Regardless of project classification, whether it's a residential or commercial property, the water main is essentially the "main artery" connecting the building to the primary water supply. This vital system component's function is conveying water. Working with water mains can be a really complicated and lengthy process for any inexperienced plumbing contractor. However the plumbers at Five Points Excavating are specialized in all aspects of water main integration, installation and repair.
Working with water mains consists of 4 main steps; Excavating, Bedding, Pipe, Connection. Below is a breakdown of each of these steps to give you a general understanding of what you'll see when Five Points Excavating handles your water main installation.
Like most construction projects, the first step to water main installation is excavation. This is when we will dig out the passage needed to install the water main piping. Quite a few things can impact this process like ground frost, soil type, pipe size, etc. Once we have a full understanding of the area we can begin to dig the trench.
Bedding involves prepping the platform that we will lay the PVC pipe on for your water main. There are a few things to keep in mind during install.
The bottom of the trench must be leveled properly and compacted completely so the barrel of the pipe will have firm, continuous support along the full length of the pipe.
You need to use leveling board to ensure that there aren't any voids or high spots, and that the grade is correct.
If you're dealing with damp soil or solid rock), special pipe bedding might be required by the engineers. A well graded granular materialupto1, 25mm in size. It should not have any lumps or frozen ground. It should have no more than 12% clay or silt, because that can be sensitive to water.
When we are unable to use natural trench bedding to support the PVC, it is necessary to dig an additional 12 to 24 in or 300 to 600 mm deeper.
We finish with haunching. Haunching is the process of placing bedding material around the haunch of a pipe. It is necessary for increased load bearing capacity of the PVC.
After the trench is dug and the bedding is layed, we're now ready to lay the pipe. When laying pipe we follow 3 easy steps. First we INSPECT the pipe for any damaged sections. If any section is damaged it will be replaced in this phase. Second we CLEAN the pipe of any debris or blockages, meaning dirt, oil, or living things. Third we PLACE the pipe, we don't roll the pipe into place, we lay it down into the appropriate spot.
Once the pipe is laid we look at joining each section of pipe together. The methods that we do this vary based on the same factors we look at when excavating. That initial analysis is crucial for every step of the water main install, but especially during the joining process. It must be done meticulously to avoid any potential leaks and ensure proper functionality.
There are two different types of connections that can be made to the mainline water supply, Tee Connections or Pressure Taps.
For a tee connection we insert a tee fitting into the existing mains. Existing mains must be turned off and disconnected for several hours. A piece of main is hit to make a cut or snap at the outside edges of the section to be removed. Then a third cut is made midway between them. When the pipe is hit with a sledgehammer in the center, it will easily break out.
While we must use a tee connection in some circumstances we always suggest that you use a pressure tap when possible for a few key reasons, water loss, customers aren't inconvenienced by having their water turned off, lower probability of contaminating the water system, and fire protection in the area remains in service.
After all 4 steps are complete we clean off the main and prep everything to get water flowing! For more information about how Five Points Excavating handles a water main install feel free to drop us a message at Info@AZExcavation.io or give us a call at 602-312-2445.