What's the purpose of this pipe?

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Old 07-14-18, 07:18 AM
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What's the purpose of this pipe?

Hello,

I'm digging around my bunkered in the ground house removing lots of dirt. I was going to go all the way down to the basement until I reached this pipe. Like uncovering a fossil now I'm following the pipe. I've made the turn around the corner of the house and so far it's following the house. I don't know where it opens and closes yet.

From what I can tell it's not a drain for a window well because there is concrete poured around it right at the base of the window well. I'm wondering if maybe there was a window well drain at one point and they cemented over it for some reason? I haven't reached the depth of the window well around the corner to see if the well has been cemented over around the pipe like the first window.

If not for a window well drain can anyone comment what the purpose of this pipe may be for?

The reason for the digging is I get water run off from the surrounding yards that channels right into my back yard. Previous owner piled lots of dirt to try to slope/grade the water away and made some french drains but that's not holding the water back. I've had water fill up a window well running into the dryer exhaust ruining my dryer. I'm sick of the house looking like it's half buried under ground while still not stopping water in extreme down pours. I want to waterproof the proper way putting in a sidewalk with channel drains on that one side of the house instead of just having an extra two plus feet of dirt above the basement foundation wall. I can keep digging around the house to the depth of this pipe but as it stands the pipe has stopped me from getting deeper down along side the house.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 08:21 AM
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Isn’t that a downspout from a gutter connected into the pipe? I think that would be a connection to an underground gutter system. I have one, but I think they are usually buried lower than yours. If it is an underground system the other end of the pipe should be open and come out to daylight on a hill or someplace on the property away from the house.

There the water would drain.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 09:09 AM
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When I expand and enhance the picture it almost looks like iron pipe. Is that pipe metal or PVC ?
 
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Old 07-14-18, 11:27 AM
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If you are referring to the white pipe its a drainage pipe someone installed for the downspouts, thats a good thing,

Probably all connected together leading to where you will have to find!
 
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Old 07-14-18, 12:15 PM
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The question was asked about the buried black pipe..... not the white PVC drain line.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 06:08 PM
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Most likely a foundation drain

Originally intalled, a foundation drain would be carrying water away from the house. It's purpose woulld have been the exact purpose you are trying to recreate.
These drains can become clogged with soil, or otherwise fail to perform as intended.
 
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Old 07-15-18, 09:09 AM
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Isn’t that black pipe down where the foundation starts? Wouldn’t that be the original ground surface? If so that depth should be the top of the original window well, not the base of the window well. The previous owner must have extended the original window well up to the new surface.

It seems to me that the black pipe is sitting at the original ground surface and would not have been there when the house was built. It seems to me it must have been put there and buried when someone decided to pile several feet of dirt up against the wall of the house. Could be wrong for sure.
 
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Old 07-15-18, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by PJmax View Post
When I expand and enhance the picture it almost looks like iron pipe. Is that pipe metal or PVC ?
Thanks for all the feedback. It feels like a metal pipe and not plastic. There are 3 spots where the pipe has corroded a bit. Looking into the pipe where there are wholes are I see a lot of dirt/sludge. I've thought about getting a service out here to snake/camera it but I need to dig along the side of the house to get to the front yard before that.

If it was part of the original gutter system I'd figure I'd find an opening at the corner of the house where an original downspout may of connected. That doesn't appear to be the case. The white pipe is the current down spout that runs to the street. The current down spout doesn't appear to be that old but was here when I bought the house. For routing water in the back yard I was hoping to tie into that pipe but I don't know if it would be able to keep up with the flow. I'm shocked there isn't a window well drain like I said unless it was concreted over.

I have a basement so the black pipe's location if your standing in the basement would be almost 6 feet up. I've never seen a footer drain but i'm assuming a footer drain would be at the bottom of the basement meaning I'd have to dig another 6-8 feet.
 
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Old 07-15-18, 12:22 PM
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If that is indeed metal..... it may be a gas line.
 
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Old 07-15-18, 01:05 PM
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Can't be gas because there are holes in it. The gas line which I'm not worried about yet is in the front corner of the house and I know where it enters into the basement.
 
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Old 07-16-18, 10:12 AM
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I agree that it's the older/original foundation drains. The window wells could have been cemented over more recently - or it seems like during a certain time period, cemented wells were the thing to do.

I think you can either find or cut a cleanout in these pipes and have them scoped/jetted, or just install your new foundation drains above it and abandon these old ones. Either way, I would suggest adding a vertical to either the old or new drains and put a plug at ground-level. In 10-30 years when it clogs, you (or the next homeowner) will have a much easier time snaking them out!
 
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Old 07-21-18, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Zorfdt View Post
I agree that it's the older/original foundation drains. The window wells could have been cemented over more recently - or it seems like during a certain time period, cemented wells were the thing to do.

I think you can either find or cut a cleanout in these pipes and have them scoped/jetted, or just install your new foundation drains above it and abandon these old ones. Either way, I would suggest adding a vertical to either the old or new drains and put a plug at ground-level. In 10-30 years when it clogs, you (or the next homeowner) will have a much easier time snaking them out!
Thanks for the feedback. I thought the foundation drains were supposed to be at the bottom near the foundation at the footer? I would like to make the pipes functional again if I could but I don't understand how they were ever functional to begin with (unless they were cemented over).
 

Last edited by lip008; 07-21-18 at 06:49 AM. Reason: redundant text
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Old 07-25-18, 12:35 PM
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if your standing in the basement would be almost 6 feet up.
It looks like you're already down 3' or 4'. How high is your basement ceiling?

That looks like a cast -iron hub in the image. I wonder if that might not be the building drain for your indoor plumbing? If it it, it obviously needs to be repaired. Have you done any more digging?
 
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Old 07-25-18, 04:54 PM
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But if you look at the pic in post #1, the brick goes all the way down to the pipe, or very close to the pipe. Maybe I’m wrong but brick wouldn’t have been put below grade would it? It seems to me that pipe must be very close to the original surface – before someone piled a few feet of dirt up on the wall.
 
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