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
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.
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.
On Sat, 4 Dec 2010 07:51:33 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
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
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
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
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...
A super hard freeze here might occasionally freeze the ground 1/8"
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
from a shovel. And if you're using more than a shovel, eg a backhoe
pulling sprinkler cable, worse case is you tear some of it up. No big
you just do a simple repair to it at that point. It doesn't even have
perfectly leak proof. The worst case scenario I can see would be to
against a heavy truck driving across it. But even then, from the
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
without worrying about the problem.
And if you are that worried about it, then as someone else suggested,
use Shed 40 for the part you are worried about.
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.
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
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
In this manner one would not run a rototiller over the path, or do
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
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
problem unless one is worried about freezing.....If the pipe were the
type, the water would drain down into the soil, after a while.......
this is assuming that there is no debris coming in to plug it up, but
would still happen with the shallow burial you presently have....
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.
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