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View Full Version : Advice needed: tapping into water main for sprinklers


bobc9
10-24-2007, 11:14 PM
Greetings. Hope I can get some advice from the pros.

I am planning to install a lawn sprinkler system myself. It seems I have figured out everything dowm stream the automatic valve but haven't found the proper way to tap into the water main.

We have 5/8" meter in the yard. 1" SIDR 7 poly connects to the meter yoke and runs into the house. Once in the house it converts to PEX. This seems fairly standard here as all new constructions use the same type of pipe. It does freeze in winter in this area.

Now I heard to tap into pipe, use an insert Tee with SS clamps. I am a little concerned by this approach, as this in the main line. If it leeks the valve right before the meter has to be shut off - no water in house. And it is buried 2' under ground. I don't want to dig it open and fix a leek in a few years.

What is the standard way for the tapping?

Thanks.

CAPT Stream Rotar
10-24-2007, 11:16 PM
is the poly after the meter?

bobc9
10-24-2007, 11:19 PM
is the poly after the meter?

Yes. Poly is after the meter. Meter >> meter yoke (copper pipe) >> 1" poly into house

CAPT Stream Rotar
10-24-2007, 11:20 PM
Yes. Poly is after the meter. Meter >> meter yoke (copper pipe) >> 1" poly into house


you should be able to shut off the water from meter >Point of connection(poc) for the sprinks?

bobc9
10-24-2007, 11:25 PM
Yes, there is a valve right before meter. I will shut it off when tapping into the main line.

I am not sure barb insert T is a proper and reliable way for tapping. If it is not a good way and develops a leek at the T I would have to shut that valve before the meter in order to stop the leek, until I can dig it up and fix it. The house will have no water.

CAPT Stream Rotar
10-24-2007, 11:28 PM
Yes, there is a valve right before meter. I will shut it off when tapping into the main line.

I am not sure barb insert T is a proper and reliable way for tapping. If it is not a good way and develops a leek at the T I would have to shut that valve before the meter in order to stop the leek, until I can dig it up and fix it. The house will have no water.

ok buddy..


is your poly 100 or 200 psi rated?

bobc9
10-24-2007, 11:30 PM
200 psi. SIDR 7 is ID controlled.

CAPT Stream Rotar
10-24-2007, 11:37 PM
200 psi. SIDR 7 is ID controlled.


sounds about right.

talk to your local supplier on what you will need.


you will need a torch, 1'' pinch clamps, and some poly cutters.

its very simple. dont make it to hard and remember you can always fix you mistakes..
i say dive in brotha....

i could literally walk you through with pictures.

bobc9
10-24-2007, 11:42 PM
sounds about right.

talk to your local supplier on what you will need.


you will need a torch, 1'' pinch clamps, and some poly cutters.

its very simple. dont make it to hard and remember you can always fix you mistakes..
i say dive in brotha....

i could literally walk you through with pictures.


What kind of T is to be used with this setup? Since you said poly cutter I assume the poly is tapped into... but torch? Do torch and poly get along?

CAPT Stream Rotar
10-24-2007, 11:44 PM
torch>poly = best friends..

the torch allows you to insert the barbed fitting in with ease.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-24-2007, 11:45 PM
i could literally walk you through with pictures.

Interesting sentence.:confused:

Wet_Boots
10-24-2007, 11:48 PM
Skip the torch - use a compression tee with side outlet threads. Buy them from the guys the water utility buys them from. Same guys who stock and sell fire hydrants.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-24-2007, 11:52 PM
TORCH VS NO TORCH
ROTAR VS BOOTS
Which way will BOBC9 go?

CAPT Stream Rotar
10-24-2007, 11:53 PM
TORCH VS NO TORCH
ROTAR VS BOOTS
Which way will BOBC9 go?

obvi avec moi.

bobc9
10-24-2007, 11:57 PM
Skip the torch - use a compression tee with side outlet threads. Buy them from the guys the water utility buys them from. Same guys who stock and sell fire hydrants.

Thanks. The "compression" you mentioned may be the thing used to transition from 1" poly to 3/4" PEX inside the house. On the poly side it is a huge piece of brass with a half circle brass band tignted by a hex screw. That fitting is made by McDonald. I checked McDonald and Ford meter box but couldn't find such fitting in form of T with FIP side outlet.

Is your compression fitting same as the one for poly/pex transition I described?

Wet_Boots
10-25-2007, 12:01 AM
Is your service line PEX? You described poly and copper, presumably something like a 'meter setter' cut into a poly service line.

bobc9
10-25-2007, 12:06 AM
service line is poly. PEX is used in the house, as the local code (UPC as well I think) does not allow poly in the house. I was trying to figure out what the compress fitting you mentioned is.

there isn't really any copy pipe, except the meter yoke - the short segment of copper that curves down from the meter.

bobc9
10-25-2007, 12:10 AM
Is your service line PEX? You described poly and copper, presumably something like a 'meter setter' cut into a poly service line.


Yes. The yoke is just the 'meter setter', which connects to poly service line. Given this, what is the right way to tap for sprinkler system?

Wet_Boots
10-25-2007, 12:12 AM
PEX or poly? Two different animals. What do you have?

Oops, missed your first post. No poly indoors, that is correct. McDonald does make compression tees with threaded side outlets, as does Ford and Mueller. A compression fitting is easier to work with. No torch technique required, and far stronger than anything you could manage with an insert fitting. How does the meter-setter connect to the poly? Any threads there?

bobc9
10-25-2007, 12:19 AM
PEX or poly? Two different animals. What do you have?

1" SIDR 7 Poly service line.

I mentioned pex because I was trying to figure out what the compression fitting you mentioned is - I figured it might be the same fitting used to transition that poly service line to PEX once the pipe gets inside the house.

See my post a couple of posts back.

Wet_Boots
10-25-2007, 12:26 AM
You described a compression-to-PEX adapter. Talk to a waterworks supplier in your area. They'll hook you up. Your utility is buying fire hydrants locally. That stuff doesn't get Fedexed.

bobc9
10-25-2007, 12:30 AM
PEX or poly? Two different animals. What do you have?

Oops, missed your first post. No poly indoors, that is correct. McDonald does make compression tees with threaded side outlets, as does Ford and Mueller. A compression fitting is easier to work with. No torch technique required, and far stronger than anything you could manage with an insert fitting. How does the meter-setter connect to the poly? Any threads there?

This makes sense. Thanks.

I don't know how the meter setter is connected to poly since I haven't dug it open. What I can see is the fitting between poly and pex (indoors). They used pex crimp fitting soldered to the compression fitting (?) on the poly side. They might have done the same thing i.e. sweating copper fitting onto the compression fitting for connection between meter setter and poly.

Boots, do you have any web link that points to a y mcdonald/ford/mueller compression T for poly? or a picture at any website? The fitting they used on poly/pex transition looks like a huge piece of brass (guess weight 2 LBs) with a half circle brass band tightened by a hex screw. Is this the compression fitting for poly?

Wet_Boots
10-25-2007, 12:35 AM
Yes. It is a compression fiting. McDonald has a website. http://www.aymcdonald.com/

bobc9
10-25-2007, 12:52 AM
Thanks boots. Compression fitting will make me sleep better for sure.

Can you also shed some light on this:

After the FIP side outlet from the compression T, I am going to have a nipple, a brass ball valve (shutoff), then a MIPxMIPXMIP T (side outlet for a brass drain valve), then a FIPxFIP coupler and a long nipple to get to ground level and ell to double check valve (backflow) then to the valve manifolds.

I plan to use sch 80 pvc nipples, while all FIP's in valves are brass. Is it OK as long as I use no PVC female with brass male? Or better use galvanized nipple? or all brass nipples (cost a lot. I found 20" long 1" brass costs $100)

Is this corner cutting (pvc nipples) acceptable?

bobc9
10-25-2007, 01:21 AM
Boots, the PE compression X PE compress T with FIP outlet doesn't seem to exist.

I just went to www.aymcdonald.com, www.fordmeterbox.com and www.muellercompany.com, checked out their catalogs. All 3 way compression only, with the exception of ford that offers a compress outlet with threaded both ends.

back to torch/barb?

Wet_Boots
10-25-2007, 05:57 AM
They exist, irregardless of your searchings. Pick up your phonebook and let your fingers do the walking.

bobc9
10-25-2007, 01:32 PM
They exist, irregardless of your searchings. Pick up your phonebook and let your fingers do the walking.

Thanks. Do you have any comments on the PVC nipples with brass female thread (two posts up)?

Mike Leary
10-25-2007, 03:10 PM
Thanks. Do you have any comments on the PVC nipples with brass female thread (two posts up)?

I do...We use sch 80 m.p.t. adapters with all brass fittings, makes us sleep
better too..easy to crack the sch 40 fittings..we use rector seal pipe dope
with 2 turns of teflon.

londonrain
10-25-2007, 06:17 PM
You described a compression-to-PEX adapter. When we tap pex we use two Mueller ADPT ctsXmip into a threaded brass tee...

Dirty Water
10-25-2007, 11:51 PM
Here are a couple pics of how I usually do a tap. We have the same 200 psi poly here.

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=66533&d=1161305595

Here you have two 1.25 inch brass insert barbs double clamped. They go into a 1.25 inch tee, and are mated together with a 1.25 inch brass union. We do not use galvanized parts.

This particular tap was on a well property, so there was no meter to tap after. In the case of having access to a outdoor meter, there is usually a union connection on the meter setter itself. This allows you cut the poly, unhook the union, put a insert fitting into into the poly and a tee, and then reconnect with the union.

Don't forget to use a quality shutoff valve like this Ford ball valve I have pictured below;

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=66534&d=1161305602

bobc9
10-26-2007, 01:40 AM
thank you so much for the pictures and details, dirty water. this site is really fantastic!

I don't know if there is a union on the meter setter - only after I dig it open.

If there is, as you said, I don't need another union, and further I figure I won't need the insert fitting either. Whatever they used for hooking the poly to the union's femail thread, I can re-use it. It is highly likely to be the same a y mcdonald's compression fitting on the poly side. Then I would just unhook the union, cut out a section of poly, and put a male x male coupler and a female x female x femail T between whatever they used for fitting the poly to the union. Will that work?

If this doesn't work out, I will just use brass insert + threaded T like you did, with two clamps offset 180 degrees. Knowing pros use insert barbs makes me sleep better.

In terms of reliability, are pinch clamps or worm screw type better?

The riser (between T and ell) in your picture, is it copper pipe soldered to two threaded fitting? Is it OK to use a sch 80 PVC in its place? I am trying to avoid sweating.

Thanks again.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-26-2007, 06:15 AM
thank you so much for the pictures and details, dirty water. this site is really fantastic!


Thanks again.

Give us time and we'll blow it.

Wet_Boots
10-26-2007, 08:07 AM
thank you so much for the pictures and details, dirty water. this site is really fantastic!

I don't know if there is a union on the meter setter - only after I dig it open.

If there is, as you said, I don't need another union, and further I figure I won't need the insert fitting either. Whatever they used for hooking the poly to the union's femail thread, I can re-use it. It is highly likely to be the same a y mcdonald's compression fitting on the poly side. Then I would just unhook the union, cut out a section of poly, and put a male x male coupler and a female x female x femail T between whatever they used for fitting the poly to the union. Will that work?

If this doesn't work out, I will just use brass insert + threaded T like you did, with two clamps offset 180 degrees. Knowing pros use insert barbs makes me sleep better.

In terms of reliability, are pinch clamps or worm screw type better?

The riser (between T and ell) in your picture, is it copper pipe soldered to two threaded fitting? Is it OK to use a sch 80 PVC in its place? I am trying to avoid sweating.

Thanks again.

Stick with the compression fittings on the SIDR 7 poly - the pipe was never intended for use with insert fittings, because the wall is too thick for the same kind of clamping results you'd get with regular SIDR 15 poly.

bobc9
11-01-2007, 08:03 PM
OK. I will try to stick with the compression fittings if I can find them.

As a side note, I guess I am out of luck for disconnecting the poly at the meter setter union and slipping in a tee there. The setter bends toward the center of the box if I want to get to it I would need to dig under the box. There are concrete blocks under the cement meter box. I would have remove the blocks and box. No. I have to cut into the poly.

Rotor_Tool
11-01-2007, 09:01 PM
Given the potential for disaster here and you are messing with your domestic water supply, why not hire a pro to do the water tap for you and finish the system yourself?:confused: