I don't actually have a problem currently, but I am trying to locate the
drain for my downspout with no luck. Downspout was disconnected from
drain pipe and diverted to a cistern before I bought the house, however
the overflow drains for the cistern simply dump onto the ground.
There's a stub of PVC pipe sticking up from the ground but it doesn't
let water flow. Well, it does, but very, very slowly. The only
possible location that I could see for it to terminate is that there is
a drain pipe by the curb in front of the house, however it is bone dry.
Trying to stick a snake up that drain from the curb accomplishes
nothing, it is open for as long as the longest snake I have. Trying to
snake it from the downspout end accomplishes nothing either, I get
caught at an S-curve almost immediately.
I will get a longer snake, but I have two concerns... first, I don't
know whether I have a French drain or not, so the drain pipe by the curb
might be for the French drain and has nothing to do with the downspout.
Also I know that when the house was built there was an alley behind
it, and the alley is no longer there.
So here's the question; is there any way to determine where exactly a
PVC drain pipe runs if you can't snake it without digging? Digging this
up would likely involve draining the cistern, moving it, and removing a
large concrete pad.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
If you can get a stiff wire or a smaller metal snake (like an
electrician's snake (steel, not fiberglass)) down the pipe, you can
rent a cable/pipe locator.
You clip a connection from the locator onto the snake and that drives
it with a signal. Then the locator head senses that signal to locate
the path of the wire. The better units will even estimate how deep
the line is.
A well stocked rental yard will have one of these. They're usually
called magnetic cable locators. It takes some fussing around, but
Another idea is smoke testing. You can purchase smoke pellets from
Lab Safety Supply. Toss one in, and if you need to, blow some air to
push the smoke around. Might try a shop vac or a hair dryer or an air
compressor turned way down.
If the drain can empty a garden hose & it's not coming out at the street, I
would say they're either not connected or there's a serious break in
Plumbers have cameras they can send down pipes to see what's going on. It's
up to you to decide if curiousity is worth spending $$ on.
It's either that or digging, looks like. I will see if I can rent one
of those gadgets mentioned in another post, but based on a quick web
search, I am guessing it wouldn't be any cheaper/easier. My local
rental place has extortionate prices...
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Why do you need to find out for sure where some unknown pipe is
going? If the water flows from the gutters to the above ground
cistern and the cistern has an overflow, why not just do something
with a short length of pipe or similar to channel the overflow water
10 ft away from the house? Many houses have simple splash blocks
that only carry the water 3 ft from the foundation, have proper
grading and have no problems.
On Aug 27, 10:01 am, email@example.com wrote:
because if the mystery pipe does not drain correctly, really the only
viable option would be to dig up my yard and lay some pipe to channel
the water to the street. the gutter in question is on the back side
of the house, and my whole lot is sloped toward the street, and I
don't have enough space to direct it away from the house sideways
without likely causing puddles in my neighbor's yard next to her
house. (I don't know exactly the distance between the edge of the
house and the property line, but it is less than 10 ft. for sure. Lot
is long but narrow, and less than 1/4 acre anyway.)
The other option would be to strap some PVC to the underside of my
deck, which is the full width of the house, and drain it to the
driveway and let it run to the street that way, but I don't know if
that would cause icing issues in the winter. I've already done that
with the front gutter as that is how that appears to have always been
(no drain pipe evident for that downspout)
Don't know the geometry here, but apparently you can snake it from the
street and it's clear for as long as the longest snake you have. And
you can only snake it a short distance from the other end, until you
get caught in an S curve. I assume the pipe is visible at that point,
otherwise how do u know it's an S?
If it is in fact some kind of S that is the problem, then I'd cut the
pipe at that point so you can deal with two segments of straighter
runs. Then you need a snake long enough to work the longest length
you have. You could also try a long enough snake from street, as is,
without taking out the S.
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