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  • Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

    During the sewer work I had done recently, they found the drain tiles that are connected to the sewer (that's how they allowed them to do it in the 60's) are clogged with tree roots causing my water seepage into the house. There is drainage but not enough when the ground really gets saturated. The drain tiles are about 1 foot long and just butted up against each other. There's no flange. I guess the water just seeps in between the tiles and runs out to the sewer.

    The plumbers gave me a couple of options, one being to dig up the terra cotta drain tiles and replace with pvc with holes in it called rigid drain. They would put cleanouts in it to clear roots out since there's some large trees on the property.

    Does this sound like the way to go? Why can't they just dig a couple of holes and put cleanouts in the terra cotta that's already there and run a snake in the pipes instead of digging up the entire system that's already there? Seems it would be alot cheaper to do it that way especially if the tree roots may clog a new system as well.

    Before I spend a TON it would be nice to hear some ideas on this. It's just too big and expensive to just go with the first approach these guys offer. 10-15 g isn't that easy to spend now.

    Thanks!!

  • #2
    Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

    One problem with the butted drain tiles I have ran into is some of them shifted over the years which makes getting a rodder through them very hard. Also some of them where not installed with change of direction fittings ( 90ยบ elbows and such) They ended them in a gravel bed and started the new direction of the pipe from the same gravel bed.

    Does your down spouts drain into the ground? If you post what city you are in I can have a better idea of what type of drain tile system you may have. If the down spouts do tie in sometimes you can power rod from the farthest one and clear a good percentage of the drain tiles before it ties into the sewer.
    Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
    A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
    Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
    Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

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    • #3
      Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

      The downspouts used to just dump into the grass with those rolled up extensions that straighten out when it rains heavy. I had 4" pvc put into the ground about 1foot deep for the downspouts and it drains into the front yard. Those work great. No way to get to the drain tiles unfortunately.

      Thanks

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      • #4
        Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

        Originally posted by bobt View Post
        The downspouts used to just dump into the grass with those rolled up extensions that straighten out when it rains heavy. I had 4" pvc put into the ground about 1foot deep for the downspouts and it drains into the front yard. Those work great. No way to get to the drain tiles unfortunately.

        Thanks
        How deep down is your drain tiles? You could dig up the tiles in a spot and try to power rod the line from there or high pressure jet the lines to see if you can clear all the roots. Then we could televise the line to see what condition it is in.
        Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
        A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
        Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
        Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

          Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
          How deep down is your drain tiles?
          Around 40" deep.

          If the roots in the drain tiles are dried from lack of rain, can you still rod them out? The big piece they pulled out from the sewer job was dry like a scotch brite pad.

          Thanks!!

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          • #6
            Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

            40" deep? Sounds like about 3 hrs to find out if it can be done, seems well worth the investment vs. the $10K-$15K you were quoted. assuming your house is a rectangle, worst case you'd have to dig up 4 spots to get to all four sides.
            This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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            • #7
              Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

              Originally posted by bobt View Post
              Around 40" deep.

              If the roots in the drain tiles are dried from lack of rain, can you still rod them out? The big piece they pulled out from the sewer job was dry like a scotch brite pad.

              Thanks!!
              Cutting roots is the easy part. Getting to them is the other question. 40" is pretty shallow. I tkae it your basement is around 36" deep. Normaly the drain tiles are around the home just below the footing.

              It may be worth a shot to dig up a drain tile and try clearing the roots out.
              Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
              A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
              Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
              Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

                Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
                Cutting roots is the easy part. Getting to them is the other question. 40" is pretty shallow. I tkae it your basement is around 36" deep. Normaly the drain tiles are around the home just below the footing.

                It may be worth a shot to dig up a drain tile and try clearing the roots out.
                36" is exactly right.

                This has been a good discussion.

                With the terrible rains this past weekend, I talked to a friend that had this exact problem taken care of. The plumbers installed cleanouts in each corner of the house then rodded out the drain tiles. Seems that may be more common of a fix than I thought. I wish it was presented to me 5 years ago.

                One question I have is where at the corners would the cleanouts be put? Should they be so the snake can go straight for the entire wall or could it be around the corner? I now have 4" pvc for gutter drainage about 1 foot underground along the side of the house that may be in the way. Also can the cleanouts be at a slight angle coming away from the house to clear the gutter pipes?

                Thanks
                Last edited by bobt; 07-26-2010, 10:46 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

                  Talked to the plumbers about putting in some drain tile cleanouts. What concerns me is how will they put in the pipe/T. If the existing clay drain tiles are just layed down end to end, how then should the cleanout T be placed in between them? Should it just be placed in there or coupled somehow to the ones there? Will the pipe shift if it's just put in there with backfill holding it in place?

                  Thanks!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

                    Originally posted by bobt View Post
                    Talked to the plumbers about putting in some drain tile cleanouts. What concerns me is how will they put in the pipe/T. If the existing clay drain tiles are just layed down end to end, how then should the cleanout T be placed in between them? Should it just be placed in there or coupled somehow to the ones there? Will the pipe shift if it's just put in there with backfill holding it in place?

                    Thanks!!
                    When I have installed clean outs on drain tiles in the past I used shelled mission couplings to attach to each drain tile Also there should be compacted gravel under and around the pipes to prevent shifting during backfill.
                    Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                    A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                    Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                    Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

                      Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
                      When I have installed clean outs on drain tiles in the past I used shelled mission couplings to attach to each drain tile Also there should be compacted gravel under and around the pipes to prevent shifting during backfill.
                      Thanks!!
                      What are shelled mission couplings? Is that some type of split coupling? Where do you get them?

                      I measured a piece of 4" drain tile they pulled out with the sewer job and it's 5.25" od and the pvc is 4.5" od. All the home centers have a rubber connector called a 4X4 Clay adapter that does clay tile to pvc. Is this something that should be used?

                      Thanks!!
                      Last edited by bobt; 07-27-2010, 05:08 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

                        They look like this:

                        Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                        A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                        Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                        Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Replace Drain Tiles or Not?

                          Thanks a bunch. I think I have enough info to turn the guys loose.

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