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  1. #1
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    Default Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of planning some major (for me..) upgrades to my house and barn / shop, and I need some advice in putting in a potable water line between house and barn.

    The biggest part of the project is trenching (3200 ft) for a closed loop geothermal heat pump system, which I think I have mostly planned out. Then I got the idea that if I was going to have the whole back yard torn up, I might as put in water and electric to my barn and be able to use it as shop....

    But I'm stuck on how best to run the potable water line out the back of my home, as I have a "walk out" basement and a 3 ft frost line. (I'm in PA). The geothermal lines will have anti-freeze of course, so no problems there. I was thinking that maybe running the potable water along with the "Incoming" geothermal line would keep things just warm enough (with some insulation around both) to prevent the water line from freezing as it exits the ground (from a 3 ft trench) and enters my basement just above grade. The design software says that "worst case" the entering water temp should be about 35 degrees, so not much excess heat. I can't easily stay below the frost line and enter the basement because the back of house is the "walk out" part...and I really don't want to dig under the slab.

    So I was just wondering if anyone had any clever ideas, I'm not a very experienced builder but I suspect there are tricks of the trade that have been used in this situation all the time. One other thing, my septic system exits the back of the house as well, would it make sense to come in next to that plumbing to keep the water line a little warmer?

    Hope this description makes sense... I know it's kind of a small issue, but I would really hate to mess this up and have the pipe burst... it would make a big mess of my downstairs....

    thanks in advance,
    -toolnut
    TYM 273, FEL and backhoe

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    I would think that bundling the water line with the incoming geothermal line would provide enough heat to keep it from freezing. Perhaps place the lines in a piece of 4 inch electrical conduit and then use spray foam for added insulation. The conduit would give the pipes some protection as well.
    If that didnt work, you could always build an insulated enclosure around the pipes. Kind of like an extension to your foundation.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    Do not be too concerened if it's not 3' deep if you are not driveing over the line it will not freeze I have put several lines in for customers here in central Pa. less than that one as shallow as 12" and no problems You also can also insulate the line 1" of foam will stop 1' of frost

  4. #4
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    I don't deal with your level of cold, so I'm just guessing here, but I'm thinking KTM has it right. If possible, I'd go as big a pipe for the insulation sleeve as I could. 6 inches would be better then four, and bigger then that would even be better.

    One thing you absolutely must have are some valves on it. At least one at either end of the run.

    You didn't say how far the line is from point to point?

    Plan on putting a water spicket in there too. Nothing as handy as a hose at the shop when you need it!!!

    You might also think of upgrading the pipe that you are worried about to Schedule 80. It's ALLOT stronger!!!!

    Or maybe going with galvanized pipe. I'm not sure, but has anybody heard of galvanized pipe breaking from freezing? Burst pipes always seem to be plastic, or at least, I've never heard of galvanized pipe breaking from freezing.

    Eddie

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    Thanks guys, I appreciate all the advice as usual.

    It's almost 600 ft to the barn, and was planning on a couple of those "frost free" below ground spigot valves along the way.

    I was pretty much thinking along the same lines as ktm, wrapping the lines with some insulation / foam. Placing them inside a piece of 6" DWP sounds like a nice neat solution.

    Good question on what type pipe to use.. for the geotherm of course it's heavy wall HDPE, but for the water I wasn't sure. I know there is a type of black pipe that is used for water lines, but not sure how difficult to hook up spigots for example. I've lots of PVC, and yep I'd go for sch80, but not crazy about those joints for a run this long...

    thanks again
    TYM 273, FEL and backhoe

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    IM surprised your using HDPE (high density polyethylene) and not PEX (crosslinked polyethylene).
    I would use PEX for the both. Its very easy to hook up the spigots with PEX and the different fittings (crimp or expansion) that are available.
    I think the "black" pipe is what we use around here to connect house to well. A copper fitting is used to to sweat house copper line on one side and the "black" pipe is fitted with clamps on the other. The same approach could be used on your spigots using a Tee.
    Acutally, the "black" pipe may be cheaper to run from house to barn.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Timber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    I have a below frost line water valve in my barn. It has a long rod that opens the valve 4 feet down. It looks like an old hand pump
    Kubota B7800, Sundown Loader Forks, Landpride PHD, Sundown 66" Box Blade, 800 pound Ballast Drum with chain storage, ATI Grapple, 60" WR Long Diverter, Landpride Brush mower, 7' Landpride Rake,Manlift platform, Bucket mounted 6' Snow Plow, 3 point Cherry Picker, Subsoiler

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    You mentioned that you have a walk out basement. I am assuming that your shop is in the direction of the walk out part of your basement? Now, unless all the walls of your basement are exposed (wich would be a two story house on a slab) why couldnt you dig down the three foot along the side wall of your basement? This may be a little bit longer of a run, but whats another 25" added to your already 600" run? This way you wouldnt have to take the chance of it frezing. Just a thought. Dan

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirthog
    You also can also insulate the line 1" of foam will stop 1' of frost
    Insulation isn't going to stop a pipe from freezing, it will just take a little longer. If no heat is generated from inside the pipe it isn't going to stay warm.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ideas for putting in water line to barn

    Hi Dan,

    Yes, I considered that, but then I'd have to drill through the concrete wall, and run the pipe up and across the inside basement to get to a water line inside. It could be done, just not as easy as running it with the geothermal line, and piercing the foam board on the 2x6 exterior stud wall that makes up the back of the house...

    I think bundling with the incoming geothermal line would work, unless we had a prolonged electrical outage or some other reason why the heat pump would be shut down for some time...but there is something to be said for "foolproof". Heck, I needed a reason to get one of these rotary hammer drills...

    thanks,
    Craig
    TYM 273, FEL and backhoe

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