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Question on basement drain pipe


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Mark's Forum Posts: 118

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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 10/27/2004


As a method of keeping our walkout basement moisture-free, I am planning on using drain pipe on the uphill and side hill sides of the basement. This pipe will be subterranean. I will put in a couple of inches of drain gravel and then lay the piping in. On top of that will be laid a landscape cloth that prevents silt from plugging the drain pipe and it will then be covered with more drainage rock and maybe a small amount of topsoil above another layer of landscape cloth.

Finally! My question is: Do the holes on the pipe need to be in the 6:00 position when laid and does anyone see any problems with this plan?

Thanks, again!


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By Frank in San Pedro, CA on 10/27/2004


I would place to holes on the drain pipe at 6:00 and grade to land so that surface water would flow to the drains in heavy rain conditions. I also put gutters and downspouts on the house and connected them to my drain to reduce any water build-up around the house. You might want to even install surface drains to further increase water flow to the drain pipes. I had to do that with my downslope lot and it works. I have a hot tub in the backyard, and I have one of the surface drains close by for when I drain the tub for a water exchange. It is very handy.

If I were to do it again I would place a 300-gal., 500-gal., or larger tank downhill to store rainwater in with a small submersible pump to use to water my lawn and flowers when drought conditions are in effect.

Frank


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By John in Erie, CO on 10/27/2004


I think generally, you never want to connect additional drains to your subterranean footing drain... Imagine if you get a big downpour, fill a surface drain or gutter connected to your footing drain - You then provide a direct pathway to get water _TO_ your footings, a bad idea.

Keep the two drains separate.

6:00 is a good idea, or using the black corrugated pipe with lots of perforations you don't have to worry. Be sure this pipe goes to daylight.


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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 10/28/2004


Thanks, gang. 6:00 it will be.

I'll be having two separate systems. Reward otherwise isn't worth the risk.


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By D' in Tucson, AZ on 11/17/2004


If the holes are in the 6:00 position there will be a lot of water accumulating before it flows away from the foundation. Oftentimes septic pipe is used with geo-fabric preventing soil from entering, with the holes at 12:00.

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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 11/17/2004


I'll be getting the perforated piping with slits all around it. No garage drains to the foundation drains. They'll have their own separate lines.

Thanks, gang.


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By John in Belmont, CA on 1/20/2005


I have huge drainage problems in my current house. One thing I have learned that I did not see mentioned above is to line the entire trench with the filter fabric. Lay your rock, lay your pipe, lay more rock and fold the filter fabric over the rock and top off with 12" of dirt. Basically turn the trench into a giant burrito. For added protection, get yourself a filter sock, $20 for 100 feet at HD, and place this over the pipe before laying it into the trench. This will help ensure your pipe and rock stay dirt free for years to come.

Cheers.


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By Mark in Los Angeles, CA on 1/21/2005


Thanks, John. That's my plan!

Mark


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By Doug in Benicia, CA on 1/17/2006


John,

I agree with your idea about the burrito drainage system. My question is why can't I use any rock around the pipe? I have a lot of that red decorative rock people use in their yards available. I've been told it is man-made and it holds water, but so what? When it is saturated, the water will pass around it and into the pipe. What do you think?

Doug
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By John in Belmont, CA on 1/17/2006


Doug,

I am not an expert, but here are a few reasons why I think you would want to avoid using the red lava rock:

  1. It is very coarse; so with movement and settling it will shred your filter cloth, allowing more dirt in causing bigger headaches down the road.
  2. As the rock grinds on itself because of weight, it will collapse in on itself, so over time it will show where the trenches are.
  3. The dust and debris from #2 above will fill your drain pipe over time.
  4. You give a great breeding place for who knows what with all the nooks and crannies that lava rock has. Remember when we use it above ground it has ample time to dry out, but in the environment you are going to put the stuff it may never fully dry out.

Now I maybe completely wrong in my logic. As I stated above I am far from being an expert, but drain rock is not that expensive (I prefer crushed - it locks in on itself and is easier to shove if you have to later). Another alternative if you have time, cruise craigslist.org for rock. People often give extra drain rock or river rock away.

Best Regards,

John


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