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Discuss Driveway Shared Water Supply Leak in the Plumbing Forum area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. GSP

    GSP New Member

    Apologies as I don't know exactly where to post this so hopefully this is an appropriate place.

    My neighbour has a leak under his driveway which started as a small puddle, but has developed into something bigger and now flooding part of our new bloc paved driveway which was only laid in June.

    Essex & Suffolk water have been round and said the leak is inside my neighbours boundary and issued him with a 30 day notice to fix.
    Less than two years ago he had another leak not far from where the water is now, but they fixed that one. They did say at the time the next time he reports one it will cost him as this was a "free" one.

    I am brought into this as it is a shared water supply pipe, but the neighbour is unaware of this as was I until yesterday. Reading material it appears I find myself liable to pay half the repair costs which I imagine will be over a thousand pounds.

    My neighbour found a company who will do the work over the Bank Holiday weekend, so just over a week away.

    I am trying to research and find out information on this subject as I am sure many do when faced with something they don't know about or the unknown.

    Questions I have but haven't contacted anyone about yet.
    - If I am on a shared supply, can I use my "free" repair card although its under my neighbours driveway.
    - Neighbour had a similar problem close by less than two years ago. What about a guarantee from the free repair.
    - Could contact my insurance. Its a bit vague if I am covered or not.
    - Read an article where someone claimed on accidental damage. They said supply pipes do not wear out, they only leak when ground is disturbed by movement, tree roots, traffic vibration. Conincidentally there is damage in the road right next to the leak. When certain traffic goes over this it causes furniture and noises inside our houses such is the seismic activity sent out.
    - Not say anything. Perhaps the company should have investigated to see if it was a shared supply.

    I am hoping there is something I have mentioned which someone can say I should investigate or pursue which might help us or neighbour financially as we find ourselves in this situation.
    Would appreciate any advice or suggestions.
  2. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    I know it might be more expensive but

    I would get two new water mains installed as it sounds like your is breaking down

    Could split again 6 months down the line etc

    And as the waterboard have already worked on the supply no sorry to say
  3. AMGasServices

    AMGasServices GSR

    Check your home insurance papers as it may cover the leak.

    Do you or your neighbor have any form of heating, drainage and plumbing cover ?

    I don’t know if this is any help but a customer I know was having issues with their drainage (on their property) as it was a shared drain the waterboard (Yorkshire water) sorted it free of charge. I’d say speak to the local waterboard explain its a shared water mains see what they come up with.

    If you don’t get anywhere then it’s what ShaunCorbs advised (post above).
  4. hammers4spanner

    hammers4spanner Plumber GSR

    Sign upto homeserve on monthly plan .
    Wait 30 days then get them to repair it .

    Our drain had collapsed under our garden . Would of cost me loads in time and materials . Cost us 12 quid for about 5 k worth of work .
  5. Harvest Fields

    Harvest Fields S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    That’s why people’s premiums go up :eek::eek::oops:
  6. AMGasServices

    AMGasServices GSR


    Homeserve have had a lot of cut backs I doubt they will come and deal with it. They're limiting the new customer claims and the amount of the claim.

    A few chaps I know work for homeserve. They’ve laid about 25/30 engineers off too and counting.
  7. GSP

    GSP New Member

    Thanks for your replies.

    Shaun - I believe the supply may split just before our houses. If the large majority of the pipe is under the neighbours driveway then a replacement there should keep us in good stead.

    AMG - The neighbour contacted his insurance and they said it did not cover. Reading mine it seems vague. At present I am wondering if its best to play naive on two accounts. First, and had this from experience on other insurance once they get to hear of something even if you don't claim they put your premiums up. The second, while my neighbour asked me if our supply was shared and I wasn't sure they have gone ahead and booked a company to do the work and they haven't checked if the supply was shared either. At this stage as far as I am aware they will just deal with his driveway. In addition and great timing!, we have just spent over 5 thousand pounds having the whole front of our house bloc paved. I want as little disruption as possible because you can bet your bottom dollar they won't put it back as they found it. The paving has been set and sealed on concrete drylene (sure spelt that wrong), so I don't want that broken.
    The neighbour did get a "free one" less than two years ago.
  8. Harvest Fields

    Harvest Fields S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    If it was only done two years ago I would argue that the repair clearly wasn’t good enough. If you don’t ask you don’t get.
  9. oz-plumber

    oz-plumber Plumber

    Shared water supply - shared costs.

    I hate working on shared services, because the invoice should be shared amongst all that use that service.
    Had one recently where 4 units had a sewer blockage, 4 different owners, 3 different agents.

    I'm about ready to re-block the drain with concrete over payment issues
    • Like Like x 1
  10. GSP

    GSP New Member

    He had his suspicions as he asked but if I was unaware about the shared supply at the time, should it have been for my neighbour and the company to find out one way or the other before they actually start the work.
  11. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    put in 2 new supplies, when you come to sell now you know you have to tell - pain now gain later
  12. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    I had the opposite experience. I had a neighbour's pipe leak under my drive. My neighbour used her free repair to have it patched up, even though it was under my land. You may be able to use your free repair, no harm in asking, but I agree with others: sounds like the pipe has had it if this same pipe has failed twice in a short time period. Bear in mind if the neighbour's drive has a decorative finish, the free repair is unlikely to pay for the decorative finish to be fully re-instated.

    Supply pipes can corrode, particularly in certain soil conditions. Pipes underground are often copper, lead, or steel.

    What if the road is collapsing due to the flooding caused by your pipe? Perhaps the highways department of your county council will be claiming the cost of repairing the damage to the road caused by your leak from you?

    How can you expect a guarantee on a repair? They only repair a small section. Most likely the pipe has failed elsewhere. Would you guarantee the whole of a length of pipe most of which was put into service before you were born, and give a guarantee of this kind on a free service? I wouldn't. I think the point of the free service is to give people a bit of time to get used to the idea of a new supply pipe being needed.

    Not what you probably wanted to hear, but nothing lasts forever and now the pipe probably needs regular repairs to keep it watertight, or complete replacement for a few decades of trouble-free service. Your choice.
  13. GSP

    GSP New Member

    Thanks for your replies and thanks for your comments Ric and don't mind reading them. I'm interested in all options.

    At present, the work is due to start next Saturday. The only conversation I have had is with my neighbour who asked if I shared the pipe and I said at the time I don't know. It must be shared though because when I returned home one day after the water board had been round to see him my supply had been turned off as all the taps had a short air blockage which spluttered out.
    My neighbour and the company doing the work must be aware our supply is shared however as in the street there must only have been one shut off cock there. Can't understand that.
    Do I just wait to see how events unfold next Saturday and if they just get on and do it. Less involvement is best. More worried about our six week old bloc driveway which cost 5 grand to put down. I am hoping disruption over my area is minimal.
    After next weekend, sure hindsight will be a wonderful thing and wished I had done this or that.
  14. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    I would have my concerns over the fact that you don't appear to have had any say in the matter or what contractor is used yet are going to be asked to pay a proportion of the cost. I think it's something you should be agreed on first.
  15. GSP

    GSP New Member

    That's what I was wondering Ric. The neighbour asked me if the supply was shared and I did not know. You would of thought before anything that would have been cleared up when the guy from the company who are going to do the work came round initially.
    In life there are times when you step in, but times when you also have stepped in and in hindsight was best left just as things be to play out.
    Do I wait for them to start the work only to be told when they are well into it its shared and I am liable for half the cost.
    Do I contact my insurance company now to see if I am covered. On that one, we let a car insurance company know someone had hit our car only slightly from behind. No visible damage and no claim was ever made, but the premiums went up for years in case a claim was made, even though we were the ones that got hit. So you can see from my side the less involvement with insurance companies the better.
    If they start the work, knock on the door to say I am liable being shared do I just tell them to stop where they are as I have to speak to my insurance etc. By that time however there would be such a mess outside they best carry on and complete it.
    I also wonder who will put our driveway right as I am sure they won't leave it in a state before they started. Something tells me if they know I am involved at the start they will flout and take short cuts. If they are not aware and think the work is just being done for the neighbour they will "tip-toe" around the edges, or at least be more careful.
    Thought had past my mind to go away over the weekend while the work is being done. On the other hand wanted to keep an eye on things while they are here.
    Just call it experience but when the guy from the company came round I could hear him talking outside to the neighbours.
    He done all the talking and said things to them to worry them and make sure they signed up to him. Knowing them they would go for the cheapest, but I would go for the company where you would feel more comfortable with and it certainly wasn't this guy. Just would not trust them and need to be about.