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Running new supply line from meter

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  • Running new supply line from meter

    I want to run a new line from the water main to the water heater in my basement.

    I bought the house 18 months ago and the line is currently 1/2 polybutylene pipe. The pipe reduces to 1/2 out of the meter in the corner of my basement, runs up the foundation to the floor joists, along the joists to the middle of the house, then runs the length of my house to the water heater on the other side.

    Here is my question: Because I am going to finish the basement, instead of running the pipe across the middle of the basement ceiling, can I run the new 3/4 copper pipe along the joists above the foundation sill? Everything is well insulated so I have no concern about freezing pipes; my concern is about any plumbing codes I need to be aware of. There are some electrical wires that run in the sill area, but there are no junction boxes nearby and the panel box is on the other side of the basement.


  • #2
    sure ,no code issue
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .


    • #3

      Where is your home. If you install your water on the outside joist above the sill and then install a ceiling you may be creating a freeze problem. The ceiling would prevent house heat from protecting your water on an outside wall.

      It may be warm where you want to put the lines now, but after you install the ceiling you might be surprised how fast the temprature can drop in that outside run.

      In areas of the country that only experience short or non extreme periods of below freezing weather then you would probably be fine. If you live in the northern parts of the country then I would think long and hard about a different plan.

      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


      • #4
        I live near Boston, so it will be cold during the winter.

        The line I have marked is 10" in from the sill. I have a 10" thick foundation, so the pipe will run along the joists right above the inside edge of the foundation. The sill cavity and the joist spaces are insulated, and I'll wrap the pipe. Does this still raise any red flags?


        • #5

          Is there a reason you cannot run the line one more joist away from the outside wall? During an extended hard freeze spell you are taking a chance. Even if your home is extremely tight all it takes is a little settling and a small crack to allow enough cold air in to cause you a problem.

          One possible remedy to help would be to install a small HVAC diffuser on each end of the run where you will install your water line. This will allow for a little bit of air movement from your heated area through the joist run.

          It would still be a good idea to keep it away from the outside wall by at least one joist run but if there is absolutely no way to do this then please consider the diffusers.
          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


          • #6
            Running a line along an outside wall is not only illegal here (Alaska) but asking for serious trouble down the road.


            • #7
              "sure ,no code issue"

              Put on the airbrakes bubba, it's a BIG code no-no here.


              • #8

                Water lines in outside walls are illegal in Illinois also. I think a lot of people under estimate the ability of cold air to find its way into unheated places.

                I hope dp stays in an inner joist run. If not he is asking for problems especially if he is as far north as Boston. If his ceiling were to remain open it probably wouldn't hurt anything. As soon as he closes it up and isolates the water line from the heated area he will have problems.
                Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


                • #9
                  Plumber, the scenarios you describe far as possible freezing of the line goes I have seen with my own eyes here so many times it's not funny. Like you said, once that ceiling is drywalled over, it's not going to get any ambient air temp from the dwelling space itself, and without your HVAC diffuser suggestion or a heat loop run next to it it will more than likely freeze up if they ever get a very cold day (zero or below). And even then, with those precautions, it's just not a smart thing to do. How hard is it to take an angle drill and 90 it over and run through a inner rafter? Even if it has to be popped back up or down next to an outside wall again, at least the majority of the line would be protected.

                  I would hesitate to run a line such a way even in a warmer climate.

                  Sometimes the most convenient way of piping something is'nt the best, but then that's why people hire us to do the work.

                  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Plumb!


                  • #10
                    Agreed AZ and the last thing a repair plumber wants to do at 11:30 PM on a 5 below night is to leave the warm comfort of his girls arms to go out in the cold and repair a broken water line that never should have been placed in a position to freeze.\

                    It is certain that you have seen more of this than I due to your location but even in Illinois there is a lot of it.
                    Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


                    • #11
                      And happy thanksgiving to you. Mine has been great.
                      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.