Ken Larsen's website - Home drainage tip


I live in the Briarcliff neighborhood of Chapel Hill, NC.  My house was built in 1968.  My property is on the top of a hill, and my property slopes from the curb to the rear. 


My crawlspace has been getting wet.  This web page documents what I've discovered and what I intend to have done to fix the problem.


 A couple of the gutter downspouts go to an underground pipe like this one on the front side of my house.  The underground pipe no longer wicks the water away, because it has been clogged by 50 years of debris and has been damaged by roots.  The pipe is only an eighth of an inch thick.  I found it easy to damage when I dug up a section.

The pipe needs to be replaced with a much sturdier pipe ... 4" diameter PVC that is 1/4" thick (e.g. Charlotte pipe Schedule 40 obtained at Home Depot). 

To install new pipe, nearby shrubbery will likely have to be removed.  I'm okay with that.  I can always plant new shrubbery.

The PVC pipe should have some T or Y sections that serve as "clean out valves" so that I can flush it out periodically. The original pipe doesn't have those sections.  There is no way to flush it out.
Utility issues: 

There's an underground electrical line from the left side of the house to the light pole. 

On the left (north) side of the house there's an underground internet/TV cable.  I will have to ask Spectrum exactly where it is located.

On April 28, 2019 I did a little digging to find out where the underground drainage pipe went and how deep it was.  I found it to be very fragile and invaded by roots from this bush.

Pipe runs for 23' from the center downspout to the driveway.
My digging caused damage to the pipe.  It's Styrene-Rubber drain pipe model CS-228-61 (patented in 1961).  It's only 1/8" thick and has become very brittle.

The entire underground pipe needs to be replaced with 4" diameter Charlotte PVC pipe that is 1/4" thick.
"Collection" entry to the underground pipe system ... for rainwater from the front lawn.
Closeup of the runoff catch basin pointed to in the previous picture
North side of my house.  This shrubbery will likely have to be removed to permit workers to install the PVC pipe.

The width of this side of the house is 22'.  Pipe runs for 32' 6" on this side.

A section of the underground pipe runs under the driveway to the left of the gate.  It then runs underground for 32 feet and then is "daylighted" in my backyard.

The chain link fence will have to be disconnected to allow tunneling to occur.  I wouldn't mind having it replaced with a black painted aluminum fence.
This is a picture of a temporary but unattractive solution that I've done on the rear of my house. The downspout was feeding an underground pipe, but that needs to be replaced, as well.
This is the front door of my house.  During heavy rain, a puddle collects in front of the step.  I use a portable sump pump to pump away the water if the puddle is large enough.
This is the right side of my house.  It has no drainage issues.
May 7, 2019:  I begin removing the first section of the underground drainage pipe and find it to be totally clogged by debris. 
Another view which shows how clogged the drainage pipe is.  The new pipe will need a Y-clean-out-valve right at the connection to the gutter downspout ... along with several along the route to the backyard.
Video showing where Spectrum cable line runs (May 30, 2019)  
May 30, 2019:  Shrubbery cleared to the ground.
May 30, 2019:  Shrubbery cleared to the ground.
July 17, 2019:  I've dug a trench from the corner of my house to the light pole to expose the electrical wire that connects the two. 
July 23, 2019 - Very heavy rain fell this morning.
Video showing where Spectrum cable lies



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