water main line burst questions

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by chris fox, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. chris fox

    chris fox New Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    near phoenix AZ
    The other morning I found my main water line to the house burst below my driveway, water seeping up through expansion cracks I am getting quotes for the repair and noticing the pricing is all over. I am hoping to get some feedback on an appopriate cost range.
    The run from meter to house is approx. 75'
    The length of drive way is 3 car garage.
    I live in Phoenix and the house was built in 1995 and suspect PVC is used for most of the run between meter and house to reduce costs. My guess is the water line is run through an outer pipe belwo the driveway.
    The line(soft copper) that is visiable at house shutoff is 1"

    So the range of quote are $700 to $3800.
    The upper ranges are quoting blue staking and boring equipment and the low range is digging at each side of the driveway and shoving 1/2" copper through the damaged PVC.
    I am concerned with pipe reduction for a length of run below the driveway, should I be?
    The high numbers seem really high to replace a 1" pipe even though this is below a driveway. Expected fair range I should consider? Is $2500+ a fair price for quaility work?

    Any help will be appreciated...
    Chris
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I won't attempt to answer you main question, but a 1/2" line is too small. There are other ways to punch a new pipe under driveways. PVC is an acceptable medium as is copper. It would also be possible to cut the concrete and dig a new trench with a small shovel back hoe.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,794
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I can't see you using less then 1" pipe there.
    A 1/2" pipe is only good for two plumbing fixtures. You can't even run a full bath with 1/2"
    You can barely run a one bath home on 3/4", and you have three baths? That's one inch at the least.
    http://www.terrylove.com/watersize.htm

    I would bore under the driveway with the proper size pipe. I can't comment on costs; I'm not there. You can check with the BBB on references.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  4. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Messages:
    383
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    how big is the house -- # of bathrooms, pool, etc?

    30' of 1/2 inch sounds really small -- Not a pro, but I wouldn't do it without running the numbers first...which I'm sure would fail.

    edit: I see this has already been shot down.
  5. chris fox

    chris fox New Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    near phoenix AZ
    The house is just under 2400 with 3 full bathrooms and pool.
    I ruled out the 1/2" pipe option just didnt feel right
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    They SELDOM slid the pipe through a sleeve under the driveway. There are many ways to run a pipe under the driveway without paying for a horizontal drilling contractor to do it. Anything less than 100' I would use 1" soft copper. BlueStake is FREE, so that has nothing to do with the cost of installing the line. In fact, sometimes I just had the city relocate the water meter to the other side of the driveway so the pipe did not have to go under the concrete. The cost is miniscule, since you already have a meter.
  7. chris fox

    chris fox New Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    near phoenix AZ
    Hj,
    I wish I had know about your services, i eould have contacted you. I am 100st/FLW area in Scottsdale.
    Moving the meter is very interesting but think this would be a nightmare to get approved. Is this something my plumber can get done or a contractor from the city of Scottsdale? The property is in the process of being blue staked. I have electric box on one side of the property and a underground electric slab on th other side of the property.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is VERY EASY to have done in Scottsdale, there is no "approval". You just go to the headquarters on San Salvador, pay a very small fee< (usually a LOT less than boring under the concrete), and then put the flag where you want the meter.
  9. chris fox

    chris fox New Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    near phoenix AZ
    Interesting! Quite surprised they would cut water off, tear into to street to tap into water line for little cost. Running a pipe up to the house shutoff valve would then be less than 25'
    I plan to head over there this morning.
    Thanks.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You have already paid for the meter connection, so they make the new one and disconnect the old. Just tell them you need the meter relocated because of the driveway. I usually install the new line to the meter location, then either run a hose or PEX from the old meter across the driveway, (put piece of 1x2 on either side if you use PEX so you can drive over it. They will then connect it to the new meter when it is installed.
  11. chris fox

    chris fox New Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    near phoenix AZ
    HJ,
    I found I am running PB pipe and the plumber didnt warranty it and strongly suggested to replace the entire line. It appears the PB lclass action suit was closed 3 years ago, so no recouping any repair costs.
    I currently have a 2x4 cut in the driveway where the PB was patched.
    Having the meter moved is almost inevitable now, I am getting beaucratic responses from the desk people but once having the transmittal and fee paid I expect to talk to someone with questions and get a flag for new placement of meter.
    I am told the costs is $275 within 15' and cost up to $810 for 1" line anything over 15'. They werent able to clearly answer my question about the footage. Is the 15' the distance from the street water main or this distance from the existing meter. Since I want to move the meter parallel to the street line(other side of the driveway) I technically would be within 15' to the main street line. This depends on where the actual water main is. Middle of the street, under side walk?

    The aternative is pulling PEX through using the PB line pull under one side of the driveway and pull to the other side of the driveway, maybe possible to use the same corridor the PB is curently in?
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,794
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I wouldn't take that bet!
    Pulling plastic pipe out from under a poured driveway that handles three cars?
    That's a lot of friction. I tried pulling a steel pipe through a two lane driveway with a tow truck and that was a no-go.
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    That is a lot more than I remember paying, but then it has been a few years ago. PB is NOT laid in a perfectly straight line, so you will usually pull the pipe apart before you get the new line all the way across the driveway.
  14. chris fox

    chris fox New Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    near phoenix AZ
    Yes, it ended up being $810 for the 1" line. The price was less for 1/2 and 3/4 lines.
    So now I need to get updated quotes for running a line from the new meter to the house approx. 15-18' which needs to include the $78 permit.
    What should I expect to pay?
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Dig the ditch and it should only be about of three hundred dollars, or so, including the copper tubing.
  16. chris fox

    chris fox New Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    near phoenix AZ
    HJ,
    Thansk for the feedback and suggestions, much appreciated. The work that needs to be done(trench and water line approx. 15') something you would like to quote? I would need trenching quoted as well or a referred company to do it.
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