I want to use a SonoTube as an access port for an underground valve. The
valve will be about 4' under ground. I thought if I painted the ST and
wrapped it in plastic it would hold up much better. It won't last a thousand
years, but it should meet my needs. I'll insulate the Tube to prevent
Any ideas on the best way to mummify my Tube?
You live somewhere warm, Al? My street shut off for my water is right
about 5' down.
All the original ones in the neighborhood are fairly thin metal pipes,
and often the ground has shifted and make them hard to work with, but
I would think that new ones would use 4" PVC for access with a street
key. Way cheaper than a sonotube too, and I would think you could use
a screw in plug on top to cover it, and maybe a T on the bottom to run
the pipe and valve through.
If I was really curious, through, I would drive into a new
construction subdivision and look at what they have.
I have a new construction home. My street shutoff, or "curbstop" as they
are called here - is a good 8ft down. Well, I should clearify, the valve is
8ft down, but it has a shaft on it that runs up and allows the valve turned
from the surface. I carefully put a round valvebox around my curbstop, so
that it would always be accessable. Then when we harrowed the front to
plant the lawn, it got buried. Havent't seen it since. Whoops!! :-(
I misread that, thought it was 4"! Well that makes a difference. What's it
for? A curbstop valve?
I'd use 4 or 6" PVC with a OD cleanout adapter and plug on the top end if I
needed access to a valve that deep.
Forget the sonotube and use a piece of 4" white plastic drain pipe. You
can probably find a free 4' scrap piece at a construction site like I did
for my water shut-off valve.
If you want to insulate inside the pipe once its in the ground..take one leg
of a pair of panty hose and stuff it with insulation and shove it into the
As others have suggested, use plastic pipe. I used ABS though as it
has a much thicker wall and I think it is more sun resistant. It has
been in place now for around 20 years. A 5 or 6 ft section of even
large bore diameter will not be a high cost item.
If the OP lives near a housing development that is just starting there are
often pieces of plastic water or sewer main material laying around for the
taking, offcuts from the installation process. Makes good materials for your
type of use.
Having grown up in the business, I gotta say it- <ASK> before you take.
Quite often what looks like scrap, isn't, and it is a major pain in the ass
to the crew (or the site go-fer, which was my job as a kid), to go round up
replacements for stuff that grew legs.
But as far as OP is concerned- a short piece of culvert pipe of correct
diameter, plastic or steel or concrete, makes a good access tube. Local
concrete products place has or can get them, in all flavors. (they don't
just carry stuff MADE of concrete, they carry whatever flatwork guys need.)
Note that you either need to pin the peices together, or have some sort of
slip-fit arrangement, to ensure things don't move around due to frost heave,
or the thing doesn't fill with mud in rainy season. Crushing from frost
heave or hydrostatic pressure would worry me with sonotube, even
If you didn't say it I would have! Last thing you want is getting
arrested for theft of construction materials. That's how it would read in
the "Day in Court" listings in the paper. They'll be no mention that you
were just dumpster divin'.
I've always asked and never been turned down. Last time the guy even said
thanks for asking.
A piece of large ABS seems appealing, but I thought it would be expensive. I
was thinking of Fibreglassing my SonoTube, but I've got enough shit to do
without creating work.
Access is for a Pond shutoff for those that asked. It needs to go around a
large knive valve, so it's likely 6" minimum.
If you use a Sonotube, remember to waterproof it both inside and
outside, as water will likely leak into the well at some point (maybe
a lot of points). More reason to use something made of plastic
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