Wet Tap

A hot tap connects the house water line to the city main without shutting off the water

A meter pit between the house and the water main serves as a small manhole to provide access to repair or replace the water meter.

There are two ways to make a new connection to an existing water main. You can shut off the water and make a dry tap, but that not only disrupts service to the whole neighborhood, it can also trigger notification requirements and testing that takes time and adds cost. A wet or “hot” tap, on the other hand, can be done with the main water line still under pressure, provided you have the proper tools for the job.

In this case, the water main was excavated after cutting the pavement at the street, and a trench was dug to meet up with the supply line from the house. The first step in making the hot tap is to attach a stainless steel tapping sleeve with an integral threaded outlet [1]. Rubber gaskets under the outlet form a tight seal when the sleeve is bolted around the pipe.

A hot tap is made using a stainless steel tapping sleeve that has an integral threaded outlet to accept the water supply line [1A]. When the bolts are tightened, rubber gaskets under the outlet seal the sleeve to the water main [1B].

After a shutoff valve is threaded into the sleeve outlet, the special tapping tool is used to drill into the water main [2]. The tapping tools are available with a selection of bits for drilling a variety of hole diameters through steel, cast iron, ductile iron, and PVC. They are also available in pneumatic or manually operated versions. In this case, the tapping tool was attached to a cordless drill, and the bit inserted into the shutoff, which was in the open position. Like a hole saw, a center pilot bit starts the hole and also retains the cutout to ensure it doesn’t fall into the water main and cause problems down the line. The final connection is made in the meter pit (main photo), which is just large enough for one person to be able to repair or replace the meter.

A special tapping bit is fed through a shutoff valve threaded into the tapping sleeve. A pilot bit guides the hole saw into the PVC water main and retains the cutout to keep it from falling into the water main. After the water main is pierced, the tapping bit is backed off enough to allow the valve to be closed and the bit is fully withdrawn.


East Coast

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