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  • Polyethylene water services

    Since the topic of water piping is being fiercely debated, is anyone using black polyethylene for water service lines? We do a lot of services where 2" is required, whether for domestic or fire sprinkler demand. For a couple of years now, we've been offering our customers the choice of SDR11 polyethylene for their services. It requires the same installation techniques as poly gas lines with fusion poly x stainless transition fittings and tracer wire. Copper does do well in most of the soils we run into and our water chemistry is such that it doesn't destroy the pipe from within. However, on a 2" line of 100' or more for example, with 2" polyethylene running a little under $1.50/ft (compared to over $10/ft for L copper), the savings are considerable. And, seeing how our water providers use it on their side of the meter, we feel that we're not endangering our customer's health.

  • #2
    Re: Polyethylene water services

    i see nothing wrong with it. city is starting to slip line their large mains with it and since it's super smooth and nothing grows or sticks to it, they can actually get away with smaller sizing as it's slipped into the existing large mains.

    i use the same type of pipe for pipe bursting sewer lines and it's the best pipe out there, no question about that. along with underground gas lines. just haven't tried water mains with it yet.

    show me any other pipe with the properties of hdpe that is slick, pressure rated, is fused together without mechanical joints, flexes as need be, can be hit all day long with a sledge hammer and not break, and stays clean as a whistle.

    you made the right choice and i don't care what anyone says, it's the best choice out there and that's why the gas company, water company and sanitation department is using it too

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Polyethylene water services

      Many municipal water supplies have gone to HDPE. It's easier to work, cost effective and not effected by soil conditions. We have been using it for submersible water pumps and the line running to the house for at least 35 years that I know of. Code won't allow it to be used for distribution piping inside the building but other than that, it's been around a long time. It's chemistry is similar to PEX though unlike pex UV and chlorine don't effect it. Gas companies like it for similar reasons. It's only drawback is that if the tracer wire is damaged or not there it can be a real hazard if someone hits it with a back hoe.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Polyethylene water services

        We've got tons of PE lines as water supplies here. Most are smaller than 2" though.

        There has been miles of 1" black PE lines ran here with insert couplings and screw clamps. Years/decades without problems when installed correctly. Keep the little rocks away. Bed and cover by hand before any equipment.

        And don't use the thin low grade stuff.


        J.C.

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        • #5
          Re: Polyethylene water services

          Around 1972 We were using it on Cape Cod Mass.
          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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          • #6
            Re: Polyethylene water services

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            show me any other pipe flexes as need be, can be hit all day long with a sledge hammer and not break, rick.
            A couple of years ago, I had to repair a 4" PE gas line that got nicked by a backhoe. We dug back 20' both ways and with a little backward pulling by a few guys, I was able to fuse a new 4' section right in place. I've also had a concrete form stake penetrate a line (I wonder what he thought he was hitting?) which due to clearance restrictions when uncovered [after we spent 1/2 day trying to find it with a sniffer] could only be repaired by use of a saber (push on) coupling.
            As for flexibility, when they dig a trench with too tight a radius, we can still use elbows.

            Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
            There has been miles of 1" black PE lines ran here with insert couplings and screw clamps. J.C.
            I prefer fusion fittings (elbows and tee) as well as stainless transition fittings. They maintain the proper pipe ID as well as looking more professional.
            Last edited by Plumbus; 12-25-2010, 04:33 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Polyethylene water services

              Originally posted by


              [B
              I prefer fusion fittings (elbows and tee) as well as stainless transition fittings. They maintain the proper pipe ID as well as looking more professional.[/B]

              Agreed. We are pretty ignorant to fusion fitting assemblies here. Or at least I am. Seems I remember the gas boys fusioning a broken line we hit a loooooong time ago.

              But back to your original inquiry, 160 psi black PE has worked fine.


              J.C.

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