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Old 01-30-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
DIY_Plumber
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Default What's the right order?

Much to my surprise, the water company called and said they needed to upgrade the water meter. "Sure... no problem", I said.

We set up an appointment, they came over, I showed them where the meter was and the first words out of their mouth was, "that's not right".

Huh??

Apparently the previous owners decided it would be a good idea to plumb in the sprinkler line BEFORE the water meter. And quite honestly, I had never even noticed. (I take it the inspector didn't notice either.)

So, now I'm re-doing the main line coming into the house and I'm wondering a couple of things...

Since the line for the sprinkler system is plumbed in before the meter AND before the pressure regulator, am I going to have issues after I plumb it in AFTER the meter (which would also be after the regulator)?

What's the right order for the regulator, meter and sprinkler line after the first isolation valve on the line coming in to the house from the street?


Also, is it necessary to replace the pressure regulator? I'm not having any pressure issues. Can I continue to use the one I've got?



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Old 01-30-2013, 04:35 AM   #2
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Basically, what you have here is a theft of utilities. An inspector is also not required to dig up the yard, so let's hope they choose not to prosecute anyone. I myself would plumb it meter > sprinklers > pressure regulator. As far as purchasing a new regulator....it may be fine to keep the pressure regulator you have, but with a new plumb job, it only makes sense to purchase a new one for years of worry free water service.



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Old 01-30-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Yes, I know and it pretty much scared the hell out of me and pissed me off something fierce and the same time.

I am being extremely cooperative and have moved quickly to get this corrected.

Thanks for the tip havasu. I'll re-assemble in the order you suggested.

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Old 01-30-2013, 01:42 PM   #4
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Order of installation varies from region to region. Some water companies require a regulator first, then meter. Your water company will have a schematic of the required design. Havasu is right. They could have cited you for theft of utilities, but they must have been very reasonable people.
In any case, most sprinklers only require 35 to 45 psi. So connecting after the regulator shouldn't be an issue. This is also depending on the volume of water needed for the size of the irrigation system. Compensation for low volume by increasing pressure is a common problem that causes excessive wear on the irrigation system and premature failure of the heads. The volume of your water supply is determined by the size of your water service.
If your water service is 3/4" then the best volume you can get for your sprinklers is with a 3/4" branch. Consulting a plumber or irrigation specialist who can look at what your house and irrigation demands are is recommended.
You can also discuss with a plumber and the water company the option of having a deduction meter installed on the irrigation system. Most sewage treatment fees are determined by the use of water in a house. A deduction meter will allow the water company to adjust your sewage bill without the irrigation water included.
Since the water company is now aware of your situation, they may also require you to have a backflow device installed on the irrigation branch if one is not already present. This is usually a Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) with test ports on it and may require periodic testing and recertification from the water authority.
The initial installer took some short cuts that will probably set you back a good amount of cash, and there is probably no way for you to get compensated for the expense. On the bright side of things, this was a serious issue that could have cost you even more money and potentially harm you and your family's health if it wasn't discovered now.
Let us know if you have any other questions.

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Old 01-30-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input Caduceus.

Currently, the pressure monitor is before the meter. Would it then be advisable to re-assemble as it is and then put the sprinkler line in right after the meter?

Honestly, I don't want to go back to the water company unless I absolutely have to. They didn't cite me on the spot, but they did mention I should expect to hear from someone - "probably a letter demanding proof that the line has been fixed".

I realize that's a little childish, like sticking my head in the sand, but I want to get this fixed and done with, with as little drama and cost as possible. You could say this all hit at a very bad time, financially speaking. Any major fines associated with this could ruin me.

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Old 01-30-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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All right... I manned-up and called them. They were very nice. :-)

While there is no specific specification they suggested Pressure Monitor > Meter > Other (sprinkler, etc).

No requirement for a backflow device.

I'm off to Home Depot.

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Old 02-01-2013, 01:57 AM   #7
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Tomorrow is the repair day.

Tonight, I put a pressure gauge on the hose bib tonight and got a reading of 85psi.

Based on what I'm reading online, that is way to high. What *should* it be? I'm thinking I need a new pressure monitor.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:17 AM   #8
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Code in my area requires a pressure reducing valve anytime available pressure exceeds 80PSI. 60 to 70 is very good pressure, and will give you nice showers. 40 is adequate, anything much less you probably wouldn't be happy with.



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