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#218063 24-Jul-2017 12:55
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We had a visit from an engineer from the Wellington City Council. They think there's a water leak under our driveway, which is dark concrete with a nice pattern pressed into it. Apparently the council just find or suspect the problem, we have to fix it. We'll get a letter some time about it, for now that's all we know.

 

The council guy says it's sometimes / usually earthquakes that cause the problem, but there's usually no way to prove it.

 

Does anyone have any information about:

 

     

  1. How to find the problem, without digging up an entire driveway? The council guy had headphones and some kind of microphone, but couldn't pinpoint where the leak is.
  2. Fixing a patterned concrete driveway without completely ruining it? For example, can someone with a big saw cut out the area where the leak is, then have it put back somehow?
  3. I assume home owners insurance doesn't cover this sort of thing? I know it doesn't cover gradual damage to the house, but we don't have any of that, it's a leak.

 

 

 

It cost me about $20K to redo the driveway 5 years ago :(

 

Update: this is done and solved. See the answer for what we did.


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  #1828335 24-Jul-2017 12:58
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Thrust a new pipe under the driveway and re-connect to the existing pipe on each side?


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  #1828346 24-Jul-2017 13:09
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Put a claim in with EQC, ask their drainage team to check your property.

 

If they find damage they will be responsible for the driveway as well.

 

 

 

(they have just paid out 30k for all of our drains to be replaced, including driveway and all paths)


 
 
 
 


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  #1828373 24-Jul-2017 13:34
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timmmay:

 

We had a visit from an engineer from the Wellington City Council. They think there's a water leak under our driveway,

 

 

What led to the council's decision,?, is there visible water seeping somewhere

 

 




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  #1828392 24-Jul-2017 13:52
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kryptonjohn:

 

Thrust a new pipe under the driveway and re-connect to the existing pipe on each side?

 

 

Everything is under concrete.

 

 

 

esawers:

 

Put a claim in with EQC, ask their drainage team to check your property.

 

If they find damage they will be responsible for the driveway as well.

 

 (they have just paid out 30k for all of our drains to be replaced, including driveway and all paths)

 

 

That would be worth considering. How long do you have after earthquakes to do claims? I thought it was time limited.

 

 

 

wellygary:

 

 

 

What led to the council's decision,?, is there visible water seeping somewhere

 

 

 

 

I don't know much. We should get a letter from them at some point.

 

My impression is that they have area water meters, usage increased, so they investigated somehow. I don't know how they found our house. Apparently they can hear water running under our driveway. We have to check it's not something like a leaking toilet / hot water cylinder first, but it's a new cylinder and toilets seem fine.

 

 


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  #1828397 24-Jul-2017 13:57
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That would be worth considering. How long do you have after earthquakes to do claims? I thought it was time limited.

 

 

 

It's only 90 days, however if you had a previous claim with them, you should be able to get them to check it as missed damage.

 

 




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  #1828415 24-Jul-2017 14:03
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esawers:

 

It's only 90 days, however if you had a previous claim with them, you should be able to get them to check it as missed damage.

 

 

We have no previous claim. I guess it's worth asking regular insurance.


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  #1828417 24-Jul-2017 14:06
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timmmay:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

Thrust a new pipe under the driveway and re-connect to the existing pipe on each side?

 

 

Everything is under concrete.

 

 

The pipe is running under the concrete driveway from the street into the house? 

 

You should be able to prove the leak by checking the water meter before you go away for the weekend then checking it when you get back. It shouldn't move if the house has everything shut off. 

 

If there's a leak as above it could be undermining your nice driveway. You could still put a new water main up the side of the driveway and connect at each end. At least that way you'd only have to cut a small margin at the ends of the driveway.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  #1828438 24-Jul-2017 14:18
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kryptonjohn:

 

 

 

The pipe is running under the concrete driveway from the street into the house? 

 

You should be able to prove the leak by checking the water meter before you go away for the weekend then checking it when you get back. It shouldn't move if the house has everything shut off. 

 

If there's a leak as above it could be undermining your nice driveway. You could still put a new water main up the side of the driveway and connect at each end. At least that way you'd only have to cut a small margin at the ends of the driveway.

 

 

We have 100% concrete coverage in that area, with no exposed ground.

 

The water toby / main tap is in the middle of the concrete driveway. The pipe then goes towards the house then runs down the side of the house, again under concrete. Anything that needs to be done would probably require going through concrete. If we put in a different toby location and pushed under everything maybe we could get to where the water pipe enters the house.

 

I was wondering if the patterned concrete can be cut up then put back - it sounds plausible, but would never be the same in terms of strength.

 

There are no water meters in Wellington, at least not at our place.


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  #1828449 24-Jul-2017 14:42
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My parents had a similar issue - mains water leaking under their driveway.

 

 

 

Insurance came to the party and fixed it.

 

I think there is some rule they go by - they fix the damage caused, but you are responsible for fixing the cause of the damage (or something like that). So, you would pay for fixing the pipe, they would pay for reinstatement.

 

 

 

Check with your insurer anyay.


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  #1828451 24-Jul-2017 14:45
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Cutting the concrete and placing it back is pretty much a no-goer - I'd discount that option. It's cut with a large circular saw, which overcuts the required hole, so even if you place the concrete back in the hole, you'll have saw marks in the pattern on each corner

 

 

 

We had a similar situation, and the cheapest solution ended up being to have a 'new' connection (toby) to the watermain installed in a different location along our boundary, and new piping to join the existing pipe closer to the house. Even with an old non-patterned driveway, council fees for a new water connection was cheaper. 


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  #1828457 24-Jul-2017 14:53
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timmmay:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

 

 

The pipe is running under the concrete driveway from the street into the house? 

 

You should be able to prove the leak by checking the water meter before you go away for the weekend then checking it when you get back. It shouldn't move if the house has everything shut off. 

 

If there's a leak as above it could be undermining your nice driveway. You could still put a new water main up the side of the driveway and connect at each end. At least that way you'd only have to cut a small margin at the ends of the driveway.

 

 

We have 100% concrete coverage in that area, with no exposed ground.

 

The water toby / main tap is in the middle of the concrete driveway. The pipe then goes towards the house then runs down the side of the house, again under concrete. Anything that needs to be done would probably require going through concrete. If we put in a different toby location and pushed under everything maybe we could get to where the water pipe enters the house.

 

I was wondering if the patterned concrete can be cut up then put back - it sounds plausible, but would never be the same in terms of strength.

 

There are no water meters in Wellington, at least not at our place.

 

 

Easy enough to cut along imprint lines (is it imprinted as cobbles or pavers? But it will be min 100mm thick so if you cut it into large pieces they will be extremely heavy and difficult to move. Would have thought not too hard to just cut a couple of holes within the pattern then when done pour new concrete in and colour match/re-imprint to match.

 

The harder part is finding where the leak is - could be anywhere?


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  #1828458 24-Jul-2017 14:53
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Is the leak on the house side of the toby or the street side?

 

If it's on the street side the convention is (or used to be) that it's the councils responsibility to repair and reinstate.  Those are the rules where I live anyway.

 

Certainly you can't patch concrete without it being obvious it has been patched - even little things like matching colour/aggregates etc are all but impossible.  You normally need to re-pour the panel.





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  #1828461 24-Jul-2017 14:54
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If the driveway is quite new you should be able to get close and the difference will fade over time. 




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  #1828474 24-Jul-2017 15:04
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trig42:

 

My parents had a similar issue - mains water leaking under their driveway.

 

 

 

Insurance came to the party and fixed it.

 

I think there is some rule they go by - they fix the damage caused, but you are responsible for fixing the cause of the damage (or something like that). So, you would pay for fixing the pipe, they would pay for reinstatement.

 

 

 

Check with your insurer anyay.

 

 

That would be handy if that's the answer :) We'll call them after we get the letter from the council.




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  #1828475 24-Jul-2017 15:05
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nickb800:

 

Cutting the concrete and placing it back is pretty much a no-goer - I'd discount that option. It's cut with a large circular saw, which overcuts the required hole, so even if you place the concrete back in the hole, you'll have saw marks in the pattern on each corner

 

 

 

We had a similar situation, and the cheapest solution ended up being to have a 'new' connection (toby) to the watermain installed in a different location along our boundary, and new piping to join the existing pipe closer to the house. Even with an old non-patterned driveway, council fees for a new water connection was cheaper. 

 

 

Pattern marks would be better than plain concrete. It's dark and has a cobblestone type look. If we need a new toby so be it.


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