blocked underground downspout

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Old 11-29-16, 09:48 AM
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blocked underground downspout

Just bought a home in July, (Michigan Resident) and we have a downspout that was run underground and it has developed a blockage, so when it rains, water just comes out from where the downspout meets the ground drainpipe.

The downspout is off the back corner of the garage and the surrounding area is a concrete patio which is sloped around 20 feet out to the lawn. So water isn't pooling around the garage it's coming up and just running down the patio.

Can't seem to find any daylight opening and am not really aware where it drains to. From what I can tell it seems to point in the direction under the patio to a plant/flower bed area about 10 feet out. Again I've looked and tried checking the surface without and major digging and can't find anything. Running a downspout to this area isn't an option because it would block the flow to the gate which is about 6 feet from the back corner of the garage. Tried using a snake with a drill connection as well as flushing it with a hose and even a pump to pull water out, nothing works. It does drain down somewhat and it does so slowly.

My current thought is I don't want to have to go through the patio to trench something new. Would an option be to cap off the drain line, add an elbow and splash block and just let the water run off the patio? Maybe consider a rain barrel after winter? Thanks for any input!
 
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Old 11-29-16, 10:09 AM
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Ideally you want to clear what is there, if it ever worked. Cold climates do not treat subsurface drains nicely. Plumbers use a snake camera and you may be able to rent one.

When you ran the snake down there how far did it get before it hit something? That will tell you if the problem area is at the end or under the patio. Plumbers can also unclog drain lines. But if it is just going to an old pit filled with rocks that is now filled with silt it may be difficult to restore.

When I run my snake, a kink-of flat metal wire, I can usually tell which direction it went, the flat will face that direction.

I've dug up a couple of underground pvc drain lines and they were in bad shape from winter freezing and then collapsing.

Bud
 
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Old 11-29-16, 10:22 AM
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Do you know if you have storm drains in your area? Many urban and close suburban areas do, while most rural and far suburban areas usually don't. If you have storm drains the downspouts likely tie into them. If you don't they generally run to daylight or sometimes a dry well.

Knowing which you have can give you clues as to where the drain may run. For example, the storm drain connection would be out to the street, so drain would have to head that way.

Sometimes, downspouts were tied into the footer drains, which is always a bad idea.

The problem with letting the water just run over the patio is that it will be a skating rink during freeze thaw times in the winter. During the spring, it may make a soggy mess of the area around the patio, although a rain barrel could alleviate that.
 
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Old 11-29-16, 11:01 AM
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I think the hose/snakes made it around 5 feet or so. And yes we do have storm drains but those are in the front on the street. This was also probably done 8 or so years ago, they previous owners put on an addition and did the patio. Any thoughts on leaving a rain barrel out year round?
 
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Old 11-29-16, 11:41 AM
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Any thoughts on leaving a rain barrel out year round?
Maybe in Florida. Not in Michigan.
 
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Old 11-29-16, 03:46 PM
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Fellow Michigander.

Every house I have owned I've trenched and plumbed my downspouts away (to a creek, pond, or ravine) and never had any basement/water issues. A rain barrel will probably just fill up and overflow so you are only delaying the inevitable.

Question, are the other downspouts also tied to drain pipes? Can you put a hose down one of them and chase it to the outlet?

I once had a drain pipe plug up with a huge chunk of moss that grew up into the disharge line. Like you it was causing water to flow out of the pipe at the downspout, maybe you will be so lucky!!

I suggest getting that resolved before our nice weather turns cold!
 
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