Water Main Installation, Repair & Integration Overview

When you have a water main installation, repair or integration project in Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga or anywhere in GTA,  it is important to work with a professional. At Plumber To Your Door, we have over thirty years of experience in the water main industry. Our team will work with you to identify the problem and come up with a solution. We will use our expertise and resources to complete the job quickly and efficiently.

Working with water mains is a process that includes digging, surface preparation and much more. Below we break down the main steps in the process.

EXCAVATION

Water main installation is a process that starts with an excavation. Before we consider how to install a water pipe, we think about various factors and rules.

  • Ground frost conditions
  • Ground water conditions
  • Traffic load that will be over the pipe
  • Soil type
  • Size of pipe to be installed
  • Surface restoration requirement and
  • Depth of other utility lines that must be crossed or paralleled by the water main.

TRENCH DEPTH

The depth of a trench is affected by factors such as the climate, the size of the pipe, traffic and many other factors.

  • In colder regions, severe winter frost can penetrate twice the average winter frost depth. Closed cell Styrofoam insulated board, 2 in. (50mm) thick and 2 to 4 ft (0.6 to 1.2 m) wide is considered fit, if adequate depth is not possible.
  • In warmer regions, minimum depth of cover to protect it from any danger is usually 2.5 ft (0.8m) for water main.

TRENCH WIDTH

The width of trench necessary for Water Main Installation is generally governed by the following conditions

  • Minimum depth to allow for proper joint assembly and compaction of soil around the pipe
  • Safety considerations
  • The need to minimize the external loading on the pipe

Trench depth should be at least 1 foot (0.3 meters) wider than the outside diameter of the pipe. This provides a safe working area for installing. Avoid digging deep trenches in small diameter pipes, especially in hard clay soils.

BEDDING

Bedding is setting up the pipes for the water system. Things to keep in mind while bedding include where pipes should go and what materials can be used.

  • Bottom of the trench must be properly leveled and compacted so that the barrel of the pipe will have continuous, firm support along its full length.
  • Leveling board should be used to ensure that there are no voids and high spots and that the grade is correct.
  • In adverse soil situations (damp soil or solid rocks), special pipe bedding may be specified by the engineers. A clean, well graded granular materialupto1 in (25mm) in size. It should contain no lumps or frozen ground and have no more than 12% of clay and silt that can be sensitive to water.
  • When natural trench bedding is unable to support the pipe, it is necessary to dig another 12 to 24 in (300 to 600 mm) deeper.
  • Haunching is a process of placing bedding material around the haunch of a pipe. It is necessary for increasing the load bearing capacity of the pipe.

LAYING PIPE

Once the trench is ready, the pipe may be placed into position. There are several general directions for laying pipe.

  1. Inspection- A pipe should be inspected for damage. Any unsatisfactory section should be removed.
  2. Cleaning- Dirt, oil, grease, animals or any other foreign material should be removed before installation. The hypo chloride solution is recommended for quick and proper cleaning
  3. Placement- The pipe should not be rolled, it should be lowered into the trench by hand or mechanical equipment
    1. While placing, pipe is usually supported by a sling in the middle
    2. Installers should make a conscious effort to keep the inside of pipe clean during lying.

JOINING PIPE

This is a part of the Water Main Installation process. It must be done correctly to minimize leakage and ensure proper functionality and longevity for the water main service. Methods of joining, depends upon the type of pipe material and type of the joints. Bell holes must be dug by hand where pipes will be jointed. This will allow room for the joint to be installed. The size of the bell hole you make should not be too large or too small, but it should be big enough to accommodate a twenty-four inch sleeve that is attached to a socket wrench

PUSH ON JOINTS

The four general steps in making up ductile iron or PVC pipes push on joints are:

  1. Clean the groove and bell socket of the pipe.
  2. Apply lubricant to the gasket and plain and of the pipe.
  3. Plain and should be beveled, sharp edges may damage or dislodge the gasket.
  4. Small pipe can be pushed into bell socket with a long bar. A timber header should be used between the pipe and backhoe bucket to avoid damage to the pipe.

CONNECTING TO EXISTING MAINS

There are two ways to connect with the existing main power socket; either by installing a new tee or by making a pressure tap.

  • TEE CONNECTIONS

A tee fitting is inserted in the main line. A piece of pipe is cut or snapped at the outside edges of the section to be removed. A third cut is made midway between them. After these cuts are made, a broken piece of pipe will easily break out

  • PRESSURE TAPS

More and more people are looking for the benefits of pressure taps, as they provide a variety of advantages.

  • Customers are not inconvenienced by having their water turned off
  • Lower probability of contaminating the water system
  • Fire protection in the area remains in service
  • No water loss
  • Based on the time required to close valves and notify customers before inserting a tee is taken into account making a pressure tap is much faster.

Once a pressure tap has been configured, an excavation can be completed in the following steps:

  1. The surface of the existing main is cleaned. The tapping sleeve is installed on the main, with the face of the flange vertical.
  2. The special tapping valve is attached to the sleeve’s projecting flange.
  3. The tapping machine is installed on the valve, with the shell cutter attached. The machine is supported on contemporary blocks.
  4. With the tapping valve open, the cutter is advanced to cut a hole in the main.
  5. The cutter is retracted to beyond the valve, and the valve is closed.
  6. The tapping machine is removed, and the new main is connected.

Having a water main installation project is complicated. We recommend using a licensed, insured, and experienced contractor for any jobs where there is a water main installation or water main integration. 

Plumber To Your Door  is familiar with all aspects of water main projects and has been working with local water companies for years. We make it easy to find the best service that fits your needs.