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Old 11-25-2008, 08:35 AM   #16
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Drainage ? for an 8' tall Retaining Wall


It does freeze here, but not alot. Though the weather has been trending towards colder these last few years.

The footing does rest on a sandy clay soil, with just a small layer of dirt. Perhaps that helps?

The footing doesn't extend past the face of the wall. The wall and the edge of the footing are plumb to each other. And for the most part, the top of the footing is level with the topsoil.


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You could clear the topsoil of the top of that 4" footing! Then lay weeping tile on top of the footing, then backfill it.

You don't say, but frost doesn't seem to be a factor in your area.
With such a shallow footing, I would expect the wall would have failed by now, if you have freezing!

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Old 11-25-2008, 08:04 PM   #17
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Drainage ? for an 8' tall Retaining Wall


By "porting" I meant to leave out vertical mortar joints to allow water behind the new wall to drain, the same as you see in the old wall. That was when I imagined you were building the new wall with concrete blocks. I see now you probably intend to use the stack-blocks (retaining wall blocks) and they are self draining so not to worry.

If you were to bury the drain pipe in the virgin soil you would force the draining water to percolate into the soil. This would be a much slower and possibly disturbing process than allowing the water to drain away at surface level via the ends of the pipe. Drainage will also come automatically through the retaining wall blocks.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:24 PM   #18
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Drainage ? for an 8' tall Retaining Wall


i would have it come out in the same spot as above. same weep holes in the front.just keep them open using a the same concept with fabric and 3/4 stone or similar. you could also use a pipe and just kind of divert the water right underneath and through the bottom front. i always use geogrid when working with block also. when that wall gets too bad or have some extra money you are going to have to fix it. if you do, the materials there are now and drainage techniques should hold that wall for the rest of your life and some.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:11 PM   #19
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Drainage ? for an 8' tall Retaining Wall


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
If you were to bury the drain pipe in the virgin soil you would force the draining water to percolate into the soil. This would be a much slower and possibly disturbing process than allowing the water to drain away at surface level via the ends of the pipe. Drainage will also come automatically through the retaining wall blocks.
As things are now, the drainage between the wall and house is very poor! So the ground is heavilly saturated for much of the year. I would think that the saturated ground slows down the water flow behind the wall. Which allows the water to back up behind it, and increase the hyrdostatic pressure which will eventually bring the wall down.

Long before the idea of a planting bed... I'd been thinking that the base of the wall must be drained. And now with a planting bed to cover the weeps, I think the drain becomes far more important? I think the planting beds dirt would further slow down the water trying to evacuate from behind the wall?

I can't slope the backyard to drain away from the wall, because it would run to the basement (I'm currently trying to abate basement moisture already). Nor can I slop it out the sides due to a detached garage on one side, and a hill on the other. So I must install some french drains to move that water out of the backyard. And with all things considered, It makes sense to me to also install a drain right at the retaining walls weeps.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:11 PM   #20
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Drainage ? for an 8' tall Retaining Wall


I've been thinking on this retaining walls drainage problem a bit more...

Trenching right along the footing does seem like a very bad idea!
Dicks idea of sloping the trench wall away from the retaining wall makes far safer sense.

And now I'm thinking of moving the trench and drain all the way out to the planting bed wall (2-3' off the retaining wall). With a very gentle slope leading from the retaining wall down into the drain. Then adding a layer of drain rock on top of that slope. In this way the water would take the path of least resistance and flow out of the wall, down the gravel bed slope and into the perforated drain pipe. Which then daylights out to a bog in the front of the property.




But... that solution (above) will exponentually increase the amount of material and time required.

And the weep holes (slots rather) are 8" tall. The planting bed will be about 18" tall. So dirt would migrate into the weeps from the planting bed. As the weeps clog, the water flow would become increasingly impeded. I could attach some drain cloth along the face of the wall to cover these weeps. But I'd have to attach the fabric to the wall with some type of concrete fasteners.

Since I'd have to fasten the cloth to the wall... I thought "Well why not just attach the drain to the face of the wall?" thereby saving all that gravel bed business. I've been googling around the net and have thus far only found one product for this (I'm sure there's gotta be other products out there). And I have yet to find a local distributor for it.

Does anyone have any experiance with J-DRain or other products like it?


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