How to Tunnel Under a Driveway

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Running a tunnel under a driveway may seem like a daunting, almost impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can let water pressure do most of the work for you so that you end up as the guide instead of breaking your back with a shovel or a pick. It can get pretty messy, but in the end it is worth the mess to get the job done quickly and without a struggle.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch-diameter PVC pipe 8 inches longer than the driveway’s width
  • Adapter to connect PVC pipe to the hose
  • PVC cement
  • Hose
  • Duck-billed shovel
  • Eye protection
  • 1-inch-diameter PVC pipe 2 inches longer than the driveway’s width
  • Connect the threaded hose adapter to the longer piece of PVC, securing it with PVC cement. Let the cement dry thoroughly according to the times listed on the label, which may vary with the air temperature.

  • Attach one end of the hose to an outdoor faucet near the driveway and the other end to the PVC pipe. Be sure the connection doesn’t leak or you may lose pressure.

  • Dig a trench perpendicular to the driveway and equal in length to PVC with hose adapter. The trench should be dug to the desired depth of the tunnel, at least 1 to 2 feet below the surface of the driveway.

  • Make another trench on the other side of the driveway where the tunnel is to emerge. This one should be about 2 feet long and several inches deeper than the level of the tunnel, so water and mud can drain into it.

  • Lay the pipe in the trench with the open end pointed toward the driveway. Put on your eye protection, because the water may throw back mud and small stones as it digs. Turn on the water full blast. It will immediately begin to tunnel into the soil under the driveway. Push the pipe into the hole as it is created.

  • Stop occasionally and pull the pipe out of the hole allowing it to drain. You may need to clear out some of the mud in the trench with the shovel before putting the water pipe back in the tunnel.

  • Continue blasting the water under the driveway until it comes out the other side. Turn off the water and remove the pipe.

  • Slide the second section of PVC into the tunnel and push it all the way through the hole, to complete the driveway tunnel.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use a pressure washer instead of a garden hose if you wish. It will tunnel more quickly but may not reach far enough if the driveway is very wide.
  • Keep children and pets away from the work area to prevent possible injury from rocks or other debris. Also move vehicles away before beginning, to avoid chips or dings.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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