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Old 07-29-2016, 05:44 PM   #1
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Underground Gutter Connections


I am in the Chicago area and I am thinking about running underground 4" PVC to diver gutter water away from the house.

Is it advisable to connect the gutter directly onto the PVC (see picture 1) or to have some gap via filter (see picture 2) or grate. My concern is in the winter with potential freezing of the water in the pipe and how it may backflow water onto the foundation.

Also, is popup setup reliable?

Thanks




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Old 07-29-2016, 07:19 PM   #2
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Re: Underground Gutter Connections


Rigid PVC or 'Big-O' drainage pipe, connected anyway you want. That filter vent seems like an unnecessary expense. Just make sure you have enough slope so no water lays in the pipe.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:06 AM   #3
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Re: Underground Gutter Connections


I have removed a few pvc drains that did not survive our cold winters up here in Maine. Being close to the surface will mean those pipes will drop below freezing. Then any snow melt will trickle down and freeze those pipes solid. Eventually they will split. Below grade drainage needs frost protection, depth or other, and a frost protected place to drain.

I assume you do get some cold temps in the windy city.

I'm not a pure pessimists, it is just that we see few gutters here in Maine and fewer successful below grade systems. I worked on an old house in Bangor and we saw the remanents of gutter drains that came through the foundation and drained into the sewer system. That is no longer allowed but it was a reminder that freezing gutter drains has been a problem for a very long time.

If you get something that works, let us know.

Bud
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:41 AM   #4
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Re: Underground Gutter Connections


Most landscapers around me are going about 1 ft deep - I presume not deep enough to prevent freezing in Chicago? I am leaning towards the grate idea, in case there are issues, I can still use extensions. The problem I see here is if the water shoots past the grate
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:58 AM   #5
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Re: Underground Gutter Connections


If you are familiar with ice dams, they are a unique combination of temperatures and snow. Not exactly the same as what you are dealing with, but those below grade pipes have their own unique combination.

If you have a good place to drain that runoff, as in drain to daylight, then you can avoid some of the freezing concerns by adding a 2" layer of rigid over the pipe. The wider the better. Essentially it uses the warmth from the soil below to prevent freezing. But, I see something other than a drain to daylight and not sure how well that will do. Never seen anyone up here try that.

Is your property fairly level or do you gave a slope to a low area?

Bud
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:03 PM   #6
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Re: Underground Gutter Connections


Hi Bud - it has a decent slope down and we can connect to storm basin that drains into City storm. Would that count as daylight? Sorry for dumb question but what is 2" layer of rigid? Would pop up emitter or just another grated exit work?

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Old 08-09-2016, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: Underground Gutter Connections


FWIW, I did something similar to what you've described at our old TH (now a rental). I have the 3x4" downspouts that dump directly into 4" schedule 40 pvc. To alleviate any potential clogging issue I put a pvc Y right at the sch40 inlet with a little screw on cap should I ever need to snake it. The 4" pipe has a slope to it (but not a whole lot that I could drain to daylight) so I used a pop up drain just beyond the fence.

To try and alleviate the issue of water sitting in the pipe I dug a hole a couple feet deep and ~10" wide where the pop up drain sits, lined the hole with landscape fabric, and filled it with gravel. I then have the 4" pipe terminate to a T, one side just resting on this gravel filled hole and the other side the pop up emitter. I'm in the DC metro area so winters aren't as bad as Chicago, but *knock on wood* so far so good. Within the first year of doing it, I checked on it periodically to see how it drained and I'd say there was some standing water in the pipe a good couple days after a storm, but after that it'd dry out and not have any standing water. I will periodically a few times a year remove the pop up emitter and pull out any debris, but that's it.

Here's a picture after the patio guys excavated some dirt and uncovered the pipes before putting down a gravel base for the patio (the patio is over the sch40 4" pipes). Sorry, I dont have pictures when I actually was doing it, but it's not much to see honestly..

FYI, the one 4" pipe comes across the yard and has a Y that goes out to one 4" pipe on the left. I was originally going to do 2 straight pipes along the fence but had to change plans after running into serious tree roots.
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Old 08-30-2016, 12:21 PM   #8
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Re: Underground Gutter Connections


the first picture you posted is the most common around here and seems to work well. IMO the catch basin idea is just an unnecessary added expense that would have to be cleaned out on a regular basis.
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