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extending downspout, bury below freeze line or deicing cable?

extending downspout, bury below freeze line or deicing cable?

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  #1  
Old 06-22-15, 10:46 AM
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extending downspout, bury below freeze line or deicing cable?

I plan to follow this guide to extend my downspouts:
How to Extend a Downspout | This Old House
Problem is the frost line is 48inches down here and that's going to take a long time to dig with a shovel.
Could I just bury the pipe 6-12 inches under and then put a de-icing cable inside it for the winter?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-22-15, 03:44 PM
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What is the reason for the extension? Is water getting into the house? There are two things that I don't like about TOH's recommendation. One is that I wouldn't put a right angle in the underground pipe. I also wouldn't merge all of them together. It would be much easier to dig to the frost line, if you used individual dry wells, just a few feet away from the house.
 
  #3  
Old 06-23-15, 11:00 AM
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That side of the house is a bit damp but there doesn't seem to be a problem...or if there is it's hidden behind the kitchen wall somewhere.
It's really just to take water away from the house further away. The existing pipe just goes straight into the ground less than 12 inches from where the downspout enters the ground.
If instead, I buried a 4 inch pipe and ran it at an angle, how far would it have to extend from the house and wouldn't that also need a deicing cable in it otherwise the first few feet would freeze in winter?
 
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Old 06-23-15, 05:06 PM
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I should have asked if the house is on a slab or if there is a cellar. If the existing pipe already goes below the frost line into a dry well, I don't think that you have much to worry about, especially if it's on a slab.
 
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Old 06-24-15, 06:30 AM
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Ground floor is the cellar with a slab below.
The existing pipe wasn't taking the water away and it would freeze up in winter too...
 
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Old 06-24-15, 07:32 AM
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I'm confused. Is the slab below ground or at ground level? In other words, is any part of the house below grade? If so, how much of it?
 
  #7  
Old 06-24-15, 07:36 AM
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MOST of the time my gutters are frozen in the winter so I never cared that the underground extensions also froze. I had one exception 2 years ago where we had several very sunny days with temperatures hovering near freezing. The gutters and downspouts melted, snow on the roof melted, the underground pipes didn't. This caused an overflow where the downspout entered the pipe and that concentrated a lot of water in one spot right at the foundation wall with the result that I had a little water come in the basement at that corner for the first time in 20 years.

In a recent thread here the OP disconnected the drains and let the downspouts flow out on the lawn during winter. IMO that's preferable to wiring my extensions with heat tape.
 
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Old 06-24-15, 10:18 AM
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Can;t disconnect the downspouts and let them flow as any melt water ten runs onto a concrete/stepped area, which gets covered in ice and is difficult to walk on.
The gutters have heating cable to stop icicles forming, which also then cover the balcony area so the water will melt from these and if the pipe in the ground was blocked with ice then it would flow back up probably.

The ground floor is below grade at the back but above at the front, sort of like a diagonal slope so it sits on the slab (no idea how deep) but then the back walls are concrete for about 6ft up and ground level is higher at the back where the downspouts enter the ground.
 
  #9  
Old 06-24-15, 10:26 AM
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A deicing cable will be expensive to run 24/7 and at that depth would struggle to keep the pipe open. If you turn it off when there is no water running, the ground will freeze solid and would take a long time to warm back up to where more water will not freeze.

In addition, you still have the exit problem where even a pipe below 4' would freeze when if it drains to daylight.

There are below ground solutions but none are easy and inexpensive.

Bud
 
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Old 06-24-15, 11:28 AM
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Why would the depth make it harder out of interest? The deicing cable in the gutter on the roof seems to work and run 6-12hrs a day.

So, what's the recommended solution for this if the exit is also an issue?
 
  #11  
Old 06-24-15, 12:01 PM
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Comparatively speaking those gutters don't take a lot of heat to warm up. Left without heat and allowed to freeze the ground will require over 100 times as much heat to get back to 32. If the pipe were below 4' the ground would never freeze. There is a technique called FPSF (frost protected shallow foundation) where they utilize the warmth of the ground below by covering that drain pipe with (I'm guessing) a couple of inches of rigid foam, extended a couple of feet to each side. How much foam board and how far to each side has some variables, like snow cover and winter temps.

As for a solution, a lot depends upon your landscaping and soils. Unfortunately, the requirements for an easy solution don't exist around every property. A percolation test would tell you how much water the ground can absorb. If you don't have a high water level and the ground can absorb the required amount, then a pit buried below the frost line would be an option.

If you have a sufficient slope, then a fairly deep pipe (or one with a heat tape) could drain to daylight with some protection above it. In some climates that could be just a couple of hay bales. But your location in Canada could be too cold.

I know it sounds like I'm trying to be a pain, but I have had the occasion here in Maine to dig up several drain lines that ultimately froze and split and became useless. My house and many here in Maine solve the water off the roof problem with a really good slope away from the foundation and then skip the gutters. I haven't had to deal with gutters for 35+ years, don't have them.

Do you know what your surrounding soils look like? Could you dig down 10' and not hit water?

Bud
 
  #12  
Old 06-24-15, 02:10 PM
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The section of pipe travelling from ground level to 4' down, won't that freeze?
A single deicing cable inside a 4" PVC pipe is the same area as the gutter?
I'm not trying to be a pain either, I'm just not sure I understand why that wouldn't work.
I have to have gutters and there's no slope at the back as it's flat so it doesn't really take water away.
I could probably dig 10' down without hitting water but not much beoyind that as there's a river nearby.
Here's a pic (might make it easier to explain): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwS...ew?usp=sharing
 
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Old 06-24-15, 03:54 PM
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The way that you described the slope, of the house, there doesn't seem to be any need to move the downspouts far away from the house. I would dig each downspout separately to the frost line, to it's own dry well. 3 feet away from the house should be enough.
 
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Old 06-25-15, 08:42 PM
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and run deicing cable down to the frost line?
 
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Old 06-26-15, 03:27 AM
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I don't have any experience with deicing cables nor have I heard of using them, in a downspout.
 
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Old 06-27-15, 08:09 AM
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presumably the water won't freeze in the 48 inch length between where the downspout eters the ground and where it runs underground?
 
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Old 07-08-15, 06:23 AM
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The way that you described the slope, of the house, there doesn't seem to be any need to move the downspouts far away from the house. I would dig each downspout separately to the frost line, to it's own dry well. 3 feet away from the house should be enough.
There is no membrane between the ground and the cement of the house so I'm afraid that water will make that side of the house damp, which was why I thought water would need to be taken away (6ft).
In any case, if I take the water straight into the ground by the house, how do I stop it freezing between ground level and 48" to the frost line?
 
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Old 07-08-15, 06:42 AM
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If you feel better redirecting the water 6' away from the house, do it. Don't let me stop you. I guess that it could happen but I never had a job where the water froze between the ground & the frost line.
 
  #19  
Old 07-08-15, 07:00 AM
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Is it not better to take it away from the house or is the soil going to be wet anyway?
If taking it directly down, do I use a 4" PVC and dig down 48" into a dry well area? Do I have to support the dry well with anything to stop the earth caving in?
 
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Old 07-08-15, 02:53 PM
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Dry wells don't need any extra support. I use gravel around the sides for better drainage. I use flexible pipe with a surface collector not PVC although I guess either one would do.
 
  #21  
Old 09-13-15, 09:57 AM
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It's kind of an awkward area. Here is a picture of the current temporary extension (white gutters).
There is a septic tank in the way and draon field meaning that the gutter on the left might be difficult to put right into a drywell.
The blue line on the diagram was the option I had thought of running it 25-30ft along the concrete below grade but to do that I'd have to dig 4ft below to stop it freezing during winter.
(might be even deeper than 4ft)

 

Last edited by qwertyjjj; 09-13-15 at 10:28 AM.
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