Sunday, October 31, 2010

Installing a Drainage Network

Our house is a ranch, so it has significantly more roof area than a two-story house. This roof area translates to a lot of extra water through our downspouts/gutters when it rains. The problem with this water is that it can end up causing foundation and rot problems, which is the reason I installed a sump pump. I had setup the downspouts to eject about 5 feet from the house with downspout extenders. This partially solves the problem, but we still have an erosion in the mulch around our house, which then turns into a weed problem. So I decided to fix it all with a drainage network. A drainage network is underground piping which connects to the downspouts, channeling all of the water safely away from the house. The first step is to dig trenches for the pipe.

The pipe is 4" PVC sewer pipe. It is much thinner than normal DWV PVC and therefore lighter, cheaper, and more flexible. It still requires fittings, it is not as flexible as corrugated plastic pipe. Speaking of which, why didn't I use corrugated black pipe instead? It is cheaper and easier to install, with fewer fittings. But, the corrugation collects silt and roof particles, and it cannot be cleaned with a pipe snake in the event of a clog - no small consideration when the pipe is not accessible.

There are a total of 3 downspouts connected to this network. The top of the network, near the deck, will eventually be connected to a pipe under the deck which feeds water from a gravel drain area, but that is a future project. All of the joints have been solvent welded to there shouldn't be any leaks.

The network is sloped downward everywhere, I checked all areas with a torpedo level. All of the segments feed into one pipe which will eject into the woods at the bottom of my house. I had to tunnel under a section of my lawn for the last 20 feet. All together I dug and laid 70 feet of pipe.

Next step is to fill the trenches and dig an ejection basin at the bottom of the run.

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