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BumperCrop 10-19-2009 04:30 PM

What pipe to use?
I hope this is the right place for this question. My existing basement drain is plugged and I need to dig down at the footing and run new pipe to the ditch. I will be down 4 feet at the house and about 1 foot when I reach the ditch (sloped yard). I'm wondering what kind of pipe I should use. I have to go about 250 feet, so it could get expensive. What pipe and, I guess, how to properly install it. Thank you.

Daniel Holzman 10-19-2009 05:18 PM

Unless there is some unusual circumstance, PVC schedule 40 is fine for typical pipe sizes like 4 or 6 inch diameter. Installation is pretty simple, dig a trench about six inches wider than the pipe (a foot wide for 4 or 6 inch pipe), and appropriate depth, place a layer of approximately 6 inches of 3/4 inch crushed stone in the bottom of the trench, compact the stone using a plate whacker, install pipe (glue joints if necessary, or use push on pipe if appropriate), cover pipe with 6 inches of crushed stone, compact lightly, fill to grade with ordinary backfill, compacting in six inch lifts.

The only real issues are make sure the pitch of the pipe is correct, this is usually done with a laser or a level. Also, do not backfill over or under the pipe using large, sharp stone as this can damage the pipe, some people use coarse sand, however crushed stone is fine as well. Call Dig Safe BEFORE you dig, get the permit, it is free. Also, since you will be four feet deep at one point, remember to cover the trench as you go, a 4 foot deep trench can be very dangerous if left open, a child or animal could fall in, or someone walking in the yard could break a leg.

One other detail, if you are in a cold climate, the pipe could freeze at the end where it is only 1 foot deep, consider making it deeper to minimize frost problems.

BumperCrop 10-19-2009 06:42 PM

Wow Daniel...thank you for the quick detailled reply. Good point about the freezing. It gets below freezing here in December. What about that black corregated pipe with the slits? That would be about 1/3 of the cost.

Daniel Holzman 10-19-2009 09:51 PM

The black corrugated pipe with slits you are referring to is very thin, and is typically used in specialty situations like perimeter drains. The main problem is that it is very flexible and easily damaged, hence a real pain in the ass to install. In your case, I think you are looking for solid (not perforated) pipe, I don't think you want water leaking out of the pipe into the ground. You should be able to get Schedule 40 pipe for a reasonable price, if you can't you could save a few dollars using Schedule 20, but for my money I would not want to worry about frozen pipe damage, or installation damage, and Schedule 40 is very tough. But if you really want to use the black plastic perf pipe, I have about a hundred feet in my backyard you can have for nothing, you just have to drive to Boston....

BumperCrop 10-20-2009 03:08 PM

Daniel, I don't want to do this I am going with the schedule 40. About the stuff in your yard...what are you having for supper? Better yet...take it down to the dock and put it on a blue gypsum boat...and i'll pick it up on this end.:)
Thanks for the help!

BumperCrop 10-22-2009 04:01 PM

Okay....I've bought the good pipe and the job will be done next week. The trench will be 1 foot wide. One more issue...the pipe will be passing under my gravel driveway about three feet under it. Do I need to protect it somehow. The driveway gets the usual vehicle traffic but might see a truckload of topsoil or something like that rolling over it in the future. What do you recommend? Thanks again!!!!!!!! BC

Daniel Holzman 10-22-2009 04:51 PM

Schedule 40 is very tough, when buried 3 feet you do not have to do anything special, other than follow the previous instructions for bedding (the crushed stone) and cover (the crushed stone and soil). You could run a semi over it once it is bedded with no problem.

BumperCrop 10-22-2009 07:56 PM

Excellent....thanks so much for the help!!!! BC

meboatermike 11-07-2009 07:35 PM

pipe tp use
I know this is kind of late and probably the job is already done, but it was not possible to clear the old drain line instead of installing a new one?

BumperCrop 12-25-2009 05:17 PM

mike - valid question - job is finished. old drain was plugged and always emptied onto neighbour's property. never an issue but i was never comfortable with it like that. it was just a matter of time.

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