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Old 07-28-2009, 12:04 PM
 
1,492 posts, read 4,191,536 times
Reputation: 1265
Default Do water pipes have to go under the ground?

I live in a mobile home in NC and was digging up my water line from the road during renovating because the the water quality is questionable. Was going to find a leak and repair it or simply replace old pipes. But my daughter hit the pipe while it was her turn digging.

We are almost to the trailer and I haven't found a crack yet- except for the one she made. Can I just start the new piping there and run it above ground? I know I'd have to insulate and even build a 'house' for the pipe but that would be so much easier than try to dig the extra 35 feet (to go around the skirting).

Any ideas?
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,734 posts, read 20,387,328 times
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What part of NC are you in? Down near the beach it does not get all that cold, although most people bury water lines since if you get them a foot or two down they don't freeze, and they stay warm enough to not freeze without any attention or expense on your part.

You could rent a Ditch Witch and run that 35 feet of trench pretty quick.

Now of course you could just bury the pipe up to the point that it gets under your house, then run it any way you want under the skirting, provided it does not get cold enough to have problems.

But, me, I would bury it good and deep, come straight up into the house in just one place - do it once and do it right...
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
15,511 posts, read 13,912,730 times
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Agree with Mitch. Call your local code office but I'm 99.999999999% sure they'll have to be buried (where I am it's 42 inches). I have to ask, what water quality is an issue? Water quality is usually taste, smell, and sometimes clarity. What made you think you hd a leak? What type of pipe is it? Plastic or copper?
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:50 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
20,370 posts, read 22,260,820 times
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If the water pipe was installed by the city (which presumably it was) you'd better check first with whichever local government office is applicable. "City water" to the best of my knowledge is usually run to a certain distance from the residence and then it's the homeowner's responsibility to provide the final hook-up. If the pipe is broken within "your" boundary then you're free to fix it but I'd definitely go underground for obvious reasons even if there's no legal stipulation to the contrary rather than trying to fudge it. Good luck!
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,222 posts, read 9,585,048 times
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The utility company's part ends at the meter. All the piping on the house side of the meter belongs to the homeowner. You are required to bury the water line (by code). However, unless you are in an area that NEVER freezes, you should bury it regardless. I don't think there are many parts of NC that have NEVER had temps below 32 degrees.

IF you have city water, the pipes should have no bearing on the water quality, In fact, even if you have a well, the pipes should have no effect on the quality. Unless you have lead pipes - which is not likely. Or there is a break in the pipe allowing dirt to enter the pipes and get into the house plumbing system.

Remember, you do not have to put the new pipes in the same place as the old ones. You really only need to go from point A (the water meter), to point B (the house connection). Dig a trench in the most direct path. Like m3 said, a DitchWitch makes short work of digging a trench, and not that much to rent.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
6,488 posts, read 8,001,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barking Spider View Post
... Remember, you do not have to put the new pipes in the same place as the old ones. You really only need to go from point A (the water meter), to point B (the house connection). Dig a trench in the most direct path. Like m3 said, a DitchWitch makes short work of digging a trench, and not that much to rent.
Just be sure to have someone come out and flag the other utility lines -- gas and/or any buried electric, phone, cable.


Even if it never freezes there, can you imagine what it would be like drinking 100 degree water all summer? Yuck! Taste would further go downhill fast.

It would save on heating the hot water, however.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:11 PM
 
3,021 posts, read 15,605,145 times
Reputation: 2377
Default Whole raft of issues.................

Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasGrace View Post
I live in a mobile home in NC and was digging up my water line from the road during renovating because the the water quality is questionable. Was going to find a leak and repair it or simply replace old pipes. But my daughter hit the pipe while it was her turn digging.

We are almost to the trailer and I haven't found a crack yet- except for the one she made. Can I just start the new piping there and run it above ground? I know I'd have to insulate and even build a 'house' for the pipe but that would be so much easier than try to dig the extra 35 feet (to go around the skirting).

Any ideas?
Sounds like the OP is more than confused.

The part about the water leak, that line is pressurized so in the big picture water comes out, nothing goes in. The part about the water quality is also horribly confused. The water quality is basically whatever your water supplier delivers.

Digging anywhere without calling the dig hot line is totally fool hardy. Be it DIGSAFE / OncCALL/ Miss DIG or whatever it is called in your local area.

The part about who controls the line and who is responsible for what. That probably also can vary. In general the water supplier is always responsible up to the street shutoff valve. In most cases the property owner is responsible after that, including up to the water meter if inside. Can vary depending on how the systems are built.

In most places if you want to replace the inlet supply line must follow the rules, that also will probably vary. Some places it must be done by a contractor or the city. In most cases if allowed to the homeowner, you are required to notify the supplier prior to digging. The supplier is responsible for shutoff and hookup at the shutoff valve. Coordination is required.

In general I would stop the foolish endevour for whatever purpose. I doubt you are are accomplishing anything. Wait, get the act together, figure out what you are attempting to accomplish and do it within the local rules. In general no place will permit an exposed water service line just from a protection viewpoint. Your actions might actually result in the supplier turning off service until things are sorted out.

It sounds like work has been done for no practical purpose. Time to get the act together and figure out what the objectives really are and then accomplish them in an organized fashion if required. If the water is not leaking from the banged up area, I might just rebury the pipe and call it square unless there are real problems that can be enumerated.

Sounds confused at best.
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