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Old 08-20-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


Hi. My first post. I am installing my Father in Laws sump pump drain line. We live in Northern Minnesota. Our frost goes down to near 5'. he wanted his pipe out about 12' from the house. Last year He and his Son used a 2 1/2" solid pipe about 2" below the lawn. We can get near -30 in the dead of Winter. His pipe froze solid as a rock. This year I put in a 4" perforated pipe with a cloth sleave. I put a slant to the pipe, and went out the 12'. At the end of the 12' I dug a hole down about 2 more feet and put in crushed rock. I know it will probably freeze sometime this Winter. My question is.. If I dug the hole I already did down to 6'.. Put in a 8" perforated pipe, and crushed rock in the bottom.. Do you think that would be good enough?? Oh, and his ground starts out at about 3" top soil, and after that it is all red clay.. Thanks.. Al

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Old 08-20-2011, 07:59 PM   #2
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


You made a mistake with the perforated pipe----It's a drain to remove water from the house why would you want water to enter the pipe from the yard?

Your only hope in an ares of such cold is to have a drain that empties quickly and completely.

Is there enough pitch in the yard to run the pipe to daylight in a place that will drain away from the pipe exit before freezing and blocking the exit?

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Old 08-20-2011, 08:17 PM   #3
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


Sorry. I may have said it wrong. The pipe in the house is solid. The pipe that is outside of the hose is perforated. I want that water to disperse. His grade isn't very much. I had to dig down 8" at the start, but ended up going down 10" 12' away to just get the water to go down hill. His neighbor said to run that pipe 40' out to the curb. In order to do that I would have to dig in his yard near 4'. Then end up 4' below the curb. 8' back from his curb is a swamp . There may be a spring down there.. The pump only pumps now and then. Even the way it is.. Any water going threw the drain pipe is going to freeze.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


Yard pipes are best run in solid pvc--no perforations and no corrugations to hold silt.

As to your project---I don't see a french drain working with the low frost line.

I wonder if a second 4" pipe set up on the surface of the ground with as much pitch as possible might be the answer. Set it up in the fall and remove it in the spring.

I have 4 separate 4" pipes running side by side buried only a foot or so beneath the ground ,opening into the ditch.

We don't get all that cold here----you guys really get slammed up there.--Mike---
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:40 PM   #5
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


Nice thought, but where his pipe exits the house.. It has to go under his sidewalk. His neighbor is only 12' away, and downhill from him. Water from his pump can not enter the neighbors property for chance of being sued..
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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Tough situation---
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:26 AM   #7
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


The disadvantage of a crush rock filled hole (a dry well) is that it might fill up and then the sump pump has nowhere to put the water.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


You said you are in red clay. If you truly are in clay, there is little chance a drywell is going to absorb significant amounts of water during the wet season. Saturated clay is generally almost impermeable, and generally a dry well in clay is useless. As noted, you need to find a way to get the drain line out to the storm water system on the street, assuming the municipality will allow it (they usually do). Then you can pump to your heart's content without concern about backup or freezing.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:54 AM   #9
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


I'm in NW WI and we see the -20 to -30 as well. And all the red clay you could ever want. When my folks put on their addition (onto an 1886 built house) they installed drain tile and a sump pump in a pit. When it rains the water runs down along the foundation (backfilled area) right into the drain tile, making for a constant flow into the pit. We tried many different methods of running the outflow pipe. The outside pit it drained into (25' from the house) was 9' deep in the clay, made of sand, gravel, rock, etc. It collapsed the first year, just filled right up since its surrounded by clay. We aren't allowed to run it to the street. We ended up not running it in the winter at all. And summer we piped it to a network of perforated hoses to water the gardens 20-30' away from the house. Best we could come up with. We installed rain barrels, better gutter/downspouts, did a little yard grading, now it's much more manageable. It's difficult with our frost depth and low temps, no doubt. Best of luck to you...
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


You really shouldn't be having the pump run much in the middle of winter.

I'll try to get a picture later of what I'd recommend, but it's fairly simple.

Run a 3" pvc pipe under the grass as far as you can away from the house. (mine goes 125' to the ditch)

The 3" pvc will elbow up near the foundation, where your 1.5" sump pipe will exit. The 1.5" pipe will sit directly above the 3" pipe, and be open so if/when the 3" pipe freezes solid, you will know and can run a surface pipe for the balance of the winter. The surface pipe is attached to a tee on the 1.5" pipe.


As for the dry well, skip it. If you have existing groundwater conditions a dry well will never work.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


Still it has to go under his sidewalk. That is near 3" deep. Comming out the other side it will need a reducer to run remaining 2 1/2" PVC he has. Only other thing I can think of when it gets real cold is to put a "T" in the PVC he has now before it exits the house. Then a garden hose addaptor could be used in that "T" for flow into the basement sink.
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:30 PM   #12
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


My dad had theirs plumbed to the sink for awhile too...got a hefty fine for it when the meter reader noticed it later on. Against our local ordinances :-(. But it worked really well! Except for the clay/iron staining that remains to this day.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:51 PM   #13
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Sump pump drain line.. How Deep??


Well I guess I will have to install a blow by on the pipe. Where , and when it does freeze a garden hose will have to be turned on to drain over the sidewalk, and down the lawn. I will have to make a ramp on both sides of the hose so he won't trip over it.

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