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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Gutter to drywell or to curb? other questions

    Referring to TOH video on waterproofing basement
    [cant post link due to my low post count]

    I have a gutter (with a leaf guard system to prevent debris
    build up in the gutter) on the front of the house which has
    a very long extension but goes over the paver walkway leading
    to the front entry door.
    The reason for the long extension is to keep water from
    the house basement walls and to keep ice formation on the
    paver walkway to a minimum during the winter melt.
    This is on the southside of the house so there is always the
    thaw - freeze thing going on in the late winter/early spring.
    Im in Minnesota.

    After seeing the video linked above, my first thought was
    to create this livewell system for that gutter. But came upon
    some questions as i visited the home stores and asked some of
    the sales people.


    1) Transition from the gutter to the underground line.
    I have a 4" rectangular gutter. Use a rectangular to circular
    transition piece. I am assuming a 4" tube would be sufficient
    do you agree?

    2) Do I plumb to PVC elbow and piping or use Sewer pipe elbow
    and piping to the live well? Also how deep should I place the
    elbow and line? Also since this piping is going underneath a
    paver walkway, I would assume some packed down class 5 base is
    still necessary for the pavers.
    PVC is thicker wall and I would hope stand up to some freeze
    thaw cycles better than sewer pipe at shallow depths.

    3) Should I put a catchbasin after the elbow? my worry is t
    that a catchbasin at a shallow depth would allow the line to
    possibly freeze up. I am leaning against this, but how else do
    I clean the line out if necessary?

    4) Once I get to the lawn area should I transition from solid
    piping to drain tile w/sock before going to the drywell?
    Similar to a french drain but dug a little deeper.

    5) Or is the drywall supposed to be the point where water is
    filtered out to the earth and not in the line before. The
    solid line would like carry any debris to the live well without
    issue.

    6) How far down should I dig a live well. How much larger
    diameter of gravel should I use around it?

    7) One home store suggested an alternative to the dry well.
    Why not put a long line from the gutter to the curb at the
    street. then a pop up overflow can be installed when the water
    is sufficient then it would pop up and go to the curb. The
    downside I see with this, is how does it work in the
    wintertime? The curb will have snow buildup and the system
    will likely be backedup due to the cold and snow buildup.
    Any thoughts on this, pros/cons?

    8) How does the drywell get around the overflow and/or freezing problems?

    Thanks in advance to your replies!
    Edgar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Gutter to drywell or to curb? other questions

    also my area is a lot of clay. maybe the drywell wont work
    unless i put a lot of surrounding dirt too?

    thanks
    Edgar

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Gutter to drywell or to curb? other questions

    Dry wells or French drains really don't work too well unless you have very sandy soil and a hill. Think of a septic field. When the ground is wet from rain, its not the best idea to go directing tons more water into an under ground pit with no place for it to go.

    DOn't use those pop up things either. They trap water in the pipe which can freeze and break things apart aside from being a spot where debris will collect and eventually clog the pipe.

    Do pipe the downspouts to the street with an open end at the curb.
    Do use solid 4"SDR pipe its usually green colored.
    Do not use the corregated stuff it will clog
    Do not use the pipe with the holes drilled in it. Roots will clog the pipe.
    Do use a long 90 at the house foundation then add 12 to 18" of vertical pipe so the dirt and mulch can't fall down the elbow.
    Do use the square to round adapters at the top of the vertical pipe.
    Do make sure the wider / bell end of the pipe is always up hill as the water will cascade more easily in that direction. If the bell end faces down hill, there is an exposed lip that will catch stuff as the water flows downhill. No need to create a lip when you can easily avoid it.

    In the winter, IF the pipe is frozen solid and it rains, then the ground is frozen too and the water is going to run off the surface anyway. When the thaw arrives, the ice will flow out of the pipe on its own. It happened every spring in my home in PA. The slope was 8" over 128' and the pipe never clogged.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Gutter to drywell or to curb? other questions

    Houston said it like no other.

    Follow Houston's instructions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Gutter to drywell or to curb? other questions

    My issue with the winter is that this is a south side
    facing gutter, the roof snow melt from the daytime
    comes down the gutter and the runoff ices over a walkway
    to the main entry door.

    I have a long extension in now, but foot traffic has to
    walk over this gutter extension.

    1) If the 4" pipe freezes up then melt will seep from joints and ice up the gutter downspout and or SDR piping exterior... eventually getting to the walkway. Maybe I can insert a heating wire to keep the flow going (only plugged in during the winter months)?

    2) How would you finish off the end of the drain? I would
    imagine some grating is required to keep critters out and
    i can see a 4" bump in the lawn with this discharge pipe
    sticking out.. not exactly aesthetically pleasing, but if you
    have some thoughts on the finished end I would appreciate it.

    Edgar

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Gutter to drywell or to curb? other questions

    I believe that I would find a way to make is so that the downspout can never hold water, such as raise the level of the sidewalk so that the gutter extension goes underneath it, yet remains above ground. Use a sloping grade to allow the water to dissipate across the yard in a sheet and not pool at the end of the downspout.

    Another means to cross the sidewalk would be to install a trellis and run the downspout over the trellis and down, terminating above ground high enough that snow and pooling won't be an issue. The trellis, or at least the downspout, can be hidden by evergreen vines or shrubbery that can be grown, trained, or cut to the desired effect.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Gutter to drywell or to curb? other questions

    With the system I described (and have in every house I own) does not hold critters. If anything gets in there, they are washed away with the very next rain. With the pipes all flowing down hill, anything that gets in the pipe leaves the pipe.

    Add to the above list:
    Do not use T connectors, only Y connectors for better flow.

    Spruce is correct; your drainage system should never hold water anywhere. With the system I described, you can have every very little slope and still have a system that doesn't hold water. All that is needed is careful installation as not to have dips in the pipes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Gutter to drywell or to curb? other questions

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    Spruce is correct; your drainage system should never hold water anywhere. With the system I described, you can have every very little slope and still have a system that doesn't hold water. All that is needed is careful installation as not to have dips in the pipes.
    Well of course I am!

    My drainage also has minimal slope, somewhere of a few inches in 100 feet. Thankfully, I'm not in a freeze zone, so I don't have to worry about anything icing up. I used 3" corrugated perf pipe for mine and the end is open at the street. The only time there is a problem is when the city drainage systems back up, which of course tends to back up my drain, but this only results in pooling surface water that dissipates quickly once the city system regains its composure.

    My downspouts are also not connected directly to the drain system, they terminate several inches above receptacle grates, this allows any gutter debris to be flushed out of the water runoff before it enters the drain system, thereby preventing buildup and plugging of the drain. The grates sluff off the large debris and the receptacles have wells below the drain outlets to catch the smaller stuff. At the beginning of the season I clean the gutters and receptacles and have a fairly worry free winter. The gutters require periodic clean outs while the leaves are falling.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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