Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

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jdg
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Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby jdg » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:52 pm

I'm about to run about 10,000 feet of pipe to install a cattle water system on a large farm. Has anyone used anything besides PVC for underground applications? I'm in south GA, so the ground doesn't freeze. In order to carry the volume and pressure from the well, I will start with a pipe diameter around 2.5".
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby sstterry » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:58 pm

Have you considered Pex?
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby JMJ Farms » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:21 pm

sstterry wrote:Have you considered Pex?


That was my first thought until I read “start off with 2.5 inch”. I’ve never seen pex that big but they may make it. Idk. If so I would recommend it. Pex is good stuff. Black pipe will last a long time. You can get it in 2.5”. FWIW, last time I ran a water line (2700 ft) pvc was only about $40 different than black pipe. So I went ahead and went with schedule 40 PVC. Other than those two options I don’t know of any others.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby 1982vett » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:49 pm

I take it it’s 10,000 ft of line, not a 10,000 ft run.?

I’ve got a 2300 ft line in 3/4 pvc that waters cattle just fine. Course well and water trough are about the same elevation.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby bball » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:08 pm

JMJ Farms wrote:
sstterry wrote:Have you considered Pex?


That was my first thought until I read “start off with 2.5 inch”. I’ve never seen pex that big but they may make it. Idk. If so I would recommend it. Pex is good stuff. Black pipe will last a long time. You can get it in 2.5”. FWIW, last time I ran a water line (2700 ft) pvc was only about $40 different than black pipe. So I went ahead and went with schedule 40 PVC. Other than those two options I don’t know of any others.


Polyethylene (black pipe) vs. PVC, id go with PVC, good primer and glue. Cost diff is minmal as JMJ pointed out. Cant think of a cheaper way to go in that size.
I use the PE to sleeve my underground wires at gate openings. It'll do.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby sstterry » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:53 am

bball wrote:
JMJ Farms wrote:
sstterry wrote:Have you considered Pex?


That was my first thought until I read “start off with 2.5 inch”. I’ve never seen pex that big but they may make it. Idk. If so I would recommend it. Pex is good stuff. Black pipe will last a long time. You can get it in 2.5”. FWIW, last time I ran a water line (2700 ft) pvc was only about $40 different than black pipe. So I went ahead and went with schedule 40 PVC. Other than those two options I don’t know of any others.


Polyethylene (black pipe) vs. PVC, id go with PVC, good primer and glue. Cost diff is minmal as JMJ pointed out. Cant think of a cheaper way to go in that size.
I use the PE to sleeve my underground wires at gate openings. It'll do.


My only concern with PVC is over a span of 10,000 ft, that is a lot of joints and places where it could be susceptible to failure. Not even counting for all the additional labor.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby plumber_greg » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:04 am

Use gasketed pvc. If you try to glue that much pipe, you will have problems eventually.
Gasketed has it's own set of specs however. gs
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby JMJ Farms » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:39 am

plumber_greg wrote:Use gasketed pvc. If you try to glue that much pipe, you will have problems eventually.
Gasketed has it's own set of specs however. gs


That is a good idea. I’m guessing it’s not cheap. But it should hold up real good.

sstterry wrote:My only concern with PVC is over a span of 10,000 ft, that is a lot of joints and places where it could be susceptible to failure. Not even counting for all the additional labor.


Good point. I spend at least a couple of hours a week fixing pvc water lines on one farm or another where they have either broken or come loose. Some of them are old and they were glued with blue glue when originally installed and some of them weren’t installed deep enough by the original installer.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby bbirder » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:54 am

If you do use PVC, install a valve every so often to be able to isolate a leak later.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby Texas PaPaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:26 am

I use black hdpe pipe. Never used 2.5" but have seen rolls of pretty big hdpe. Will be fewer joints than pvc so less leak potential.

Google is your friend.

Here's a link for some 2":

https://www.ewingirrigation.com/2-sdr-1 ... pipe-ips-1
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby ddd75 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:33 pm

i'd never use pvc or gasketed pvc for water. way too many joints.

neighbor put a bunch of that gasketed pvc in and had 2 leaks the first winter. got those fixed, that summer a few more..

i've always used the black rolls. I always get the biggest possible and use plastic fittings.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby Silver » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:26 pm

Texas PaPaw wrote:I use black hdpe pipe. Never used 2.5" but have seen rolls of pretty big hdpe. Will be fewer joints than pvc so less leak potential.

Google is your friend.

Here's a link for some 2":

https://www.ewingirrigation.com/2-sdr-1 ... pipe-ips-1


HDPE would be great, a guy could likely rent a welder for it, then there would be no joints. That’s tough stuff, and the strongest part of it is the welds. They put miles of it together up here to pump water for fracs.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby plumber_greg » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:52 am

ddd75 wrote:i'd never use pvc or gasketed pvc for water. way too many joints.

neighbor put a bunch of that gasketed pvc in and had 2 leaks the first winter. got those fixed, that summer a few more..

i've always used the black rolls. I always get the biggest possible and use plastic fittings.

I can see that happening to the uninformed. Can be gotten in 40' lengths. If someone doesn't know what they are doing, they better find out or find someone that does.
Word of caution on plastic fittings for rolled pipe. If say a coupling or a 90 is not exactly, exactly in line, they will eventually crack and split.
Fixed way too many plastic insert fittings over the years. Stopped using them in the early 90s after fixing too many put in 10 years prior.
Brass is more expensive, but what do leaks cost later on. Have NEVER fixed a brass insert fitting unless something happened to the clamp. gs
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby jdg » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:50 am

Thanks for all the rec's guys. My longest run will be around 4000', but there will be multiple watering stations off of it, potentially watering two different groups at a time, with tanks not so big that i could get away with 3/4". (some of the tanks will be portable, some permanent) I"ve done the math on my pumping unit and gallons per minute requirements for the herd size, which is why I know i'll need to start the longest run at 2.5". (I did the calculations for PVC...not sure if HDPE has a different flow rating, probably does.) I was concerned with pricing, labor costs, and repair issues. I was talked into using thin wall PVC for a previous project by a contractor i hired and it has been a nightmare. Lesson learned. Can the HDPE be put down with a shank type machine, or will i still need to dig a trench? I've never heard of gasketed PVC. The link to the 2" HDPE was twice as expensive as my price for PVC. So, I'm not sure that is feasible. I believe i was quoted around $.87/ft for 2"...unfortunately 2.5" was around $1.20/ft, if memory serves.
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Re: Alternative to PVC for watering systems?

Postby Ebenezer » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:02 am

Gasketed PVC is a common product. Put a crew to install that know what they are doing and you will not have problems and it goes quickly. They can keep up with a midsized trencher. We have 7000'+ and no leaks in decades. Only leaks have been glue joints where somebody other than the A team plumbed the troughs. But also use thrust blocks on ends, turns and tees. With that amount of pipe you should be able to get great prices on large lots. Call around as there are $100s to save on buying pipe. Black pipe with internal fittings has much lower flow rates. Depending on the size of the troughs/waterers, # of cattle, it is not a great idea to uniformly go to 3/4" pipe to troughs as there is a low flow rate (memory 5 -7 gpm range ) versus 12 to 15 gpm on 1" SCH40. On a hot day and many cows the 3/4" will not keep up.
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