House plumbing pressure?

Our house has city water for everything but the outside faucets, which are fed by a well. The well has died, so I plan on cutting the copper pipe coming from the well, and connecting it into the copper city water line just after the shutoff valve where it comes into the house. Luckily, the two lines are only about 3 feet apart from each other. I have never worked with copper pipes before, only plastic. I thought about practicing sweating joints first on small scrap pieces of pipe, sealing one end, and pressurizing the pipe with my air compressor to check for leaks before I attempt this for real on my house plumbing. What kind of pressure is in a typical house with city water plumbing? I am nervous about this project, cause once I cut into the house line, I will have to finish it, and do it right or I will not have any water in the house at all till it IS right. Any thoughts/tips/suggestions are appreciated! Thanks, Earl
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big e lewis wrote:

Typical is 60 PSI so test to 100 PSI or more if you can.
nate
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. Sounds like a workable plan. Get someone knowledgeable to help you. Also good joints are made with clean connections; use new fittings (not expensive) and clean old pipe carefully. Should not need testing in fact the water pressure itself will prove each joint. Been doing our own (plumbing etc.) for over 40 years and had very little trouble. Not even when converting from a well pump (20 to 40 lbs. sq.inch) to municipal water probably at around 60+ lbs. sq.inch. no problems with older joints. Before cutting and soldering; have everything planned and ready. Water off make sure pipes are drained and dried out; other wise the joints will not heat and solder will not flow into each joint correctly. Even a small drip of water will prevent proper soldering! Not too hard to do. Someone helping you may have most of the gear needed; so you may only need to buy some solder, flux, sandpaper and a small propane bottle of gas. i.e. The consumables. Good luck with your project.
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terry wrote:

A few notes -
1. Be sure you are using the current lead free solder and flux.
2. Cut and dry fit (assemble) the entire new section before soldering any of it.
3. After dry fitting the assembly, assemble and solder it progressively, a couple joints at a time, cleaning and fluxing each connection well.
4. Trying to pre assemble too much before soldering will melt away flux from the furthest joints without heating them enough for the flux to work properly and trying to work all the way through in one shot will tend to overheat sections.
5. Be sure to apply plenty of solder all around the joint, wiping off the excess with a slightly damp rag when done.
6. Do not apply the torch to the solder, rather heat the fittings with the torch until the solder melts readily when applied to the fitting on the opposite side from the torch. At that point remove the torch and run the solder all the way around the joint allowing the capillary action to draw the solder into the joint.
7. Figure about 1"-2" of the solder should be consumed for each joint on 1/2" - 3/4" dia. copper plumbing. More than that may build up inside the pipe and restrict flow, less risks an incompletely soldered joint which may leak after a few days from a small flaw the was plugged with flux residue.
8. When plumbing solo it is helpful to have two push pins with 16" of string tied between them. This assembly is a great help in supporting a section of pipe between floor joists wile soldering joints.
9. In some cases it is helpful to pre assemble and solder a section of an assembly out of place i.e. on the floor on a couple firebricks rather than try to solder a bunch of joints in a location that is difficult to access. The assembly can be dry fit in place and a Sharpie used to mark joint alignment to be sure you have it correct when set on the firebricks.
10. A wet rag or one of the fiberglass heat blocking mats is a big help in avoiding scorch marks on nearby joists and studs.
11. Use MAPP gas, not propane, it will make life a lot easier, as will a trigger start torch such as the Bernzomatic TS series.
12. Be sure not to overheat the seats and stem packing of any valves. Some valves can be partly disassembled before soldering to remove and protect the seats, others cannot. If you are getting much discoloration of the copper fittings from your soldering, you are overheating the fittings and should practice more before soldering valves. Remember to heat until the solder melts when it contacts the joint and then remove the torch.
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Nate Nagel wrote:

That sounds a bit high to me. Triangulate the height of your local water tower and multiply by 0.433.
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Depending on your water prices, you might want to revive the well. Watering can be very expensive.
If the outside faucets are not all standard above ground faucets, for instance, if you have a buried sprinkler system, you will need to install anti-backflow devices to avoid contaminated water from being sucked back into the pipes in event of a water system failure.
You will have to get ALL the water out of the pipes where you solder or you will not get them hot enough.
Bob
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Or if your energy prices are high, the cost of electricity to pump the water (plus the amortized costs of repairing the well) might be higher than the anticipated city water costs. YMMV.
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In addition, most sewer fees are computed using water use so that portion of the bill goes up also, even if the water is going to ground. Just as a point of interest we pay $4.66 per thousand
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wrote Re Re: House plumbing pressure?:

Yes, I forgot about sewer. I'm on a septic tank, so we don't get charged a sewer fee, but If we did it would be based on the water used through the meter just as you describe.
Does the $4.66/K include the sewer fee?
I'm curious now. Does anyone else know what their city or county water costs are?
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West Central Florida: Base charge - Water: $1.05 / K gallons (1st 5500) $1.69 / K gallons ( > 5500)
Sewer charge: $3.44 / K gallons
plus Utility tax of 10% on water consumed.
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big e lewis wrote:

Hi, My house has a pressure regulator which is st at 60PSI. Outside faucet and sprinkler have a back flow check valve.
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Quote: e01e wrote on Sat, 25 August 2007 13:49 ----------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------
I know any self-respecting professional plumber would probably not use these but the last copper plumbing job I did (replacing hot water heater) I found some "pre soldered" fittings at Home Depot.
See: http://www.nextag.com/no-solder-copper-fittings/search-html
These fittings have the solder built into the little "bump" and you just clean the pipe (I put flux on too) and hit them with the torch and when they get to temp the solder flows and you've got a good joint.
I could only find them at Home Depot (not Lowes).
-- Richard Thoms President - Top Service Pros, Inc. Connecting Homeowners and Local Service Professionals http://www.TopServicePros.com
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big e lewis wrote:

You could always use compression fittings. They take no skill. They are more expensive than soldering, but if you are only doing one or two, would still cost less than the tools you need for soldering.
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When you plan to cut into the main house line, add a good quality ball valve in series so that you can cut the house water off easily when needed and also add a "union" fitting. If your soldering is less than perfect it will allow you to uncouple the union fitting so that you can drain the water out of the pipe and re-solder it. Remember to add a ball valve in your branch line so that it can be turned off as needed. You can't have too many valves.
One hint with soldering, especially with the lead free solder, clean both the pipe and inside of the fitting very well. As for the fitting clean the edge and about an 1/8th of an inch all around the outside of the fitting. Flux the pipe, flux the inside of the fitting, flux the edge of the fitting and flux the 1/8" outside edge. When the pipe and fitting are hot enough to melt the solder by just touching it to the joint, be sure to run the solder ALL the way around the joint while building a fillet against the edge of the fitting and even slightly over the outside where you cleaned it. The new lead free solders do not melt and run into and around the whole joint as easily as the lead solders used to, by building a fillet around the edge of the joint, you ensure that you have the solder filling the joint, and will be less likely to be a leaky joint.
I just did a whole lot of joints and when I was tired, I didn't follow my own advice on two joints, and they both were leakers. It takes less time and effort to do it correctly the first time than to waste time trying to drain a pipe and fix a leaker.

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On Aug 25, 1:49 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (big e lewis) wrote:

You're lucky to have both a well hole and municipal, many towns with municipal supply wont permit you to drill a new well, but do grandfather in the old wells. I'd consider that once you put it out of service. In Chicago water used to be free, up into the 1980's for many.
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