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Administrative, EMS 2.0

Rain Gutters

We moved into this house about 2 years ago and have been finding little problems here and there as most homeowners do.

Aside from mystery sprinklers (don’t get me started), with recent storms I’ve found limitations on the capacity of my gutter system.

Sure it carries the water from the roof along the gutter to the downspout.  Sure it ties into an underground system that drains into the sewers, but there’s all sorts of non water stuff getting in there.

At our old house we got new gutters installed and had a chance to install a really great, but expensive, product that blocks non water items from getting into the gutters.  With 2 large pepper trees overhead it made the next rainy season far easier to cope with.

But here we have a different problem and a different system.  It would appear that the underground drainage system that ties into the sewer has either failed or become clogged with debris, roots, small woodland creatures, something other than water for sure.

During one of our recent storms I spent hours out in the driving rain trying to flush what I thought was a simple clog only to find it was systemic on that one side of the house.

One side no problems at all, the other hopelessly clogged.

With water backing up against the foundation of the house I had to stop the immediate damage and climbed back up and clogged the downspout.  That sent the water in that gutter over to the other downspout near the front of the house.  My problem was not solved, only no longer an immediate problem.  But now water was backing up at another location, just not right against the foundation and in plain sight.

With the family driving the wife nuts inside (toddlers hate rainy days) and my hands cold I came inside hoping to tackle the problem another day.

When that day came I could only install a patch of the same system that was in place before, a tube running from the downspout off the side of the house towards the neighbor’s yard. (He’s never home, he won’t notice.)  I unclogged the downspout and water rushed into the pipe I dug a trench for and away the water went.

Problem kinda dealt with but still not solved.  The other spout on that side of the house has o elevation where I can make a trench without digging up most of the yard.  Plus, now it’s a huge mud puddle.

I’m not sure what the solution to my problems are, but I know what I have isn’t working as well as it should on one side.  And I don’t think breaking out the concrete on the other side of the house to improve a working system is a good idea either.

I’m researching other ways other folks are handling similar problems and hope to learn a little something that can help me with my troubles.

I just hope I can come up with something before the next storm rattles in and makes more trouble for me.

Thanks for letting me change gears,

HM

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0 Comments

  1. Anonymous March 2, 2010 4:27 pm

    Hmm…sounds a lot like many of the fixes my state has put in place for everything from EMS to closing the state budget deficit. What a co-inky-dink you wrote this eh?

  2. PGSIlva March 2, 2010 11:27 am

    Hmm…sounds a lot like many of the fixes my state has put in place for everything from EMS to closing the state budget deficit. What a co-inky-dink you wrote this eh?

  3. Tom Bouthillet March 2, 2010 6:00 pm

    “When that day came I could only install a patch of the same system that was in place before, a tube running from the downspout off the side of the house towards the neighbor’s yard.”

    Just out of curiosity, is this 4″ black corregated drainage pipe? That’s how my Dad and I solved a drainage problem with the artesian well at his house up in Michigan. We got the idea from a farmer at the hardware store. I think it’s called a French Drain.

    Basically you dig a series of trenches (we made a triangle like a yeild sign with sumps at each corner) and connected them together with corrugated drainage pipe embedded in gravel. We also filled the sumps with gravel. You put straw or hay on top of that and then cover it with dirt.

    Against all odds, it actually worked, and continues to work several years later. I would imagine tree roots have found their way into the system by now, but so far so good!

  4. tbouthillet March 2, 2010 1:00 pm

    “When that day came I could only install a patch of the same system that was in place before, a tube running from the downspout off the side of the house towards the neighbor’s yard.”

    Just out of curiosity, is this 4″ black corregated drainage pipe? That's how my Dad and I solved a drainage problem with the artesian well at his house up in Michigan. We got the idea from a farmer at the hardware store. I think it's called a French Drain.

    Basically you dig a series of trenches (we made a triangle like a yeild sign with sumps at each corner) and connected them together with corrugated drainage pipe embedded in gravel. We also filled the sumps with gravel. You put straw or hay on top of that and then cover it with dirt.

    Against all odds, it actually worked, and continues to work several years later. I would imagine tree roots have found their way into the system by now, but so far so good!

  5. FrankC March 2, 2010 2:24 pm

    Playing with water is great fun but stop playling with it and cure the problem. Call in “Roto Rooter” and get the drains cleaned out. That'll buy you time to figure out a way to stop the crud from building up again.

  6. FrankC March 2, 2010 10:24 pm

    Playing with water is great fun but stop playling with it and cure the problem. Call in “Roto Rooter” and get the drains cleaned out. That’ll buy you time to figure out a way to stop the crud from building up again.

  7. FrankC March 2, 2010 5:24 pm

    Playing with water is great fun but stop playling with it and cure the problem. Call in “Roto Rooter” and get the drains cleaned out. That'll buy you time to figure out a way to stop the crud from building up again.

  8. Anonymous March 3, 2010 11:12 am

    I have had the same problem. The solution is a plumber with a video pipe snake to see what the problem is, then get your shovel out or the check book and dig up the section that has mostlikley caved in. It’s not fun one or the other.

  9. dcimedic March 3, 2010 6:12 am

    I have had the same problem. The solution is a plumber with a video pipe snake to see what the problem is, then get your shovel out or the check book and dig up the section that has mostlikley caved in. It's not fun one or the other.

  10. Ethan March 3, 2010 4:08 pm

    High pressure hose straight into the drains? We used that in my National Park Service days to clear a pipe filled with leaves, mud, and other crud. Do you think the SFFD would see that as an appropriate use of a Type I engine? 😉

  11. Ethan March 3, 2010 11:08 am

    High pressure hose straight into the drains? We used that in my National Park Service days to clear a pipe filled with leaves, mud, and other crud. Do you think the SFFD would see that as an appropriate use of a Type I engine? 😉

  12. First Due Medic March 4, 2010 11:03 am

    Dang, the whole time I’m reading this I thought you were leading up to a big discussion on CHF, R or L sided heart failure, third-spacing or maybe even colateral circulation. Oh well.

    We have a pretty decent hill behind the house with a creek at the bottom, so everything runs through plastic drain line under the ground and down the hill. Thankfully nothing has went wrong with that little system for almost ten years now.

  13. The Gate Keeper March 4, 2010 6:03 am

    Dang, the whole time I'm reading this I thought you were leading up to a big discussion on CHF, R or L sided heart failure, third-spacing or maybe even colateral circulation. Oh well.

    We have a pretty decent hill behind the house with a creek at the bottom, so everything runs through plastic drain line under the ground and down the hill. Thankfully nothing has went wrong with that little system for almost ten years now.

  14. Ckemtp March 4, 2010 7:59 pm

    Happy, Happy, Happy… does a farm kid have to come out and do everything for you city boys? Dig a 2” trench, line the bottom with coarse gravel, connect the gutter pipe to a 15′ long perforated drainage field, and your problem is solved.

    It’s an easy day project.

    • Aaron March 4, 2010 11:23 pm

      Being in California I don’t see why he doesn’t direct it along with the mess towards the nearest fault.

    • the Happy Medic March 5, 2010 5:00 am

      You’ve been to my house. Where would I put a 15′ pipe? In the place where the other 15′ pipe is now? that’s my problem.

  15. Ckemtp March 4, 2010 2:59 pm

    Happy, Happy, Happy… does a farm kid have to come out and do everything for you city boys? Dig a 2'' trench, line the bottom with coarse gravel, connect the gutter pipe to a 15' long perforated drainage field, and your problem is solved.

    It's an easy day project.

  16. Aaron March 4, 2010 3:23 pm

    Being in California I don't see why he doesn't direct it along with the mess towards the nearest fault.

  17. Aaron March 4, 2010 6:23 pm

    Being in California I don't see why he doesn't direct it along with the mess towards the nearest fault.

  18. the Happy Medic March 5, 2010 12:00 am

    You've been to my house. Where would I put a 15' pipe? In the place where the other 15' pipe is now? that's my problem.

  19. the Happy Medic March 5, 2010 5:00 am

    You've been to my house. Where would I put a 15' pipe? In the place where the other 15' pipe is now? that's my problem.

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