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Foundation Perimeter Drains Again


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By Dennis in Port Alberni, BC on 5/6/2008


New construction - start in three weeks (first house I ever built). House is on slight sloping lot to the rear of the house. The house is 92' wide and 42' deep with a large garage attached on the left side forming an L shape. I must run perimeter drains across the front from the left side of the house 92' to the right side corner then run another 42' down the right side and then off down the slope to daylight.

Assuming that the footings are perfectly level, if I start the drainpipe at the left side level with the bottom of the footing and slope the pipe 1/2" every 3' then by the time I get to the right side of the house, I will be 15" below the bottom of the footing. After I go down the right side I will be 22" below the bottom of the footing. Is that correct? Or do I just install it level and hope it drains when it rains?  What works? -- What's best?

Dennis


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By Greg in Zanesville, OH on 5/7/2008


No need to slope your drains. You put them level; water will find its way out by path of least resistance.
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By Dennis in Port Alberni, BC on 5/7/2008


Thanks for that information - it is appreciated. Few more dumb questions... The footing that is 92' running across the front is not in a straight line; there are bump-outs and ins (not sure of the correct description) ranging from 3' to 5'. Do I keep the rigid PVC drain pipe up close to the footing (using elbows) all the way around these bump-outs? In my mind I should and I don't think that there is any other way to do it.

Is it better on these corners to use two 45-degree elbows cemented together (better for cleaning clogged pipes) rather than one 90-degree elbow, or am I getting too weird about this?

I've been looking on the Web for examples to confirm my thinking, but all I can find is examples of straight lines... never do I see corner work or clean-outs.

Also, I wanted to install clean-outs (just in case). How many for that length 92' + 42' = 134' (e.g. two, one at the high point left side of house, and one on corner at right side of house)?

Dennis


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By Greg in Zanesville, OH on 5/8/2008


There is a website called askthebuilder.com. In his blog on footer drains he explains the importance of having the drains beside your footers instead of on top of them. Also make sure they are surrounded by river gravel and not limestone, because over time limestone deteriorates and will actually help clog your drains. As for adding elbows to keep your drains as close to the footer as possible, that's exactly what you want to do. Some people only use a minimum of river gravel when backfilling, usually two to three feet.

My cousin who is a general contractor recommends filling to within a foot of final grade with river gravel, a little more expense up front but a lot cheaper than digging it up in five years to fix it. I don't know if two 45's would be more beneficial than a 90 or not. Also, I don't know about clean-outs. Just on a side note, my friend who used to do excavation always recommends placing a layer of straw between your stone and dirt backfill to keep the sediment from reaching your drains and clogging them during settling. Some people use silt fabric instead.
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