What Is a Water Line Tap & Why Do Property Owners Need Them?

October 21, 2012

TWater main taphe water main or water line tap is an essential part of a homeowner’s water main installation when connecting to the city water supply. The water line tap is the valve that connects the homeowner’s pipe to the city water main, all properties with running water must have a water main tap to receive water.

Wet tapping a water main allows the homeowner to connect a new water line service without affecting the surrounding neighbor’s water.


Why would a property owner have to install a new tap?

  1. If you are having a water main installed for a brand-new home or building, a NYC licensed plumber must facilitate having the NYC DEP install a new wet tap water main.
  2. If you have a water main leak and your existing tap is an old “driven tap”.  Driven taps are no longer legal to use in the five boroughs. So, you must replace it with either a water tap or wet connection.
  3. If your existing tap connection is leaking.
  4. If you are increasing the size or upgrading from a lead water main to a copper water main and the existing tap connection is too small to properly supply the necessary volume and pressure of water to your property.
  5. If you are suffering from low water pressure.

Types of water main taps

Below are the three different types of water taps:

  • DEP_installing_tapA driven tap connection is an old tap that was installed before the usage of power tools and were installed into the city main by hand. Driven taps are known to malfunction and get clogged in many cases, for this reason they are no longer legal in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx.
  • A wet tap is used to connect any domestic water main under 3” to the city water main.  Tap sizes vary based on the size of your water main; they range from ¾” -2”. When a wet tap is installed on the city main, DEP drills the tap into the city water main which differs from a wet connection installation.
  • A wet connection is used when installing a water main that is larger than 2” and is installed using a completely different method then when installing a wet tap.  A wet connection installation uses a method which the NYC DEP core drills a piece of the pipe, removing a piece suitable for the size of the wet connection being installed.

** A brand new wet tap connection installed on the city main by the NYC DEP will cost around $300 for the material and installation of the tap. 

If you would like to learn more about our water tap installation, contact Harris Water Main and Sewer today!

What size tap does your property require?

If you are installing a new domestic water line less than 3”, NYC plumbing code reads that the water line tap must be one size smaller than the size of the pipe. EX. 1” pipe requires a ¾” tap. This rule may be subject to change if you are replacing an existing water main. Ex. If you are installing a 1 ¼” water main you can connect to an existing ¾” tap.

wet_connectionIf you are installing a domestic water line 3” or greater, the wet connection must be of the same size as the pipe unless you are replacing an existing 2.5” water service where you may connect to a smaller water tap. Ex. If you are replacing an existing 2.5” water main that is currently connected to the city main with a 2” tap, you can connect your new 3” ductile iron water main to the existing 2” tap. Any sized domestic water service larger than 3” must be connected to the city main with a wet connection of the same size, even if you are replacing an existing service.

A new fire sprinkler service must be connected to a wet tap water main or wet connection of the same size. If you are replacing an existing 2.5” pipe that is currently connected to the city main with a 2” tap, you can install a new 3” service using the existing 2” tap.

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