Long, long line from meter to home...advice please

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by syspig, May 23, 2013.

  1. syspig

    syspig New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    Greetings,

    Not a professional, and I'll hire one to do the home when it's built - but getting the water to the house is within my skill set. Not to mention, given the length and my trenching ability I'd rather do it myself to save $$. What I could use advice on, is proper line size from main to house given my situation. I'll be using poly. The details:

    - 3/4" meter

    - High water pressure at the meter - at least 80 psi. I was advised by our community water provider, it would be wise to install a pressure regulator right after the meter, and perhaps another at the house given the continued elevation drop (about 150' total.). I was also advised it might be a good idea to put in shutoff valves at the junction of each 300' poly section, to facilitate any future need to find leaks and/or perform repairs.

    - First leg (meter to pole barn): 775'. Elevation drop of about 125' from meter. Pole barn will have toilet/shower/sink/laundry/two hose bibs.

    - Second leg (pole barn to future home): 250-300'. Another 25' in elevation drop from the pole barn.

    Home will be typical 3 bed/2 bath.

    So...line size suggestion? And, 160 or 200psi? Any more info needed from me to accurately determine such things?

    Thanks much in advance for the likely incoming education.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You do not need a PRV at the meter, but if the building is actually 150 below the meter, then you will have about 150 psi at the building which means you will need one there. The pipe length only affects the pipe size as regards to friction loss, so I would install 1 1/2" or 2" pipe for that lenght.
  3. syspig

    syspig New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    So...safe to assume I should go with 200psi minimum? 160 doesn't seem to leave much margin.

    Also - I'm getting conflicting info locally on how to splice the larger poly. My non-plumber excavator who has put in tons of water line, says good quality brass barbs and stainless clamps are sufficient. The water company - they suggested the more expensive brass unions for the larger stuff. Cost isn't a huge issue, as I'll only need two of them. Thoughts?
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Did you read what you wrote? Your Non Plumber excavator (aka ditch digger) says good quality brass barbs and clamps are OK. Your water company who experts in the business of water supply says you should use brass unions. You say cost isn't a big issue. Maybe you should check with you barber or banker. Just kidding of course.
  5. syspig

    syspig New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    Heh...I can see how my brevity might have been interpreted as stupidity. Perhaps the wordier version below won't erase that perception, but I'll give it a shot.

    The ditch digger has put in miles of water line around here for years, and is actually a contractor frequently referred by our local water company. So, while not a plumber by trade - he has quite a bit of experience in water supply lines. And, the water company didn't say NOT to use barbs - just the opinion of the guy who was installing the meter, that he preferred the unions.

    And, while cost is not an overriding issue - two brass unions aren't chump change, particularly for 1.5". Based on the searches I've done here, there seem to be plenty of professionals who use barbs...hence my confusion on the conflicting advice.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,118
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The water compay may be talking about Ford couplings, whic are beefier.
    And you're only talkkng a few bucks more. Why not?

    Both are brass. I have seen both the couplings go bad, and the pipe split years later. It's impossible to be perfect on this.
    I've also seen high pressure and poly, and the pipe tends to expand. The water district has a point about bringing the pressure down before you put it though all that pipe.
    Doing repairs later on stretched out pipe can be a bear. By all means, get the higher rated pipe.

    http://terrylove.com/watersize.htm
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I use poly compression unions to join the pipe, and schedule 40 pipe.
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