Before you carry out work in your garden you will need to make sure that you know exactly where the water and gas pipes are in your garden.
Making sure that you know the location of the underground gas and water pipes in your garden will help you to avoid the major cost and disruption of a gas emergency or water supply flooding.
Why do You Need to Find Out What Pipes are Under Your Garden?
Whether you are planning a full-scale building job in your garden are doing some landscaping or just want to dig down to install a post for your fence. Making sure you know which areas contain pipes and lines is essential before you start.
You can avoid a classic DIY disaster by making sure that you don’t accidentally dent and damage underground gas pipes and high-pressure water pipes running to your house through the ground in your garden.
If you don’t take the time to make sure you dig safely you can find yourself causing a major flood or risking a dangerous gas leak.
How to Find Out What Pipes are Under my Garden?
Finding out what pipers are in your garden and the exact location underground is actually a surprisingly quick and easy job that won’t require any heavy work on your part. In fact, the answer to your question may be just a phone call away.
Chances are that getting hold of the garden and property plans from some third parties will enable you to get going on your project in no time.
1 – Contact the Previous Owners of the House
If you are wondering where the pipes are in the garden, there is also a chance that the previous owner may have needed to know the same thing.
So, if you have their phone number or forwarding address (check your house deed for contact info), you could get in contact and ask if they still have a copy of the plans saved anywhere.
This is an easy way to find pipes in your garden without any added cost or investigation on your own.
2 – Contact the Local Water Authority
If you can’t get in contact with the previous owners or if they didn’t have any plans to give you, then you need to take steps to contact your local water authority who may have your property plans archived.
If previous owners of the house or the original property developers made any inquiries about pipes or requested any modifications, these might be on file.
Chances are you may need to pay a price for this information and there are likely to be more details available about your neighbourhood and road pipe system, but it is definitely worth a try.
3 – Contact Your Gas Provider
You should also contact your gas provider to ask them for the most up-to-date records about the location of the gas pipes in your garden. They are likely to hold records that you find useful.
You can also do a search on the website For line Search Before You Dig for information about the pipes and lines which are around your property.
4 – Contact Your Local Council
Your local council archive will most likely have some form of pipe plans for your property which you can obtain after paying a fee. However, there is no guarantee that the records they are able to recover will be the most up-to-date version.
You may also find that you have a bit of a wait when dealing with the local council bureaucracy and phone system waiting times! So be prepared to exercise patience when pursuing your request!
If there have been some modifications to the pipes since the plans you have received were drawn up then you could still find yourself running into trouble and hitting a pipe that had been laid since the plans you are consulting were created.
5 – Hire a Drainage and Pipe Inspection Company
If you can’t find any previous plans drawn up or don’t trust the plans you have received, then you could turn to a Drain and Pipe Inspection Company.
These companies will be able to draw up an accurate and up-to-date map of the pipe placement in your garden using high-tech tools such as radar, CCTV, and even metal detection. They won’t need to do any digging and the process shouldn’t take too long to accomplish depending on the size of the space.
And at the end of the process, you’ll be able to be completely confident in having the most accurate and up-to-date information before you make any moves on starting your project.
The only real difficulty you’ll have to contend with is the cost involved which you will have to add to the overall costs of your building or landscaping project.
6 – Contact the Building Contractor
If you are in a newly built property and are the first owner, you can contact the building contractor and they should have the original plans of where the pipework was laid.
If they do not have the plans available themselves (they should), they will be able to contact their groundwork associates that laid the pipes to get you the information you require.
You may be tempted to take an educated guess about the location of the pipes in your garden and avoid the hassle and possible costs of getting hold of an accurate and up-to-date plan.
But before you decide to write off this stage and get digging – take a minute to visualize the cost and upset involved in disrupting your gas supply and all the different types of water damage that could inflict on your property and your neighbours if you manage to dig down and damage a supply pipe.
The easiest way to go about this is to get in contact with the previous owners of the house, they may have already done your work for you.
Plumbing Wizard Tips
“If you plan to hire someone to inspect the garden for you, use trust a trader or something similar to find a trustworthy company!”
“If you have a friend in groundwork construction, they should be able to give you a few hints and tips on where the pipes will be!”
”Some places will advise using a metal detector – this is futile because very few pipes on your property are likely to be made of metal!”
“If you are only carrying out surface work in your garden, you should be okay because underground pipes should be at least 450mm down to keep them insulated!”
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find the drainage pipe in my garden?
If you’re not sure how to find the drainage pipe in your garden, reach out to your local council or contact your local drainage experts. They will be able to help you locate the drainage pipe and help with any necessary repairs.
How do I find out where water pipes are on my property?
The easiest way to find out where your water pipes are located is to contact your city or county’s water authority. They should be able to tell you the location of the main water line on your property, as well as any secondary lines. If you’re having trouble getting in touch with your local water authority, try reaching out to the building contractor if your property is a new build. They should have information on the location of all the pipes and infrastructure on your property.
How do I find the gas pipes on my property?
The best way to find the gas pipes in your garden is to call your local gas company and ask for a locate. They will send someone out to your house to mark the location of the gas pipes with paint or flags.
I’m Lee the Plumbing Wizard. I’ve been a plumber for over 40 years and have seen it all. People used to call me a magician because I could fix things so easily – hence the name Plumbing Wizard.
I’m always happy to help out a fellow tradesman or woman, so if you need any advice or just someone to talk plumbing with, don’t hesitate to get in touch!