How to Put Pipe Under a Driveway

The installation of sprinkler systems, electrical conduit or gas lines frequently requires excavating underneath driveways or other sections of pavement.

Water-Pressure Method

Installing pipes in residential lots frequently requires boring underneath driveways.
Homeowners without access to heavy equipment or other mechanized digging tools can use two methods for digging trenches underneath sections of pavement: hand drilling and water excavation. Hand drilling is relatively quick, but extremely labor intensive. Water excavation is slightly slower and messier, but much less physically taxing. .

Step 1

Attach a threaded hose adapter to the length of metal or PVC pipe you want to install under the driveway. These are commonly available at most home and garden centers and will vary depending on the size of the pipe and hose being used.

Step 2

Attach a garden hose to the excavation pipe's hose adapter.

Step 3

Dig a small trench on each side of the sidewalk, where the pipe will be inserted and where it will emerge on the opposite side. Don work gloves and safety goggles and turn on the water.

Step 4

Push the pipe under the driveway and move it in a back and forth motion using the pressure of the water to displace the soil. Continue until water is observed emerging from the trench on the opposite side.

Step 5

Wait for excess water and mud to settle and insert the pipe into the tunnel created by the water.

Hand-Drilling Method

Step 1

Select a metal pipe of sufficient diameter for the desired excavation width. A one-inch metal or PVC pipe digs a hole suitable for most projects.

Step 2

Choose a sledgehammer heavy enough to drive the pipe through the soil.

Step 3

Excavate a small trench of sufficient width and length to insert the end of the pipe slightly under the driveway and another on the opposite side where the pipe will emerge.

Step 4

Secure the pipe in the desired position and drive it under the sidewalk with a series of sharp blows to the exposed end.

Step 5

Remove the pipe periodically to shake out excess dirt and observe the pipe's progress. Continue driving the pipe under the sidewalk with hammer blows until the buried end emerges on the other side.

Step 6

Insert the conduit into the tunnel bored by the pipe.

Things You Will Need

  • Hose adapter
  • Garden hose
  • Shovel
  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Appropriately sized pipes
  • Sledgehammer


  • Always call local utilities to verify the location of underground gas and electric lines before digging.

About the Author

A native of Southern California, Patrick Robartaigh earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from California State University, San Bernardino in 2008. He specializes in topics related to history, the outdoors and culinary arts.