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Downspout underground drainage project completed - concerned about freezing

Downspout underground drainage project completed - concerned about freezing

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  #1  
Old 06-15-15, 04:59 AM
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Downspout underground drainage project completed - concerned about freezing

I used 3" schedule 40 PVC to attach a downspout coming off the gutters which lead into a 90 degree elbow, about 10' of piping and another 90 at the end. Each end has a cap with holes in it. When it rains the water bubbles out of the cap. This is not your traditional pop up emitter where there is a hole at the bottom for drainage.

In the winter, with the caps removed, should I be concerned about freezing water. I know water expands 9% after freezing. Will the 3" schedule 40 PVC break if water freeze's and expand?

I designed the system so the system can be closed off and no water can enter the piping and I can remove the downspout from the cap near the vinyl siding. In turn, I would then run a flexible extension off the gutter. Of course, I would vacuum out almost 100% of the water in the system.

Having trouble uploading pictures. Can send if needed.
 
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Old 06-15-15, 05:10 AM
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Not understanding why "both" ends have caps on them. Why doesn't the end at the downspout encompass the downspout for direct drainage? Your pipe should be laid to where there is no water back up at all. Yes, if the pipe fills completely it will freeze and break. Residual water won't cause problems. Does your far 90 degree elbow point up?? Wondering why that is? Why would you want to close off the system when it takes water away from your foundation? There should be no need to vacuum out the system if it is laid at the proper drainage angle. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 06-15-15, 05:27 AM
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Sorry for the confusion. I meant each end of the run has an end cap and there are 3 separate downspouts that were constructed the same way. There is no back up at all. Water travels down the downspout and gravity pushes it out of the pipe. There is a slight pitch of 1/8" to 1/2", depending on which run.

The far 90 degree elbow is only sticking out of the ground about 1.5"-2" max, with a cap. The lawnmower goes right over this and you can easily spot it from the surface, therefore not doing any damage.

I would only close off the piping system so no water enters into the piping in the winter because it will freeze. The piping would then be closed off completely after I removed the water with a vacuum. At the downspout, I would attach a black 4" pipe. If this freezes and breaks, this is not an issue.

Please note that with regards to the pictures, I have done exactly as the instructions. It is like the other forums, but no luck. I have hand drawn something and scanned into my computer and uploaded. Maybe it has something to do with the I-Phone transfer to the computer, not sure.

Name:  2015_06_15_07_33_03.jpg
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Last edited by Catanzaro; 06-15-15 at 05:40 AM. Reason: Attaching diagram
  #4  
Old 06-15-15, 07:21 AM
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Yes, that upturned 90 elbow at the end of the run may cause trouble as it allows water to be trapped in the pipe. Over time you will also find that the pipe may clog as the upturned end will let water out but dirt and grit from shingles is retained in the pipe. Best would be if you can run the pipe straight to daylight so everything inside and slide and drain right on out?
 
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Old 06-15-15, 07:45 AM
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Yes, I thought about that. The wet vac will pick up most of the debris. Additionally, I have an adapter from my air compressor that attaches to the downspout adapter to blow air through the system. It can be taken apart very easily. I wish I could upload some pictures.

The air compressor has a fitting on it where I can move water out, just like the sprinkler lines. There is some grit from the shingles, but not that much. Also have screens to pick up leaves. Lastly, I have a cyclone compressor when I close the pool. That has enough volume with this air compressor to get the job done if the other one does not produce enough volume. I believe that this will not be a problem. The sprinkler lines are 100 feet in length 1", while the 3" is 10' in length.

I will close off the pipes for the winter and leave in the ground. It is a very clean look.

Thank you for your help.
 
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Old 06-15-15, 10:13 AM
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Your drawing shows a typical pop-up emitter system. It's normal for water to collect in the outlet elbow and emitters I've seen have a small hole drilled in the bottom for it to leach down into the soil. You could do the same. It's a regular maintenance thing to keep the emitters cleaned out. I'm lazy about this and mine puke up a wad of leaves if the rainfall is great enough.

As for freezing...I've never done anything to prepare mine for winter. The horizontal runs are only 6-8" under the surface so surely the roof melt on sunny winter days is freezing in there. I figure if it cracks from freezing, who cares--it still functions.
 
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Old 06-15-15, 01:55 PM
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The ironic part is that I have seen frozen water in a downspout in my driveway all the way to the elbow (not underground) that happened as snow collected, then melted and froze at the same time. So I am not taking any chances.
 
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Old 06-15-15, 05:07 PM
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Blowing a 3" pipe with air won't work. It will just blow air out the other end. I like the idea of a weep hole or two at the bottom of the far elbow to leech out standing water to a gravel underlayment. It won't be much, but it will keep it from collecting and freezing. The water in your downspouts will refreeze after a slight thaw, that is a given.

In addition, we don't know where you are located, so much of our advice may not be good for your climate. Fill out your profile so we can zero in on your conditions.
 
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Old 06-15-15, 06:37 PM
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Will drill a weep hole. Sorry, located in Central - Southern NJ and I will add to the signature page.
 
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