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Burst Water Line

10 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Aug 14 2004

Hi,
Last night my service line burst. My front yard was flooded and parts of my driveway and pathway were raised up from the pressure. I have an atrium Eichler and was thinking of fixing this thing myself. The Leak is under the concrete driveway...I believe. Near the house.
Does anyone know the blue prints for where the line runs. Does it go straight from the meter to the house? I looks like the line enters the house in the garage through the concrete foundation...does it run inside the foundation towards the meter or does it pop out of the concrete and run along side the foundation? I don't want to dig and dig and did. I want to narrow where I should start. thanks

tom
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Joined: Mar 23 2003

The water line runs underground and up into the water meter. From the water meter the water line can either run along the inside of the house between the studs and underground again.

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Joined: Jun 28 2003

We had the same thing happen about two months after we moved in.
If the leak is located on the cities side of the meter, then your local water district is responsible for the repair.

If your leak is on the house side of the meter you are responsible for repairing the line.

If you aren't sure which side the leak is on shut the water off (at the meter, not the house) and see what happens.

Water lines all are different, no set blue prints; they do run from the meter to the house.

You can call a service, which will plot your water, gas, sewage lines and any other underground utilities. This is typically done when you are going to be digging in any area of your yard. Since you are going to have to dig to repair or replace the line then you can call this service and arrange for them to have the lines traced.

National Call Before You Dig = 888-258-0808

I recommend replacing the entire line. If one leak sprang it’s only a matter of time before another leak will appear.

When replacing the line:

1. Increase the pipe size.
2. Run the new line far from any large tree.
3. Replace the pressure regulator on the house.

We did all the work our selves, it was a lot of hard digging and I did have to cut the driveway but it’s all part of the fun of living in a Eichler.

Good Luck
Jeff
Rancho San Miguel

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Joined: Aug 14 2004

Thanks for the info. I'm gonna start digging today....as you said, "it's all part of the fun of owning an eichler."

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Joined: Aug 14 2004

Does anyone know if I should be using galvanized or copper pipe to go from the meter to the house. Which will last longer...which is required by code?

I'm trenching a new line....the old one would be a nightmare to fix. I can't see or even tell what kind of pipe the old one is.

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Joined: Jun 28 2003

Copper Pipe !!!!!! You can buy a roll at Home Depot I think it's 100' or 150' long

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Joined: Jun 28 2003

Remember to increase the pipe dia. The theory is the more your main line can provide the less times you will have the shift in water temperature. (in the shower when some flushes and the water temp changes.)

This seemed to work for us in one bathroom, but not the other. You still here screams when someone flushes while someone else is in the shower.

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Joined: Aug 14 2004

I'm laying 1" diameter copper. The house is still 3/4 and 1/2 though.
-thanks fo the info

tom
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Joined: Mar 23 2003

how deep did u have to dig?

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Joined: Mar 25 2005

We recently had some landscaping done and found that our water main does NOT run in a straight line from the meter (by the sidewalk) into the house.

While a perfectly straight line can be drawn between the meter and the shut-off valve on the side of the house where the water enters, the pipe itself is not perfectly straight. Near the corner of the house where the pipe enters the slab, the pipe was coming in at about a 45 deg angle to the house. At this point the pipe was also not that far below the grade (my understanding is that code requires a minimum of 14").

Our original pipe (as Jeff's seemed to be) is made of 1" rolled copper - so it comes in a coil that the builder unrolls. A plumber told me that because they didn't want to kink/break the copper, it was often not straightened completely.

All this to say don't assume that your main follows a straight line in from the meter. The surest and safest way to locate the pipe is to start from the sidewalk near the meter and then dig/follow the pipe until it enters the slab. This way you'll know both the path that the pipe actually follows as well as how deep it is.

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Joined: Jul 6 2003

During some landscaping, a contractor managed to hit the water supply pipe with a pick.

The shut off was impossible to turn with what the contractor had. It was amazing how fast Sunnyvale had a guy on site who quickly turned off the water.

Anyway, repaired the puncture by myself. Wish I had know this before I started, but propane on large pipes takes forever (with a bit of water) , use MAPP gas instead which burns hotter.

Mark Hoy Sunnyvale Eichler Owner

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