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16211 posts

Uber Geek


#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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16211 posts

Uber Geek


  #1869908 21-Sep-2017 07:46
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We've fixed this up now. My plumber said there was no practical way to locate a leak, that leak detectors don't work. We cut up the driveway to replace the toby and put in a new water main. It made a mess of the driveway, the nice dark patterned concrete will have a plain patch that's 2x1m at least. The lawn that the pipe is under now will recover. There was one leak between the toby and the pipe, but being so old there were probably multiple leaks.


As a bonus, the water tastes better through the new plastic pipe than through the old copper pipe. I think that's partly because the water was run for a while - still water in the pipes seems to take on a flavor.


Getting through the commercial grade concrete driveway, digging up the lawn, then putting the lawn back and putting in some concrete to fill the holes. The plumbing parts were probably 4-5 hours and around $600 worth of parts, including fixing a valve or something that was leaking. Total cost was just short of $4000 inc GST.


All in all, annoying, costly, and unsightly, but water is fairly important.

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