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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, suspecting water 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. There was definitely something wrong with the underground pipes, and if not fixed immediately, a high water bill is about to present itself.

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

In such cases where water is coming under the concrete, its repairs can be a little more tricky. The 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. Do the repair and pour new concrete to fix the driveway. (The new section of concrete would require painting to match the existing drive at extra cost to Michael, and there was the possibility for another leak in the future from the old section of 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; longevity of the repair, disturbance of the driveway, 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 pipework, we identified a third option, and thankfully, this didn’t involve cutting the driveway. For the third repair option, we thought we would expose the leaking pipe at either side of the driveway and insert a new copper pipe into the old damaged poly pipe.


Exposing The Water Pipe Under The Driveway


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 of the old line, it would be protected from the rocks which had caused the old pipe to burst.

Michael liked this option. It ticked all the boxes and was happy with the cost to repair the water leak under the driveway.

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

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

For water leaks and leaking pipe repair services, leak detection expertise, water meter installation, hot water system maintenance, and other plumbing needs, you can reach out to our plumbing team. 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 “innocent little stream” and you’ll have much physical evidence of having a plumbing issue and needing a professional plumber as soon as possible.

But don’t stress out the problem in your existing pipe. Notice any leak under a driveway? Suspect tree roots invading your water main? Do you see other signs of the main water leaking? Are your taps in your kitchen sink dripping? Get in touch with a professional immediately for leak detection tools and an 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 fast and effectively.