Leak from mains pipe entering kitchen, fix leak or replace entire street to house pipe (copper)?

Joined
27 Dec 2013
Messages
98
Reaction score
4
Location
Hampshire
Country
United Kingdom
Hi,

I've got water slowly welling up around the mains pipe coming up from the kitchen floor, I'm having to have the water turned off in the street at the stop cock most of the time, only turning it on for a brief periods to do washing and fill some buckets and bottles.

The emergency plumber who came and looked at it said copper pipes were no good buried, especially through concrete, and it might best to replace the whole 5 metres of pipe under my front drive out to the street. He said he could drill round the pipe on the kitchen floor with and sds drill and see if the leak is near the surface and fixable, but that if it's copper all the way then other leaks could occur. The water board confirmed that the pipe going from street stop cock to my house was copper (they had to come and fix the street stop cock which wasn't working)

Any suggestions on best options here? What's the typical cost for replacing 5-6 metres of buried pipe?
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
8 May 2017
Messages
7,364
Reaction score
1,678
Country
United Kingdom
As installing a new underground pipe is relatively quite expensive ,Repairing the current leak would be the first course of action, and establish the cause. If the copper is corroding then complete replacement would be the long term solution and you should get 3 quotes.
 
Joined
27 Dec 2013
Messages
98
Reaction score
4
Location
Hampshire
Country
United Kingdom
Thanks Terry, sounds like I'll need 9 quotes then - three from plumbers to replace the pipe, three from diggers to dig down to the pipe, and three from kitchen fitters for the removal and replacement of the kitchen cabinets, worktop, and sink that are blocking access for the plumber.
 

CBW

Joined
26 Sep 2019
Messages
14,097
Reaction score
4,317
Location
North
Country
United Kingdom
A good plumber should be able to remove a kitchen unit or 2. Worktop might not be necessary. Can you post a photo?
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
27 Dec 2013
Messages
98
Reaction score
4
Location
Hampshire
Country
United Kingdom
Here are some photos, as can be seen, the entry pipe is under the vertical kitchen unit partition, so just removing the bottom horizontal board won't provide a 'straight down' angle to work on it. If I was getting the full pipe replaced, would it cost any extra to just get the new pipe entering via a new hole, positioned in an easier location (rather than reusing the hole from the original pipe which could just be capped off)?
 

Attachments

  • kitchenunit2.jpg
    kitchenunit2.jpg
    220.7 KB · Views: 70
  • pipeleak.jpg
    pipeleak.jpg
    278.6 KB · Views: 69
Joined
8 May 2017
Messages
7,364
Reaction score
1,678
Country
United Kingdom
There are water droplets on the pipework above floor level ,which could be condensation, are you certain water is coming up through the floor ? Could it be pipes above floor level are leaking and water is just collecting where you indicate ?
 
Joined
27 Dec 2013
Messages
98
Reaction score
4
Location
Hampshire
Country
United Kingdom
I wonder about those drips as well, that looks a lot to be condensation, though I'm no expert. However, the water is definitely welling up from the floor around that pipe, you can literally see it pushing up and spreading from there when the outside mains is turned on.
 
Joined
8 May 2017
Messages
7,364
Reaction score
1,678
Country
United Kingdom
Here are some photos, as can be seen, the entry pipe is under the vertical kitchen unit partition, so just removing the bottom horizontal board won't provide a 'straight down' angle to work on it. If I was getting the full pipe replaced, would it cost any extra to just get the new pipe entering via a new hole, positioned in an easier location (rather than reusing the hole from the original pipe which could just be capped off)?
There is no chance that a new pipe will come through the same hole ,or in the same position as the existing copper pipe.
 
Joined
9 Apr 2010
Messages
14,326
Reaction score
2,445
Location
Hertfordshire
Country
United Kingdom
A good plumber should be able to remove a kitchen unit or 2. Worktop might not be necessary. Can you post a photo?

I do this when I do emergency call outs. I even had one where the power had to be turned off due to a burst pipe soaking all the wiring, I had the customer hold a torch while I cut through the rear of a kitcehen cupborad unit and cut a mains pipe live and fit a new stopcock.

Andy
 

JohnD

T*ts like coconuts
Joined
15 Nov 2005
Messages
80,193
Reaction score
5,265
Location
South
Country
Cook Islands
Ah, but did you put it back?
 
Joined
4 Apr 2008
Messages
227
Reaction score
12
Location
Glasgow
Country
United Kingdom
Having the main water pipe buried in concrete in the kitchen floor is indeed tricky...

I recently replaced my lead pipe with MDPE;
1) I hired someone with a micro digger from Gumtree to dig a 10 metre trench, it took around 2 hours but the micro digger hire (with operator) was a fixed price of £220 a day; it seems to be a common price.
2) Drilled a hole at the right depth using a core drill (which I borrowed)
3) Installed a MDPE pipe and stopcock purchased from Toolstation
4) Got a track inspection from the water company
5) Filled the trench
6) Got the water company to connect my new pipe to their stopcock (free of charge as I was replacing a lead pipe)

You might need to pay for point 6, but there is a way to do it on the cheap (in my case less than £300) but you need time, and be able to do some of the work yourself.
 

JohnD

T*ts like coconuts
Joined
15 Nov 2005
Messages
80,193
Reaction score
5,265
Location
South
Country
Cook Islands
A concrete kitchen floor is a pain, but when I replaced a leaking lead pipe with plastic, I trenched through the gravel drive, drilled through the house wall below ground and ran it in the subfloor void, and came up in the corner of the adjacent room so it emerged behind kitchen units. It does not have to follow the same route as the old pipe.

Have you got any wooden floors? Or access at the side of the house?
 
Joined
14 Sep 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
2
Location
UK
Country
United Kingdom
Did they actually find the leak or just the pipe that was leaking?
Do you have a water meter to see how much water is leaking?

FWIW - if the water is coming up there, then it seems likely to be nearer to the house than the street.

On another note, I see you have older 'original' tiles under the units - they look like they could be possibly thermoplastic tiles from that picture. In which case, you (and the plumber) need to know that they can contain asbestos (as can the bitumen adhesive they are stuck down with) so don't go digging up or disturbing them unless you have them tested professionally first.
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top