Water Supply Pipe - too many leaks

I have just discovered my second leak this year in the water supply pipe to my house. The first one cost 1600 quid, which I got a rebate on as it was the first leak, this one is so far limited to a couple of hundred.
Monday the excavator turns up, the guy that runs the digger company suggests putting stop taps in every 50m so that leeks can be localized more easilly, so I plan to do this. I am waiting the pipe and taps from screwfix. 500 quid to replace the pipe is a bargin if it stops the leaks.
Does anyone know of a valuve or similar that I can put next to the meter, and it will switch off the water if too much goes down the pipe to fast ? Even if it cost me a hundred quid, it has to be a bargin.
The obvious thing is to check the meter regularly, which I have been doing, and stopped my second leak getting too expensive, but is so far from the house it not pratical, I really want some piece of mind.
Many Thanks Rick
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Rick Dipper wrote:

house. The first one cost 1600 quid, which I got a rebate on as it was the first leak,

putting stop taps in every 50m so that leeks can be localized more easilly, so I plan to do

and stopped my second leak getting too expensive, but is so far from the house it not

What's causing the leaks? Bad joins? Ruptured pipes?
--
Grunff


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The pipe is not in the ground far enough (300mm in places), the land the pipe runs over has recently chnaged hands, and now has cows on it. The leak I found was a split pipe caused by a stone, the current leak has not been found yet, so water is switched off most of the time. The pipe was probably installed in 1973.
A new pipe burried to at least 750mm should not suffer from heavy animals pressing stones into it, but if I am digging up the fields then I want it to last. Given to cost of the leaks, I can affourd to do a good job, to prevent just one leak, and still save money. I will be guided by the digger driver, as he will have done this job many many times. I need some piece of mind, the cost of leaks is hurting badly.
Thanks Rick

my house. The first one cost 1600 quid, which I got a rebate on as it was the first leak,

putting stop taps in every 50m so that leeks can be localized more easilly, so I plan to do

and stopped my second leak getting too expensive, but is so far from the house it not

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Rick Dipper wrote:

runs over has recently chnaged hands, and now has cows on it. The leak I found was a

pressing stones into it, but if I am digging up the fields then I want it to last. Given to

and still save money. I will be guided by the digger driver, as he will have done this

The pipe really ought to be bedded in sand. We laid about 500m of 32mm MDPE a couple of years ago. Bedding all of it in sand would have been a big hassle, so we bedded about 50m, the bit which gets significant traffic over it. The rest we just burried. Has been fine so far.
--
Grunff


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Rick Dipper wrote:

house. The first one cost 1600 quid, which I got a rebate on as it was the first leak,

putting stop taps in every 50m so that leeks can be localized more easilly, so I plan to do

and stopped my second leak getting too expensive, but is so far from the house it not

valve stops all flow until manual reset is 50 Litres/min. The valve is 3/4" threaded connections which might be too small for you?
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Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
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I have seen this valve, but I am unsure it it does what I want: If I set the rate too low, then it will cut off normal usage. If I set the rate too high, then slow leaks will not be switched off.
How much rate does a normal tap / shower use ? My current leak is about 70 cubic meters a week, which I work out at 7 litres a min, unless I have a decimal point wrong. If my decimal point is wrong, then this is the ideal device.
What I was thinking of, was if 1 cube went throught non stop, then the valve would cut the water off. There are lots of electric gizmoes, but then I would need to run 200m of electric cable, and would be into voltage drops and all that.
The pipe sizes are fine, I would build a man hole, then in the man hole, change pipe size, fit valve then change back. I would need to lag the pipes in the man hole, but thats not going to be too hard.
Thanks Rick

my house. The first one cost 1600 quid, which I got a rebate on as it was the first leak,

putting stop taps in every 50m so that leeks can be localized more easilly, so I plan to do

and stopped my second leak getting too expensive, but is so far from the house it not

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Rick Dipper wrote:

would cut the water off. There are lots of electric gizmoes, but then I would need to run

You'd have no problem powering something down 200m of cable. Our water pump is about 400m away, connected using 1.5sqmm cable.
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Grunff


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"Rick Dipper" wrote | would cut the water off. There are lots of electric gizmoes, but then | I would need to run 200m of electric cable, and would be into voltage | drops and all that.
Could you put a flow sensor near the meter, another flow sensor near the house, and wire them up to a logic circuit so that if water is flowing at the meter but not at the house, an alarm sounds. Much of the time there should be no water consumed at the house, so I wouldn't bother trying to compare the flow rates whilst water is being used; just sensing a true/false condition. A 7 litres/min leak should be enough to trigger a flow sensor into a leak condition.
You'd still have to turn off the water by hand, but you'd get a warning quicker.
Unless you can think of a battery powered wireless remote sensor (solar rechargeable?) a length of electric cable would be needed, but this would be low voltage stuff.
The practical implementation of this is left as an exercise for the reader :-)
Owain
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Rick Dipper wrote:

house. The first one cost 1600 quid, which I got a rebate on as it was the first leak,

Hi Rick
Sounds like a bummer of a problem.
I'm not particularly familiar with water control devices, but I was trying to think how my shower pump works and how it might provide a basis for a fix.
Depending on the lie of the land, if you were to fit a flow switch at the property you might be able to use it to control a solenoid valve at the meter. The aim would be that when there was no flow into the house the valve would be closed. When you did have a flow into the house the valve would open.
The potential problem with this (and the thing I've wondered about re my shower pump) is: What provides the inital flow to allow the switch to realise a flow is required? I trust somone will answer that question and explian whether thee proposal is plausible,
Another problem with it: What stops the electrical cable being damaged, given that the water pipe is getting damaged in the same environment? I guess armoured cable would be OK, but you probably can't get multiple-100m lengths?
Second suggsetion: Fit a flow switch at the far end, and connect it to a loud klaxon (or maybe a light bulb) in the house. If there's a loud noise/light when no-one is using water you probably have a leak.
Finally, 30 year life for the current install in a harsh environment doesn't sound too bad. I do wonder if in replacing the pipe (and burying it deeper) you're going to be 'safe' for a good 10-20 years or more anyway, and any additional provision you make (especailly electrical and underground) will likely fail before the thing its trying to warn about! Putting a layer of sand, ballast or cement over the pipe will probably improve things even more.
HTH IanC
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Thanks for the ideas. I gave up with the idea of an automatic way to switch it off if it leaks. Unless it was a simple thing, It was likley to cause me trouble in 20 years time .........
The pipe is now in the ground between 750mm and 1000mm deep. The digger driver is really good, we had various soil conditions, and moved good sandy stuff arround to put round the pipe, and then put the stoney stuff on top. Where we went over rocks, the water pipe is inside a bigger pipe, I had some 75mm MDPE left from a previous project. There are now some bolders in the field covering stop taps in the pipe.
I have a 4 ton piece of rounded slate spare - it came out the trench, if anybody has a use for it you must collect.
The old pipe was less than 150mm in places, it had probably been dug in by hand, I am not supprised it leaked.
Thanks Rick
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my house. The first one cost 1600 quid, which I got a rebate on as it was the first leak,

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