How To Install A Pop-Up Drainage Emitter To Keep Water Away From Your Home's Exterior

Keeping moisture away from the exterior walls of your home's basement is an important step in the fight against interior flooding. Unfortunately, while basements often utilize drain tile to help capture excess water, rain runoff during storms can lead to enormous amounts of water being dumped into the soil next to the home's exterior. A gutter system can help control the flow of water, but downspouts merely concentrate rainwater in one spot near the home. That's why it is important to divert the water to a location away from the home; one way to accomplish this is by using pop-up drainage emitters. These handy systems redistribute rainwater to a remote location where it is needed. Below is how to install a pop-up emitter on your property:

Tools and materials needed

  • 3-inch diameter corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) drain pipe
  • 4-inch diameter pop-up drainage emitter with elbow coupling
  • Gravel or rock chips screened to ½-inch diameter
  • Silicone sealant
  • Shovel
  • Corrugated downspout connector
  • ⅛-inch diameter sheet metal screws
  • Electric drill with 1/16-inch diameter bit
  • Tape measure
  • Hacksaw

Step-by-step installation procedure

1. Determine where you wish to place the pop-up drainage emitter - The most important factor in choosing where to place the emitter is the distance from your home. At a minimum, the emitter should be no closer than thirty feet from the nearest exterior wall, and further away is better. As for other considerations, think about which areas of your property require more irrigation than others; for example, a garden that needs frequent watering may benefit from the extra water provided during a storm. In addition, place pop-up emitters in locations where they are away from heavy foot traffic in order to prevent tripping and accidental damage to the emitters.

Once you have determined where to place the pop-up emitter, measure the distance from your chosen spot to the nearest downspout; this will determine how many feet of HDPE drain pipe you need to buy. Cut the pipe to length using a hacksaw.

2. Dig the drain pipe trench - After choosing the location for the pop-up emitter, you can begin digging a shallow trench between the downspout and the emitter. The trench should be dug to a depth of 2-feet and a width of 6-to-8 inches and either be made level or sloped downward while leading away from the house. Though this depth is relatively shallow, be careful not to cut any buried cables or lines while digging. Always contact your state's utility location service, and representatives will locate and mark buried utilities.

After the trench has been dug, place a 2-inch deep layer of gravel or rock chips on the bottom of the trench to provide support for the drain pipe. Level the gravel as much as possible to provide an even, stable surface for the pipe.

3. Attach the drain pipe to the downspout - Attach the downspout connector to the end of your downspout using sheet metal screws and seal the joint with silicone sealant to prevent leaks. At the other end, slip the drain pipe over the connector and apply a line of silicone to increase the adhesion between the two components.

4. Lay the drain pipe and install the pop-up emitter - Once the drain pipe is connected to the downspout, lay the length of the pipe in the trench. Be sure the pipe is kept unkinked and uncoiled inside the trench. At the far end of the drain pipe, attach the pop-up drainage emitter to the pipe and use an application of silicone sealant to add strength to the joint.

5. Bury the pipe and emitter - After the connector, pipe and emitter have been assembled and placed in the trench, begin filling the trench with the soil you removed in step 2. All gaps and voids around the pipe should be filled-in carefully to prevent subsidence and possible damage to the pipe. When filling in the soil around the emitter, keep the pop-up top as low to the surface of the ground as possible to prevent damage from lawn mower strikes and other accidental contact.

If you'd like help with this or other drainage projects, contact a local company like Rite-Way Waterproofing

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