Gutter Drains – Connecting To Foundation Drains
Rain gutters are one of the best defenses for protecting your home from water damage. However, the volume of water they collect can be very large and that water has to be dealt with properly or the gutters will only push the problem somewhere else. In this article I want to talk about connecting gutter drains to foundation drains. Some builders will turn their nose at this idea and say it’s not good to put water down into the drain around the foundation. However, I’d argue that it’s been done for years and even my home works like a charm.
In the following photo you can see two down spouts coming down from the gutters. The one on the left comes from the house and was installed prior to the one on the right. It was connected to the foundation drain so that the water can be directed out away from the house. The one on the right is a newer down spout from the garage. As you can see it’s not connected to the foundation drain.
Simple Pipe Connections with Sewer & Drain Pipe Fittings
Prior to connecting these two drains the water from the right gutter drain would create a massive puddle on the ground. Over time that water would likely cause rotting issues for the porch framing and potentially turn into a leak problem in the basement over time. So the simple solution was to connect both gutter drains to the vertical foundation cleanout drain.
Most likely if you have a vertical pipe coming out of the ground adjacent to your foundation like the one pictured above it’s a foundation drain cleanout. However, if you’re not sure it’s best to check with the builder or someone familiar with the house. In order to make the connections I dug down about 18 inches on the existing cleanout pipe to expose it.
In order to install the tee fitting I needed to cut off the riser below grade so I could get the tee in and reconnect the existing down spout. Regular foundation drain pipe can be cut with a utility knife or hand saw. As you can see I cut off the riser below grade and then installed a 4″ sani tee with a short piece of vertical pipe and a down spout cap. I dry fit the whole assembly first to make sure it all fit back together. Then I glued it up with PVC cement.
Next I dug a trench from that location over to the new down spout. I measured the distance from the tee fitting to the center of the down spout and cut a lateral section of 4″ drain pipe. I then added a 90 degree elbow with a short vertical piece of pipe and another down spout cap.
Again I dry fit the assembly to make sure everything fit correctly. Then I marked the pipe at each joint with a pencil mark so that I could glue everything back in the same shape. Once everything was glued in place I back filled with sand and stone. This project only took about an hour an cost $17. This is certainly a home improvement project that most people could tackle with ease.