Water Service Line
Water Line Repair and Installation
Front yard sprung a leak? Water lines can fail, burst or begin to perform poorly over time. Temperature fluctuations from hot to cold, natural shifting of the supporting soil, buildup of mineral deposits, even the unavoidable presence of water pressure can eventually compromise the strength and structure of the water service line. If you’ve noticed the ground surface dropping in the area of your water service line, a decrease in water pressure or discoloration in water quality, it may be time to have your service line inspected.
Trenchless Service Line Installation and Replacement
Directional Bore Method
Directional boring or horizontal directional drilling (HDD) replaces your existing water line or installs a new water service line by creating a new path from the municipal water meter up to the house or building. Directional boring requires digging two points of access to begin, then removing a hydraulic boring head. The boring head is piloted underground, avoiding buried utilities, landscaping and concrete work.
Specialized Water Line Pulling Method
Specialized water line pulling method is similar to directional bore in that it doesn’t require excavating a trench. As with directional bore, two holes are dug — one near the water service box and one near the point of entry into the residence or business. A steel cable is threaded through the existing service line, a threaded union is applied, connecting the old pipe with the new, then — with mechanical assistance — the old line is pulled out from its installation while simultaneously threading the new line in place. The specialized water line pulling method is minimally invasive, leaving landscaping and concrete work undisturbed.
Pipe Bursting Method
Pipe bursting employs the use of an steel anvil head pulled by a cable through the existing buried pipe. The existing pipe is split as the anvil advances, pulling behind it the new replacement pipe.
Water Service Line Considerations
A Plumbing Solutions licensed plumber never sells a service that isn’t warranted. After inspection, if a water service line replacement or repair is needed, we discuss a plan of attack most suitable for your needs and budget. When considering replacing the water service line, we present the pros and cons of the following options:
- Copper Pipe. Strength, durability and longevity. Copper is a soft, malleable metal strong enough to withstand deforming under pressure. With temperature fluctuations and changes in municipal water pressure, copper pipe has an elasticity that adapts rather than breaks. Copper pipes won’t corrode and have a biostatic atmosphere — the interior of the pipe doesn’t promote bacterial growth, which results in healthier and better-tasting water. Copper that has reached the end of its life can be recycled. As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, mineral production has scaled back; demand for copper exceeds production, making copper a more expensive option. Water with high acidic levels can eventually degrade copper pipe, leading to pinhole leaks and discoloration around soldered unions.
- High-density Polyethylene (HDPE). Lightweight, strong, impact-resistant and weather-resistant. When used as a buried municipal water service line or waste water connections, HDPE tolerates thermal expansion, as the surrounding soil provides insulation. Typically lower in cost, HDPE is said to be a “green solution for piping,” as it doesn’t release toxins during production and can be recycled. The use of HDPE is controversial, as most plastic resins have shown detectable levels of estrogenically active (EA) compounds; however, tests have not proven that any of these compounds leach into water supplies when used in water service line applications.
- Steel Pipe. Covered with a protective layer of zinc, steel pipe was used predominantly in new construction prior to the 1960s. Highly susceptible to corrosion, steel pipes will accumulate a buildup of mineral deposits and scale, resulting in restricted water flow and pressure. As other more-reliable options exist today, replacing a water service line with steel pipe is no longer an option.