Thinking about plumbing a water pipe from the entry source into the
house to my irrigation control station so as to eliminate water flow
noise emanating from my attic copper plumbing when the irrigation is
on. What piping material would be appropriate for direct in-ground
installation that could reliably handle constant water pressure like
the copper piping does in the house. Corrosion over the years to the
piping in contact with soil is also a consideration of mine. I just
guessing but would that eliminate copper from consideration? Would
galvanized pipe be the choice? I would like that piping to be safe to
drink out of also. Any suggestion would be appreciated. The search
for "water pipe" in this forum did not give anything specific to the
in-ground application I am considering. By the way, the soil in my
patch of California is mostly grey clay. Thanks in advance.
Virtually any service these days is plastic -- either rigid or flex,
doesn't really matter.
Copper not good for underground and too expensive, anyway. Galvanized
second choice but again is pretty expensive these days and will
eventually corrode (altho not likely in a time frame you'll care) but
the hands-down winner for ease and cost is plastic.
A few months back we had a slight leak right where the main supply pipe
come through the basement wall and into the meter. Called the plumber --
who had to call the municipality and get the water turned off at the
curb -- and found out that the pipe was plastic -- polyethylene? They
replaced about six feet of it with copper.
That's interesting. Do you mean buried within the earth? Some soils (sadly
at the moment I can't recall what types can cause rapid pitting of copper
pipes). I recall visiting a large housing estate some 25 years ago where
there was a high unaccounted loss of water on the distribution system. The
whole estate (about 10 years old) had been serviced by copper pipework which
was riddled with pinhole corrosion of the copper. The complete estate had
to be resupplied - with polypipe though I cannot recall the type of plastic
Same here. Neighbors line was leaking and they dug up the plastic line
and replaced it with copper. A few years ago the water company got so
tired of fixing leaks from plastic on some local streets that they
worked there way down those streets where all of the lines had been
replaced with plastic after a water main upgrade and replaced all of
them with copper.
Some 35 years ago we plumbed water in from the municipal supply out in
the street with 3/4 inch copper. About 100 feet. No problems AFIK.
But if it ever did leak or whatever, is there any possibility one
could push/pull a smaller diameter (probably plastic?) pipe through
the 3/4 copper??? To avoid digging up all the way from the connection
to the main to the house.
The main shut off is about 20 feet inside house where copper pipe
emerges from concrete floor. Water pressure is always good/high; all
rest of the house is plumbed with half inch copper. All usual
appliances, single bathroom.
Hoping to never have trouble; but suggestions welcomed.
BTW most shallow wells here seem to use buried plastic pipe; between
the well and the home. With the pump usually located within the
Not in my area. Plastic just doesn't do well with surges and high
overnight pressures on gravity fed systems like ours. Plastic laterals
are the number one water line failure problem around here. They replace
them with copper.
You used to see rolls of plastic on all of the water company vehicles
but that has not been the case for some time.
What is wrong with copper for underground water laterals?
Thanks for the suggestions thus far. I am not familiar with these new
pipe materials but a quick search on your link shows they are a viable
material for my application. Still slightly unnerved by plastic
handling 65 psi constant and be reliable, especially at the solenoid
controlled master valve it ends in. Any suggestion on this critical
component in 3/4 inch?
Here in the UK has been used for many years. There's miles of the stuff in
the ground. Used by all the water companies as its burst/ leak occurences
are far less than for alternatives.
My own service is laid in MDPE and apart from a fault at the stop tap in the
street, which was common to many houses on the estate due to the faulty way
they were laid, I've had no other problems in 28 years, (touches wood after
having said that).
Poly pipe in a continuous roll. Great pressure, no underground connections.
I installed a service line for my grandparents in 1969 that is still in use.
I also used the same for a yard hydrant in my own home in 1986. And I have
another house that I purchased in 1986 that had the same stuff used for the
service line in a very high pressure area of the city. No problems at any of
" Copper or PVC are perfectly acceptable in ground materials."
My 45 year old house has copper and not a single leak all these
years. I am more comfortable with copper but was concerned with the
possibility of corrosion if used in ground. Is this really an issue
or am I overthinking it?
Where are you located? Whether or not corrosion is a problem depends
on you water & your soil condtions.
In my area of SoCal the building dept wants soft type K , no joints
under ground or joints ok with silver solder.
I installed a type M mainline in 1980 or 1981 with soft solder joints
under ground...no problems (so far).
If I had to redo the line....I'd use type K or PEX.
I recently dug up the section near the house to make some changes.
The 1980 copper showed some signs of corrosion but I'm sure it last at
least another 20 years.
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