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Cement Lined Water Main

Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
Hello,

I have a 1" water service line that is "Cemented lined pipe" per my town's records from 1934. Whole house has new PEX plumbing from the water meter. I have really good pressure 85+ PSI but low flow around 3GPM. The town says I need to replace my service line with copper...what's the life expectancy of a cement lined pipe?

I'm assuming it needs to be replaced but just wanted to get some other input. Would a new copper pipe help increase my flow rate?

Comments

  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Depends in large part on the water chemistry (especially hardness.) I would choose HDPE or PEX over copper for a buried main.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,898
    Does cement lined pipe exist as small as 1"? I've only seen it 4" and larger for city mains. Seems like 1" galvanized would have been the choice in 1934. Interesting, learn more everyday.
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    edited September 2015
    SWEI said:

    Depends in large part on the water chemistry (especially hardness.) I would choose HDPE or PEX over copper for a buried main.

    I think some AHJ don't allow HDPE or PEX for water service. Copper is required here. (Chicago)
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    It looks like galvanized from the inside, however the water records from the town have it listed as 1" cement lined pipe...doesn't make sense right?
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    I'm pretty sure copper is required here in MA as well. Will I see performance gains going to copper from galvanized? I'm assuming it is corroded pretty good being 75+ years old.
  • bob_46bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    What size is the "new pex plumbing from the water meter"?
    bob
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    I believe it is 1" going to a manifold of 1/2" runs.
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Requiring copper (or any metal pipe, other than perhaps stainless) for underground use makes no sense to me at this point in time.
    Bob Bona_4RobG
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,983
    SWEI said:

    Requiring copper (or any metal pipe, other than perhaps stainless) for underground use makes no sense to me at this point in time.

    What's your view on drafthoods on atmospheric appliances at this time?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Bob Bona_4
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I think both Tim McElwain and Jim Davis have clearly demonstrated the total wrongness of the draft hood. I'll stick with the experts.
  • Matt_67Matt_67 Member Posts: 176
    Up north here we like copper - easier to thaw.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,815
    Also, in an older house, you may have some electrical equipment grounded to interior copper piping (yes, I do see all the new PEX). Running a plastic water service eliminates that ground, so you'll need Sparky to come up with some other method. This may be one reason some jurisdictions still require copper or galvanized water services.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
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  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,898
    If you get a new non conductive water service line and if the existing galv line is left in place it may qualify as your grounding electrode with the grounding wiring left in place. It does not have to be connected to the water main. I believe it needs to be a minimum of 10' long to qualify.
    SWEIRich_49
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    So a contractor mentioned he was replacing the main of a house down the street. He uses a pipe busting machine to feed the new copper trenchless through the existing pipe.

    This house looks like it had a 90 elbow right at the foundation. What is this new piping they installed ? It sticks up 2+ feet with some sort of brass bell on top and then a shut off valve. This would stick out in my yard as it is exposed with minimal landscaping.

    Second, why won't it freeze?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,983
    Kjmass1 said:

    So a contractor mentioned he was replacing the main of a house down the street. He uses a pipe busting machine to feed the new copper trenchless through the existing pipe.



    This house looks like it had a 90 elbow right at the foundation. What is this new piping they installed ? It sticks up 2+ feet with some sort of brass bell on top and then a shut off valve. This would stick out in my yard as it is exposed with minimal landscaping.



    Second, why won't it freeze?

    Hard to see but I'm guessing this is a frostproof outdoor water spigot who's actual valve is below the ground and below frost. This means it can be left on all year.

    Just a guess going by your description. If that's true, it has nothing to do with the new water line, they just asked for an outside spigot. Though normally, you use that type away from a building because it's easier just to run a frostproof spigot through the wall.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    They definitely ran a new line, the street was cut up. I'm going to reach out to them regardless to see how they liked the contractor. Curious to why they added it.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    If you're going to go to all that expense and you really do have to use copper, I would seriously consider using coated pipe.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,983
    I have a pitiful 3/4" galvanized line that was installed god knows when and I know it's restricted. I replaced everything after the meter, but in my area from the meter to the curb shutoff is my problem and I can't afford replacing it.

    Funny thing, if I call the gas company and tell them I need more gas they will be out the next day with a bigger meter. Call the water co and tell them I want more water and I get told "tough".

    :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Kjmass1
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    Seriously...because the line is older than 70 years, I'm also responsible for paying from the curb stop to the main on the other side of the street (that's my fault somehow?) Plus I have to pay for the $400 street detail. Where do my taxes go?

    Of course the contractor has to be bonded with the town, and only 1 out of 5 options I called would do the job. Quickly becoming a $5k job to go 30'.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,983
    Our city water was put in back in 1881. The original valve is under my basement stairs as those were added in sometime in the 1890s. Strange looking valve with a huge 2 sided handle rather than the typical knob style.

    Then it was replaced sometime later, twice, and I was concerned about a lead line from the main to the curb stop but the water company said there's no lead here so hopefully I can trust them.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    RobG
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I would consider renting a trencher and getting quotes on the just the pipe work.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,898
    edited October 2015
    Here if there is an old galv 3/4 or 1" water service coming into the house and the main in the street is original pipe, then we assume that there is a lead pipe "gooseneck" connector at the main "corporation stop" connecting the customer galv pipe that goes to the customer outside curb stop and then into his house.

    The "gooseneck" was factory made. It was 2 to 3 feet long. It allowed a tight bend off the upper tap on the main, (keeping it a little farther away from the frost line), and allowed movement for trench settlement etc that would stress iron fittings.

    If the main was replaced the utility might replace the lead gooseneck with soft copper. The water company has their feet to the fire (by State Health Dept.) to remove any lead from the muni water system whenever possible. However, the lead connector is the customers property and their responsibility. We just have a customer friendly utility that corrects issues like this when possible.

    PS: as I re-read this I recall a posting here that had a similar problem. It turned out that person's curb stop was not completely opened. If you replaced your inside main water service valve before the meter, then the curb stop may have been operated and not fully reopened. They need exercise which might cut some scale out of the restricted opening. I had this issue on a job myself also.
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    When I had the town came out they dug up the stop by the sidewalk and labeled it so I would hope they checked it to make sure it was fully opened.

    Whats a typical flow rate for residential city over 1" service lines? Like I said I have really good pressure 90psi but not sure if that is because my line is currently restricted or if that has any impact.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,983
    1" at 90 PSI? I don't know GPM but I bet it's high. Real high.

    Mine is 3/4" and only 60 PSI if I'm lucky and as far as I know that should be more than enough for the typical household.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    Yeah I should really install a reducer. It's even printed on the water meter with a tag of 85psi. Everywhere I've read that is crazy high and could damage pipes.
  • FranklinDFranklinD Member Posts: 399
    Oh you folks with your giant supply pipes... Gosh, I wonder how fast my washer would fill with a 1" service at 90 psi?

    The old part of my city that I live in, even the 'replaced' galvy lines that are now copper are only 1/2" at 60 psi. We have never known any different. If someone's in the shower, we don't run the dishwasher. That's about it.

    I visited my buddy's new house in St Paul and they had just dug up and replaced the sewer lateral and the water service before he bought the house. 1" copper coming in. It was amazing to me. Here the meter sizes are listed as 1/2", 5/8", and 3/4" for residential.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
    Kjmass1
  • Kjmass1Kjmass1 Member Posts: 202
    We max out at a meter size of 3/4 as well for residential.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    The standard meter unions here are 5/8" -- we usually run 3/4" PEX to those (unless the run is over 100 feet.) Large residential is 3/4", which usually gets a 1" PEX lateral. Static pressure in the mains varies depending on elevation. Downtown is typically 80-90 PSI, but I've seen over 150 PSI near the bottom of one of our arroyos.
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