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Pipes under driveways

Hi, I'm looking at having a driveway installed - probably gravel. However, I'm worried about the water pipes, gas pipes and electricity pipes under what is currently the front garden. Please could you assist with the following:

Do driveway installers usually check for pipes before they dig, and if so, how?
When cars are parked on the drive, is the extra weight of the cars likely to crush the buried pipes leading to leaks?
If the pipes are likely to be crushed, what should my installer do to prevent this from happening?
Before I install the driveway, am I required to contact the water and energy companies for any reason?

Many thanks for your help.

5 Answers from MyBuilder Driveway Pavers

Best Answer

These services ‘should’ be lower than excavations. If they are not (and I’ve found this a few times) then it’s down to service provider to correct any fault. Also most traders are insured for such things and experience tells you where they are and at what depth so keep an eye out whilst digging. I do not scan the ground but will look for water stop cock. Look at gas meter. And find where electric enters house and dig a test hole to investigate further. In my time 20 years. I’ve hit 1 gas pipe. 1 water. 1 telephone. All 3 were only 6 inches down. Not correctly installed. The water pipe was actually in the concrete I was breaking up!!


Answered 1st Aug 2018

It is always worth having a word with your utility companies to ask them to trace the pipes for you. This is usually a free service. Word to the wise though, if your property is reasonably old, it would be worth thinking about replacing gas/water if they are either lead, galvanised iron or black poly, simply to avoid having to wreck a new drive if there is a problem later on. Ideally, replace both with MDPE.


Answered 7th Aug 2018

installers must check for pipes before they dig with cat+genny then hand dig to find them


Answered 4th Jul 2018

Let your installer know where you believe your pipes are, and what they are for. Depending on this, your installer should carry out an assessment which may mean digging a small inspection trench. Unless you are doing significant excavation for the driveway, I wouldn't expect your installer to dig as deep as your supply lines. Generally speaking, supply lines for water, etc are buried deep enough that weight from a vehicle should not be a concern.


Answered 4th Jul 2018

Anyone digging near any live service should do so with safe digging practice anyway. cables and pipes can be easily located with simple surveying techniques. As mentioned above regarding old water supply pipes, definitely get them upgraded during your works as it may be hassle in the near future after.


Answered 2nd Oct 2020

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