Need new water main - have a few questions

A fairly big local plumbing company is in the middle of replacing my sewer laterals. It's almost done - the pits of the trenchless replacement are open waiting for the city inspector before they finish up the work (hopefully, making the cleanouts accessible and filling, compacting and some concrete replacement).
In the process of doing the work my water main busted. They tell it was already leaking. When I told them my water usage was minimal (less than $10/two_months), the work crew said the leak had been smaller, but they'd exacerbated it. At that point (a week ago) it was (by my estimation) 1/2 to 1 cups/minute, but over the next couple of days increased 10 fold and I've got the water shut off now, and have my house water supplied by virtue of some agreeable neighbors who let me hook up my house water to theirs with a couple of garden hoses.
The company has given me what seems like an OK bid ($2300) to replace the old 1/2" galvanized and obviously badly rusted water main pipe with copper. The owner of the company refuses to take responsibility for the busted line, and I am sure not going to contest his position on that. I've never taken anyone to court and I'm happy with the work they've done and they did bid my sewer work low, doing a free camera inspection in the process. Besides that, they cleared out a clogged tub drain for free!
The owner came over and gave me an estimate and said he'd use 3/4" L (around 30 feet all in all) underground and go to the house and then use 3/4" M (around another 30 feet) to connect to the house plumbing, which is old 1/2" galvanized.
The pressure of the water coming from my neighbor's house is 90 psi, as measured by another plumber (a sole proprietor) who came over here to bid the job. I'd use that guy, but it looks like he'd use an uninsured worker and since I don't have a general homeowner's policy, it looks like I better pass on him. He said I MIGHT be required to put in a pressure regulator if the work is inspected.
Questions:
1. Should I be happy with 3/4" for the supply up to the house plumbing? The utility tells me that it's 5/8" that supplies the meter to my house. I ask because the response at alt.home.repair was that I should insist on 1". The house is 1925 square feet, there are two bathrooms and an average sized yard. I have a washing machine and no dishwasher presently, but may install one.
2. Should I ask for L size under the house? Code says M or larger. The SP plumber says that people often complain (especially initially) when running new copper water mains under the house about the noise of the water running in the copper pipe. Would thicker pipe lessen that effect? He also said that plastic hangers are quieter than copper hangers.
Thanks for any clarifications.
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How much water do you need? A 1" supply can carry 9 gallons per minute. Half that for a 3/4". See http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pluminfo.html Do you want to shower and run the washing machine and wash dishes and flush at the same time? The water will have less velocity in the larger pipe and make less noise. The 5/8" meter can be replaced with a larger one later if needed. Your pipe cannot be enlarged after installation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
:> Questions: :> :> 1. Should I be happy with 3/4" for the supply up to the house plumbing? :> The utility tells me that it's 5/8" that supplies the meter to my house. :> I ask because the response at alt.home.repair was that I should insist :> on 1". The house is 1925 square feet, there are two bathrooms and an :> average sized yard. I have a washing machine and no dishwasher :> presently, but may install one. :> : :How much water do you need? A 1" supply can carry 9 gallons per minute. :Half that for a 3/4". :See http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pluminfo.html :Do you want to shower and run the washing machine and wash dishes and flush :at the same time? :The water will have less velocity in the larger pipe and make less noise. :The 5/8" meter can be replaced with a larger one later if needed. Your pipe :cannot be enlarged after installation.
I would think that 1" could supply a lot more than 9 gallons/minute. I believe I get about 4 gallons/minute out of my garden hose and similar from just about any spigot in my house that doesn't have a flow restrictor on it. And that's with the old 1/2" galvanized water main pipe. Also, all the house plumbing is old rusted 1/2" galvanized pipe and the interior (when I've had a chance to see some) is significantly less than 1/2" due to rusting over the years.
I don't personally anticipate using a whole lot of water. I WOULD like the noise to be negligable if possible, or as close to that as possible. When I sell the house, the new tenants will have different requirements. I'd like the house as accommodating as possible for that reason.
The plumber is coming over tomorrow and will start the water main replacement. Maybe I'll ask how much extra he'd charge to use 1" instead of 3/4". People tell me the pressure won't be better, but less noise is something I think may well be worth it.
I was at Home Depot over the weekend. 10' of 1" L copper tubing at Home Depot is $36. 3/4" is $25. So assuming a total length of 70", the additional cost would be $77. I presume the plumber gets better rates than that, so maybe it would be less.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes it will. However the velocity increases and noise increases with velocity. I used to live in a house where you could hear the water flowing clear thru the house. The house I have now is silent. I would re pipe the house too. The plumber may pay more for pipe. He needs high service.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
1 inch can give a shit load more than 9gpm. 3/4 is fine for most on city water with high pressure. i use 1" on well systems all the way to pressure tank. if you are gonna dig a ditch why not use 1" if price is soo close. if you ever want iragation or something you will be set.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 5 Jan 2007 16:00:26 -0500, "Ned Flanders"
:1 inch can give a shit load more than 9gpm. :3/4 is fine for most on city water with high pressure. :i use 1" on well systems all the way to pressure tank. :if you are gonna dig a ditch why not use 1" if price :is soo close. if you ever want iragation or something :you will be set. They wanted $600+ more to install 1" than 3/4"! Read the following:
They did the job today. I tried to get ahold of the supervisor before they did any installation, but he didn't return my call. I had an explicit understanding with him that they were to install 3/4" L both underground and under the house. I talked with the foreman of the crew and he wasn't aware of that, but I told him I had a clear understanding with the supervisor. I also asked him about a bonding jumper at the meter and he seemed to whiff on that one - didn't know what it was or something. He talked about water heater! The supervisor didn't call me back and after a while I go under the house and see that they installed 3/4" M under the house, counter to my agreement. I tell the foreman and he says he's aware that he has to "rip it out." Why this has happened is beyond me.
I hear him talking to the supervisor on his cell phone and ask to talk to him. This is the same guy who the office was to have call me earlier. I try to ask him how much more it will cost to install 1" than 3/4", both would be L thickness. At this point, they were going to have to rip out the hard copper under the house and hadn't installed any soft copper outside, so there was no reason they couldn't do 1" instead. The supervisor said it would be over $600 extra! I asked him why and he said the materials cost that much more. I said screw that, basically. I call the office again (I'm not privy to the supervisor's cell number), and he calls me right back and affirms that 1" costs that much more for materials and I say I don't want that and they finish the installation this evening in the dark.
I'd asked the supervisor on the phone about the noise issue. I told him that I wasn't so concerned with pressure (the pressure is high here), but more with the noise from the copper pipes. He said the noise would be less than the former galvanized water main. That was 1/2", quite corroded and ran in a trench outside the house, not under it like the new one. I find his statement hard to believe, but I wasn't going to argue with him. $600 more for 1" is out of the question.
I have an idea that they never installed the bonding jumper, which I'm going to try to check out tomorrow when it's light. I don't know what it would look like. Would that be a strap between the copper pipe coming into the meter and the pipe leaving it and going to the house?
Dan
: :>> I would think that 1" could supply a lot more than 9 gallons/minute. :> :> Yes it will. However the velocity increases and noise increases with :> velocity. :> I used to live in a house where you could hear the water flowing clear :> thru the house. :> The house I have now is silent. I would re pipe the house too. :> The plumber may pay more for pipe. He needs high service. :> :
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
just install the bonding jumper yourself, a foot or two of bare copper wire, 10 gauge, and 2 clamps. the new copper line will be nice and clean, so that makes it easier.
10 minutes tops and 5 bucks, not worth a hassle.........
contractor a bozo, for not following directions.
check yoursellf and compare copper line price differences sounds like they were trying to discourage you from going larger........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
:just install the bonding jumper yourself, a foot or two of bare copper :wire, 10 gauge, and 2 clamps. the new copper line will be nice and :clean, so that makes it easier.
Yes, I could do it. The clamps should be special electrical ones, I guess. Where would I get them? A plumbing supply outfit? : :10 minutes tops and 5 bucks, not worth a hassle.........
But, you know, they are coming back out to finish my sewer laterals job - they haven't done the concrete work, so I think I should ask them to just follow up and install the jumper. : :contractor a bozo, for not following directions.
Very much so. Anyway, although they aren't the sharpest I basically like the people and they've treated me well all in all. I learned one thing dealing with them, howeve: Never listen to the workers if and when they try to hustle you for side work. If you get the scent and start considering them for different jobs and you don't use them they will bear you a grudge, at least for a while. Just firmly say you aren't interested if they do that. : :check yoursellf and compare copper line price differences sounds like :they were trying to discourage you from going larger........
I had done some price checking on copper prices for the various sizes of pipe and find the $600 price hike for going from 3/4" to 1" jaw dropping and hard to believe.
Indeed, they tried to discourage me from thinking of doing it in 1" from the beginning. The owner of the company came out and made the estimate on the water main replacement. He told me I'd see absolutely no benefit and that I should stick with 3/4". So did the other licensed bidder. So, I find it odd that basically EVERYONE in the newsgroups would tell me I should do 1". I'm still trying to understand it. Anyway, it's done as of sundown yesterday and 3/4" it is!
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
sorry for your experience. put in the copper wire yourself...those guys could mess it up, especially since you said they didn't know what it was in the first place.
How much did it cost for the 3/4" if you don't mind me asking? My plumber quoted $2,000...but he's usually high. (no, really, he's a hippy.)
Jason Valley Center, KS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
:sorry for your experience. :put in the copper wire yourself...those guys could mess it up, :especially since you said they didn't know what it was in the first :place. : :How much did it cost for the 3/4" if you don't mind me asking? My :plumber quoted $2,000...but he's usually high. (no, really, he's a :hippy.) : :Jason :Valley Center, KS
The owner of the company came out to bid the water main replacement. I didn't know he was the owner at the time. It was almost 2 weeks ago. He looked over the situation and quickly made his assessment -- run copper here from the meter, go under the sidewalk, trench the lawn up to the house and go in a vent at the front, all 3/4", L in the trench, M under the house. Once under the house, straight back to where the old main accessed the house plumbing, which was at the back left under the kitchen. He first mentioned $2500 and that the lowest they could go was $2300. A couple of minutes later I asked him if $2300 was OK, and he'd forgotten he'd mentioned that figure and said "you drive a hard bargain." I didn't bother saying that HE was the one who came up with that number. I signed the estimate, but a day later cancelled because I had an issue and also wanted to get more bids. I figure it's 25-30 feet of soft copper and about 35' of hard copper.
I got a bid for $2200 from another plumber, said to be good and in general 30% less than the other guys. But he appeared to not have insurance, and I being uninsured for anything but fire (basically), I decided I better go with the $2300 bid with the "current" company (i.e. the one doing my sewers). They agreed to do 3/4" L under the house, install 2 hose bibbs instead of 1, and put a bonding jumper at the meter.
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
clamps are a hardware store home depot item. cheap and just attach to pipe in a instant, they clambshell.
i wouldnt trust the current crew, and for a few bucks its not worth the hassle.......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
:clamps are a hardware store home depot item. cheap and just attach to :pipe in a instant, they clambshell. : :i wouldnt trust the current crew, and for a few bucks its not worth the :hassle.......
The same foreman came out today and since he was doing the concrete work for the sewer job I asked him about the absence of that jumper. He said he was talking with his supervisor and they would deal with it later today. He seemed to be saying they don't have the hardware. I won't sweat it even if they don't do it. I see some jumpers under the house (I inspected the water main job under the house yesterday), and wires go off to God knows where. I figure that to use the copper water main as a ground I'm going to have to install my own clamps anyway. I have at least 3 places in the house where I want a ground to an outlet:
1. Refrigerator 2. Laundry room appliances 3. My computer room
I think I have a lot of 12 guage wire. Should I really run 10 guage instead for the grounds?
Thanks!
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is kind of like the 200 amp breaker panel or using 12 ga wire where 14 ga would do. I just sleep better knowing overkill is awake. Usually the cost difference is small, and the cost of doing it over large, should it need to be larger in the future.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
:> Indeed, they tried to discourage me from thinking of doing it in 1" from :> the beginning. The owner of the company came out and made the estimate :> on the water main replacement. He told me I'd see absolutely no benefit :> and that I should stick with 3/4". So did the other licensed bidder. So, :> I find it odd that basically EVERYONE in the newsgroups would tell me I :> should do 1". I'm still trying to understand it. Anyway, it's done as of :> sundown yesterday and 3/4" it is! :> :> Dan : :It is kind of like the 200 amp breaker panel or using 12 ga wire where :14 ga would do. I just sleep better knowing overkill is awake. Usually :the cost difference is small, and the cost of doing it over large, :should it need to be larger in the future.
Yeah, I like the idea of overkill, especially when the price differential isn't that great and very especially when future requirements might make "overkill" look like foresight!
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
:> Indeed, they tried to discourage me from thinking of doing it in 1" from :> the beginning. The owner of the company came out and made the estimate :> on the water main replacement. He told me I'd see absolutely no benefit :> and that I should stick with 3/4". So did the other licensed bidder. So, :> I find it odd that basically EVERYONE in the newsgroups would tell me I :> should do 1". I'm still trying to understand it. Anyway, it's done as of :> sundown yesterday and 3/4" it is! :> :> Dan : :It is kind of like the 200 amp breaker panel or using 12 ga wire where :14 ga would do. I just sleep better knowing overkill is awake. Usually :the cost difference is small, and the cost of doing it over large, :should it need to be larger in the future.
Maybe it's because of the high water pressure here, maybe the fact that most of the houses in my neighborhood aren't particularly big, or both. But looking around the neighborhood and inspecting for water service lines I don't think I spotted a single 1" service -- mostly 3/4", a few old 1/2". So, that made it easier to not get testy with the 1" thing. Still, that $600 thing took me aback. I just said "screw it."
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a 2 bathroom house...when I had the plumber come out to estimate a new main, he said " 3/4 inch plastic" I think, maybe he said copper. Anyhow, I asked why not do 1" while we're in there anyhow, he said "you'll never know the difference, 3/4" is pretty much standard. Are you planning on adding any more bathrooms or something?"
He's probably right. Either way, he estimated $2,000 to redo the main, and I thought "forget it, that's a lot of beer...and it's too much work to dig that big old 36" deep trench."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
he was prob. right to tell you 3/4 will be fine for you. sounds like you are running a half assed unplanned project.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I didn't get that either. We have 3/4 and it has been fine. As I recall, other parts of your service were already 3/4, so there would have been no benefit from going with 1-incyh. Maybe if you wanted to put in a sprinkler system or something, but otherwise why bother.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
:I didn't get that either. We have 3/4 and it has been fine. As I :recall, other parts of your service were already 3/4, so there would :have been no benefit from going with 1-incyh. Maybe if you wanted to :put in a sprinkler system or something, but otherwise why bother.
Actually, everything in the house is 1/2" galvanized and almost all of it old. Well, there's a bit of new copper in one bathroom. Really, I would see no benefit from 1". The thought of 1" was really for whoever buys the house from me as I don't intend to live here very long. Anyway, 3/4" is what was used. I certainly have no thoughts about putting in a sprinkler system here.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.