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Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

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  • Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

    HELP!

    A friend of mine had the water department show up at his house, stating that they had been estimating his water usage over the last 6 months, and that when they checked his meter, his extra usage had cost him about $600. They told him he had a leak, and he'd want to get it fixed.

    I told him I'd help him out since I was good at this kind of thing, because he recently got laid off and couldn't afford a plumber to come out, so I started digging where the soil was soggy.

    I exposed a 3/4" galv. water main, and it has a brick area buried around it, and the water valve for the front hose branches off of it, and both pipes continue into the foundation, where they appear to be completely encased in concrete.

    The main comes from the street into the brick area, where it has a valve (where leak was) about 1" inside of the brick, not much clearance. It goes an inch or two, and there is a standard tee which is the branch for the hose valve.

    I tried to unscrew the first valve, and the house side of it unscrewed, the street side, which was where the leak was, was apparently so rusted (go figure) that the end disintegrated, and I couldn't get the valve out, nothing wanted to budge.

    I screwed the valve back into place and went to Home Depot to see if I could get a 3/4" pipe threader, so I could cut the pipe back a ways and replace it, but no success. Found fiberglass/epoxy leak repair kits instead, and tried that. Doesn't leak. Water pressure is considerably lower. Need to fix. What now?

    I was thinking about maybe cutting the street side of the pipe back a few feet (so I could have some room to work), and replacing the valve and that section, and maybe leak-patch-kitting it back together, but now that I've read a couple of comments about leak-patches, I'm wondering what I should do next.

    Thanks for your time,
    Brian

  • #2
    Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

    Personally if it was me trying to do it for a friend i would end up getting a male shark bite getting the nipple out you might need an easy out if you end up breaking something it wont be to bad cause you just screw the shark bite in and then you can just use copper to go the rest of the way in. Simple and done in minutes. Also use PB penetrating fluid. That should take care of the rust. Hope it works out for you

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    • #3
      Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

      I have used a Dresser coupling on old galvanized pipe like that on my farm to join them back together, in situations like that,

      more than likely the entire galvanized line should be replaced, but for a short term repair or a patch they work well, I have one on the old 100 year old galvanize water line down to the barn that has been in place for 15 years now and has not leaked, I am going to try ot get that line replaced this fall to the barn
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      Last edited by BHD; 08-01-2009, 09:19 AM.
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      • #4
        Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

        problem with gal. steel pipe that's in the ground is that it's rusted both inside and out. trying to thread old underground gal pipe is usually useless.

        finding a fitting and unscrewing the connection is usually the best way out.

        or you can try to find a clean section of pipe and cut it. install a "G" coupling/ "dressor" coupling. get the brass one or gal. one,

        these use a rubber gasket that squeezes and compresses against the pipe wall. these are fine as long as there is no lateral movement. in the ground is usually fine.

        post a few photos and you should be fine.

        p.s. there are a few guys in the oregon area on the forum that might be close
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
          problem with gal. steel pipe that's in the ground is that it's rusted both inside and out. trying to thread old underground gal pipe is usually useless.

          finding a fitting and unscrewing the connection is usually the best way out.

          or you can try to find a clean section of pipe and cut it. install a "G" coupling/ "dressor" coupling. get the brass one or gal. one,

          these use a rubber gasket that squeezes and compresses against the pipe wall. these are fine as long as there is no lateral movement. in the ground is usually fine.

          post a few photos and you should be fine.

          p.s. there are a few guys in the oregon area on the forum that might be close
          it's spelled Dresser Rick

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          • #6
            Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

            Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
            it's spelled Dresser Rick
            please note, joey was on the phone with bill and he and joey were the ones that spelled it dressor, while i wanted to spell it dresser.

            so chaulk this one up to bill and joey for screwing with me

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
              please note, joey was on the phone with bill and he and joey were the ones that spelled it dressor, while i wanted to spell it dresser.

              so chaulk this one up to bill and joey for screwing with me

              rick.
              it's spelled chalk Rick

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              • #8
                Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

                If it's old galvy, repairing it will be temporary at best. You will be chasing leaks and digging holes until you finally decide to tear it back to the main and replace all of it.

                Don't remember where this old line came from but it's still good. "You can pay me now or you can pay me later, twice"
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

                  I would replace the whole line from the meter to the house. Then he'll be set.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

                    Thanks for the info everyone, I am heading out of town for the weekend, but when I get back, I will post some pics and try to find a G Coupling, that sounds like my best option at this point.

                    Thanks again
                    Brian

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                    • #11
                      Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

                      I recently replaced my line I got a water bill that was three times the norm so I went out in the yard and no wet spots and went to the meter and checked and sure enough it was spinning and I wasn't running water in my house. I went and got a permit and replace the whole thing it had five leaks and some one had installed poly pipe only 8" down (no wonder my pipes froze last winter) and the pipe was so bad i could crush it with my hands. I replaced it up to the house and next I will replace it under the house. Point is that I would agree to just replace the line. If you have one problem there is a chance there are other problems. Since money is tight a temp fix now and and then replace later.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

                        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                        it's spelled Dresser Rick
                        Also called a Dressler Coupling. Didn't we just go over this a few months ago?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

                          You guys crack me up. Poor Rick he gets so much crap from you guys how ever I am lmao.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

                            Good advice. Use the dresser (never heard of a 'g') to get the water on then replace your 'service' asap.
                            The main is the pipe that goes down the street belonging to the utility company. Your pipe to the house is the service.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Old 3/4" galv. main leaks at fitting - HELP!

                              Another option is you work with a plumber to lower cost. Explain your situation and you do the grunt work such as digging the trench and backfill and compaction. This way, all the plumber is doing is laying pipe and not breaking a sweat.
                              Buy cheap, buy twice.

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