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edlank 04-04-2009 09:01 PM

Underground downspout drain line
I have one downspout that dumps into an underground 5" flexible drain. With very heavy rains, water gushes out of the top of the tubing, around the 4x2" aluminum downspout. I removed the aluminum downspout and found nothing within reach blocking the tubing. I ran an electrician snake and it went about 6' into the drain line, and stopped abruptly. I cannot tell where the drain line goes, but I assumed it might end many feet away among some bushes and a tree. I wanted to find its end so I could verify it was widely open. I ran water from a garden hose in it for 15 minutes to see if water appeared downhill in the yard. It did not overflow, and I could not find any wet spots anywhere. The line goes under a concrete walk, so digging it up is not feasible. How do these usually terminate, and how does one track its course? It does not empty into any municipal storm system, because there is none in the area. It may have taken a turn that my snake could not negotiate, and still might be longer than I could traverse. I would like to see if I can do anything to improve its drain rate. What else can be done?

glennjanie 04-04-2009 11:45 PM

Hello EdLank:
The flexible tubing often is perforated which lets water out all along the line. The corrrugations also seem to collect leaves over the years until they are packed as hard as the ground and can't be penetrated, or anything that has the power to penetrate the leaves will also penetrate the pipe.
There is a 1/2" wide manual snake that has rollers on the end of it. While the rollers protect the pipe you may be able to keep trying until you get through.
Municipal utility companies also have what I know as an "M Scope" which can trace a metal tape underground enabling you to find the end of the pipe.

edlank 04-06-2009 09:08 PM

I have gone to the house blue prints the previous owner left, and a 4" drain pipe is shown just outside the footer. Curious, because this is the only downspout that enters the ground. All others have horizontal extensions above ground to direct the drainage away from the house. If this one enters the drain pipe, I am still unsure where that goes. I can now guess why the other downspouts do not use the underground pipe...the pipe cannot drain even this one downspout in a storm.

How do I determine where that 4" drain pipe might empty? We have municipal sewer only, no city water, and no street storm drains near here.

glennjanie 04-07-2009 04:25 PM

Hello EdLank:
I would look for the lowest point on the lot; a place where it drops off rather sudenly. The grass might have grown over the outlet end.

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