Whose pipe is it?

If there’s a problem with your water supply or drains, do you know who’s responsible for fixing them? And what if you share a pipe with your neighbours, then who’s responsible? This handy guide will help with any queries.

Woman having a tea

Clean water pipes

Homeowner's responsibility

As a homeowner, you’re responsible for all the pipework up to the street boundary.

This includes:

  • the pipe between your home and the street boundary (the supply pipe)
  • stop taps on your property (inside or outside)
  • all the plumbing in your home.

If your supply pipe runs through someone else's property, it's still your responsibility.

If any of these pipes leak or you have faulty plumbing in your home, it's down to you. Before you look for a plumber, check if your plumbing is covered by your home insurance or under a separate policy.Joint homeowner's responsibility 

If your home is older, you might share a supply pipe with your neighbours. If you’re not sure if you share, we can find out for you. One sign may be if you experience low pressure or flow from your taps when your neighbours use the supply.

If you have a shared supply pipes, you’re jointly responsible for maintaining and repairing it.


Yorkshire Water's responsibility

At Yorkshire Water, we’re responsible for most of the pipework outside the street boundary. 

This includes:

  • water mains
  • stop taps in the road or pavement (NB. We currently will not renew any existing inoperable external stop-taps or provide a new external stop-tap, unless there is an urgent risk to health such as no water to the property or a confirmed serious internal leak.)
  • the communication pipe leading up to the boundary of your home.

Your water meter and its connections also belong to us and we’ll take care of any repairs or replacements.

Sometimes there are private water pipes in the street, which we're not responsible for, but we may be able to help identify the owner responsible for the pipe.

New Process for External Stop-taps and external shut-off requests

To ensure our resource and funding is invested in the areas that need it most, we have made the decision to stop attending external stop tap requests required for non-urgent private work.

Private work can be completed without the operation of the external stop tap e.g. using the internal stop tap, freezing a section of the internal pipe, etc. We recommend seeking assistance from a plumber.

Whilst Yorkshire Water remains responsible for external stop-taps located in the public highway, we will only consider renewing or installing a new external stop-tap if it meets the following criteria:

  • If there is an urgent risk to health such as no water to the property
  • If there is a confirmed serious leak internally

We will not attend to locate an external stop tap, isolate the supply or make a chamber accessible. If the stop tap is broken or inoperable, we will not attend as it is not causing an operational issue for Yorkshire Water at the present time.

For all other external stop tap situations  we are unable to provide support and it remains the customers responsibility to ensure the internal stop-tap is in good working condition. You should never rely on an external stop-tap to be able to turn the water off inside your home as the internal stop-tap or valve is the quickest and easiest way to do this.

Did you know?

If your home was built before 1966, it might be earthed by the metal water supply (unless it’s been reviewed since). If you think your home might be earthed this way, we recommend you get in touch with an electrician or your electricity provider to make sure your home is earthed properly. We’re not responsible for earthing your home.

Detached homes

Pipework responsibility for detached homes

Terraced homes

Pipework responsibility for terraced homes

Property boundary 

Green and white dashed line

Homeowner's responsibility
Water supply pipe

Coral coloured pipe

Joint homeowners’ responsibility
Common supply pipe

Dark blue pipe

Yorkshire Water’s responsibility
Mains pipe, communication pipe and external stop tap

Light blue pipe

Drainage pipes

Homeowner's responsibility

If there's a blockage in a drainage pipe or sewer, responsibility for fixing it depends on where the problem is.

As a homeowner, you're responsible for:

  • all the pipes inside the property. These include toilets, sink drains and any outdoor guttering or pipes attached to the property. 
  • the section of pipe that goes into the ground, either directly or into a gully close to the property, until it reaches a shared drainage pipe or public sewer.
  • drains shared between more than one property if your home was built after 2011, unless they've been adopted by Yorkshire Water.

Yorkshire Water's responsibility 

At Yorkshire Water, we're responsible for:

  • drains shared between more than one property which flow into a public sewer, if your home was built before 2011.
  • drains outside of the property boundary which flow into a public sewer. 
  • public sewers.

Detached homes

Pipework responsibility for detached homes

Semi-detached homes

Pipework responsibility for semi-detached homes

Flats or apartments

Pipework responsibility for flats and apartments

Terraced homes

Pipework responsibility for terraced homes

Homeowner's responsibility

Coral coloured pipe

Yorkshire Water's responsibility 

Blue coloured pipe

Property boundary 

Green and white dashed line

Still not sure?

You can view our network of pipes on a map, for free, at our head office at Western House, Halifax Road, Bradford, BD6 2SZ.

Book an appointment

Fish jumping out of toilet

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