Want to run a water line to fence

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Old 09-13-17, 07:56 AM
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Want to run a water line to fence

Hi all

I rented a Ditch Witch and am planning on running a water line from my house to my fence, approx 55' from the house.
family handyman had this as a how to: https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumb...ucet/view-all/

I plan on using PEX, but will likely have come up to something that I can have a garden hose connect to, as opposed to how its connected to copper on this page (I have never soldered copper-- maybe I should learn for this?). The idea is to put a hose whye at the existing sillcock and connect a mechanical timer to that, then a hose to connect the timer to this water line.

So, I have a few questions. I am in southern North New Jersey--in case location is important here:
  • Assume I dont go with copper near the house, what should I connect the PEX to near the house to come up out of the ground at a female hose connection? I have also seen people use waching machine hoses for this-- I could use that connection alternately (FIPS?)
  • I have heard that its good practice to put sand in the trench before putting the pipe in-- how much sand do I need? I also heard I should put sand above--same question
  • The yard in this picture slopes away from the house (lucky!). Mine slopes TOWARD my house. The water line has to be 18" min depth in my area-- my plan is to start at 20" deep near house (assuming 2" of sand-- will go deeper if necessary) and make the trench deeper as I approach the fence. Are there any tips you can offer on how to ensure I have good pitch on the pipe from house to drain area?
  • Someone suggested running two pipes, in case one starts to leak. Is PEX OK in the trench together? IE: no problems with friction against each other?

Thanks, as always, for the tips and advice. This will be one of the more involved projects I have done..
 
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Old 09-13-17, 09:22 AM
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This sounds like a "temporary" extension where you hook up to the spigot on the side of your house. Digging the trench and everything is a lot of work to cheap out and just connect to the side of your house with flex hose. Why not tie into the water inside your house so you have a proper sillcock installation out in the yard? Constructed the way you mention you will absolutely, 100% of the time NEVER forget to disconnect your outside hose when freezing is possible. Leaving it connected in freezing weather is a good way to burst your sillcock or pipe inside the house.

But to your questions:
What you are doing is not proper so there is no proper way to connect an underground pipe to a spigot. You can use a piece of garden hose or washer hose as you mentioned. PEX can not be used above ground where it is exposed to sunlight so your PEX must remain safely underground.

Sand or rock free soil is a good idea around underground pipes as it protects the pipe against sharp rocks. Since you are doing a "hoakey" system I wouldn't worry about it. Just try not to bury rocks back into the trench next to your pipe.

Why are you worried about pitching your underground pipe? With a yard hydrant or spigot sticking up at one end and flex hose coming up out of the ground at the other it will not drain so pitching the pipe won't accomplish anything.

All you are doing is burying a pipe to extend your spigot. I would not worry about burying another pipe. If you were properly plumbing and running a water line to a separate garage or suite I might consider it but not for something you'll only connect and use during the summer months.
 
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Old 09-13-17, 10:47 AM
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Pilot Dane raised a few good issues. If it were me, I would agree, and connect your new faucet to the house piping permanently so you don't have to worry about it in the future.

But to touch on a few things that he didn't:
- You can connect your PEX to a copper riser using SharkBite fittings. No soldering required.
- Similarly, once you get above ground with copper, you can use some combination of SharkBite or compression fittings to give yourself a spigot.
- Unless your soil is particularly rocky, I wouldn't worry about backfilling with sand.
- I wouldn't worry about a future replacement pipe. No reason you should have any issues with your first!
 
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Old 09-13-17, 11:46 AM
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I am pretty anal when it comes to winterization. The pitch is to allow the water to drain out--if I plumb in the port for the compressor, then I can blow it out completely. Are you saying that is not necessary if I am using compressor?

The main reason I am not planning on tying in to the inside plumbing is due to lack of comfort with drilling through foundation-- I had water issues in a previous home basement--this one is dry and I'd like to keep it so

The second reason is because the trencher I reserved is good for 30" of depth. I could see if they have a 36" model, but anything beyond that depth is backhoe time, right? 36" is minimum for frost line---I'd need to be about 5" lower with sand and 1" pipe, right? A plumber would cost me $400-600 just to do the connections. That is cost prohibitive for me.

So yes-- This is a summer use only setup. I forgot to mention that I am aware I will need backflow preventer.. Waiting to hear if the town has requirements for that

So, no need for sand with PEX as long as there arent any rocks? I may still bring in the sand (really dont want to do this again)... If I were to do that, any tips on depth?

I do appreciate the comments-- even those that call this out for what this is (less than perfect for a water line). Thank you
 
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Old 09-13-17, 12:24 PM
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If you are going to use a compressor then the line does not need to be pitched to drain. If it were pitched to drain you wouldn't need a compressor. Since both ends of your line will be elevated forming a U what happens in the middle isn't so important especially where freezing is concerned. The ends are the only part that will be near the surface or above grade and subject to freezing. And, should it freeze PEX piping is not damaged by it. The pipe just stretches with the growing ice.
 
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Old 09-13-17, 01:31 PM
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thanks for reply! So, my original plan was to have a T at the rise to the new sillcock (like in the link in my first post). The line would then continue to pitch down to a shutoff valve in a gravel bed to drain.

Sounds like you would forgo that T, and just do a single pex line to the sillcock (in the hollow fence post)?

In theory, if I include the fitting (capped while in use) to screw in a compressor nipple in the copper near the house, and if I just open the sillcock on the other side, it should push all the water out, no? No need for drain valve and pitch?

I am also now wondering how I will be making sure the hollow fence post will be sturdy. Concrete is obvious option, but I dont want to do that if there are other, less permanent, options. Bury it in a bucket of sand/gravel?
 

Last edited by sirk98; 09-13-17 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 09-15-17, 10:22 AM
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I wouldn't over-think it. As long as you turn off the water and get some/most of the water out before winter, you'll be fine, especially with PEX.

I put together a little garden hose to 1/4" compressor quick connect adapter together with some hose clamps and a 1' piece of hose. It allowed me to easily connect my compressor to the faucet and blow out the water (in my case from a sprinkler system). No need to add additional fittings and such to add cost or failure points.

For securing the faucet, I used a 3' length of pressure-treated 2x4. Cut a point in the end, and sunk it about 2' into the ground, and mounted both the copper pipe and the faucet securely to the 2x4. Again, easy solution that worked pretty well. I'm sure you could attach it to the fence post - as long as you remember that PVC (assuming) will hold the screws only so well. Don't go yanking the hose too hard.
 
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Old 09-15-17, 11:01 AM
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I still can't believe you are sweating such fine details like pitching the underground line, sand around the pipe and install an underground drain valve with gravel pit and half ars it by connecting to a outside spigot at the house. If connecting to the spigot just go relatively cheap and easy. When winter comes make sure you unhook the hose from the spigot and do a so-so job blowing out the water. Freezing will not hurt the PEX so all you have to do is get the water out of any valves and fittings.
 
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Old 09-15-17, 12:14 PM
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Put something like this at the fence end and never have to worry about freeze. Already getting trencher jus add gravel under this to drain. I just picked the first one I saw i would guess there are cheaper ones.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Woodford-1-...ydrant/3572820
 
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