Common Questions About Underground Pipes

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Common Questions About Underground Pipes

Common Questions About Underground Pipes

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Whether you’re building a new property, find underground piping inadvertently on your lawn, or you need to find the source of the problem, you may have several questions about underground piping. Here are some of the answers to the most commonly asked questions. 

What Are the Different Types of Underground Piping?

Underground piping systems use a variety of materials for effective operations. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) pipes are two common options. Both are types of welded, plastic polymer pipes used for plumbing in both residential and commercial applications. These pipes are highly resilient and also have resistance to temperature changes, different soil conditions, and corrosion. In most instances, PVC and CPVC pipes have replaced outdated options such as clay or cast iron.

Another underground pipe material is copper. Used since the inception of underground piping, copper pipes are naturally corrosion-resistant and durable, making them an excellent option for all types of underground applications.

PEX piping is yet another type of underground piping, but even some plumbers and companies aren’t aware it’s approved for such usage. Although most often used in interior construction, this flexible plastic tubing can be used under concrete slabs and other similar types of construction.

EPS Inc. is a division of Express Plumbing that focuses on underground construction and engineering.  The two sectors of our company work hand in hand to ensure all your plumbing and engineering issues are handled by one company from start to finish.  This level of organization and expertise ensures your project, no matter how big, small or complicated is handled correctly and quickly.

What Is the Depth of Water Pipes?

The depth of your irrigation or residential piping will vary depending on the area you’re in. No matter the type of piping, it should be trenched or buried 12 inches underneath the frost line that is recorded in your area. This often translates to a distance of 5 to 6 feet. In areas without frost, the depth can be less, but a similar distance is often used for the sake of safety.

While the levels of depth changes on what zoning the area has previously made mandatory, the 12’ inch rule is generally used around much of the United States. Depth level of pipes can be affected by more than frost and weather conditions. If there is heavy traffic over the area where the piping is, the depth levels will go deeper to about 24’ inches below the frost level. Again, this all changes based on the diameter and size of the pipe, as well as the zoning in different areas.

How Deep Do Sewer Pipes Go?

Depths of sewer piping is very similar to water piping, but there are some changes in depth that vary due to weather. Since sewer pipes are carrying a liquid, they must be deep enough into the ground that the pipe itself will not freeze and possibly burst.

Depth levels in warmer climates or on private property are typically around 12 to 30 inches deep. But in some colder climates, the pipes will go as much as 6 feet into the ground. In areas prone to hurricanes or frequent, intense storms, sewage pipes are often buried deeper so they aren’t disturbed if the topsoil is removed.

How Far are Underground Pipes Maintained?

The maintenance of underground piping is just as important as the laying of the pipe. If the maintenance of piping is poor it could lead to bursting pipes, corrosion, and other hazards.

Three main steps can be taken to ensure good maintenance of piping. The first is annual inspections of all types of piping. This can be done by any certified company, as well as local government inspections in certain municipalities. Inspectors will use equipment to test various attributes of the pipes, such as metal corrosion and build-up of restrictions inside the piping

Simple repairs will need to be made on a somewhat regular basis to ensure the continued performance of underground piping. This may include the replacement of a small section of piping or other minor maintenance.

Finally, marking the locations of dig sights and getting approval of future digging to eliminate the chance of breaking a pipe are mandatory. This requires an agreement or cooperation between companies, individuals, and the local government, but is necessary to maintain the integrity and usage of underground piping systems.

All Your Underground Piping Questions Solved

Whether you’re breaking ground on a new property or you’re just interested in underground piping, these answers should quench your curiosity. But don’t forget about the final part of the puzzle: a reputable underground infrastructure crew.

Give our team of experienced civil engineers, plumbers, and technicians a call.  We are here to support the above-ground and underground pipes in the Bay Area with our fleet of equipment and expertise.


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