IT appears from the water flowing into my basement that the pipe leading
from my well to the house has broken (turn off the pump and the water
stops). I will be calling in a professional to fix. What are my options for
fixing it other than to dig up all my landscaping and hope they don't hit
the power line that crosses over the pipe.
Do they make a plastic pipe that can be snaked thru the original pipe? The
guy comes out tomorrow for a quote.
I also have a 100 ft Norway Spruce that would lose half of its roots if they
had to trench. (With my luck, it would than fall on the house in a later
It sounds like you already know what's going to happen.
The power line shouldn't be a problem as long as they know it's there
(call miss utility!). There's absolutely no need to dig a straight
trench from your house to the well. Surely there's a way to go around
the tree - hopefully far away from the tree since that's probably what
broke the original pipe. They'll use flexible plastic pipe that can
turn corners. If they use a mini-excavator to dig then you'll only
lose a path of shrubs a couple of feet wide.
Other response covered it, basically. I'll just add you needed to have
called the local utility locater service number (it'll be in the phone
book) already to get them out to find the utilities just in case you
really do have to dig up the whole thing--a reputable guy may choose to
not dig until that is done to protect himself so you could be waiting
for a couple of days or more if you don't have it scheduled.
That, of course, implies you would have to actually dig a trench the
whole way w/ unknown utilities potentially in the way. It's quite
possible the problem is one that may be fixable by simply locating the
break and repairing it. If it's coming into the basement in a stream
as it sounds like from your description, there's a good possibility the
break is at the entrance to the basement and may well have been caused
by movement or other causes there.
I'd grab a shovel and uncover that area to at least see what's there.
Unless it is an old galvanized line or some other abomination of an
installation, more than likely you can get an adequate repair w/o
replacing the whole thing. Of course, if it's only a very short run,
that's another thing...
The well was put in in 1967. Its galvanized pipe coming thru the wall. THere
is an old electrical entrance (not used anymore) in the wall about 3 ft
away. The water is pouring in thru it. I am assuming that after 40 years the
pipe just rusted thru. While they could probably locate the break, I am also
assuming that the rest of the pipe would be in equally bad shape and would
need replacing shortly also.
I was around when they installed the new electrical entrance and know there
is some really weird concrete work down there. They had to jack hammer a 8
inck concrete wall located 3 ft away from the house to get a path for the
wire. I assume the same thing will happen with the pipe only worst since it
has to be lower. Thats why I was asking if it was possible to snake a
plastic pipe thru the existing pipe.
Sigh...no matter how you cut it, this looks like a big nightmare.
You're correct: 40 yr old Galv is basically shot. Don't repair.
There are companies that will snake a steel cable thru the old pipe
and use it to pull the entire length out without doing any trenching.
As the old pipe is being pulled out, the cable neatly pulls a new
(plastic) pipe in behind it! This technique is widely used for
replacing water service lines to a residence from a street main.
The distance does not need to be great for it to be cost-effective.
Another one: A gasoline-powered trenching machine. These cut a
deep "slit" and lays the pipe as it goes. No soil is actually
"dug" out. As noted, make a path well away from your tree.
As previously noted, old galvanized is a scenario that implies
replacing the line, but better now in the decent weather than in the
middle of a blizzard or somesuch!
As another noted, a "trench" can be a lot less intrusive than a
full-fledged backhoe these days and there are techniques that can be
used if you're in a location of sufficient population to have somebody
in the area that has the equipment. If you're calling in the pros
anyway, it's only money!!! :)
I'm thinking actually it won't be as bad as you may be dreading
assuming you can find somebody who is pretty good to do it...again, as
others have noted, unless there are other obstructions (like the drain
field, rock, etc.) or you're simply out of room on your property it
shouldn't be difficult to avoid doing major damage to the tree.
that galvanized is no doubt in bad shape and probably ccant be used for
pulling new pipe. it will fail mechanically
certinally it CANT go thru the center of the galvanized, you will see
its plugged up badly.
a trencher is probably your best option
The Pro came out today to see if he could give me a temperary hookup (he
couldn't). HE said it was likely that they used galvanized pipe to go thru
the concrete and than switched to poly on the other side. HE suspects it is
the poly to pipe union that failed. MOre next week. I phoned the guy whose
name was on the tank. HE was going to check his records to see if he was the
original installer. Regardless JULIE (the utility locator) has already been
out to mark the area up. ITs going to be a mess
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.