I will need to run water line/conduit from the crawlspace of my house to my shop I am building. Is it permissable/possible to run it under the footer/foundation? and if so how in the world do I do that? I dug about 10 inches down against the foundation wall and hit a concrete ledge which I assume is the footer.
Can I dig to the enge of this then somehow drive a metal pipe sideways to reach under the house?
or is it better/proper to somehow drill a hole in the foundation block? If so what do I use?
I appreciate your help! I am using 3/4 pvc for the water line. Running conduit in sch 40 conduit. (The plastic stuff.
I would recommend at least 18" deep, if not 24. Then yes, drill the blocks with a carbide tipped masonry drill.
You might also want to consider making at least your underground run with PEX. It's a good bit more resilient to soil movement and freezing, and easier to place in a long run with curves. You could probably make your entire underground run in 1 piece with no couplings.
It's a hell of a lot of work for no particular reward.
That's what I do every time - Put a 90 sweep in the trench and land it vertically on the face of the footing wall, then duck into the house above ground.
If this spot on the house is near a driveway where you expect vehicular access that could damage the conduit, you have to transition to Schedule 80 heavy PVC conduit or Steel Rigid conduit where you break ground.
Or drill and epoxy a few rebar dowel pins into the footing, make a simple wooden form, and pour a concrete guard around the exposed PVC conduit.
I LIKE that! Okay, where's the instructions for writing the TinyURL with the search string built in...
You have to get the water pipes down below the frost line. And you might have to get a lot more complex, see below.
If you are in a hard freezing climate, use copper pipe and an electric heat trace, rigid foam pipe insulation and a larger pipe (like 3" ABS landscape drain) as an outer shell for damage protection. Or rig up Hot and Cold underground water feed lines and an "instant hot" circulation pump inside the garage at the far end that will keep both the lines from freezing. Or rig them for easy shutoff and draining. Or all of the above.
You can break grade near the house and come above ground, then drill a hole through the concrete footing near the house floor. Place a pullbox or a condulet so you can repull the wires without a fight. And it's a lot easier to run the conduit back to the panel under the house when it can be nailed up to the bottom of the floor joists.
You want to bring the conduits up through the concrete footing and into the wall at the garage end. Which is why you want enough of them and big enough to meet future needs. Keep the 1' or better lateral seperation by bringing the other lines up in the next stud bay over.
Go big - put in a 2" or 2-1/2" PVC Conduit for the power line to the garage, and put two or three 1" conduits for Phone, Ethernet, CATV, Fiber, etc. a foot away laterally, and bury them all at least 18" below grade for damage protection. (Shovels usually don't get down that far.) You want the one foot lateral seperation to keep power line noise from getting in the phone and Ethernet lines.
You might only need a 100A Line and 1-1/4" conduit out there now, but plans change and you might get a huge lathe next year - and you really don't want to dig it all up and start over from scratch.
If the book says you "only" need #2 AL feeders for 100A at that distance, go as large with the wire as you can get into the breaker lugs. 1/0 or better. Voltage Drop is always bad.
Copper feeder wires are better if you can afford them, but XHHW Aluminum will work fine IF you clean and treat the cable connections properly. Ideal NOALOX Compound (or eq.) and a toothbrush sized Stainless Steel wire brush. Slop it on, within reason.
Oh, and be very careful stripping the wire. Aluminum will fatigue and snap really easily at any conductor damage from a knife or strippers - you need to score around at the strip point 2/3 of the insulation, then skin lengthwise to loosen the insulation (like sharpening a pencil) then peel it off with pliers.
Remember that Safety Ground and Neutral are two seperate wires past the Main Service the Neutral is ONLY bonded there. You have to run four wires to the garage, but you can drop the safety ground down one or two wire sizes. #2 feeders, #6 ground.
Add a seperate ground bar in the garage panel, and do NOT connect the neutral to ground bonding screw/strap at the garage panel.
Try to run the feeder wires in one piece, avoid a splice in the middle - and leave a loop of slack in that splice box at the house wall just in case. If you ever have trouble, that splice is where it will happen.
Okay, that should be enough information to keep you from making the most common screw-ups. ;-P
If you think you've just invented a new screw-up, you probably have
Right - Which is why I gave him a few options to select from.
The simplest being to bury TWO insulated copper pipes (hard foam insulation sleeving) below the frost line - one Hot water and one Cold water. Then you put one of the "Instant Hot" wet-rotor circulating pumps in the garage that runs water out the Hot pipe and into the Cold until it gets Hot, then shuts off till it gets Cool again.
That should shove enough hot water back down the Cold pipe returning to the water heater to keep the line from freezing in all but the most severe climates. Wastes a bit of gas or oil running the water heater, but that's cheaper than electricity heating the pipe directly. Heat trace cables are fine for pipes in a crawl space, but would be problematic if buried. You can only insulate and armor so much.
They make the pump kits with a shutoff timer which is fine for the summer months when you would rarely use hot water out there, but you don't want to use that in the winter.
The best trick would be to rig a Klixon thermostat exposed to the outside air that kicks the circ pump system on whenever it is below
40F to 45F outside. Even if you forgot to turn it on by hand.
Copper pipe costs more, yes - but you can dig it up and do a sweat solder repair and it should hold and handle the temp swings a lot better. Plastic pipe solvent welding flat out isn't as strong, and I don't want all those solvents leaching into my water.
Oh, and Doug? You never said how to write a URL for lmgtfy. You just put the operation at the end of the string and it auto-runs?
If you go that route, run a "Sleeve" underground with a straight run of 1" PVC Pipe, and heat bend the pipe to make radius sweeps like conduit. Or get the black polybutylene tubing used for sprinkler water lines, it's flexible enough to bend. Put any thermal insulation on the outside of the sleeve pipe.
Rig up drain fittings at the low spots so it drains into a gravel bed, or out on the lawn, or into the basement drain system at the house. Then pull your 1/2" PEX water pipe through in one piece.
And WHEN it freezes and bursts the PEX pipe, and you see a river coming out the drain, you just re-pull the PEX through the existing underground sleeve and you are all done. No digging, no concrete cutting.
Think ahead, determine failure modes, and guard against as many as you can.
Yeah, I've heard THAT kind of a blanket dismissal before. ;-P Pull the other leg, I don't want to walk lopsided...
Seriously, I'd be a nice cushion below the frost line, and/or take a few seemingly "unneeded" precautions like insulation and that circ pump. Much better than the question "Dear, when did we put in a skating rink in the side yard?"
You do what the neighbors have done successfully, and a bit more.
Luckily, in the San Fernando Valley the worst we have to worry about (with a lot of advance warning if you are paying attention) is an occasional overnight frost that can take out faucet risers and vacuum breakers - crack a faucet and/or wrap it in an old blanket overnight.
Oh, and stick a fan under the orange tree. Smudge Pot heaters have been illegal for a whole lotta years.
Gee, you'd think they could mention that in the "About" box. Looked all over for the Easter Egg on that one.
Considering where you live, you can be pardoned for not understanding ... but how did you think those of us who *do* live in freeze zones manage to keep our lines from freezing? Did you seriously think that municipal water utilities in the north insulate their distribution lines, and run hot water recirculators?
Bury it deep enough, and it *will**not* freeze. It really *is* that simple.
I had to be below 36" in SW Ohio for water lines. I used 2.5" PVC and 15° angles from the city's shutoff into the basement, then ran the required K copper water trough the PVC, inside of the expanded cell foam pipe insulation. I was the first person to do it that way, and had to get a variance form the city's Engineering department to do it.
The old water line was at 36 inches, and at times it was barely a trickle after days of near zero weather.
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