protect shallow pipe

Back to my gutter drains. Thin wall 4" PVC pipe, in some places buried only a few inches deep -- no more than the pipe diameter. How best to protect it?
I've thought of laying PT 1x4 on top of the pipe -- would not last indefinitely (not ground contact rated) but perhaps decades. or PT 1x6 for a little extra. Or pour concrete in a thin layer, perhaps 4" wide and 1/2" thick -- doesn't have to be strong, just stop a shovel long enough to get the shovel-holder's attention.
Edward
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wrote:

or some 1/8 steel plate, paint it will last a long time.
why did you bury pipe so shallow?
or better replace pipe with schedule 40 it will deflect a regular shovel:)
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I don't know exactly what pipe you used, but at any HD there is plenty of 4" pipe suitable for drainage use that is plenty durable to bury 4" deep without any protection. I've yet to see any protection provided for a gutter drain.
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On Sat, 4 Dec 2010 07:51:33 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

and a truck to drag it home in ;-) But hmm, even galvanized flashing might last long enough to be useful ...

Inadequate ground slope. Bury it deeper, there's no way out, the pipe would be below the bottom of the ditch. Sewer line is much deeper, but of course the city doesn't want me discharging roof runoff into the sanitary sewer. Only other choice was to have part of the pipe above ground.

At twice the cost. Maybe I should have, but I have a lot glued by now. Also, just a few months ago I put a hole in a 2" schedule 40 drain pipe while digging a trench. Two holes in two different places in fact. (Had no idea the pipe was there.) So sched40 is better but not unbreakable.
So maybe I'm better off just planning to repair it when I do put a hole in it. After all, a break in a gutter drain isn't exactly an emergency.
Thanks,
Edward
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wrote:

So you want us to give you advice on how to deal with your cheapness... Umm, you should have used Sched 40 PVC which is a thicker pipe than normal PVC drain/waste piping...
If your site conditions are such that you can not properly slope the pipes when they are buried deep enough to be protected and be able to discharge where you need to, then you should have installed a sump pit chamber with a pump inside it to be able to discharge at a higher grade...
Just like how basement sump pumps are designed...
It sounds to me like your gutter piping is not buried deep enough to prevent freezing (if you are in an area where that is a concern) and aren't pitched properly to ensure that the maximum drainage possible can be achieved...
~~ Evan
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On Sat, 4 Dec 2010 15:22:13 -0800 (PST), Evan

Hey, this is Usenet. What's your complaint?

A super hard freeze here might occasionally freeze the ground 1/8" deep.

Just had a long thread on that a couple of weeks ago. Slope is barely adequate by most calculations and even opinions. I'm bringing the downspout risers up about 3' to add pressure. Pipe flow calculators on the web (two agree) tell me that the system would get about 2 gps flow without the risers, and 4 gps with them. Might exceed that once every decade or two.
Edward
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wrote:

Obviously this guy is clueless. Probably half or more of the gutter drain pipe installed in the US is not buried deep enough to prevent freezing. And most of the ones that are were not specifically buried deep enough to prevent freezing, but just happen to be in a temperate climate, like FL. In the vast majority of such applications, you have limited grade drop to deal with and you can't bury the pipe 3ft deep because then a gravity drain would not work. The suggestion to use a pump for routine gutter drainage is a similar joke for obvious reasons.

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: -snip-

He apparently doesn't have to worry about freezing- but it seems like someone here suggested a swale or gutter for him when he announced that he was going this route a couple months ago. Those 4" pipes will be clogged in a couple years and he'll be tearing them out anyway.
Jim
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wrote:

I'll try to remember to come back and let you know. But it took eight years for the corrugated crap to clog totally, and it clogged from roots getting in through the joints, places it had cracked because of roots pushing on it, and through miscellaneous holes. Even thin wall PVC appears to be a lot stronger and I'm gluing it. I have screens on the gutters and estimate that I'll get a 2 gps flow in the main pipe a few times a year.
Edward
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wrote:

Probably does't need protection, but as a warning layer that will last for years, consider buying a ribbed fiberglass roofing panel and slice it lengthwise into 3 1' wide pieces. Price is reasonable, effort is minimal, results acceptable.
Joe
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wrote:

Bury a strip of yellow construction marker tape a couple inches above it.
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Joe and jamesgangnc,
I like the ideas for warning strips. Probably makes more sense than trying for real protection. Thanks.
Edward
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No one has yet asked the question, "Protect it from what?" Common drain pipe is available at HD that is sturdy enough that you don't need protection from a shovel. And if you're using more than a shovel, eg a backhoe or pulling sprinkler cable, worse case is you tear some of it up. No big deal, you just do a simple repair to it at that point. It doesn't even have to be perfectly leak proof. The worst case scenario I can see would be to protect against a heavy truck driving across it. But even then, from the basic geometry, it;s usually obvious where the pipes would be and you plan a truck route that avoids it and/or deal with it at that point, if and when that day comes. I guarantee you 99% of the pipe laid in such applications is done without worrying about the problem.
And if you are that worried about it, then as someone else suggested, just use Shed 40 for the part you are worried about.
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On Sun, 5 Dec 2010 04:04:53 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think I'm taking that to heart.

Good to know. (And I'm serious. Gotta learn some time.)
Edward
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On Sun, 05 Dec 2010 00:18:21 -0800, Smitty Two

Well, more tender than a backhoe. Not nearly as strong neither.

Depends on why I'm digging. Trench, sure. Planting irises, I'll be digging a bit tenderer. As others have pointed out, I don't need perfect protection, since the stuff is pretty easy to repair, doesn't have pressure in it, doesn't have sewage in it.
Edward
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On Mon, 06 Dec 2010 05:25:45 -0500, Edward Reid

Make a flag to mark the spot. Cut up a coat hanger, insert the wire into the ground near the pipe. Make a small flag using duct tape.
My problem is I'm not certain where _all_ underground pipes are, but I'm learning.
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wrote:

Andy comments: Since there's no way to make it deeper, and protection is impractical, one other possibility would be to "mark" it by laying these 8X15X2 paver blodks on top of the ground, much like one would to for a footpath, spaced about a foot apart. In this manner one would not run a rototiller over the path, or do any digging there without being reminded of a buried possible problem..... If he pavers were buried about an inch, they soon would be almost invisible as the grass would start to grow over the edges. Just another suggestion..
Andy in Eureka, Texas
PS..... Even if the pipe is buried BELOW the level of the ditch, as long as comes up to the proper level at the end, the pipe will just fill up with water and spill out at the end. A buried pipe full of water is not usually a problem unless one is worried about freezing.....If the pipe were the perforated type, the water would drain down into the soil, after a while....... Of course this is assuming that there is no debris coming in to plug it up, but that would still happen with the shallow burial you presently have....
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wrote:

Hmm ... I had thought about covering the whole thing with pavers, but that was looking really expensive. That was when I thought about just pouring a thin layer of cement just on top of the pipe ...
But spacing them, as you suggest, reduces the cost. And I wouldn't even need a solid path, since now we're talking about mainly a warning system. Even one every five feet would do it ... I don't need them where it's against the foundation, and about 1/3 of the rest needs stepping stone over it anyway.
Most of the run is through areas with no grass anyway, so I wouldn't even have to bury them.
I think I have another working idea ... thanks!

Sort of an extension of what I've been thinking. Since the actual ground slope is slight, I can add risers under the downspouts, which will increase the pressure pushing the water through the pipe. A two foot riser only adds 1 psi, but adding 1 psi to 1/2 psi is a big change. Everyone here seems to agree that some water, even a lot of water, left in the pipe is not a problem. It won't freeze and isn't likely to make a good mosquito breeder.

I would want to make sure that the final few feet slopes down to the ditch so that debris would not get in from the outlet end. I have screens over the gutters and plan to blow the leaves off regularly. The roof has only a 3/12 slope or slightly less, so even though it's metal I still have to clean it anyway. This is Florida, albeit north Florida, so I get heavy rains quite regularly. My guess is that a 1 gps flow through the main pipe will be common (at least monthly), that 2 gps will happen a few times a year, and that 4 gps is the maximum that the 2' risers will force through it. I think that will clear out any debris as long as roots don't get in. Since I'm gluing it, damage is the only other way for roots to get in.
Thanks,
Edward
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