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PhiL1227 08-22-2011 07:32 PM

Soaker hoses for foundation
I need to put soaker hoses and was told it was best to bury them 6" out and 2" down. Do I need to worry about the squirting areas? I tried filling then but when I do it seems more pop up. Is there a certain hose I should buy or should I just go ahead and bury it? I live in San Antonio. Fyi

Daniel Holzman 08-22-2011 08:44 PM

I have no idea what you are talking about, is this a gardening question? Or perhaps a foundation watering question in expansive clay country? Maybe you could enlighten us all as to :

1. What the problem is
2. What you are trying to achieve
3. What your question is
4. Important facts that might help us understand your situation

PhiL1227 08-22-2011 08:55 PM

Foundation question. It's not clay but the soil we have here in San Antonio shrinks during a drought and you see separation between the house and the dirt. Can cause foundation to shift. I had a soaker hose but it didn't really help because of where it was. I was told to bury it 6" out from the foundation and 2" down in the ground. I worry about the holes where the water spews out from instead on "soaking". I cover the holes with plumber putty and electrical tape but that just strengthens the pressure and causes more spouts. I'm thinking just bury the thing and don't worry about then or wondering if there is a better brand of soaker hose or if that is just the way it is designed. Does that help?

PhiL1227 08-22-2011 08:56 PM

I'm trying to get the soil saturated so it goes back and my house doesn't shift.

ghostlyvision 08-22-2011 09:21 PM

You want a slow drip with the soaker hose to saturate the ground deeply over the course of a couple hours, only turn the faucet on until the water is dripping (not spraying) from the holes in the hose.

We haven't buried our hoses, just leave them lying on the ground near the foundation.

PhiL1227 08-22-2011 09:30 PM

Good tip about the pressure. Thanks. Now if I have two hoses together and the end one isn't dripping like the front end should I do something?

Willie T 08-22-2011 10:35 PM


Originally Posted by PhiL1227 (Post 713222)
Good tip about the pressure. Thanks. Now if I have two hoses together and the end one isn't dripping like the front end should I do something?

Put the introduction connection (a "T") in the middle, between the two hoses.

Daniel Holzman 08-23-2011 11:30 AM

The objective of using soaker hoses in expansive soil is to maintain a constant soil moisture condition. The problem with expansive soils is that the expansion rate can vary greatly over a relatively short distance, due to natural variation in the proportion of expansive clay (it is usually clay that does the expanding) in the soil. In other words, part of your foundation may be only slightly expansive, and part may be more expansive.

In a typical pier and beam foundation, in order to save money, the builder will simply install piers on a relatively uniform grid under the house, and will perform no tests on the soil. Let's say it has been relatively moist over the year prior to constructing the house, so the soil has a moisture content of say 40 percent. On the day the house is constructed, of course it is level, because the builder levels the house. Let's say you get a drought, like you have now. The soil dries out, possibly as low as 5 - 10 percent moisture content, and the active fraction of the soil shrinks.

This would be OK if every pier settled exactly the same amount, as long as utility connections are flexible (flexible gas line, flexible water line etc.) Unfortunately, the soil is almost never uniform, so parts of the house settle more than others, and boom, your house is out of level.

If you monitor the soil moisture condition, and MAINTAIN IT THE SAME as the day your house was built, you are not likely to get any settlement. Unfortunately, few people measure the moisture content of the soil, and few bother to water until they notice their house has settled. At that point, it is almost impossible to return the house to original condition, even if you get the moisture content back to the original moisture content on the day the house was built. This is because part of the settlement is permanent, i.e. the foundation does not rebound the same amount as it settled.

Unless you overwater the foundation, in which case you could actually cause part of the house to rise higher than it was originally, especially if the house was built during a dry period. So this is not just a simple problem of put the hose under the house, turn it on, and magically your house returns to level and you live happily ever after. If it were that simple, there would not be an entire industry in Texas and Louisiana devoted to leveling houses.

If you plan to water the foundation, you should still plan to get the house leveled after you have restored the moisture content of the soil to a level that you plan to maintain. And you should install soil moisture content gages so you can monitor the water content of the soil, else you are working in the dark.

Bud Cline 08-23-2011 12:54 PM

It is clay. Clayey sand at best but clay.:)

Momsrgr8 06-05-2012 06:23 PM

NOT Soaker Hoses ... read this ...
Hey Y'all, :cowboy:
I was about to go get some hoses, :cool: but I wanted to find out how to use them first. :detective: I checked out a few internet "how to's" and then :eek: I noticed the links below. :2guns:Apparently, home builders in Texas have really put one over on us. :censored:

dogris 06-05-2012 06:46 PM


Originally Posted by Momsrgr8 (Post 937114)
Hey Y'all, :cowboy:
Apparently, home builders in Texas have really put one over on us. :censored:

IMO local governments are equally complicit.

havalife 06-05-2012 07:32 PM

I wonder how many homes are Post Tension slabs? I've had crews that were from Texas and the did great at forming but they had no idea what a post tension slab was.

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