If the water meter is installed next to the home, installing the main water line above ground can be done fairly quickly and easily. However, when the water meter is on the edge of the property or otherwise far away from the home, then you’ll need to bury the pipe.
This can be done in four steps:
Excavation is the process of digging a long hole in the ground that runs from the water meter to the house. All dirt, soil, cement, and concrete must be removed during excavation.
Dirt and soil can be removed by digging or using hydro-excavation. Excavating beneath concrete or cement will require breaking apart the concrete with a jackhammer or pickax and then removing it before hydro-excavation can be used on the dirt beneath.
Trenching involves smoothing out the sides and bottom of the hole from one end to the other to remove rocks and debris which could damage the pipe. Additionally, if a straight line cannot be dug out, then trenching allows smooth, angled corners to be built into the hole so that pipes can be easily installed at a 90 degree angle where needed.
When trenching, the hole will also be angled at the proper slope to ensure downward water flow from the meter into your home. If you don’t remember learning about slope in 8th grade algebra, don’t worry. A professional plumber will be able to figure that out for you.
3. Main Water Pipe Installation
Installation is accomplished in three steps:
- A pipe is connected to the water meter.
- The pipe is installed in the hole from the meter to the house.
- The water main is installed inside the home and split into two parts, each with their own shut off valve.
Backfilling is the process of filling the hole back in with dirt after the pipe has been installed. Portions of sidewalks that were removed during excavation are also repaired during the backfilling process. After the dirt is returned into the hole and compacted, new concrete or cement is poured to connect any gaps in the sidewalk created during the installation of the water main.
Once the water main is installed, it will need to be maintained. Scheduling annual inspections of your whole plumbing system is one of the best ways to detect any possible problems before they lead to costly damage.