How To Seal Underground Plastic Water Drainage Tubing


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Old 05-24-11, 10:59 AM
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How To Seal Underground Plastic Water Drainage Tubing

I have just finished cleaning up the clogged conduit that takes water from my gutters to the street. The stoppage all occurred at joints that were beneath some shrubbery. Evidently the roots seek moisture and actually slip inside the male/female connections. They grew inside the conduit (corrogated plastic type 5-6 inches in diameter), and turned into compost eventually as they died. I have pulled a mass of roots and compost approximately 4 feet in length from where there is an underground joint. The conduit seems clear where the plastic conduit is continuous. It is supposed to rain today or tomorrow so I'll find out then.

I am searching for a way to seal up the underground joints once I am sure the conduit is clean. What would be a good method of doing so? I have thought about wrapping the joints in roofing flashing then using epoxy and nylon ties to secure the flashing to the joint. I could also use the heavy aluminum tape for indoor conduits to wrap around where the flashing ends. The aluminum tape has an aggressive sticky substance that does not appear to be affected by moisture.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 
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Old 05-24-11, 11:30 AM
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You'll be doing a lot of work for minimal benefit. That plastic drain pipe has very loose fit slipjoints and though the tape and all seems like it would last...it won't..at least not more than a year or so. It's the same kind of problem encountered with the old clay sewer pipes.

If they were sloped correctly and buried deep enough originally, there prob wouldn't be an issue...but that's not always possible.

It might be cheaper and easier to use the powdered root kill and just dump some in after the rainy season passes...if you have access to the entrance of the pipes of course. More expensive and more work, but permanent, would be to replace the corrugated stuff with PVC schd 20(?) drain piping with glued joints.
 
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Old 05-24-11, 11:47 AM
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Since there really isn't an off the shelf product specific for the 'big O' type of pipe, you might try something like a flexible coupling. These are made of a material that will flex like rubber and usually have metal band clamps on each end to secure them assuming you can tighten them up enough to hold the pipe in place. I found this site below that will give you an idea to consider that I thought about. I suppose you could also replace the affected length with PVC drain pipe and clamp the original drain pipe to the PVC section using a breeze type clamp.

Fernco Flexible Coupling, fernco, fernco coupling, fernco couplings, fernco fittings, Sewer Flexible Coupling, Plumbing Flexible Coupling, Drain Flexible Coupling, Waste Pipe Flexible Coupling | Fernco

In the end roots will go where they want to depending on the size of them. The world is full of even clay drainage tile plugged by roots also.
 
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Old 05-24-11, 11:58 AM
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The PVC would be nice. But the way the piping is arranged, there would still have to be joints unless I dug up the entire shrubbery bed. The line also goes under the concrete driveway but I doubt there would be a root problem there. The darn thing has a tee joints right next to a big shrub. Therefore there are 3 joints and roots from the shrub got into all 3 of them.

What about cleaning the thing well then applying the woven sheet fiberglass that one uses to fix boats? That would completely seal the joint. You wrap the woven fiberglass around the joints, apply the epoxy and clamp it with large radiator hose type clamps, applying epoxy over the clamps as well.
 
 

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