Underground lines - not the place to skimp!

warno

Minister of Fire
Jan 3, 2015
1,234
illinois
This question relates more to surrounding obstacles than actual lines, but it's about underground lines nonetheless. So a new tree, silver maple, was planted this year in what was going to be my straight run to the house for underground lines. I can cross the yard at an angle but how far from that tree should I be to avoid root problems in the future? I plan on either doing "foam in trench" lines or thermopex and they will be 4 feet deep when the time comes.
 

warno

Minister of Fire
Jan 3, 2015
1,234
illinois
That's a tough one. Maple roots can go far. Not sure about damage potential though. Can you move the tree lol?
The tree was a gift to my wife and it was planted while I was at work. I already asked her that question and now I'm here asking this question. Lol
 

rowerwet

Minister of Fire
With thermopex it really won't matter, foamed in, it might, the other bonus with thermopex, you only need to run about 12 inches in the ground, which will avoid the worst of the future roots
 

warno

Minister of Fire
Jan 3, 2015
1,234
illinois
With thermopex it really won't matter, foamed in, it might, the other bonus with thermopex, you only need to run about 12 inches in the ground, which will avoid the worst of the future roots
I thought it was always a good idea to get below the frost line? I live in central Illinois so the frost line does get kind of low. If I can get away from going so deep that would be a plus.
 

rowerwet

Minister of Fire
I thought it was always a good idea to get below the frost line? I live in central Illinois so the frost line does get kind of low. If I can get away from going so deep that would be a plus.
I lived in Maine and heated my house with an outdoor pellet boiler with 85 feet of thermopex.
The manufacturer says 12" deep, so I ran mine there and never had an issue.
The snow never melted over my pipe run.
It did melt over the septic tank.
My dealer told me the 12" was just to protect it from driving vehicles over it.

Thermopex is rated to loose one degree F over each 100 feet, and my own experience agrees.
 

warno

Minister of Fire
Jan 3, 2015
1,234
illinois
I lived in Maine and heated my house with an outdoor pellet boiler with 85 feet of thermopex.
The manufacturer says 12" deep, so I ran mine there and never had an issue.
The snow never melted over my pipe run.
It did melt over the septic tank.
My dealer told me the 12" was just to protect it from driving vehicles over it.

Thermopex is rated to loose one degree F over each 100 feet, and my own experience agrees.

I purchased thermopex to run from my garage to my boiler. It's a very nice product. I just alittle worried about the frost line but if you're in Maine and you only buried a foot deep I think I'll be ok.

But my main concern was the tree roots with my above post. Thermopex has a pretty tough outer shell but I also know how trees are.
 
Feb 2, 2016
90
central iowa
@warno from my experience installing and maintaining field tile, basically the same as the outer jacket on thermopex, the tree roots never bother the non perferated stuff, anytime we were within 50-100 feet of trees we ran non perf and taped the connections, the roots will go about that far looking for the water in the tile. we have dug some up to tap in that was within a few feet, the only issue was the roots would be balled around the tile but it never hurt it. I would consider going at least a couple feet just to stay out of the frost, I would be leery of the frost crushing the lines. Again tiling experience shows that when we had to be that shallow the pip didn't last to long and it would get smashed just from the expansion of the dirt as it froze. Too bad its so far down there or bring the backhoe and trench it in for you for a case of beer to share when it was done lol. I have seen frost crush sch 40 PCV outlet pipes around here that were two foot deep even.
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
9,922
Nova Scotia
I can't see frost or roots damaging Thermopex, actually - it is actually very solid, with the covering plus foam filled.

My sister did have to have her front yard dug up in Ottawa a couple years ago from root damage though. The sewer connector pipe got broken & blocked by roots. It was a big old maple, and I think clay pipe.
 
Feb 2, 2016
90
central iowa
probably clay bell joint or possibly some stuff known as orangeburg, kind of a like really thick tar paper and still a bell joint, them roots will go in search of water and they can get through the tiniest opening. I've seen roots in field tiles where the closest tree was 150 feet away in the fence line. Mulberry is by far the worst as far as root reach, they get massive. The worst stump to push out is a toss up between elm or hackberry, they hang on amazingly well. I wonder @maple1 if maybe our soil shifts more than yours does do to the higher clay content and therfore it holds more moisture.
 

warno

Minister of Fire
Jan 3, 2015
1,234
illinois
@warno from my experience installing and maintaining field tile, basically the same as the outer jacket on thermopex, the tree roots never bother the non perferated stuff, anytime we were within 50-100 feet of trees we ran non perf and taped the connections, the roots will go about that far looking for the water in the tile. we have dug some up to tap in that was within a few feet, the only issue was the roots would be balled around the tile but it never hurt it. I would consider going at least a couple feet just to stay out of the frost, I would be leery of the frost crushing the lines. Again tiling experience shows that when we had to be that shallow the pip didn't last to long and it would get smashed just from the expansion of the dirt as it froze. Too bad its so far down there or bring the backhoe and trench it in for you for a case of beer to share when it was done lol. I have seen frost crush sch 40 PCV outlet pipes around here that were two foot deep even.

I just wasn't sure how crazy tree roots will get trying to find water. I know many sewage lines in my area with root problems. And I didn't want that stupid tree trying to mess up my lines.
 

rowerwet

Minister of Fire
Since thermopex is a incredibly tough outer shell, packed full of dry, closed cell foam, if a root ever found a unheard of hole or crack, it couldn't penetrate any farther inside because of the foam, and wouldn't anyway because the foam is completely dry and has no nutrients or moisture for the root to seek.

There is no better product on the market for moving heat from a boiler to your home, and it is the most tree resistant product I've seen.

After 6 years or so, I sold the house in Maine and the buyer didn't buy the boiler. I dug up the pipe and brought it with me.

Then sold it and the boiler two years later.
The thermopex was as tough as the first day I buried it.

No cracks, dents or flattening after enduring Maine winters, and two Massachusetts winters sitting in the backyard above ground.
Currently it is buried again in Barre, VT, bringing heat into an apartment building from the pellet boiler outside.

You can't go wrong with thermopex
 
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warno

Minister of Fire
Jan 3, 2015
1,234
illinois
Since thermopex is a incredibly tough outer shell, packed full of dry, closed cell foam, if a root ever found a unheard of hole or crack, it couldn't penetrate any farther inside because of the foam, and wouldn't anyway because the foam is completely dry and has no nutrients or moisture for the root to seek.

There is no better product on the market for moving heat from a boiler to your home, and it is the most tree resistant product I've seen.

After 6 years or so, I sold the house in Maine and the buyer didn't buy the boiler. I dug up the pipe and brought it with me.

Then sold it and the boiler two years later.
The thermopex was as tough as the first day I buried it.

No cracks, dents or flattening after enduring Maine winters, and two Massachusetts winters sitting in the backyard above ground.
Currently it is buried again in Barre, VT, bringing heat into an apartment building from the pellet boiler outside.

You can't go wrong with thermopex
Now that's a review on a product. I do have a short run of thermopex, only about 22 feet, from boiler to garage. It is very nice stuff. I'll just steer clear of that tree and hit the other side of our yard. It'll be a better shot to the final destination of the plumbing anyway. Just takes a few more feet to get it over there. Thanks guys.