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The builder of our house ran the roof gutter downspouts into 4 inch landscaping hose which is buried underneath the sidewalk and yard and drains into a culvert about 50 ft away. In the winter, the water melting off the roof runs into the hose and freezes. During the spring rains, the hose overflows (because it's frozen) and saturates the soil next to the house foundation causing water to enter the basement through the wall/floor interface. Any ideas on how to keep these hoses from freezing? I've thought of gutter heaters but didn't know if they can be submerged in water for long periods of time. Can a gutter heater provide enough heat to keep a 4 inch pvc pipe open? Can a heater be used in PVC?
 

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I think you probably have a combination of problems. One the line is too near the soil surface (so it freezes) and the slope on the run isn't steep enough to keep the water moving when it does thaw or partially thaw.
 

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Yes, based on the location of the exit hole in the culvert, I'd guess that the pipe drops 6-8 inches over 50 feet and it's maybe 10-12 inches underground. I can't bury it deeper since the culvert is only about 2 feet deep (still above the frost line here in wisconsin). The only other place to dump the water would be on the sidewalk, but the way that it's sloped would cause the water to pool in front of the garage and likely flood it. That's why I thought the only solution would be to keep these drain pipes open, but I didn't know if gutter heaters would work and is there any problem if they remain submerged for long periods of time.
 

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Why not try one strand of single wire heat tape and 'SEE' if it helps. I sure wouldnt want double wire heat tape since that stuff fails faster than you can blink. The single wire only heats where it needs it,therefore it saves elec. ,,,,keeping a channel open thru there SHOULD get things flowing when warmer water can thaw the rest. You probably only have to plug it in at certain times also!!
 
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