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Purpose of shading with sand?

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  • Purpose of shading with sand?


    I work for a development in Southern California and our City requires underground plumbing in the foundations to be shaded with sand, not native soil. Is the purpose of this so it is less likely plumbing will be crushed? What is your definition of shading? Does shading include sand below the pipe as well as above? As I understand it, it is not a California code but a City requirement.

    Thank you in advance!

  • #2
    Re: Purpose of shading with sand?

    We are not in California but we put 6 inches of sand under and over any pipes we do.


    • #3
      Re: Purpose of shading with sand?

      I'm thinking the sand provides a better bedding material, you'll find if the bottom half of the pipe has a good packed bedding, all the way up to at least the halfway mark, the pipe will be a lot less susceptible to being crushed.
      Around here it's done with gravel, which while I don't necessarily like, it's much more available than sand.
      Originally posted by NHMaster3015
      No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.


      • #4
        Re: Purpose of shading with sand?

        Thank you both!


        • #5
          Re: Purpose of shading with sand?

          Also,20 Years from now if someones digging,and sees sand, they stop! Assuming they
          Have some experience in the trades.
          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .


          • #6
            Re: Purpose of shading with sand?

            i had to think about this one for a while.

            i used to spend alot of my time in ditches replacing/repairing water and sewer mains up here.

            i imagine the theory and practice of "shading" would still be the same.

            when we had to dig, then repair/replace line(s), we would first lay down a 1' of 3/4 crush in the bottom of the ditch. then compact it. then a layer (bed) of sand was put down, then proper grade (slope) on the pipe was easy achieved. it also supported the pipe throughout it's length. then a lay another layer of sand was put on top of that.

            the idea of the gravel is for drainage under the pipe. in effect what has been created is a place for water to run. because the pipe is sloped, it can turn into a little stream of ground water. the gravel underlay would prevent/reduce ground erosion under the pipe thus helping it to maintain its grade. dips are not good. up here that can lead to a frozen sewer main. actually, it's kinda funny seeing poop coming out of a access vault (manhole).

            the sand serves 2 purposes in that it allowes for firm bed for the pipe to rest on, but like tool said, it's also the warning to the backhoe operator that the pipe is close. it's hard not to hit something if you can't see it.

            (that reminds me of the white SUV and the snow bank, but that's another story for another time)

            a more recent addition to the sand cover is to put bright yellow tape on to of the sand before the earth from the hole is put back in. this is also to help alert the backhoe operator.

            i hope that helps you out.