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Footing drains and downspouts

Posted by uncledave_ct (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 16, 06 at 15:23

Last year, we had 2 instances where water was backing up into our basement after heavy rains (once was after it rained for 10 days straight). In the basement, I could hear the water rushing through the pipes outside the basement wall, down to the footing level. Suspecting that the downspouts might be connected to the footing drain, I went to town hall and looked at the original plans.

What I found confirmed my suspicions. Basically, every time it rained, my footing drain was required to handle not only any ground water that reached it, but all the runoff from my roof! The drain runs approximately 180 feet then exits to daylight, through a single 4" pipe. Water was literally gushing from this pipe for 2 days after the rain stopped.

So, why would they do something so dumb? Everything I've read warns against doing this. Common sense says all kinds of crap would get into the drain, such as granules from the shingles, leaves, pine needles, and who knows what other gunk. Not to mention dumping this much water next to the footings, if there's a leak, could undermine the foundation.

I've capped the downspout 'collectors' and run the spouts 10' above ground; but how would I find out if there is damage to the footing drains?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Footing drains and downspouts

If they drain clear water at the outlet there is unlikely to be a problem.


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RE: Footing drains and downspouts

Thanks Brickeyee. The water is/was indeed clear. The backing up only occurred once after a quick thaw (12+" snow melting in one afternoon), and again after the aforementioned deluge. Apparently it's able to handle a moderate rainfall. Anyway, I've separated downspouts form the footing drains; I'll see what happens come spring.


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