Brass Copper or Galvi?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Dirty Water, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I should preface this with the fact that there is NO underground copper in my old county. Not sure why, but there isn't, so we never worked with the stuff.

    That said, Domestic lines were 200 PSI Poly, and everything else was PVC. We always tapped using all brass parts. Anything that wasn't PVC was brass, at least underground. We would use Galvi on pump setups but thats it.

    When you work with metal underground, do you use brass, galvi or copper?

    If your using Galvi, why????

    I've dug up too many balls of rust that turned out to be a fitting.
  2. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Not sure if any Long Island areas use 200psi poly for watermain to the house. All I have seen is type K copper coils. There could also be some very old galvi lines but I never saw them personally.

    Messages: 18,668

    My neighborhood has a lot of galvanized. I think during the 50s their was a copper shortage or it got really expensive and they switched over. I won't work on galvanized systems. Copper for house lines is what I usually run into. Today we are servicing an old copper system on 1.5 acres. Like to have that for scrap. I wonder if copper will ever get high enough to justify digging a system like this up for the scrap.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,385

    I'd think the time element rules out using galvanized for just about anything these days. It does make a good riser for impact heads, since the mass of the steel resists the impacts' motion more than other common materials will.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    No galv underground ever! I see it here and always cry a little inside. Most mains are run with cooper here, everything else is either class or pvc below ground. If I can't use PVC, then either cooper or brass (whatever is suitable for the application) is my material of choice underground.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Galvanized, PVC, cast/ductile iron, transite (asbestos concrete)... you name it and I run into it. :)
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Galvanized is mostly used here for the LARGE PIPE installation of backflow devices for stability and then switched out to PVC mains below ground after the stress areas are no longer present. Every specification I've seen on it around here requires galvanized to be wrapped with 10/20 MIL tape anytime it's buried. If it's properly wrapped then it'll be clean as a whistle for many moons. Good luck finding adherence to this though. :)
  8. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,928

    Depends what area I'm working and what year the house was built. Pre 1950-1963, if it hasn't been replaced already, galvanized pipe. And rarely will I work on a galvanized system. After 1963, it became code that copper was used except for fire suppression systems. I can tell you how many times we do a scrape with a shovel or pick on a gal line and that damn pipe starts pissing water.
    Now the new thing for house service lines is......forgot exactly what it's called, may pex pipe is the norm and I get to connect from copper.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    True story. I wrap all my PVC and galv to 40 mil thickness. PVC only gets wrapped to about 4" below the soil surface, galv aways gets painted and wrapped regardless of where it is at. Every seen a 6" I.D. brass nipple?

    With respect to mains, nothing stopping you from using PVC from the meter to the house.
  10. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    Around here, water lines are high pressure poly with brass fittings. Older houses are copper. Most of the galvanied that went in at one time are gone. Galvanized just doesn't last here. There is some PEX too, but the city requires Poly, so that is what I see most of the time. I use brass fittings for water hook up and PVC mains.

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