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JB

how to clear a rainwater drain?

Fould drains are easy enough because the man holes are wide enough that the drain rods bend but how do I clear the rainwater drain. The situation is that I have a downpipe that falls into a rain water drain which is basically a standard 110mm pipe. That falls for about another 60 - 70 cm before joining another pipe. Downstream of that is a blockage (which is probably just soil, moss, small roots etc - the usual kind of roof runoff). Of course a drain rod can not turn that angle at the bottom so I can't clear it.

Is there anyway to clear that short of digging up the whole path?
stumbling goat

You can work out the part of the oath you have to dig out by the length of the rods that you out down before you hit the bend. That should pinpoint your dig area. Then work from there.

sg
onemanband

In theory your 4inch pipework should all be rodable with standard rods - there should be rodding eyes or inspection chambers so that all parts can be accessed - bends should be smooth and a drain rod should push round them

To clarify what you are saying ........the downpipe goes vertically down the wall to ground level, then into a 4inch pipe, which then goes vertically down 60-70cm, and you can't get a rod past that point ?

Are you sure it's not a gully (trap) that the downpipe is going into ? You won't get a rod round that.

If you have no inspection chambers to your surface water drainage, that suggests it is going to a soakaway. Sorry to say that every job I've done with a blocked pipe leading to a soakaway has been caused by a blocked soakaway or some doofus previously putting a fence post or foundation through the pipe.
JB

It does go to a soakaway and there are no rodding points or inspection covers. The drain I am accessing it through is the last point where I am certain of the path it takes. So I can't really start digging downstream of that point but the angle at that point is to tight to get a drain rod around it and just to complicate it further it's under a concrete path and possibly patio (depends on the path it takes) so experimental digging isn't really an option either.
Cathryn

You could get one of the companies who use jet pressure. We have to at times and it's usually worked (we've no idea where most of the drains begin and end here).
onemanband

The drain I am accessing it through ......... but the angle at that point is to tight to get a drain rod around it


Are you sure it's not a gulley ?
If it's a standard preformed bend (whether clay or plastic) a drain rod should push round it. Are you pushing hard enough ?
Ty Gwyn

Re: how to clear a rainwater drain?

That falls for about another 60 - 70 cm before joining another pipe. Downstream of that is a blockage


This other pipe,we know it goes to the soak away,but where does it come from?
JB

The drain I am accessing it through ......... but the angle at that point is to tight to get a drain rod around it

Are you sure it's not a gulley ?
If it's a standard preformed bend (whether clay or plastic) a drain rod should push round it. Are you pushing hard enough ?

I can feel the bend with my hand and it feels pretty tight. It feels like a gully but surely I wouldn't expect to find one that deep; it's about 60 cm down. I will try again in daylight but right now its tipping it down and dark. That drain is next to a step so I could lower it by about 20cm by moving the step from one side of the drain to the other but I doubt that would help a great deal in unblocking it and it's a bit of a faff to do.
onemanband

Yes usually a gully is set at ground level - but sometimes ground levels are raised. Or the gully is set low because it is adjacent to the main pipe and rather than having a gully with a sharp exit bend then a drop into the main run, it is preferable to have the gully low and extend the inlet upwards.
Anyway...... if it is a gully then there is often a rodding point built in. If your gully inlet has been extended up because ground level has been raised then you might be able to dig down and find it. Sometimes there is a separate rodding access - usually a 4inch square or round cover (like a stopcock cover)
If the gully itself isn't blocked and you haven't got a rodding eye to access beyond the gulley, then I'm afraid it is a job for the professional rodders and/or experimental digging.
JB

Re: how to clear a rainwater drain?

That falls for about another 60 - 70 cm before joining another pipe. Downstream of that is a blockage

This other pipe,we know it goes to the soak away,but where does it come from?

There are three down pipes against a wall, each falls into a drain which is set in a concrete path by that wall. The last one is at the corner of a wall but beyond it is a patio to one side and a concrete path to the other

I.e
Code:

          |
          |
 Surface  |
  drain.  |
          |                wall.                                             |     patio
         --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             1.                                2                            3

                                     Concrete path

                                      Boundary
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1, 2 and 3 are the down pipes with drains below getting progressively deeper. The flow from 1 to 2 to 3 seems to be ok but down stream of 3 it is blocked. The drain could continue in a straight line under the path but because it us going to a soakaway it could turn away from the path and under the patio
Ty Gwyn

How old is your house JB?or the Drains if you know.

If your drains are plastic there would be rodding eyes on the traps,
But if they`re Earthen ware,i have never come across one with rodding eyes.
Could possibly be just a knuckle bend to take the pipes to the soakaway,but even then there should be a manhole along the length.

From seeing your diagram,that gives a better picture,a run of pipes,with the 3 downpipes joining.
The proper job would have been 3 gulley traps,but as only rain water,i suppose they used 3 Y or Tee pieces,with the Y`s they would have used Slow bends before raising to surface,with the Tee`s,just drop the verticals from surface.

What is beyond 1,where the surface drain is?

If you cannot get a drain rod around this bend,try a length of stiffish plain wire,if this goes around the bend,pull it out and bend a barb on the end and push that back down into the blockage and drag back out,or at least you`ll find the distance where the blockage is situated if you have enough wire.
JB

House is 1930s, but that wall is against a 20 year old extension. The drains are plastic but no rodding points! onemanband

20 year old extension and plastic drains .........
I reckon soakaway was put in with extension.
I also reckon your soakaway will be blocked especially if a 20 year old rubble filled hole.
Surface water drains don't get rodable blockages like foul drains do.
Foul drains get inappropriate items, fat and solids stuck in them.
Whatever organic matter that doesn't clog the gutters or get caught in the gullies is washed through the surface water drains with loads of water and so they don't just block.

I don't know your ground conditions, but round here the minimum/standard procedure for an extension is a 1mcube rubble filled soakaway, 6m away from house.
I'd dig a trench about 4m away from the extension to locate pipe. Cut out section of pipe and see what's going on.
Mistress Rose

If you know anyone that can douse, could they at least find the path of the pipe and position of soakaway for you. I think the idea about a hook on stiff wire is a good one; at least you will know if the blockage is in the pipe or further down. JB

From seeing your diagram,that gives a better picture,a run of pipes,with the 3 downpipes joining.
The proper job would have been 3 gulley traps,but as only rain water,i suppose they used 3 Y or Tee pieces,with the Y`s they would have used Slow bends before raising to surface,with the Tee`s,just drop the verticals from surface.

What is beyond 1,where the surface drain is?

If you cannot get a drain rod around this bend,try a length of stiffish plain wire,if this goes around the bend,pull it out and bend a barb on the end and push that back down into the blockage and drag back out,or at least you`ll find the distance where the blockage is situated if you have enough wire.

Beyond the surface drain is a driveway. So the surface drain is catching rainwater coming down the drive, the down pipes catch rainwater from the house roof. The all feed into a rainwater drain which then disappears somewhere behind to garden to a soakaway.

I've had another dig around as far as I can reach and also with the only flexible rod I can find that will get round the corner. There is some blockage between 2 and 3 and a heavily impacted blockage downstream of 3. I am increasingly convinced that the whole length is blocked all the way down to the soakaway. I think I shall have to phone a pro on Monday.

In principle it shouldn't matter too much as it's just rainwater and just a soakaway in the garden with a field beyond but unfortunately as its blocked the recent torrential down pour caused it to fill and flood pouring water against the side of the house. Which means that if I don't clear it it could start to give problems with damp.
Ty Gwyn

JB,
Its hard to explain,maybe i did`nt make myself clear enough,i`ll try again,

I take it the surface drain connects to the pipeline running at the back of the extension where the down pipes connect?

Does this pipeline go under your drive,or stop where/if the surface drain connects?

Is the drive concrete/tarmac,or gravel that you could dig up easy enough,to contact the pipe work and put in place a manhole so you can rod the whole length to the soak away?

If it is concrete,my advice would be to cut a section with a grinder,dig down to pipe and place in a rodding eye to solve any problems in the future.
onemanband

Before digging up any concrete, I'd dig in the garden.
When installing the soakaway the logical thing to do is go 6m out from house in a straight line.
If the pipe run is straight and undamaged then there is no reason for it to block other than the soakaway being blocked.
I may be proved wrong, but I am talking from experience. Only last week I got a phone call "I've got a path I've broken up and need it disposing" then a call next day "forget that the soakaway is blocked - have you got Stu-the-digger's number ?" If only he'd dug in the garden before taking up the path.
If you dig in garden, say 4m from the house (or just beyond patio) you can rod in either direction and see what is wrong. You could also fit a rodding eye when you reinstate pipe.
If the garden falls away from the house then chances are the pipe will only be a foot or two below the surface.
JB

JB,
Its hard to explain,maybe i did`nt make myself clear enough,i`ll try again,

I take it the surface drain connects to the pipeline running at the back of the extension where the down pipes connect?

Does this pipeline go under your drive,or stop where/if the surface drain connects?

Is the drive concrete/tarmac,or gravel that you could dig up easy enough,to contact the pipe work and put in place a manhole so you can rod the whole length to the soak away?

If it is concrete,my advice would be to cut a section with a grinder,dig down to pipe and place in a rodding eye to solve any problems in the future.

That's an option and wouldn't be too hard but realistically I could only rod from the driveway to nearly to the last down pipe. That would be about 10 m and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns a corner at that point. I may try that as a first option but thinking about I just have another complication there which is that where I would want to put a rodding point there is a pipe from our oil tank. Possible but extreme care would be needed.
dpack

a camera down the tube would probably cost about 150 and might save a lot of digging/reinstating

im glad i checked the spelling of digging Laughing Laughing Laughing Embarassed

a pressure washer with a expanding collar to seal the pipe can work or can make matters worse by popping the pipe without moving the blockage but the type that just squirt and the backwash comes out from where you put it in will remove mud etc but wont de clog the soakaway or clear roots/collapses etc.

other than that what they said makes sense ,ie try to avoid digging the concrete etc .
sean

Hand grenade? 12Bore

Hand grenade?
or a good curry... pottytrain5
dpack

how is it going ?
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