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home : opinion : letters May 24, 2016

1/29/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Letter: A real minimum requirement

When a southerly storm bent over our mulberry tree, the roots disrupted the 50-year-old rusty water pipe. Two gentlemen from Truelove Plumbing showed up with heavy machinery and dug a ditch from street to house, not more or less than one foot deep. I'm from a climate zone where four feet depth is required by building code. I was baffled.

I called the Kingman's Water Department asking how they defined the one-foot minimum requirement. "By checking the long-term weather statistics," I was told. A cloudy answer. Brakes of a car are designed for worst-case scenarios, which happen rarely but happen. Are the building codes up to date with the facts? Ahron Sherman's article said nothing about the location of broken or frozen pipes. Were all in crawl spaces and none in the ground?

I deepened the trench to 20 inches, put strips of old carpet on top of the new plastic pipe, refilled the trench myself and paid $1,003 to the Truelove guys. The remains of the old steel pipe were left in the ground - too deep to excavate.

Nick Schmidt


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

It's called a frost line. Here in our area, it's not very deep. When we moved here there was a sprinkler system (since removed) that was no more than 6" deep in most spots...no damage or leaking pipes.

I'd lay odds most of the broken pipes people reported were above ground, in poorly insulated walls or pump houses, or in mobiles (which are known for these problems).

I do wonder about the carpet strips? Whats that supposed to do? Thats just more likely to saturate with moisture and become a better conductor of cold than regular soil.

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: jack a lope ...

good for you ..... we have all heard the term, When #$%^ freezes over and its good to know you are prepared. ..... good job

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Who Does It Hurt?

Nobody knows the sorrow of frozen, broken water pipes as well as the low-income - absent parent families and elderly citizens. Kingman has become well known for digging deeper into the pockets of it's citizenery - I would think they could require new plumbing to be dug a little deeper as well.

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

I have had dealings with Truelove and I don't understand why you didn't just ask them to dig it deeper? Did they just say they would not dig it deeper or were you even there?
They do make insulation tape for pipe you know.
Just wondering.

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