How to Lay Down PVC Pipe Underground


Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipe is used by many homeowners and contractors for various types of underground plumbing lines. Many consderations must be factored in when laying PVC pipe underground. However if you follow the regulations laid out by your state for depth and spacing, your underground PVC pipe will be laid in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • Stakes
  • String
  • Shovel or back hoe
  • PVC Primer
  • PVC Glue
  • PVC Pipe
  • PVC Couplers
  • PVC Fittings
  • Under-layment
  • Underground warning tape

Lay Your Pipe

  • Mark out the location of the underground piping. Use stakes and string to mark the location of the pipe from beginning to the end. This will not only act as a guide while you dig, it will also tell you how much length you will need.

  • Soften the ground with water for two days before you begin to dig.

  • Calculate the depth of the trench you need to dig for the pipes. All states require 18 inches from the top of the pipe to the surface and at least a foot from any other underground pipes. Professionals suggest PVC pipe be laid above at least two inches of underlayment. Underlayment can be made of rocks, concrete or plastic. To calculate the depth of the trench, add two inches to the diameter of the pipe and then add 18 inches to the total. This will give you the depth of the trench in inches.

  • Dig the trench. Soften the ground with water as you dig. This will reduce the amount of dust in the air. Any trenches more than 100 feet long should be dug with professional digging equipment.

  • Add two inches of underlayment to the bottom of the trench and pack it down with a shovel.

  • Lay out the PVC connectors and fittings beside the trench. Apply PVC primer to any parts of the pipes that will be inserted into a fitting or connector. Allow the primer to dry.

  • Coat all the areas that have primer with PVC glue. Insert these pipes into the fittings and connectors allow the glue to dry and lay the pipes into the trench. Connect the pipes to the waterlines or appropriate outlet.

  • Add two inches of dirt on top of and around the laid pipes. Pack the dirt in as tight as possible and stretch the underground warning tape over the length of pipe. This tape will keep anyone from digging into the pipes.

  • Fill in the trench with dirt until the ground is even again.

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