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Question DetailsAsked on 9/8/2016

Running gutters under a driveway

need to run leaders under a driveway and through a retaining wall, who would be the best person to do this?

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2 Answers


Most Paving contractors (concrete or asphalt as applicable to your case) will do this. Unless the drive is narrow and your soil is fairly soft and fine (so a drain pipe can be driven and washed in under the drive) this is probably going to involve sawing a slot in the drive to install the pipe, then patching it afterwards.

Four hints:

1) be sure there are cleanouts at each direction change so you can use a garden hose to wash out blockages from leaves and such - and best to leave one open near the top (maybe concealed under a decorative lawn gnome or such) at a point as close as feasible but far enough from the house that overflow will not saturate around the foundation, to provide an overflow point so the gutters do not back up in case the gutter does get blocked.

2) use 4" drainfield pipe for this - there are readily available adapters to connect gutters to standard 4" PVC/ABS composite drain pipe. You will be using the solid pipe - not the perforated type for this.

3) if in an area where your ground freezes, generally this is a bad idea as the underground part can freeze up solid from melting roof snow and rain freezing in the drain pipe due to the frozen ground and cold air flowing through the pipe, causing gutter backup - better to use surface berms or swales if possible. If you have to put it underground in areas with freezing, then use 8" plastic culvert rather than 4" or metal so it will not freeze as readily, and have access points (cleanouts) where you can put in hot water to thaw it out if it fills up with frozen runoff. For thawing, you want not only a cleanout near the house to put hot water into the drain, but also exit access so you can run a hot water hose (with or without 3/4" PVC pipe on it) up into the drain from the downhill end to use hot water to thaw it out, because coming in from the uphill end means a lot of clearing water to be disposed of somewhere - working from bottom up provides drainage of the clearing water where drainage is designed to go.

4) Also - best to provide an overflow point (like a wye) where the gutter meets the drain pipe at the ground, so if the drain freezes up or gets blocked the water trying to back up into the downspout has somewhere to go - a wye (facing Wye-end up) above the ground level connection leading to enough downspout or drain gutter to get the water away from the foundation is a good idea.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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