell.
    You can also use poly pipe or PVC
  4. Seattle38

    Seattle38 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Bothell
    So, type L soft will be ok for in ground use? Any sleeve or protection between the meter and the house?

    do you have a picture of what the fittings at the meter look like? I'm having a hard time visualizing

    what do you recommend for making bends, standard tubing bender?

    any issues with sweating Type L soft?
  5. Seattle38

    Seattle38 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Bothell
    You're in Bothell?! Can I entice you to drop by and take a quick look for a beer? You'll appreciate the amount of excavation I've had to do by hand, what a nightmare...
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've never used a tubing bender for 1" L Soft, you just roll the tubing out into the ditch.
    If you need a few fittings at the meter, that's fine too.
    No Lead solder works fine with water soluble flux.
    When you have the meter dug up, you will see what I mean.
    The setter is lower then the meter.
  7. Seattle38

    Seattle38 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Bothell
    The reason I ask about bending is I have to make three bends to go up a small rise and around a corner. Is this tubing easy to bend without a bender; no kinking?

    So, any thoughts on sleeving the line from the house to the meter? some sort of flexible wrapping or anything like that? or is this overkill?

    What do you recommend doing with the pipe as it travels through the foundation wall into the basement? sleeve with PVC? and what do you recommend using to seal around the sleeve and the copper pipe?
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,136
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Since soft copper comes in rolls, you can always cut a section, flip it, and use couplings to put it back toether.
    Copper doesn't like being bent and rebent. Each time it gets stiffer.

    I wrap copper with UPC tape, and then use concete plug, or the roofing patch should work too.

    You could easily sleeve the pipe, but I don't normally do this unless you have large rocks.
    Closed cell foam would work.
  9. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    If you can use it where you live I would use pex for the water line, a lot cheaper then copper.

    If you have to use copper check your local code, most require joints to be silver soldered.

    Like the other post said, just use sand around the pipe, make surre you don't drop any rocks on it.
  10. Seattle38

    Seattle38 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Bothell
    Yeah, I've got rocks, grape to baseball sized, mostly golf ballish.

    Unfortunately, I have to make a couple of bends to go around a corner of the foundation and down a small rise. Completely sleeving the service line with rigid PVC won't work. I could sleeve the longer run sections, but wouldn't water just sit in there and cause problems? I guess I could drill holes in the bottom of the PVC. closed cell foam might work as well.

    Pex; I'm concerned about a plastic taste in the water and potential leaching of chemicals into our drinking water. I know it's cheaper, but I'd feel better about using copper. My wife has a wicked sense of taste, and god forbid I lay out a fresh pex line only to be buggered with the "babe, the water tastes funny" line. Last thing I need after trenching by hand for 8 hours, maybe after 4 or 5 beers.
  11. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    The mains bringing water to your house are more than likely plastic pipe and I garantee it would be all in her head if she said she could taste anything from pex piping! lol

    The good thing with pex is the flex it has, you could easily run the line in one peice. Then bed it in sand under and over the pipe. With copper you would either have to connect the peices by compresion fittings or silver soulder at least thats the code up here.
Similar Threads: Leaking water
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Opened Toiled Flange in Basement, water is leaking out! Jun 11, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Water Leaking on back of house Feb 17, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Hot water feed leaking from boiler Jan 30, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Advice on steam radiator air vent leaking water Jan 27, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Water leaking from clear tube Nov 27, 2013

Share This Page