Advice needed for downspout to underground drain

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Old 05-17-13, 01:46 PM
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Advice needed for downspout to underground drain

We are in final stages of new home construction. The rain gutters were just installed. I have a couple in front of the house as well as one in the back of the house. The 2 drainspouts as well as the one in the back I want to drain into a 4" solid PVC pipe that will be buried and routed to a suitable drainoff spot where the water can exit (ie. not going into a drywell, but rather exiting at the bottom of an embankment) . I'm trying to decide how to best approach this. would I be best in connecting the drain pipe directly to the downspout via an adapter, therefore, having a continuous non-accessible run all the way down from the downspout and into the ground, or would I be better off utilizing some type of drain box, where the box would be buried but the grille top would be flush with the surface and sit directly below the downspout. This would allow me to access the drain pipe if I ever needed to but then I'd have to make sure debris kept out of the grille so the drain would be effective. I live in Maine, where it freezes in the winter, so I don't know if one solution is better than the other, or if there is an even better solution? I'd like opinions on the preferred method of doing this in my climate. I'm kind of concerned about how this would work in the winter when the ground freezes as sometimes we still get rain even after the ground is frozen. Even if I buried the pipes beneath the frost line, I'd still have an exposed pipe from the surface to the downspout, which makes me think that maybe a continuous connection is NOT the way to go as it would seem that would freeze and expand and crack. But yet I have seen solutions online where a continuous run into the ground is used, however, no climate was indicated so I'm not sure it's suitable for me. Thoughts? I've still got an excavator on site so I'd like to make sure I get this complete soon and do it the right way. thanks in advance
 
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Old 05-17-13, 02:35 PM
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Use an adapter. It's not hard to access the drain pipe. Just take off the downspout. It's only a problem in the winter if the downspout gets completely iced up. You will get some ice at the adapter, but the warm air from the ground (below frostline) combined with a little melting water on the warm days will usually keep the PVC open enough to prevent cracking, whereas your cold aluminum downspout can sometimes freeze almost solid like an icicle. The PVC isn't as likely to completely freeze up solid. If it is a problem, you have to run a heating cable down the gutter, downspout and drain to ensure drainage. (they require an exterior outlet in either the soffit or an exterior wall)

Once you get away from the house a sufficient amount, will you be running the 4" drain line in perforated pipe on top of a gravel base in the event that the outlet becomes iced over? Ensuring drainage in the winter is important.

I sure hope you are going with 3x4 downspouts, not 2x3.
 
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Old 05-17-13, 03:51 PM
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I planned on running a solid 4" PVC pipe to the drainout location the whole distance. But your comment just got me thinking about winter and the possibility and likelihood that snow could cover the drain pipe and I'd have to make sure it was open. Are you saying if I changed the last part of the drain from PVC to perforated pipe that this would benefit me and prevent the freeze ups? If I went with that solution would I still need to manually clear out the end of the drain from any snow accumulation? Is that a common solution to use PVC for the main run and change to perforated before the exit point? How much of a distance would I want at a minimum of perforated pipe, assuming the whole run from downspout to exit point is 100 feet?

I believe the downspouts are 2x3. Is that an issue? It seems to do fine with handling the water coming off the roof.
 
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Old 05-17-13, 04:20 PM
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It all depends on the lay of the land, the type of soil (soil permeability test) and how much you can or would be able to gravel. Also whether or not there are a lot of trees around. (tree roots can clog perforated pipe, I'd recommend an occasional treatment to kill roots)

Running the last 2 sections in perforated is kind of a no brainer, IMO, because there will be times the outlet will plug up with snow, ice, leaves, rabbits... and the last section will almost certainly want to freeze up as that section is almost never below frost... especially if water tends to sit in it near the outlet. If it does get plugged, say with 1" of leaves and mud, those last 2 sections can drain away into the soil/gravel. If on a hill, cement or landscape around the outlet so that the outlet stays above grade- it helps the bottom stays clear of debris so the pipe can fully drain.

3x4 downspouts handle twice the volume per second, and are not as likely to become 100% plugged with ice like 2x3 downspouts do. It probably just takes longer for a 3x4 to get iced up because of its size. Maybe you don't get heavy rain like we do. Around here, ppl who have 2x3 downspouts can't figure out why their gutters are always overflowing in a heavy rain.
 
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Old 05-18-13, 06:37 AM
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will you be running the 4" drain line in perforated pipe
Be careful, as XSleeper said, if you have bushes or trees nearby. We just had to replace perf pipe with solid corrugated due to holly bush (trees) which permeated the slots on the perf pipe to an extent of total occlusion. They were wondering why they were getting water in their basement Downspout kept dumping water in the perfpipe and it had no where to go except puke out the top of the adapter and settle in the swale against the house. Yep, landscaping has a lot to do with it, too.
 
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