Strip Drain Performance

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Old 04-13-20, 04:00 PM
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Strip Drain Performance

I have 178 ft of the NDS 6" strip drain that Lowe's sells installed in my backyard mainly to carry roof runoff away from the backyard area where I was having ponding problems after heavy rains. I have a collector at the end of the downspouts(2) from the roof. My calculations are 200+ gallons runs off the roof into this drain system after 1/2 inch rain.

My backyard ponding situation is much improved with this drain and some other improvements I've made. But I'm curious why I NEVER see any water exit the drain at the end of the line? The water just seems to disappear with 1/2" rain, with 1" or more the 2nd collector in the line will overflow.

We had torrential rains here in GA in FEB(15 inches total!) and plenty of water for the system to handle. Same story, no water coming out of the end of the line. I followed instructions installing the drain and have used a pop up emitter and lately an open pipe at the end. I'm wondering if I plumbed the downspouts straight into the drain with no collector, would that make any difference? Where's the water going?
 
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Old 04-13-20, 04:47 PM
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When you say you have "strip drain" what exactly is that? Is it their corrugated French drain pipe with the foam peanuts or do you have the 178' of channel drain?

I'm wondering if I plumbed the downspouts straight into the drain with no collector, would that make any difference?
Does that mean you have several downspouts feeding into a catch basin which then has a pipe leading to your "strip drain"?

If you are wondering where the water in your system is going have you gone out when it's raining to see? Does your system have waterproof glued joints or are things snapped together so water might leak out at every joint?

Two things are true with water. It flows downhill and it will take the path of least resistance.
 
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Old 04-13-20, 05:12 PM
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The strip drain is a sheet style drain about 1 inch thick and 6 inches wide. You can use a trencher to easily make the slot type 10 inch or so deep hole to install it. It was promoted to be just as good if not better than a traditional 4" round system. There is a collector at the base of 2 downspouts and strip sections are joined with proper connectors and then taped. So it appears to be tight. Water does not stand above it after rains.
 
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Old 04-14-20, 05:40 AM
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Do you have ALL 178 feet of the drain sloping downhill without any valleys?

Strip drain is used to collect surface water. Pipe is used to transport water. Are you trying to collect water over the whole 178' or are you using the drain as a pipe to move the water somewhere?
 
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Old 04-17-20, 02:59 PM
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Yes, its downhill but the grade is minimal. I remember the advertising saying how this system was more of a displacement type drain making it better for poor grades than traditional round pipe. Maybe if I totally enclose my system from the downspouts(i.e. take out the surface box collectors), the pressure will force more water through?

That wouldn't be hard to do and I might see some water actually exiting the end then?
 
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Old 04-17-20, 04:33 PM
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Since the system has been in the ground 6 yrs, I started some performance testing today. I had my roller full of water so I emptied it into the collector at the front downspout which is the "upper" most part(start) of the line.

Watched the second collector(about 40 ft away) and the water showed up after a few minutes and seemed to be moving pretty good. However, the collector filled up and the water was moving noticeably slower entering the line off the 2nd collector. Guess I need to dig up a few feet of the line and see if I find a blockage. It may have some debris in it from over the years I suppose. If I find a blockage there, I'll reconnect it temporarily with 4" round pipe and check the flow from there on.

The line between the 2 collectors by the way is in a relatively flat section of the yard.
 
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Old 04-24-20, 07:00 PM
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Pulled up about 5 feet of the strip drain leaving the 2nd collector. As I thought, its blocked about 50% at the bottom.

Got my utilities marked today so plan is to pull up an additional 15-20 ft of the drain and assess the condition. This will cross the area where my phone and cable tv cross. I have a partial roll of the strip drain left so I can splice that in if I go the repair instead of replace system route.

The section between the 2 collectors seems to be flowing fine. I've been bailing the water from the collector since the exit is disconnected. So far I've scooped 25 gallons out of the box. I'm impressed how clean the water is, the drain fabric must do a good job of filtering out the dirt, etc.

My theory is the open collector allows dirt into the drain which has fouled that section. Another item in favor of closing off the system at the downspout bottom.

How long does a typical yard drain last? This one is 6 yrs old.
 
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Old 05-28-20, 04:56 PM
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Looks like I'll be replacing the takeaway section of the downspout/surface water collectors as the 110 ft section of strip drain I put in 10 yrs ago seems to be clogged. I'm thinking about running smooth wall 4" PVC sewer/drainage from the end of the 60 ft of functioning strip drain I have in the ground to final exit. I like the idea of the PVC because I can install a cleanout and should be done with problems for a long time. The other option would be 4" corrugated pipe. Opinions?

Another item: I will be running my 600# garden tractor over this pipe. Will that be a problem for the pipe buried 4" underground?i
 
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Old 05-29-20, 04:41 AM
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Definitely use smooth wall PVC. If it's an area where heavy vehicles (cars, trucks...) might drive over it I would use sch40 for durability otherwise the thin wall. It doesn't collect debris or clog as easily as corrugated.
 
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Old 05-29-20, 11:53 AM
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Looks like the local stores have the foam core Sch 40, is that adequate for occasional vehicle traffic?
 
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Old 05-29-20, 07:12 PM
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Wow, my garden tractor is closer to 900 lbs with me on it. So 900 lbs and the foam core sch 40 4" buried prolly 4 inches underground?
 
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Old 05-30-20, 04:56 AM
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Lawn tractors have relatively low ground pressure. Sch 40 pipe should be more than sufficient and you'd probably be fine with the thin wall (sewer & drain) tubing. I'd definetely go to sch 40 if you occasionally drive over that area with your 3/4 ton diesel pickup truck though.
 
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