Replacing lead water main - what are my options?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by dogfonos, 6 Jun 2016.

  1. dogfonos

    dogfonos

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    Have read a few previous DIYnot posts on this subject which have helped but I still don't see the bigger picture and need a better understanding of my options so would appreciate any opinions/guidance.

    A lead mains water pipe runs from the main outside stopcock (beneath pavement at end of my driveway) underneath driveway for about 8m then under my bungalow floor (concrete) for another 5m before popping up in a hall cupboard where it terminates at the main inside stopcock. From then on, the pipe is copper.

    What are the methods used to replace this 13m or so run of underground lead pipe with approved plastic? Indeed, do I really have any options other than dig up both driveway and internal floor. Gulp!
     
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  3. muggles

    muggles

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    Your options are either to dig, or to mole. Moling would save digging up the driveway, but might turn out to be more expensive - worth getting a price thoguh
     
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  4. dogfonos

    dogfonos

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    The least disruptive the better. I could cope with the drive being dug up but not the bungalow flooring! Moling (as in burrowing?) sounds like a great idea, thanks - as long as it isn't prohibitively expensive. Will look into that.

    Would there be a way of pulling the lead pipe slowly out of the ground whilst following it through with new plastic pipe? Maybe even attaching the new pipe to the end of the old? I've successfully done this with underground electrical wiring but soft lead pipe? Hmmm.
     
  5. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Pulling the lead pipe out would probably end up with the lead snapping.

    Putting a draw cord through the lead pipe and then using that to pull in the new plastic pipe as you pull out the lead pipe might be successful over a short distance if the pipe is reasonable straight and the plastic pipe is smaller in diameter than the lead pipe. The cord and lead pipe would have to be pulled at the same speed so that the end of the plastic pipe is pressing against the far end of the lead pipe.
     
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  6. JohnD

    JohnD

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    The new pipe does not have to follow the same route as the old. For example you might have a flowerbed or a path.
     
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  7. stardanny

    stardanny

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    There may be a 4" clay pipe where the lead pipe ran inside just outside the building and end just below hall cupboard. Check it out.

    Daniel.
     
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  8. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    check with your local council as when I got mine done in Scotland admittedly a while back a grant was available to change the lead to within 1M of the property, not the boundary but the existing entry point but you have to pay from there on
     
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  9. AGAS

    AGAS

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    i can't see that working , lead pipe is hardly ever straight enough to pull through like that , especially with there being obstacles in the way as said above, i think its to long , but good thought thou
     
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  11. Agile

    Agile

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    Lead pipe is usually totally undersized for modern living.

    You will need at least 25 mm plastic and I always advise 32 mm as the cost is virtually the same.

    It needs to be a minimum of 750 mm down but can follow any route and does not have to be under your drive.

    There may be an easier way to bring the new pipe into the property such as to the kitchen costs at least £500

    Moling usually costs at least £500 and can be much more if a lot of work is needed at the ends.

    Tony
     
  12. jammmy

    jammmy

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    Thinking about upgrading before getting a driveway, are there plumbers able to reconnect the supply? Thames water want £1600. Seems a bit much but if I have to.
     
  13. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    Only the water company can deal with the stopvalve and the connection past that to the main. You're held to ransom I'm afraid.
     
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  14. Agile

    Agile

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    If street stop valve is close to boundary its sometimes possible to do it by tunneling from your garden.

    Ask if they still have a lead replacement program where they make a free connection to your new blue pipe.

    Tony
     
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  15. jammmy

    jammmy

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    Thanks Gents. I feared that would be the case.
     
  16. dogfonos

    dogfonos

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    £1600 for the entire lead pipe replacement and re-connection?
     
  17. jammmy

    jammmy

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    Just queried the on line quote for 1600. It was to replace the lead from the main to the stopcock as well as reconnect a pipe from my side. doh.
    Actual cost just to connect a pipe from lead to plastic is £500. A lot better :)
     
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