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Replacing main water service line - copper? PE? PEX?

11 years ago

We are looking to lay a new main water service line from the meter in the street to the house (about 275 ft). This was completely unexpected cost on top on the ongoing remodeling. The old line was 65 yr old galvanized 2.5" pipe that was completly corroded and for watever reason under the fence that I share with my neighbor. The line broke when the fence repair guy dug in several places to repair the fence posts and now we are living with relatives waiting for the new line to be done and water to flow again.

The city guy recommended copper and the plumber is willing to do copper or plastic. The copper estimate is $10,800 for 2" line which is on top of $2500 for the trenching and refilling (This is in Northern CA). I am in sticker shock but want to make sure that we do this right with right material and right installation. I would greatly appreciate some advice from the experts here in the forum. I need to make all the decisions urgently as we need the water service to be restored so that we can move back home.

1) Are copper lines safe and long lasting? What kind of copper. My plumber said something that comes in a roll to avoid joints.

2) Is plastic equally safe and proven? what kind? Generally want to avoid future health concerns due to chemicals in the plastic (yes this is an uneducated fear but I have it and am willing to be educated)

3) What is the best practices in installation? Do we need a layer of sand below? above? The plumber says it is not required. What kind of joints last longer and minimize chance of leaks? I am asking this as rusty screws and joints seem to be a common issue in plumbing repairs.

I read some suggestions on older threads to use a PVC sleeve as a first layer of protection. Is this commonly done? Is is worthwhile?



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