When we think about pipes, the first thought that comes into our mind is tubes within our walls and tubes underground. Since it’s designed to be covered, it can be alarming to anyone to see pipes sticking out from their yards. Identifying the type of pipes you might be seeing in your backyard can be difficult, but fortunately, it’s not impossible.
With numerous kinds of pipes on your property, it can be difficult to identify the pipe you’re seeing on your lawn. The most common ones you’ll find are electrical conduit pipes, old fuel oil tanks, sprinkler systems, pipes for an abandoned well, former LP-gas tanks, shut-off valves, or sewer pipes.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most common pipes you may find sticking out of your lawn and give you tips on how to hide these pipes to make your landscape more pleasing to the eye.
What Is the Pipe Sticking Up in Your Yard?
If you ask professional plumbers what type of pipe is sticking out of your lawn, most of them will tell you that they need to see the actual pipe before identifying it. The reason for this is because many of the pipes that may pop out of a lawn can come from different scenarios, like previous backyard features that have been removed for a long time.
Below are nine possible reasons why there’s a pipe sticking on the ground.
- Sprinkler system
If you see multiple pipes sticking out of your lawn, these pipes likely came from an old sprinkler system. Some homeowners would opt not to remove their entire sprinkler system when they move out of their house because it can cost a lot of money depending on how big their system is.
- Electrical conduit pipe
When you spot a pipeline that’s either gray plastic or metal and has a diameter of 1” or less, it probably came from an old shed or pool that has been removed, along with the electrical service outlet box. You can confirm this if you see wires snipped down through the pipe.
- Sewer or mainline to the septic tank
A sewer pipe is larger in diameter than a conduit pipe, is typically made from plastic, and has a removable cap. If you remove the cap or if it was missing when you found the pipe, you will find a long horizontal pipe with fluid flowing at the bottom of it, from when somebody was using the plumbing fixtures in your house.
- Underground fuel oil tank
If your house was built in the 1970s, the pipe that you’re looking at is likely for the underground fuel oil furnace. These pipes usually come in pairs and are made with galvanized steel. In this case, one of the pipes would have a hinged flap over it and the other is mushroom-shaped.
- Former LP-gas tank
If you see a curved copper pipe sticking out of your lawn with a female fitting thread inside, then it probably came from a former LP-gas tank. There’s also a big chance that you find a bigger casing on the area of the pipe, so be careful when handling it.
- Abandoned well
Pipes that are around two to six inches in diameter and have a threaded end are typically made for wells. You can confirm this if you shine a light on the pipeline and see a reflection of water. In this case, it’s best to seal off any opening that you find to avoid any contamination.
- Underground water shut-off valve
If you see a pipe with a light green, in-line shut-off valve that’s made of plastic, and is about a diameter in size, it probably came from a water pipe underground. Often, if the pipe is old, leaves and debris may fall into it, which makes it hard to reach the valve. When this happens, you will need to dig a little so that you can reach it.
- Broken pipe from lawnmowers
You are likely to break a pipe while mowing your lawn. Since most backflow pipes are found near the ground, cutting your grass too short can lead up to this accident. Don’t worry though, since breaking the shut-off valve from PVC housings can easily be repaired by replacing the cap.
- A piece of pipe
You’d be surprised to know that many plumbers are called to remove a pipe that somebody stuck into the ground. In some instances, pipes are jabbed into the ground for no reason. These pipes are then forgotten, and over time, will be covered by debris, which may end up surprising new homeowners when they spot them.
Have you ever wondered why some of the areas in your yard are uneven and collecting rain or irrigation water? It may be the cause of unlevel yard or draining issues. If not treated early, you may be endangering your plants, trees, and even your house. To help you avoid this problem, read our DIY guide to regrading your backyard.
How to Hide Pipes in Landscaping?
Finding a pipe while you’re landscaping shouldn’t let you down. Instead of building a concrete slab to cover the pipe or hiring a plumber to remove all the pipes in your lawn, there’s an artistic way to not only cover the pipe but also beautify your lawn.
Here are some ways to hide the pipes in your landscaping:
- Painting the pipes
The easiest way to hide the pipe in your lawn is to paint it the same color as your grass. If you think you might stumble upon it, you can also paint it a different color to remind you and your family members that there’s a pipe there.
- Putting ornaments around the pipe
Ornaments come in different sizes. Before purchasing one, make sure to measure the bottom, top, and top width of the pipe that you want to cover. Your chosen ornament should be at least an inch taller than the pipe. Some examples of ornaments are hollow statues and faux rocks. Although, note that you shouldn’t put the ornament too close to the pipe so that it won’t get stained from rust.
- Landscaping plants
Plants are a great way to cover pipes. Choose some that can grow tall or can intertwine like hedges to block the pipes. Some of the best choices would be a boxwood or Japanese pittosporum. However, make sure that you leave a small opening wherein you can pass when you need to repair or do maintenance on the pipe that you’re covering.
- Build a trellis
If you’re not too fond of ornaments and have enough plants on your lawn, maybe building up a trellis to cover the pipe would be a great idea. This is best used when the pipe is only visible in one area, but you can install three to four of these trellises if you want to cover all sides.
Once you install the trellis, combining them with plants, such as climbing vines, will make them more appealing and more effective in blocking the pipe. This also gives your lawn a more sophisticated look thanks to its open framework.
- Installing water features
One of the best ways to block out a pipe on the ground is by installing water features in your lawn. These landscaping elements don’t only work great at covering items you don’t want others to see, but also add value to your property.
A fountain, birdbath, water wall privacy screen, or even an overflowing pot fountain can easily do the trick. If the pipe is still visible from other angles, you can also add potted plants around the water feature to enhance its coverage.
Finding a pipe sticking out of the ground is more common than you think. Identifying what type of pipe you’re looking at is essential to ensure the safety of your family. Whether it’s a pipe for your sewer, an old fuel oil tank, or a deep well, making sure that you seal or cover it will not only keep your family safe, but will also make your lawn more pleasing to the eye.