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Main Water Line runs under footing

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[#1] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 12:31:52 PM
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In this house, on crawl, built in 2003 the main water line from the street runs under the footing. I can't say I remember seeing this before; I typically see it running through the foundation wall – but I may be having a senior moment. Erosion is occurring under the footing from water running through this opening. Even though it has not rained here for months, there is still a puddle of water. My concern is that if the erosion continues - after a bunch of years the footing will be compromised. My questions:

Is running the water line under the footing allowed? Is it even addressed in code?

What would you say about this?

Do you share my concern about the erosion and eventually compromising the footing?



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Mark A. Perry
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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#2] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 12:51:48 PM
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I would not be at all concerned about lack of support under a short section of footing like that. Could be erosion, but I suspect it's been that way since the builder left unless there's a torrent of water flowing.

I would be concerned about that much water if it "hasn't rained for months". Sounds to me like the water pipe has problems. FWIW, our neighbor's water pipe recently sprang a leak somewhere outside the foundation, with a similar amount of water inside the basement (as well as a flooded meter pit). Some flaw in the copper pipe sat there for 4 decades and finally let go.

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#3] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 1:11:56 PM
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I see this sometimes, and it never seems to cause a problem.

Did you check the water meter to make certain the pipe isn't leaking, Mark? I always look at the delta on the meter to make certain it's stationary, and find maybe one faulty water-main a year.

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#4] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 3:33:59 PM
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Found two so far this year using the leak detector on the meter.

Big dollar repair.

I don't think I'd be too concerned about the lack of support over that short of distance. Instead I'd be looking for where the water was coming from.


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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#5] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 4:12:55 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Erby

Found two so far this year using the leak detector on the meter.

Big dollar repair.

I don't think I'd be too concerned about the lack of support over that short of distance. Instead I'd be looking for where the water was coming from.




Important Note: Utilizing the above technique with success will without fail make certain real estate agents HATE your f**king guts pretty much forever.

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#6] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 5:42:39 PM
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No I did not check the meter. I will return to the house and do so. Lesson Learned! Thanks for the comments. Have a great week inspecting.
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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#7] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 7:07:03 PM
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Interesting difference in regional techniques. I can't remember ever seeing a water line enter a crawlspace through a hole in the stemwall. They all enter under the footing, just as in your photo.
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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#8] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 7:19:28 PM
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I thought I remember something about required protection for lines running under footings. Maybe that was for waste lines.

Anybody got anything on that?

John Dirks Jr - Arundel Home Inspection LLC - MD license: 29827
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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#9] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 7:47:21 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

I thought I remember something about required protection for lines running under footings. Maybe that was for waste lines.

Anybody got anything on that?
A "relieving arch" is required over supply or waste pipes under a footing.

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#10] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 8:03:24 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Bill Kibbel

Quote: Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

I thought I remember something about required protection for lines running under footings. Maybe that was for waste lines.

Anybody got anything on that?
A "relieving arch" is required over supply or waste pipes under a footing.


Or a sleeve two sizes larger than the pipe . . .

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#11] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 8:07:08 PM
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Or, do it like Chicago did......use nice soft pure lead so it will flex with any stress......haha......


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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#12] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 8:09:39 PM
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We almost always run the water line under the footing, and we put pipe insulation on it. One thing that happens... if you cut a ditch down a hill to the foundation of a house, you often create a channel for water to follow, if the backfilled ditch is not as compact as the soil around it. I'm watching some guys build near me right now, and they dug a 2' deep ditch down a long slope right to the middle of their building footprint. If they're smart and they compact the soil well as they backfill, they'll probably be OK. If they let the excavator flip a bunch of fluffy soil back into the ditch, and blade the rest of it out in the general vicinity, they'll have a new creek running into the crawl space.
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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#13] Posted: 09/12/2011 - 8:19:26 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by David Meiland

We almost always run the water line under the footing, and we put pipe insulation on it. One thing that happens... if you cut a ditch down a hill to the foundation of a house, you often create a channel for water to follow, if the backfilled ditch is not as compact as the soil around it. I'm watching some guys build near me right now, and they dug a 2' deep ditch down a long slope right to the middle of their building footprint. If they're smart and they compact the soil well as they backfill, they'll probably be OK. If they let the excavator flip a bunch of fluffy soil back into the ditch, and blade the rest of it out in the general vicinity, they'll have a new creek running into the crawl space.


I've got to disagree. When they do that it *always* creates an underground stream. Unless they use a jumping jack in that trench in 12" lifts it will catch & channel water into the crawlspace.

Nobody compacts trenches like that in residential construction.

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#14] Posted: 09/13/2011 - 03:39:24 AM
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Damn, John. I screeeewwedd up AGAIN!! Now I know why I've never heard form those two agents again.

But the buyers have sent me some business and that's what I'm after.

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#15] Posted: 09/13/2011 - 08:01:10 AM
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not going to cite code, but supply should be sleeved and needs depth to protect from freezing. The one in the picture looks way to high up and must be leaking.

We had a house in our area where the landscaper nicked a supply line while planting a tree, and as the water heater was the first stop on the way in, the little dirt getting in piled up in the tank and ruined the heater.

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#16] Posted: 09/13/2011 - 08:17:09 AM
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Jim, it's under the footing. If it isn't at sufficient depth to protect it from freezing, he's got way bigger fish to fry.
Tom

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#17] Posted: 09/13/2011 - 10:05:48 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Jim Baird
We had a house in our area where the landscaper nicked a supply line while planting a tree, and as the water heater was the first stop on the way in, the little dirt getting in piled up in the tank and ruined the heater.


Trying to figure how dirt could enter a pressurized water line.

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#18] Posted: 09/13/2011 - 8:10:32 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Bain

Quote: Originally posted by Erby

Found two so far this year using the leak detector on the meter.

Big dollar repair.

I don't think I'd be too concerned about the lack of support over that short of distance. Instead I'd be looking for where the water was coming from.




Important Note: Utilizing the above technique with success will without fail make certain real estate agents HATE your f**king guts pretty much forever.


I pull the meter covers on all the polybutylene (big blue) era homes I inspect.

Once I found the delta spinner moving forward a few turns and then back a few turns. It kept repeating that. What was going in there?

John Dirks Jr - Arundel Home Inspection LLC - MD license: 29827
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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#19] Posted: 09/14/2011 - 03:17:33 AM
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Sounds like an expansion tank doing it's job.
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Erby Crofutt
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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#20] Posted: 09/14/2011 - 03:20:06 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

Quote: Originally posted by Bain

Quote: Originally posted by Erby

Found two so far this year using the leak detector on the meter.

Big dollar repair.

I don't think I'd be too concerned about the lack of support over that short of distance. Instead I'd be looking for where the water was coming from.




Important Note: Utilizing the above technique with success will without fail make certain real estate agents HATE your f**king guts pretty much forever.


I pull the meter covers on all the polybutylene (big blue) era homes I inspect.

Once I found the delta spinner moving forward a few turns and then back a few turns. It kept repeating that. What was going in there?


I've seen that, too. I'm not certain, but I THINK that if a main is, indeed, leaking, water spurts through the hole but doesn't completely dissipate due to slow absorption by clay soil or whatever.

When the pressure around the leak exceeds the line pressure, water backflows until the pocket of water around the leak is fully absorbed by the soil, sort of like Newton's "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction".

Just a theory, however . . .

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Main Water Line runs under footing
[#21] Posted: 09/14/2011 - 04:54:15 AM
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Quote: Once I found the delta spinner moving forward a few turns and then back a few turns. It kept repeating that. What was going in there?


Their water bill is going up in very small increments.

Tom

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Life is tough enough as it is, it's tougher when you're stupid. Don't do stupid things.
Dr Joe Lstiburek
   
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