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Mystery pipe - what to do?

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Sachakins

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You could ask your gas supplier to inspect it, should be no cost. Sounds too small for water or sewage. May have just been a conduit for laying cables to an old shed our outbuildings on the site.

Don't panic, just ask the relevant authorities l, starting with council as you have done. Maybe a land registry search will identify if any other outbuildings where there.
 

hunter27

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When we were digging out to lay a concrete drive at my daughters this is what we found :( The new gas main had been moled through before she bought the house and it had gone right through the sewer pipe.
Sorry for the poor picture.
[000145].jpg
 

Bm101

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When I bought this house there was a pipe end sticking out the garden bed at the bottom. After a while I addressed the issue by digging a hole. I went carefully but about 2 foot down the hole started filling with water. Ohhh you w*****er. I kept going because there was no joint on the pipe so nothing to fix. I'd obviously gone through or distrupted an old water pipe.
About three foot down digging into water now my neighbour poked his head over the fence, asked what I was doing then began laughing manically.
No mate the pipe was there because he (last owner) used to tie his dog to it. The water is just because you live in the Thames valley. That's the groundwater level. You f*c**ng idi*t'
😕
Blimey.

Ed: for spelling
 

Adam W.

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When we were digging out to lay a concrete drive at my daughters this is what we found :( The new gas main had been moled through before she bought the house and it had gone right through the sewer pipe.
Sorry for the poor picture.
View attachment 109848
Mmmmm, nice Betty.

Is that curry I can see on the right ?
 

see_sam_saw

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The more people reply here the more I realise how much I love modern building regs and conventions.

It seems if you're you're going to dig anything you are lucky to find no evidence of ancestral shenanigans.

If the rain holds today I will unravel another layer to solve or deepen the mystery.
 

Fergie 307

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If you can trace it to the edge of the concrete it's buried in then you will have a better idea of where it goes to. If It's something to do with a previous building then you may well find it has been cut off in the past where it emerges from the concrete, in which case happy days you can just get rid of it. If it carries on going then for peace of mind I would want to know where it goes. If It's iron and that close to the surface then a metal detector should enable you to track it. You may be able to hire one, or find your local detectorist club, sure someone would help you out for some beer tokens. Alternatively you can use a long steel rod like a line pin as a probe to follow its line along the garden.
 

Fergie 307

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And from my experience I would take anything the utilities companies tell you about pipe routes with a pinch of salt, especially with an older property. At our house I had to dig a channel in the drive. The water board were around fitting meters, so I asked one of them for some advice. Eventually I received some paperwork from them showing that the water main absolutely, definitely ran along the side of the house, and there was nothing crossing the drive at all. Gave my man with the mini digger the thumbs up and within minutes we were having a nice shower where he had cut straight through an old lead main running directly across the drive.from one side to the other. There were actually two, fortunately managed to spot the second one in time. Turned out there was no pipe at all where their plans showed it. A similar thing happened at a previous property, but with a gas main which was nowhere near where it was supposed to be, on that occasion it was a neighbour who asked all the right questions and then cut through it when he started digging in an area he had been assured was perfectly safe.
 

MCTWoodwork

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And from my experience I would take anything the utilities companies tell you about pipe routes with a pinch of salt, especially with an older property. At our house I had to dig a channel in the drive. The water board were around fitting meters, so I asked one of them for some advice. Eventually I received some paperwork from them showing that the water main absolutely, definitely ran along the side of the house, and there was nothing crossing the drive at all. Gave my man with the mini digger the thumbs up and within minutes we were having a nice shower where he had cut straight through an old lead main running directly across the drive.from one side to the other. There were actually two, fortunately managed to spot the second one in time. Turned out there was no pipe at all where their plans showed it. A similar thing happened at a previous property, but with a gas main which was nowhere near where it was supposed to be, on that occasion it was a neighbour who asked all the right questions and then cut through it when he started digging in an area he had been assured was perfectly safe.
I wouldn't use a steel (metal anything) rod to probe it in case there's a live cable underground else you could risk electrocution!
 

Oraclebhoy

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Yeah, never trust what is on the map.
I bought a house that had been empty for 6 years, the deeds showed the main sewage line that we were connected to also continued up under our garage and into the new estate next to us.
We had been in two weeks and it happened, sewage was coming back through the drains. I couldn’t shift it so Yorkshire water came out and did the job. The chap then checked Y junction and said that the pipe going to the estate was capped off before it got to the garage.
Turns out the builder changed their mind when laying it and did a separate branch up the side road rather than connecting to our pipe.
So they had to redraw the plans.
The blockage was the previous owners son gutting the house and flushing wipes and rags
 

pip1954

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Hi are you sure that is cast iron as when you hit it it would normally crack or shatter looks a very clean hole could that be lead pipe and maybe someone concreted it when it was exposed before or old building works it it is lead it will be rain water if you get a knife you should be able to scrape the pipe and make it look like silver hope you get on ok best is to trace it back find where it goes
 

see_sam_saw

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Hi are you sure that is cast iron as when you hit it it would normally crack or shatter looks a very clean hole could that be lead pipe and maybe someone concreted it when it was exposed before or old building works it it is lead it will be rain water if you get a knife you should be able to scrape the pipe and make it look like silver hope you get on ok best is to trace it back find where it goes
Ah hah.. using a screwdriver tap on the pipe I heard a lead-like-thud rather than an iron-like-ting, and same screwdriver scrape on the side made it all silvery and shiny. Also, I think I can see an angled run down and away from the old building so more and more it feels like it could be a run-off pipe. I hope to break up more concrete today to further confirm this.
 

treeturner123

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Many years ago, we had a plan from the elec company for a site. Cables at 1.5m. Groundworkers started off, at 300mm 'BANG'. Frist I knew of it as the surveyor was a report on BBC Birmingham that the lights at the junction of Hagley Rd and the Wolverhampton Rd were 'Out'!!

Luck for the team it was a JCB that did the damage and also that I was already the 'Right' side of the ensuing snarl up!!

PS, for security reasons I'm not allowed to tell you of the sewage problem at a secret army site on the Herefordshire borders which was the result of an unmarked 13amp cable being removed. It turned out, after 3 days, to be the supply for the pump from the septic tank to the sewage disposal system! It was, according the the Colonel, a good training exercise for those special troops!

Phil
 

hunter27

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Water lead has a lot thicker wall than gas lead. The gas lead we used to install had a seam running down the side of it stating 'NWGB' (North west gas board) don't know if other regions used the same idea.
 

MikeJhn

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Phone the gas authority in your area and tell them you think you have hit one of their mains, they will be around very quickly and confirm if it is or not, oh yes tell them you think you did smell gas, not that I am encouraging you to lie. 😱
 

Ozi

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Apologies to Sam, we do seem to be turning your thread into a buried in the ground anecdotes site

More years ago than I like to count, working as a student on an industrial estate at the old Croydon Aerodrome the building I worked in suddenly went dark as did half the estate. Outside some workmen had been digging up the path and one using a jackhammer with a spade attachment had just put it through the main electrical supply to the whole estate. The armored sheath did it's job and earthed the current, most of the spade vaporized, about ten foot from where he started one very angry Paddy was doubting the parentage of whoever put that part of the cable 6" below the path modern regs - my rear end
 

MayKitt

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During my project to extend our house I discovered a similar pipe. I was keen to identify it as you seem to be. I took no action to remove it until I was fairly certain (Note Not "fully certain") that I had identified it. I did extensive enquiries with neighbours and the water compay and found out that it was a redundant water supply pipe for our row of houses. This gave me the confidence to cut and remove it. Info suggested it would never be used again so I didn't cap if.

The moral to my tail is one of peace of mind! My advice is to check it out as far as you can with some written responses and once you have confidence, to go ahead with it.
 

see_sam_saw

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Thank you to everyone who has suggested anything... but we have a winner.

Mark B's first reply asking if it was a piece of scaffold.

I was unlucky to find the foot long section of concrete around the pipe... a few inches in one direction I would have exposed one end of the pipe... a few feet the other way I would have found the opposite end, buried in sand.

Glad I didn't call in any licensed inspectors, that would have been embarrassing. And, there's much more digging to go. Plenty of opportunities to puncture something live and important.

IMG_0106.jpeg
IMG_0107.jpeg
IMG_0108.jpeg
 

Ozi

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Thank you to everyone who has suggested anything... but we have a winner.

Mark B's first reply asking if it was a piece of scaffold.

I was unlucky to find the foot long section of concrete around the pipe... a few inches in one direction I would have exposed one end of the pipe... a few feet the other way I would have found the opposite end, buried in sand.

Glad I didn't call in any licensed inspectors, that would have been embarrassing. And, there's much more digging to go. Plenty of opportunities to puncture something live and important.

View attachment 110147
View attachment 110148
View attachment 110149
Remember to leave something interesting in the ground for the next person, it's only fare.

This story is anecdotal by which I mean probably not true but that shouldn't spoil a good story. Chap who when redecorating, having stripped wall paper would write with his hands in redish brown paint "I will kill again" before re-papering
 
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