We’re here on Jeremy and Corie Unruh’s 13-acre property in northeastern Kansas to help them extend downspout drainage away from their home. We’re here because they responded to our invitation to send us their project ideas, which is something you can do, too, by sending us an email at TipIdea@JohnDeere.com.
The Unruh’s started working on their new property in northeast Kansas right after they purchased it. And they quickly realized, getting downspout drainage away from the house foundation was something they really needed to do.
Now they plan to build an addition on the north side of their house, too. So we agreed to tie a current and future downspout together, and then continue that extension underneath the driveway and get that downspout drainage out onto the open property.
Our materials include 12, 10-foot lengths (3 m) of 4-inch (10.2 cm), Schedule 30 PVC pipe. Several connectors for securing the pipe sections together. And one end cap where the drainpipe will release water onto the turf.
Always. Always. Always.
When planning to dig on your property it’s very important to make sure you don’t dig into any underground utilities. So we asked the Unruh’s to call 811, the number to call to have all your utility lines marked before you start digging.
With the utilities flagged, we plotted where the two underground downspout extensions should meet, so they could continue as one line to our desired destination. Then we marked the line for that trench with spray paint, and got started.
Using the backhoe attached to our tractor, Dan – also known as Digger Dan – started digging the first trench from where the downspout on the new addition will be located.
We want our drain pipe to have a 1% slope so water will always drain properly. That means the trench and drainpipe must slope away from the house with at least 1-inch (2.5 cm) of fall for every 8-feet (2.4 m) of run. We’ll make sure the slope is correct by using a 4-foot (1.2 m) level. For a 1% slope, we want to maintain a run that’s always at least one bubble off level going away from the downspout location.
Next, Digger Dan dug a trench from the existing downspout out to the path of the first trench, so we can connect the two. To do that, we’ll use a 45-degree connector. We’ll coat each piece with a little primer and a little glue, then connect the two by twisting the pipe slightly into the connector to help seat it securely. Once connected, we’ll have a single drain line handling two downspouts.
Time to tackle the driveway
The Unruh’s driveway is made of asphalt millings with a gravel base. So to extend the downspout drainage underneath the driveway, Dan used the materials bucket to scrape and pile the asphalt and gravel to one side. Then using the backhoe, he continued digging the trench right through the driveway, piling the soil to the side opposite the asphalt and gravel. That way, when it’s time to fill in the trench, the different materials will be separate and he can put them back in their proper order.
Then Digger Dan continued digging the trench out into the large grassy area on the other side of the driveway.
We connected all the PVC pipe sections using the primer and glue, and made sure they maintained our desired 1% slope. Then Dan covered them all with soil, and topped the driveway section with its gravel and asphalt.
Finally, we inserted an end cap in the drain pipe where it comes to daylight to prevent varmints from making a home in the pipe. And our job is done.
The Unruh’s will continue to push soil over the covered trench as settling occurs, and use any remainder wherever they need it around their property.
Not bad for about a half-day’s work.
Anything we can help you with?
Remember, if there’s anything you’re not quite sure how to do and think others might like to learn too, just email us at TipIdea@JohnDeere.com. If we can, we’ll produce that video and even give you a shout out for having and sharing your great idea.
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