Curb to House water line removal ??'s

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by AdvLandscapeLLC, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. AdvLandscapeLLC

    AdvLandscapeLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    So today a customer calls me to come out to his property because he has a leak in his city water line coming into his house. He is unsure of where the leak is but it seems to be in an isolated area close to the foundation. Now I do not install water lines and I made that clear to the customer he said he understands and was going to have a plumbing contractor install the water line from the curb valve in. I told him that this was overkill and he should just find the leak and repair it but he insists on replacing the whole line which is a 75' run. So here is my plan. Cbyd and the water company came out and located the line they ran the tests on the water run off which was the sign that he had a leak and confirmed that there was chlorine in the sample. Is there any advice when digging out these lines, anything to be extra careful of other than hooking the line and pulling it. Any tips and tricks anyone has picked up? I'm using my bobcat 335 I have a tooth bucket and cemetary bucket.:usflag:
  2. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    You know, everytime I do a repair job on a line, we end up replacing it all, the time it takes to locate, shut off and repair, it's faster digging a new line. Another problem that pops up is the leak will be found, but the connections will fail and or there is another leak further down. In hard soils the leaking water will migrate some times 20 feet from the actual leak.
    The worst I had it was a run of 3/4 poly that was repaired 3 times in a year, the cause was itty bitty pebbles in the backfilled sand and the line would pop a pin hole, water would be seen at the surface, but it eroded soil further down the line for repair job #2 to be done in a few months.
    We dug and backfilled a new PEX line in 2 hours. Problem solved.
  3. bighornjd

    bighornjd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    Yup. I've found the same is true for septic lines. If a power snake won't clear it due to a bad clog or collapsed pipe, it seems easier to just dig it all up and replace it. You end up digging most of it up to find the problem and then have to mess with connections etc. Easier to just do it all and be done with it unless it's an unusally long run.
  4. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    I have also done a repair on a 1000 foot line, I narrowed the leak down to within 20-40 feet of the actual leak and replaced 100 feet of line. The biggest problem I am noticing (and plumbers here are seeing this too) is rubber compression fittings and certain soft metal connections are failing on municipal water sources due to the use of Florine as a water disinfectant, along with Chlorine, the Florine reacts with the connections and breaks it down faster. When a newer toilet leaks, that's a dead give away.
  5. 93turbo

    93turbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    Wow you guys must have some crappy water line and connections if you can't repair it and not have it start leaking again. When digging close to the house or meter dig down and find the line then cut it if your gonna just replace it so that way if you snag it you wont tear up anything the line might have been attached to and pulled apart
  6. ConstSvcs

    ConstSvcs LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Excavate and disconnect at the curb-box first by excavating left of right of the curb-box (while facing the street). By excavating in this manner you will then be able to excavate on the yard side of the curb-box, following the curb-box riser to with-in a 1.5 ft of the expected depth with the machine and hand shovel the remaining into the pit you have created left of right of the line.

    Locating the line is very important as you DO NOT want to hook onto the service with your bucket! One small "yank" has the potential of pulling the flair from the street side of the curb-box which point.........a watery hell will unleash upon you !! :dizzy::dizzy:

    Once thats done............disconnect from the inside....remove the existing (copper ?? ) service and run to the scrap yard for the beer money......:laugh:

    Have the plumber install a new plastic water line as this will allow the customer to purchase the water company's " Line Backer" insurance.

    Don't forget the sand and compactor. :waving:
  7. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    Does your municipality have any codes on services? look into that first as different towns/city's have different practices

    But yeah 90% of the time we just replace the entire service with 1 inch Municipex from the curb stop to the house and the plumber makes the inside connection.

    One added thing they make us do now in code is insulating our lines with 2'' Styrofoam if they are above 6 feet in the trench,its just a little extra protection from frost

    Get in good with your water dept and local plumbers as services are a good money making business
  8. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Messages: 943

    Trench in a new line and be done with it. Takes way too much time to dig up the old line, and to locate the leek(s). Alot of time the material the line was made from is broken down, rusted/corroded anyway.
  9. 93turbo

    93turbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    wow you got to put them in deep. Around here the meter is only 32" deep and a 3/4" plastic lid is all that seperates it from the outside
  10. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    No meters here in my city yet on residential only large industrial/commercial users but there is talk in putting them in

    Maximum our water services can be is 6'10'' minimum is 5'10'' our sanitary sewers are another foot below that.Then picky crap like an anode on the curb stop and tracer wire,4'' of bedding sand and 2'' styrofoam insulation

    We have a 650 page general specification bible we have to follow its great to read if your having trouble sleeping lol

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