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The last 10 posts

Sunday, July 12th 2009, 7:14pm

by Frankpc

Thanks for the advice WB. I am still making plans and developing a material list. I've learned a lot from you and others in this forum and am fixin to start digging and assembling soon.

I may try a few things that might have to be changed in the future, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Truth is, I think it will be an efficient system with little maintenance required.

Thanks again,


Saturday, July 11th 2009, 1:18pm

by Wet_Boots

I'm an old-school plumber, so I think in terms of copper plumbing. Just what pressures the PEX will withstand, I couldn't cite from experience. I think you do the job most simply, by plumbing from the utility room. If that means working with the PEX, you might consider having a plumber handle that, since he will have whatever drills are needed to bring the new copper pipe out above grade. He would also know what would be safe, so far as tweaking the existing PRV for more pressure.
Definitely go with the plow, and don't look to rent one. Let the skilled trades supply their expertise and equipment, and you can connect the dots.

Friday, July 10th 2009, 4:50pm

by Frankpc

Thanks WB!

Wow... I just had a sprinkler guy come over to give me an estimate. The way he operates is that you can pick and choose what he does for you. I told him the one thing I would be more interested in than anything else would be to pay him to lay the pipe with a vibratory plow. I don't know whether I can rent one or not. But perhaps the savings in lawn damage might be worth the additional investment. Actually, I am still leaning toward renting a trencher. I know I can rent one of those, but just don't know for sure yet. He said he lays the pipe one foot down.

Anyone know if a trencher is a one man job? I figure 3" wide by 12" deep. His vibratory plow was just going 12" deep.

He said to leave the pressure at 117 psi. That surprised me.

WB... The reason you say to use the PVB rather than the RPZ is due to the RPZ's higher insertion loss (?) when I only have 50 or 60 psi to begin with? You didn't sound like you thought the higher pressures were a real good idea with PEX. I competed an RMA request to return the RPZ today. Even with the cost of postage to return it, I will still save money when I buy the PVB.

Thanks for the advice,


Friday, July 10th 2009, 7:20am

by Wet_Boots

I would just make the connection in the utility room and exit as conveniently as possible (above grade) and use a PVB. Yes. PVB. Even if you have to arrange to return the RPZ and pay a restocking fee. The property is small enough to supply from the reduced pressure in the house plumbing. This is commonly done by professionals, where a finished basement makes more direct connections too costly. Sometimes, the pressure reducer might be tweaked a bit, like raising the regulated pressure from 50 psi to 60 or 70 psi. The house plumbing is still protected, and the system design can be easier with the extra pressure. (although, with PEX plumbing indoors, I might see how it goes without doing any PRV adjustments)
You can do all this and use the RPZ outdoors (you do know these devices are supposed to be at least a foot above grade) but that won't leave you with a lot of pressure. It would be enough for a good pro to do a good system, especially if sprays are used, as opposed to rotors.

Thursday, July 9th 2009, 9:13pm

by Frankpc

Yes, home has a finished basement. The main water line comes in through the front wall of the basement below grade about 4'. It comes directly into a wall mounted cabinet, which is in the basement bathroom. The pressure regulator and main valve are there too.

There is a utility room in the basement. It is at the rear (opposite side) of the house.... The main water line (3/4" PEX) goes to that room via the ceiling of the basement. Of course that is after the house pressure regulator.

I bought the RPZ because I wanted to protect it from freezing and that was the only below grade device that is allowed here. I just received the RPZ today, which happens to be the same day I was convinced by WB that trying to drain the water discharge to a nearby sink drain through a hose just wasn't practical in all possible scenarios. I had always figured I would have to bore a hole through that front wall to get the RPZ output back outside.

I had considered mounting the RPZ in the utility room. But to do so, I would have to run pipe about 35 feet to get there. Worse part is that the pipe would have to go up a finished wall of the bathroom and then make a 90 degree turn above the sheetrock ceiling of the bathroom. I don't know how I would make the 90 degree bend in a blind corner. I can see that corner by looking above an adjoining drop ceiling ... it is about 7' away between ceiling joists

Another idea ... A wall of the garage is in the same area where the water main comes into the basement. The garage floor is even with grade. Perhaps I could Tee into the mainline outside underground and route PVC up and into the side wall of the garage just above its sill. Inside the garage, I could build a small cabinet to house the main valve, electric valve, blowout hose bib, and the RPZ. I think I could deal with the spitting water. It would be OK as long as it spit on my wife's Avalon and not on my Vette. In addition, I could put a 3-port manifold there and just bring the laterals out. I could insulate the pipes for the short distance they would be exposed to weather. Is that a bad idea?

Thanks for your support and patience.


Thursday, July 9th 2009, 7:10pm

by Wet_Boots

Cold climates aren't likely to ever use PVC supply lines. Copper is the likely product.
Let's clear up something. Does this home have a basement? Is there any utility room in the basement with plumbing in it? Does this room have an exterior wall?
Citing the expense of a rotary hammer is kind of curious, given that an RPZ was purchased without any clear need of the expenditure.

Thursday, July 9th 2009, 3:06pm

by Frankpc

Thanks HKDK,

From what I've read, I kind of figured it could be 1" PVC. I'll find out once I get down there. I understand there is a compression Tee that some how can be put on after cutting out a section of the PVC.

And, yes, I plan to use unions on either side of the RPZ. However, I was also thinking that perhaps the unions could go on either side of the regulator-electric valve-blowout port-RPZ assembly. And just take the whole thing out. I wonder if that would ever be done. On the other hand, if the blowout port allowed the removal of water in those four items, perhaps there would be no reason to remove any of them.

The more I read, the more questions I have. I'm not real sure all of those items are even needed down by the meter. The meter cover is fastened with a special 5 sided bolt by the way. So I can't actually look at the meter connections without digging for it.

Thanks for the advice and warning!


Thursday, July 9th 2009, 12:17pm

by HooKooDooKu

Do NOT!!! assume that you have 3/4" copper coming out of your meter just because that is what is coming into the basement. I've got a similar setup, but when I dug down to make a connection just after the water meter, it was 1" PVC from the meter to the house. Actually, that sort of setup makes perfect sense. PVC is cheaper than copper, but you can only use PVC in a mainline if it is burried. So for the buried water line from the meter to the house, they install cheap PVC. Then, just before going into the house, they convert to copper. On the plus side, if this is the setup, you will have even more capacity to be able to supply your home AND irrigaion if they have 1" PVC as it is larger than 3/4" copper.

If you are really worried about the RPZ freezing, you can always install it with a pair of unions and simply remove it from the outside pit and the end of the year.

Thursday, July 9th 2009, 9:14am

by Frankpc

Thanks WB,

Situation is... I have already purchased an RPZ. If I made the connection indoors, I would have to rent a hammer drill and bore a 1 1/2" hole through the foundation and dig down perhaps 3 or 4 feet to the hole outside under a bay window. So placing the RPZ outside eliminates that requirement. Also elminates the threat of water pouring out of the RPZ inside per your other message. At least with the RPZ, I can mount it below grade near the meter.

So, you've made it obvious to me that I need to mount the RPZ outdoors. In that case, I would plan to place it below grade near the meter. Since the pressure there is 117 psi, I think I need to place the following components in the following order beginning with the Tee:

manual shut-off valve - hose bib for blowout - pressure regulator or reducer (is there a difference?) to drop the pressure to 70 psi - electric shut off valve - RPZ - a second manual shut off valve (in case the RPZ is removed?) - then on to the manifolds. (I live in Kansas, so there is freezing conditions).

Does that sound anywhere near optimum?

Thank you,


Thursday, July 9th 2009, 8:31am

by Wet_Boots

Since your house is 60 feet from the street (from another thread) just stick with the indoor connection, and lose the RPZ in favor of a PVB located outdoors, unless there's something you haven't told us yet.