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How To Find A Water Leak Under A Concrete Driveway

6 November

Is There A Burst Water Pipe Under My Driveway?

Is it just a trickle, maybe, from over-watering your plants? Or is it possible to have water leaks or a burst water pipe or water line beneath a concrete driveway? Yes, it is.

A homeowner who suspected water was leaking under their driveway recently called us. Michael in Worongary noticed moisture starting to appear on the surface of his lawn beside his garage. Over the next few days, he located and found the moisture spread across the other side of the concrete driveway, along the side of the house, and water started trickling into the stormwater drain at the roadside curb.

When we arrived, there was little doubt whether there was a leak on the ground with the physical evidence we were presented with. Michael’s water meter was ticking over while no water was being used in the house, and all the other apparent signs of plumbing problems were present. Something was wrong with the underground pipes; if not fixed immediately, a high water bill is about to present itself.

Water Leaking Under Driveway Pavers

The main issue we faced was identifying the source of the water leak. Due to the widespread nature of where the water showed and its proximity to the concrete driveway, our licensed plumbers opted for leak detection to narrow down the likely locations of the possible underground water leak. With acoustic and thermal technology available and pipe relining a quicker and updated solution for water leakage and most cases of a troubled service pipe, you’d expect things would be easier to fix those damp spots and pooling water.

But it’s not that easy to put a patch on those water pooling and broken water pipes and water lines.

Concrete Makes Precise Leak Detection More Complex. Repairs Can Be Tricky.

Burst pipes under a lawn or garden are usually straightforward. Quite often, apart from some fresh mulch or new turf being rolled over the repair, most people wouldn’t notice that a repair has occurred once the excess water dries. Unfortunately for our friendly homeowner, our search narrowed down the leak location to underneath Michael’s painted driveway.

Repairs can be a little more tricky when water comes under the concrete. Concrete makes precision leak detection more complex, and concrete requires cutting and removal. Our work area is often constrained by concrete as we try to minimise the amount of concrete cutting and disturbance to our customer’s property. Michael was proud of his home. His garden and lawns were pristine, his driveway was painted and looked great, and we wanted to keep them that way.

Repair Options For Water Leaking Under A Concrete Driveway

We had two solutions to present to Michael to repair this water leak.

Option 1:

Cut a section of Michael’s driveway. Repair and pour new concrete to fix the driveway. (The new concrete section would require painting to match the existing drive at an extra cost to Michael, and there was the possibility of another leak from the old section of the pipe.)

Option 2:

Cut a narrow trench across the driveway and replace the water pipe entirely. (This would ensure that there would be no further leaks from the pipe under the driveway in the future.)

Both options had various pros and cons; the repair’s longevity, driveway disturbance, and budget were all considerations in the decision. But all ultimately led to cutting the concrete in the driveway.

Are These The Only Solutions Available For A Leak Under A Concrete Slab?

After taking some measurements and assuming the whereabouts of the pipework, we identified a third option; thankfully, this didn’t involve cutting the driveway. We thought we would expose the leaking pipe at either side of the driveway for the third repair option and insert a new copper pipe into the old damaged poly pipe.

We were going to entirely replace the section of the damaged pipe, which would last for many decades and by sleeving the new pipe inside the old line, it would be protected from the rocks that had caused the old pipe to burst.

Shutterstock 354790256 Scaled 2

Michael liked this option. It ticked all the boxes, and I was happy with the cost of repairing the water leak under the driveway.

There was much digging to expose either end of the pipe on either side of the driveway. We had to weld two copper pipes and pressure test the welds before installing the pipe. Before the repair, we needed to establish unique connections to join the new copper pipe to the existing poly pipe supplying the house.

And the repair was completed. Michael and his family were happy, and you can read Michael’s daughters’ reviews on our Google review page. Just scroll to the bottom of our website and follow the link to Google.

You can contact our plumbing team for water leaks and leaking pipe repair services, leak detection expertise, water meter installation, hot water system maintenance, and other plumbing needs. Not all leaks are situated alone in a crawl space. A slab leak is as common as a leaky pipe. Slab leaks may start as a trickle, but they’ll soon become an “innocent little stream”, and you’ll have much physical evidence of having a plumbing issue and needing a professional plumber as quickly as possible.

But don’t stress out the problem in your existing pipe. Notice any leak under a driveway? Do you suspect tree roots are invading your water main? Do you see other signs of the main water leaking? Are your taps in your kitchen sink dripping? Contact a professional immediately for leak detection tools and expert advise on your water pipe. Call on Gold Coast Plumbing Company today for reliable plumbing services! With our thermal imaging devices, we fix water pipes quickly and effectively.