I have had a leaky basement, and I had corrugated polyethylene
pipe (about 4 inches in diameter) installed on two sides (South and
North sides) of my house under about 8 inches of soil. There is
generally a slight back to front slope on the house (with some
depressions that would block water), and I was hoping that the pipe
would take the water past the front of the house and ultimately to the
street that is in the front of my house. On the South side of the
house, there is about 25 feet of pipe from the first drain opening
(located at the very back of the house) to the second drain opening,
and there is generally a downward slope between the two drains on the
surface. However, when I ran a hose full blast down the pipe for about
10 minutes no water reached the downstream second drain. The
installers stated that since the pipe was permeable (and the ground is
dry) that could explain the lack of water flow to the second drain. I
understand that the pipe is permeable, but it seems to me if the pipe
had an adequate consistent slope downward, some of the water would have
reached the second drain. So, my question is, is pipe properly
installed or have the installers failed to construct a proper downward
slope when they installed the pipe? Or are other forces at work.
The parallel pipe installed on the North side of the house does
drain some water, but the water flow is slow although my water hose
test (hose going full blast for 15 minutes) only resulted in a slow
flow of water to the corrugated pipe's endpoint, which was about 25
feet from the point at which I ran a hose into a drain to test the
Any help with these issues would be appreciated.
these pipes under the basement floor?
if they were installed in a bed of gravel thats about what you should
check outles at next rainey time.....
i did much the same checking a indoor perimeter drain system that
drained to a sump pump, hose ran for a couple hours in a small home
before I saw much activity. I watched the install carefully so I knew
it was properly installed, the dry ground and gravel bed suck up the
> these pipes under the basement floor?
The pipes are not under a basement floor, but they were installed
in a bed of gravel. I would infer from your statement that the gravel
and the water suck up much of the water that, the water travels down
the bed of gravel away from the house. If that is the case, what is
the point of the corrugated pipe? Also, I would add that the house has
a sump pump and that the pipe from the sump pump was blocked. I have
installed a new sump pump pipe, and the pump should be more effective
now. I was hoping with the installation of the parallel pipes that I
would get better drainage and wouldn't have to check into or repair the
weeping tiles that were probably installed when the sump pump was
The point of the pipe is to increase the volume of the drainage field
beyond what the gravel alone would handle. It is usually wrapped in
landscape fabric and directs the flow of water in a specific
direction. Flooding the field with a hose is not a good test compared
to an actual rainstorm. A better test might be: Does the basement
still flood in a storm??
It is entirely plausible that the drainage was indeed installed
correctly and in fact was done so well that its' capacity greatly
exceeds the volume of youy garden hose to the point that all the water
is indeed sucked up by the gravel and surrounding soil long before it
gets downstream. this is what you would hope for since a big enough
rainfall could overwhelm any drainage field. I wouldn't worry until a
big storm is forecast. then just make sure you check the basement for
leaks and the downhill pipe for volume. then you will have a better
ide of what's up with the install.
On 20 Aug 2006 18:20:34 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
The gravel bed does not "suck up" water, it increases the area which funnels
the water to the pipe and facilitates the water getting to the pipe with the
voids between the pieces of gravel. The surface area of the pipe is much
smaller than the outer surface area of the gravel bed. When the soil becomes
saturated, water fills the voids between the gravel from the surrounding
soil, then is guided to an outlet point when it enters the pipe. This is just
the opposite of a septic drainfield in which the pipe carries the water out
to the gravel bed and the increased surface area around the gravel bed can
absorb more water that what could be absorbed directly from the pipe.
If you put water into the pipe with a hose, that is not a real test of proper
installation because you are essentially doing the septic system thing by
putting water into the pipe. The gravel and increased soil surface area
around the gravel bed can put a way a lot of water, particularly if it's put
in at the upper end and you're looking at the lower end.
If you ran water onto the soil surface above the pipe, that is sure enough
not a test as the water will disperse into the surrounding soil - most likely
at a rate that would require several hours, minimum, of running the hose to
get any result. You must keep in mind that the soil surrounding the gravel
bed must be saturated before water can move to the pipe - that requires that
it be saturated from the point that you're putting down water to the lower
end of the gravel bed or the water will be moving into the soil instead of
the pipe. That "test" is similar to opening the front door and waiting for
the outdoor temperature to go down 10 feet from the doorway due to the AC
You really need to wait until you get a good rain - and I don't mean just a
heavy shower lasting 15 minutes or so. A good all-day rain or several rainy
days will be a much better indicator of whether or not the pipe is installed
correctly. The soil must be saturated in order for the water to move into the
gravel and then the pipe.
After a good rain, you should see that the water runs from the pipe for some
time after the rain quits - a sign that the pipe is doing its job correctly,
removing the water as it percolates through the soil. How long it runs
afterward will depend on your soil (type and compaction) and how well it
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