How to replace water pipe

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As a follow up to my previous question - suppose I decide to replace the pipe. What kind of pipe and fittings would I use. Is there a standard for this type of work?
I've laid sprinkler pipes before with PVC, but I'm not sure I want PVC for my main water feed from the meter to the house. Is it OK to use PVC for this, or should I stick to metal pipe? And if so, what kind of metal pipe is commonly used?
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Around here, NJ, black poly pipe is typically being used in new construction from the street to the house. Inside the house they transition to copper, pvc, etc using a barb fitting. Sounds like the easiest and cheapest solution. Local codes will vary. I would go with plastic unless prohibited. Steel is out because it rusts. Copper is expensive.
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wrote:

Are there problems caused by using plastic instead of metal? Copper isn't cheap, but it's only a 25 foot run, and I might have a few pieces left over from when I re-plumbed my house a few years ago. I know how to work with copper, and probably have most of the pieces parts already. Is there any particular grade of copper that should be used for underground plumbing? The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of replacing the run from meter to house with copper.
FWIW I live in Oregon, but am not familiar with local building codes with respect to outdoor water pipes.
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wrote:

http://www.copper.org/publications/pub_list/pdf/copper_tube_handbook.pdf Underground Water Services Use Type M hard for straight lengths joined with fittings, and Type L soft where coils are more convenient.
Water Distribution Systems Use Type M for above and below ground.
Chilled Water MainsUse Type M for all sizes.
Drainage and Vent Systems Use Type DWV for above- and belowground waste, soil and vent lines, roof and building drains and sewers.
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Well that is pretty straight forward - type M for above and below ground. I have a couple of lengths of type M in my basement, maybe enough to do this job. This leak is costing me $5 a day in water down the toilet, and I'm highly motivated to stop the leak, even if it means bypassing all the old pipe.
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That is the type M, right?
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On 5/26/2012 9:57 PM, Ook wrote:

I'm not sure which type is which, but you'll want the 3/4" soft variety for this application. It comes on a roll.
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Soft on a roll is K copper, if memory serves.
Me, I'd want the rigid stuff with the thicker wall.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

I'm not sure which type is which, but you'll want the 3/4" soft variety for this application. It comes on a roll.
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Steve Barker
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On Mon, 28 May 2012 20:32:38 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Rigid is not approved for underground as far as I know. Could be wrong - but I'd be wanting the flexible myself.

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On 5/28/2012 9:53 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Me too, our water supplier only accepts type K soft tubing.

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Anyone know why this is? Doesn't make sense, to me.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Me too, our water supplier only accepts type K soft tubing.
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On May 29, 6:01am, "Stormin Mormon"

I checked our codes. Type M copper is allowed for underground usage. Not sure why they don't stop at L, but M is definitely allowed for outdoor plumbing.
The frost line here is 12". And it would be one severe and hellish winter to actually freeze the ground that deep. Typically we don't get enough below freezing weather go freeze the ground past two or three inches, and even that is unusual.
Guess it's time to bite the bullet and replace the pipe. I got to thinking, what would I do if I found a leak? You don't just unscrew a fitting and screw a new one on. When fifty feet of pipe come together, how do you replace a tee, for example? You can't screw the pipe in, the pipe won't rotate. it's still buried in the ground and goes off to Gosh knows where, you are not going to rotate the pipe to screw it into the fitting.
I can't use a compression fitting, the pipe is too old and pitted. Severely pitted, it would be very difficult to clean it up to the point a compression fitting would hold.
So today's task: Finish digging up the straight shot from meter to house. Replace it with a nice new shiny copper pipe. End of leak.
Fortunately, I re-plumbed 80% of my house with copper last year, so I still have solder and two propane torches, left over pipe and fittings, flux, all that good stuff. And I (almost) know how to solder copper together. If I had done this in the first place instead of digging up pipe, I would be done by now.
PS: The previous owner of the house buried some 4" (or so) pipe for rain gutter drainage. Why, oh why, did the genius put it right above the water pipe? Do you know what it is like to dig up 3/4 water pipe that has 4" plastic pipe on top of it? I lost my motivation to keep digging at that point.....Note to self... NEVER put drainage pipe above water pipe - THINK about what is going to happen when you have to dig up the stuff you are burying in the ground.
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On Tue, 29 May 2012 09:01:17 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Any ground shift will be accepted by the soft tubing, while hard drawn "copper pipe" will be compromized. flexible copper pipe, and NOT in a perfectly straight line, is best. Absorbs expansion and contraction from temp changes without "growing" into the house or "shrinking" away.
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Another reason to use the soft copper tube. NO hidden, buried fittings if you buy a long enouigh roll
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On 5/29/2012 8:01 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

too brittle. would probably be ruined during the backfill.
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On Mon, 28 May 2012 20:32:38 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Think about the ground shifting, even when being backfilled.
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On 5/28/2012 11:19 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

yes, a good reason to have the soft copper set in a wide trench in an "S" fashion. Plenty o' flex room.
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On 5/26/2012 9:03 PM, Ook wrote:

FIVE dollars a daY!?!?!?. THAT much water should be coming to the surface. (in a raging torrent)
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My consumption went from 8-10 to 48. Thousands of gallons. It rains all the time and the soil is still mud. Also, the soil here drains *very* well. That much water would just drain down to the water table, which is only 10-15 feed down. When it rains enough my basement starts to take on water, and a few years ago we got so much rain, the water table rose high enough for my basement to be two feet deep in water. I had just bought the house and didn't know the sump pump was unplugged...but I digress....
My normal water bill is less than $100 a month. Last month it was $250, $150 more than usual. Yeah, it's costing me about five bucks a day. But I can't find ANY sign of a leak anywhere. But the water meter spinner is always spinning, so the water is going somewhere. If I shut off the valve, it stops spinning, so I know there is a leak...somewhere. And I've shut off the only inlet into the house to make sure nothing in the house is leaking. Somewhere outside the house is a leak...somewhere....
I've dug up about 2/3 of my pipe. No leak. It has to be somewhere. There is no obvious wet or soft spot anywhere. I have a 30' stretch that goes under a concrete slab, and I'm afraid the leak is under the slab.
I'm done killing myself digging up this friggin' pipe. tomorrow I start cutting and capping. I'll start at the far end, cut and cap, check the meter. I'll keep cutting and capping until I'm at the tee from the main line if that is what it takes to stop this friggin' leak. If I have to I'll scrap the entire outdoor pipe system and replace the straight line from the meter to the house with all new pipe that goes nowhere else. *That* is guaranteed to stop the leak :-)
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On 5/28/2012 5:12 PM, Steve Barker wrote:

Depends on soil conditions. About 10 years ago we could hear a strong water running sound all of the time. After some sleuthing it seemed like it was outside. We have the usual indoor meter and the service line runs out to a valve that is buried 3' deep at the curb. They term that connection the "corporation" for some reason.
I borrowed a key from a friend and turned the valve off and the running water noise stopped. I called the water company. When they dug out the area around the valve they found that there was a crack in the tubing on their side of the valve. The substantial water flow was simply draining into the ground.
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