New driveway over old clay drain pipe

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Old 08-14-09, 05:20 PM
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New driveway over old clay drain pipe

I am looking to replace an asphalt driveway with concrete. The lot slopes slightly from the street to the back yard. So a drain crock approximately 80' from the street collects rain water which then travels back to the main city sewer line.

The pipe exiting the drain crock is about 4" inside diameter clay pipe. House was built in the 1920's so no PVC, all clay.

Downspouts from gutters also tie into this drain. We have combined storm and sanitary sewers in this city.

Tree roots have clogged the drain in the past. The last time I had a plumber snake the drain and run his camera. The old clay pipe actually looked to be in good shape but there was one spot where the joint had slipped about 1/2" vertically. In other words, the coupling had come loose enough for the end of one pipe to shift out of the end bell of the next pipe. There were no other visible cracks or collapsed sections.

I ran a pseudo-scientific test the other day. My garden hose can provide about 6 gallons per minutes water flow. I put the hose in the drain and dumped two 18 gallon Rubbermaid storage tubs full of water in the drain. The drain was empty in 30 seconds. So it can flow about 78 gallons per minute.

My question then is, should I put new concrete over at least part of this drain line? The driveway would be about $7000. Not sure what the cost would be to replace all the clay drain pipe. As a side note, my local city housing department has a PDF posted requiring 6" VCP (vitreous clay pipe) drains. No mention of PVC???

Sorry to be so long winded but I would appreciate any advice on this. I will probably also pester the city building inspector and the plumber who last snaked the drain for their opinion.
 
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Old 08-14-09, 07:54 PM
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How much of the pipe is covered by the driveway now? Replacing the pipe with another clay pipe can't be cheap, probably double what PVC would cost. Is the job going to be inspected?
 
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Old 08-15-09, 07:02 AM
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Since you'll be digging up the whole area anyway, I'd think this would be a perfect time to replace the drain pipe. Usually digging up the area is the hardest part of replacing a part of the drain. I'd sure hate to have to replace the pipe a few years down the road and have to tear up the new concrete.

I'd also give a call to your building department to see if PVC is allowed. It could be their documentation hasn't been updated recently.
 
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Old 08-15-09, 11:24 AM
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I went back and checked the city requirements. They allow 6" clay or SDR-35 PVC up to the right-of-way but require 6" clay in the right of way. In my neighborhood, the sidewalks, tree lawns, and street form a 50' wide right of way.

I'm guessing about 1/2 of the total length is under the driveway. There is a cleanout in the front lawn about 8' from the driveway and 3' from the sidewalk. So the pipe probably angles from the rear driveway drain towards the downspouts on the side of the house then into the front lawn.

Sounds like I should at least get an estimate on new pipe. From the little research I've done, it sounds like old clay pipe is very strong but attracts roots at the joints. New PVC requires carefull installation since it is not as rigid as clay but the cemented joints reject tree roots.
 
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Old 08-15-09, 07:39 PM
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In my non-professional opinion, SDR-35 is the way to go. It holds up very well underground, and is approx $15 per 10' section... not all that pricey.

Again, if the area is being dug up anyway, it shouldn't be too expensive to replace.
 
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Old 08-15-09, 08:04 PM
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Out of curiosity, how many trees are there?
 
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