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Mains water pipes

  • 19-03-2024 12:39am
    Registered Users Posts: 326 ✭✭

    What depth are they usually buried to in rural areas? Am connected to the mains and it's coming in from the road under a small front lawn into the kitchen but was thinking of doing a bit of work on the front lawn but want to know the depth of the mains pipe before planning any digging on it


  • Registered Users Posts: 41 foxhunter2024

    Get out a Darby 48 or get a keen machine operator.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭PMBC

    Depth depends on when it was laid but usually about 3 feet/90 cm down. I've seen them shallower and if it was a rural group water scheme will be towards the shallower measurement. Service pipe to the house rarely less than 14 inches/35 cm down to avoid freezing during extremely cold weather. If you know where the service is you could physically trace back to its connection to the main, if that is practical.

    There are various techniques used for finding main water pipes - if metal using metal detectors, where sluice valves are visible you can use their location as an indication of its position relative to road or other boundary, sluice valves with no extension spindle together with their size i.e 4 inch or 6 inch will give an indication of the depth of the main. Check with others in your area - if its a Council main check with the Water Services Supervisor/ GSS or with the scheme's Caretaker and ditto Chairman or caretaker for group water schemes. If any houses built nearby check with the developer or builder what depth the main was at when opened for the tapping for the service connection/s.

    Records particularly for depths are poor except for mains laid in the last 5 years

  • Registered Users Posts: 326 ✭✭slystallone

    I would have thought the deeper the better to avoid freezing rather than the shallower the better?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭PMBC

    Yes thats correct. But historically house services laid around 350/14" down and I've come across them at shallower than that. During the last big freeze here, found one frozen at 14" down;I cant rem exactly but it might have been an area that got no direct sunlight.