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Installing drain tile can be a fairly involved task, but it can prevent serious damage to your foundation. Below are five common errors people make when selecting or installing the pipe of their drain tile.
Purchasing the Wrong Diameter of Pipe
Drain tile pipe is sold in a variety of diameters, with the most common being 4-inches. However, it is possible to find drainage pipe with a smaller diameter. You want to avoid these smaller diameters because they clog more easily. While plenty of water can usually flow through a 2-inch pipe, a very small amount of dirt can slow or completely stop the flow of water in these smaller pipes. With a 4-inch pipe, small amounts of debris can settle in the pipe, waiting for a more forceful flow of water during a storm or maintenance to clear it without negatively affecting the overall performance of the pipe.
Installing Perforations Incorrectly
Drain tile pipe is usually has perforations set on opposite sides of the pipe or at an angle between 60 and 90 degrees. It may seem natural to install the perforations facing the top of your drain, where the water is coming from. However, this will cause water to pool at the bottom of your drain until it reaches the height of the perforations and will ultimately cause seepage into your basement or foundation.
Instead, you should install the perforations facing towards the bottom of your drain so that water can enter from the sides and travel down the center of the pipe. You do not need to worry about water flowing back out of the pipe once it is in, since it will take the path of least resistance.
Socking the Pipe Instead of the Drain
There are two methods for installing a filter fabric in your drain tile. The first method involves stretching a fabric directly over the pipe like you would pull a sock on a foot. While this does prevent debris from entering the pipe, it is easy for individual perforations to become clogged over time, making your system less efficient.
Instead, you should wrap your entire drain like a burrito. To do this, you will lay your filter fabric on the bottom of your drain with the fabric extending over the sides of the hole you have dug. You will place the pipe and gravel, then close the fabric over the gravel. Although this method requires more fabric, it reduces the strain on the fabric and makes it less likely that your perforations will become clogged.
Failing to Create a Slope in the Pipe
Drainage pipes require very little slope, as water will naturally be pushed through them towards a larger space such as an outlet or septic tank. However, a minor slope will help the water to move more quickly, and this extra force can keep your drain clear of clogs. You do not need much of a slope. Even an inch for every ten feet of pipe will be enough to ensure that your pipe regularly drains properly.
Not Installing Enough Maintenance Outlets
It would be great to bury a drain pipe and never think about it again. However, performing regular maintenance on your pipe can keep it working longer. Once a year, or every other year, you should blast pressurized water through your pipe. To do this, you will need several maintenance outlets that reach the surface of your drain. You can install these by using a 'T' connector. These can be flush with the ground or extend a few inches above ground and should be capped when you are not performing maintenance. One maintenance outlet for every 50-feet of pipe will make maintenance quick and easy.
Selecting the right pipe and installing it correctly is the most difficult part of installing an exterior drain tile. With the right pipe, gravel selection and placement should be much easier. Visit http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com to learn more.