Service lines

Service lines marked

The day finally arrived! Wednesday, the plumbers showed up with trucks, trailers, an excavator , and a generator to start the water service line replacement. The water main is on the far side of the street, so they had a lot of work to do. The first step was to cut and dig a hole in the street where the existing ¾” lead service line connects to the water main. The old line runs directly on top of the sewer pipe, and the new service needs to be located ten feet away, which means the next step was to cut and excavate a second hole in the street. Unfortunately at that point the saw blade on their giant concrete saw broke and they had to give up for the day.

Work underway

Work underway

Thursday they excavated for the new buffalo box in the front easement. Hopefully the process didn’t damage our maple tree, since it provides a lot of afternoon shade, and none of our close neighbors on this side of the street have a mature tree out front. They got the second hole cut, along with a trench across the street from the buffalo box to the second hole, but at that point didn’t excavate the concrete. In the mean time they dug out a hole inside the basement at the front corner.

Friday they did the horizontal bore, where they basically drilled a 2″ hole through the dirt from the buffalo box all the way to the basement, maybe twenty-five feet. Unfortunately I wasn’t home to take pictures of the process, but I could see the hole in the basement when they were done. They originally had planned to switch service on Monday, but instead they did the actual excavation of the trench and second hole in the street and ran the copper tubing into the basement from the buffalo box, plus most of the interior copper pipe which runs overhead from the front of the basement back along the beam to the mechanical room.

Finally on Tuesday they cut over service. The old line was disconnected from the main and cut, the new line was connected and tied in, and our new meter was in place. The plumber said he flushed water through to get the solder out of the line, but it still tastes foul. It will probably take a few days to fully clear out. There’s a leak in the valve just past the meter, so they’re coming back out today to correct that, and they still need to patch the trench in the street, which we’re reminded of every time a car drives over the steel plates, but it’s in! My next step is to put heating cable and insulation on the new line in the basement so it doesn’t freeze before we get our heated floor poured. Temperatures have been thankfully warm, but still trending lower and it’s getting below freezing at night. I also need to go clean up the weeping trench. They put the drain tile back in place, but it’s not trenched the way I had it before.

3 Responses to New Water Service

  1. Adamn says:

    Awesome project you have going on. I’m impressed. I’m looking to do the same up in Irving Park. Two questions: Did the city put in the new water service or was that your responsibility? Also, you mentioned you should have gotten a hauler to avoid overages instead of using dumpsters. Any recommendations for that? Thanks and keep up the good work! Adam

  2. Matt says:

    The plumbers put in the new water service. The City just needed to approve it, which took a frustratingly long time. As for dumpsters, we used a broker service for our dumpsters and we should have contacted the dumpster hauler directly. A friend of mine recommended Groot, but I haven’t used them personally.

  3. Adamn says:

    Thanks Matt! I’m trying to avoid replacing my water supply unless absolutely required. Regardless I’m sure I will learn a whole bunch of fun stuff as I go through all of this myself, but your blog is definitely a great resource.

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