A while back I asked a question about which type of pipe to use for running above ground water to a house. I've decided to use 1-1/4 inch IPS 160 psi NSF Polyethylene Pipe.

Are there better options for connectors/couplings than inserts? I am asking because there is a decent elevation change where the pipe will be laid, and the couplings recommended by big box stores are insert, and will obviously reduce the size of the pipe in a few locations, where I join the pipe. I just don't want to slow down the water too much before it reaches the top. I also don't want to pick a material that won't last a long time underground (I'm only going to be covering it by a foot or two.)

I've found a few other options, but they normally say "not for underground use" or that they are for gas lines. I'm very inexperienced with running lines like this, and I wanted to make sure there wasn't an obvious solution that I hadn't found.

  • 1
    If you're concerned about having to repair pipe joints underground (which is a reasonable concern), you may consider looking for some sort of junction box to run the pipe into from both sides and make the joint there. That way, you'll have room to work on the joint without having to do a lot of digging. I'm thinking something like a sprinkler valve box.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


Why not move up to 1-1/2 inch pipe? Any insert fittings will still leave an opening as big as 1-1/4 inch pipe. Also, if you use stainless steel hose clamps over the insert barb area, the connection will be more secure.

  • I actually considered 1-1/2 inch pipe. The reason I moved down to 1-1/4 was because most stores around me carry a lot more fittings for 1-1/4, and while I would like the extra size, I thought it may be overkill. Maybe I'm wrong, and I should go with 1-1/2. Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 5:55
  • Another reason, was that 1-1/2 inch pipe is roughly double the cost of 1-1/4. Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 5:57
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    I'd bit a bit surprised if the reduction using fittings with 1-1/4 was noticeable. Our house has I think a 5/8" main connection to the city supply (built in 1950s).
    – Armand
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 6:20

Other than welding, which is a fuss and bother, the connectors are insert connectors and it doesn't make any practical difference for anything approximating a normal house. I have 290 feet of 200PSI followed by ~100 feet of 160 PSI 1-inch, with insert fittings, respectively coming up (thus, the extra pressure rating) and over from my well. It will flow more than my pump is supposed to supply, to the point that I should probably retrofit a flow limiter. On 1-inch pipe.

As mentioned in the earlier answer, you can get up to 1000 feet long as a coil in one piece by ordering it from a competent supplier, (i.e. not Home Cheapo or any big box store) to minimize joints where you don't also need to make a sharp corner or transition to a different type of pipe.

The plastic insert fittings for well pipe are expected to be underground. The only thing I'd mention on that front is to use 2 stainless steel pipe clamps on each side (4 per coupling) and orient them so the clamping mechanism is on opposite sides of the pipe for each pair. You'll see that the barb section is quite long enough for this, as it's standard practice. Failure is not usually a problem if following this practice. Using single clamps or clamps that corrode increases the odds of failure.

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