what pipe size with 5/8" meter, to replace old pipe?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by sbaitso, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. sbaitso

    sbaitso New Member

    Messages:
    19
    I'm considering replacing the old galvanized pipe in my basement with copper. Since I've never sweated pipes before, I'm doing alot of research and reading on the subject before I begin, and many questions are starting to come up. This forum has been a great source of info.

    The house was built in the 1920's and a mix of copper and galvanized pipe is running through the house currently. Luckily all of the upstairs fixtures have 1/2" copper running to them. The basement is another story. Basically the current setup is this:

    1. Lead Supply Main into house (2" maybe, never really measured)
    2. Shutoff
    3. 5/8" Water Meter
    4. Shutoff
    5. Small length of 1/2" copper tubing
    6. 3/4" Pressure Reduction Valve
    7. Another small length of 1/2" Copper to join to existing galvanized line

    8. Then galvanized pipe runs the length of the basement, where it T's off to the hot water heater (where it is again joined to copper, it was recently replaced by previous owners) and the 1/2" copper running to the upstairs fixtures.

    Why the previous owners simply didn't replace all the galvanized pipe is beyond me.

    I would assume that for a one bathroom house like mine, using at least 3/4" pipe would be best, but are the 1/2" inch fittings that connnect the meter and the pressure reduction valve too small? with a 5/8" meter, would I even see a benefit to using 3/4" copper? could I get away with using 1/2" from the meter to feed the house adequetly?

    My thought is that if I am going to spend the money on the materials, I might as well get it right the first time, but I'm not sure I have the expertise to mess around with the pipe around the meter and pressure reduction valve, as they are kinda crammed into a small small spot.

    I'm begining to wonder if perhaps I should consider paying a professional, but would love to do it myself.

    thanks for any advice
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,287
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    size

    The size of the meter and the size of the pipe are two different things. A 5/8" meter might be able to deliver all the water you need, but depending on the distance to the house, you could need a pipe larger than 3/4" to get the necessary volume at the faucets. 1/2" pipe would never be adequate under any circumstances.
  3. sbaitso

    sbaitso New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Thanks for the reply...

    If I undestand correctly, just because my meter is 5/8, I could still use 1" pipe after the meter, as the meter size doesn't necessarily dictate the pipe size.

    I'm guessing that the 1/2" pipes that connect the meter to my PRV are too small though.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    That's right. You lose volume over distance because of friction. The larger the pipe, the less loss. Obviously, this could be carried to extreme, but I'd go with 1" from the meter. It isn't that much more expensive for material and the labor is the same. Drop to 3/4" when you come into the house.
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    How far are you from the street?
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,287
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pipe

    In some cases, a 3/4" meter could require a 1 1/2" pipe to the building if it was an extremely long run.
  7. sbaitso

    sbaitso New Member

    Messages:
    19
    The meter is probably about 40-50 ft from the street (city water). I should clarify... the meter is actually in the basement, and I won't be replacing the line to the meter... only from the meter. The line I'd need to replace is about 30 ft long before it starts branching off to the varios fixtures.

    attached are some pics of the where the service enters the house...

    Attached Files:

  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Just use 3/4" and branch off with 1/2" to the fixtures. 3/4" in and out of the water heater.
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