Leak in water line outside ... what is ...

the best way to fix it?

We have a 60’s ranch with about 25 feet of galvanized water pipe from the water meter at the street to the point where the water enters the house (pretty much a straight shot). Our soil is rocky (Boston Mountains in NW Arkansas) and there are two large trees near the water line.

We just discovered a leak in our water line (the water pipes in the house sound like water is running, even though nothing is turned on) but don’t know exactly where it is. With the help of our plumber and the city water department, we’ve isolated the leak to outside the house. I’ve been told by a couple of plumbers that it’s not worth trying to locate the leak and fix it because of the age (40 years) and type (galvanized) of pipe. Rather, we’ve been told that we just need to bite the bullet … dig a trench and put in a whole new pipe. Time of year (cold) and expense are unfortunate, as well as the fact that there is a concrete block wall and fence that the water line goes under.

Anyway, one plumber says to go back with “tough pipe” (plastic?) and the other says to use sleeved copper. Any suggestions as to which one is best for our application?

BTW … this is one of the most responsive and helpful sites I have used … thanks!

I have been told some companies can pull out the old pipe and draw in a new one at the same time .
This would be worth looking into even if you have to pay a big traveling time added expense.
Good luck and please keep us posted .
They use a lot of Plastic here.


Please edit your profile to show where you’re from.
State at least would benefit responders.

Consult the AHJ as to what material is allowed.
Soil type could play a big part in your decision.

“Plastics, Benjamin!”


I have trouble reading Razorback

missed that #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o

plastic is still ok, isn’t it??? :wink:

The important thing to remember in rocky soil is that once you do dig your trench and install your line,you should fill the trench with CLEAN dirt.

Putting rocky fill back in will greatly increase the chance for premature breaks.

Personally I would not just repair the old line.If you’ve got one leak in it, it is already telling you there are more to follow.(galvanized is like that ya know).

Plastic or SLEEVED copper are both a good replacement in rocky soil. Don’t let anyone put bare copper in.

If you use plastic,be sure to have a tracer wire installed. Although it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate 25’ of pipe.

Agreed. Plastic or Sleeved copper and they can pull either one if there is space enough. Many contractors don’t like to pull plastic if there are a lot of bends, but a straight shot might work. Worst senario is that you have to trench.