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Old 07-25-2011, 06:55 PM   #1
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Can Partial Drain Tile be Installed?


I'm in process of finishing half of my basement and generally cleaning it up down there. In one corner of the basement (not the one that I'm finishing), we have had a small amount of water a couple times since we bought the house a year ago. I have also discovered a radon problem in the basement (6.8 pCi/L).

I will be using sub-slab suction to resolve the radon which brings me to my next problem:
There are currently two floor drains that just drain below the slab. No idea why someone would do that. Rather than get rid of the drains, I'm already planning to cut the floor and run drain pipe to the sump. (Apparently I have a sump with no drain tile). If you're curious, look at my other post: Drain Tile??? Maybe / Maybe not

The path that I plan to cut for drain pipe runs parallel to the wall that I have had water issues with. Can I just cut closer to the wall than I was planning and then put drain tile in for that section only? I'd then have the drains connect to the tile and use the device in the attached image to allow for the sub-slab suction to function. Image taken from: http://www.indoor-air-health-advisor...on-system.html I don't want to use traps on the drains as they haven't ever had water in them so I'm sure the trap wouldn't stay full.

I figure that installing the tile in this manner would allow me to use the sump as my suction point for Radon mitigation and results would likely be better as I would have at least a section beneath the slab configured ideally for Radon mitigation.

It appears that there have not been water issues anywhere else in the basement and I'm on a limited budget so it won't include full drain tile but since I'm putting in the work to clean up this wall in the unfinished section due to a small amount of mold, I want it to last as long as possible. (Yes I know that full tile would be ideal of course). Just not in the cards right now.

Thanks and let me know what you think!
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #2
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Can Partial Drain Tile be Installed?


Yes you can run a drain tile partially around the basement perimeter, with the intent of extending it at a future date if you have water flooding problems beyond that point.

If you put the drain tile right up against the foundation footing then the drain tile cannot be lower than the footing. You can dig a little deeper (about 4 inches) if you run the drain tile a foot in from the side of the footing. There must be undisturbed earth on a least a 1:3 slope down starting at the side edge of the bottom surface of the footing. More than about a foot in and then the collection of water by the drain tile and desaturation of the soil at the foundation could be impaired.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-25-2011 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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Can Partial Drain Tile be Installed?


Thanks AllanJ. In your opinion, would I be better off working at the depth of the footings or would I benefit from being slightly below them? It makes little difference to me but whatever will result in the best drainage is the way that I figure it should be done.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:11 AM   #4
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Can Partial Drain Tile be Installed?


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Originally Posted by butchbs1985 View Post
Thanks AllanJ. In your opinion, would I be better off working at the depth of the footings or would I benefit from being slightly below them? It makes little difference to me but whatever will result in the best drainage is the way that I figure it should be done.
I'm not sure but I think that the best performance is had with the trench bottom the 4 inches below foundation footing bottoms, requiring that the entire trench be 12 inches in from the footing. This does require more hacking away of the concrete basement floor compared with putting the pipe against the footing with the trench bottom no lower than the footing bottom. The latter gives good results provided that the footing bottoms don't vary in depth going around the foundation.

Also with the trench no lower than the footing bottom you can't pitch the drain tiles much if at all. This may or may not be a problem depending on the pump start and stop levels and the size of the pit (sump). The system works better if accumulated water (excluding new water) in the tiles or pipes is mostly into the pit before the pump stops.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-26-2011 at 07:21 AM.
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