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  • Replacing water pipe from meter to house

    I have discovered that the galvanized water line between my house and the water meter is leaking and needs to be replaced. The water meter pit is in my front yard, about 35 feet from the house. I’ve called a couple of plumbers and the price ranges from $1300-$1500 to put in a new copper line. I figure the copper tubing and fittings would cost about $200 at the most and I’d be paying for about $1100-$1200 in labor. I am a do-it-yourself kind of guy. Last summer I installed a new underground electrical service at my house (other than pulling the main service line) so I feel I am capable of doing the job. The hardest part will be digging the hole around the meter so I can connect the new pipe. I’d just rent a trencher and trench from the house out to the meter pit next to the old line, and drop in the new copper tubing. My only concern is disconnecting the old pipe from the meter and connecting the new line. Since the old line is obviously corroded, what happens if it breaks off? I’m assuming it is a threaded connection? Or would it be some kind of flared connection? If it were a flared connection, I’d be less concerned. I’d really hate to spend the money, but would I be better off? The plumbers said they would bore the pipe over to the pit from within the basement so less of my yard would be disturbed. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

    The first thing i'd do is find out if a new water service requires a permit. Most juristictions that I know about do, but some don't. At the same time I'd find out how deep I would need to trench. This also will vary by region and frost depth. Call for utility locates so you won't trench across phone, cable, power, gas etc. this is a good idea even if you think you know where everything is.

    After doing this research you can decide if the $1500 price tag is worth it, especially with the warranty they should give. Those prices seem very good to me.

    Brent
    Brent

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    • #3
      Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

      In many areas the local water utility company is responsible for everything up to your main water shut off valve inside your house/building. You might be able to get them to do this for you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

        "this is a good idea even if you think you know where everything is."

        In many if not all states it is the law, you MUST call.
        ---------------
        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
        ---------------
        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
        ---------
        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
        ---------
        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

          Originally posted by Woussko View Post
          In many areas the local water utility company is responsible for everything up to your main water shut off valve inside your house/building. You might be able to get them to do this for you.
          Yea, in "Insanityville" where you claim to live on your profile.
          the dog

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          • #6
            Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

            I'll change most to some in regard to areas. In my regional are they really do take care of everything to the main inside valve. Lucky me, I guess.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

              Originally posted by Woussko View Post
              I'll change most to some in regard to areas. In my regional are they really do take care of everything to the main inside valve. Lucky me, I guess.
              What area do you live in?
              the dog

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

                Dog, did you mean to ask what area or what state?
                I think Insanityville is in the state of confusion.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

                  OK guys here's a little hint for you: Think of a huge white house that's in the Mid Atlantic area. Now head north about 10 miles and and you may go east or west 5 miles. Now you won't be too far from Insanityville. Please remember that you've seen this huge white house shown on TV during the news, and I bet some of you have seen it in person.
                  Last edited by Woussko; 04-01-2007, 01:40 PM. Reason: Bright green = hard on eyes

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

                    Yes, I have already call for the utilities to be located. No, the water company won't do anything for me. They just want to inspect the work beofre it is backfilled. Yes, the work requires a permit where I live.

                    I guess I'm just trying to decide if I want to tackle the project myself. I'm getting tired of shutting off the water at the meter at night, turning it back on in the morning, and shutting it back off when I leave for work . I'm assuming they'll mark the utilities on Monday so I couldn't start unitl Tuesday and I'd have to take off work to do it. I'm leaning towards paying to have it done.

                    Thanks for the replys.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

                      While not everyone can solder copper most can operate a shovel. You might want to ask the plumber if you can do the grunt work and he can install the pipe.

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

                        put a price on your time and add it up

                        time to get permit
                        time off work
                        time and $for machine to dig
                        cost of material
                        time to go back to store and get the right material
                        time to fix leaks
                        and all the unknown things you may run into

                        i say get a couple prices and make sure the one you pick is a good company and let them do it
                        Charlie

                        My seek the peek fundraiser page
                        http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                        http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                        new work pictures 12/09
                        http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

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                        • #13
                          Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

                          Yea $1,500 sounds like a pretty good price to me too. 35 feet from meter to inside house here wouldn't go for less than $2000. You dug a new electric service so you know what kind of soil in your yard. You will probably need to go deeper than that. Deeper is better; this is not something you want to do twice because of freeze damage or your wifes new azalea garden
                          The trencher is not my 1st choice of excavators. A couple of drawbacks: by the time it finds a buried utlity (marked or unmarked) its already too late. That $1,500 will seem like a bargain if you hit one Rocky soil is hard on the machine. Softer soils tend to collapse the ditch and it's difficult to hand dig with it being only 8" wide.
                          2 good day laborers, a couple of shovels and $200 bucks will get you through 35' of average soil in 1 day (plus pizza and beers...mmmm beers )
                          Most likey if you have a galvanized water service that is not the original water meter. If you are lucky when it was replaced it has a copper pigtail a couple of feet long on your side of the meter. I'd start digging there first so just so you know what you are in for. If it's been leaking for a while (and it probably has) it will be muddy down there. Connect a hose from your hosebibb to your good neighbors hosebibb, shut your inside main valve off for a few days to let it drain off a bit. Cut the grass really short so it will be easier to backfill.
                          Good Luck and let us know how it went. We all like to laugh at someone else's misery

                          Bill

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                          • #14
                            Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

                            I am not a plumber and do not usually post on this forum. However, I do not see anyone addressing the concerns of the depth of the pipe for a DIY fix. I grew up in southern Illinois whic isn't that much different than KC. Probably yellow clay soil and the pipe comes into the basement about 6' below ground level. If so, exposing the pipe is a major concern. If the trench you dig is over four feet deep, it needs to be shored up to prevent cave-ins. Best left to those experienced in this kind of work. They have the tools and knowledge to get it done safely. If it is less than 18"deep, you can dig it with a tile spade.If is is 3', it will have to be wide enough for your shoulders to get into the trench to work with the pipe joints. After about 10' of that yellow clay, you will still probably call a professional. It may cost, but it is better than you dead in the bottom of the trench when it caved in while you were trying to glue the pipe together.

                            JMTCW
                            Go
                            Practicing at practical wood working

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Replacing water pipe from meter to house

                              depending on the soil you can have a cave in in 2'
                              Charlie

                              My seek the peek fundraiser page
                              http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                              http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                              new work pictures 12/09
                              http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

                              Comment

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