Finding a buried plastic pipe

   #1  

Travelover

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My house is built half way down a hill and in recent storms I've started getting a little water in the basement. The grade near the house is OK and I have downspout extensions, clean gutters, etc.

It occurred to me that the 4" corrugated plastic pipe that drains the foundation used to stick up out of the ground near the creek that flows through my property. Over the years, the end of the pipe has disappeared as the creek has deposited silt in the area. Also small brush has grown up in this area.

I tried running a string across where I was sure it must cross and probing along the string as deep as I could (about 18") with a 3/8" steel rod, but there are a lot of roots etc in the area and I was unsuccessful in finding it. The area is swampy enough that I can't get my tractor in there to, for instance, pull a subsoiler bar through the earth.

The top end of the pipe is buried 4 feet in the ground at the foundation footer, so I can't easily insert something like a steel cable or sound source from that end. I know some will suggest water witching, but I've never gotten it to work for me and I'm especially skeptical for plastic pipe.

Any additional suggestions?
 
   #2  

beenthere

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Dig a trench perpendicular across where the pipe is likely to be located. Then you will intersect it and can get something in it to clean it out.

I had to do this to find a buried septic tank lid, when it was -15 deg F and I had no idea where it was located. Finally found it about 5 1/2 below the surface. All I had was a pick and a shovel to dig with.
 
   #3  

jmanatee2

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This spring I had the same situation, well except that it wasn't a stream that made the deposits covering the footing drain. It was me. We leveled a fairly large area of sloped ground covering the pipe completely. (We just moved in to the house and didn't know there was a footing drain pipe there).

Anyway This spring with all the rain the basement flooded :(

Having no idea where the pipe was I decided to dig a trench perpendicular to how I thought the pipe traveled. I was about 60' away from the house and about 25' away from where the pipe use to exit (reach the surface).

There was still frost in the ground, I had to dig a trench about 20' long 2' wide 3 - 4' deep before I finally hit the pipe. I knew it immediately because the trench filled with water.

I then turned the machine and started digging in the direction of where the pipe would exit the bank. now about 50'. and let the water drain for a day.
The water kept flowing and flowing....

Because we had a muddy floor on the bottom of the trench and I knew if I put the pipe in it would either be broken of not follow correct flow... We got 5 yds of 3/4" gravel. Once the bottom of the trench was close to the correct grade (I did 1.25" per 10'). we put gravel on the bottom of the trench filling the mud until it was solid and then laid the pipe on the gravel and then carefully back filled around the pipe with more gravel (basically the sides and barely covering the top of the pipe). This held the pipe firmly in place and then we carefully back filled with the dirt we removed (Making sure that any large rocks were not in contact with the pipe).

Amazing how much water flows out of the pipe! It is no wonder that our basement flooded.
 
  
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#4  
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Travelover

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I agree that a trench would do it. Problem is that it is so wet that even a tracked trencher might get stuck and I'm too lazy to dig that much trench by hand :D.

It may dry up enough by this late summer that I could get my tractor in there or a trencher, but I was hopin' for an alternative solution.
 
   #5  

barkerlakebob

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Try some die if you can.........just put it in one end if possible and eventually it will come out the other.:thumbsup:
 
   #6  

beenthere

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I agree that a trench would do it. Problem is that it is so wet that even a tracked trencher might get stuck and I'm too lazy to dig that much trench by hand :D.
.......

Is it wet the full length of the buried pipe? I was thinking it wasn't and you could transect across the pipe some ways above the wet area.
 
  
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#7  
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Travelover

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Is it wet the full length of the buried pipe? I was thinking it wasn't and you could transect across the pipe some ways above the wet area.

The pipe starts out 4 feet underground midway up the hill, then descends to the creek level were it used to be visible. I'm not sure how deep it is buried between the start and end, but I suspect it is a lot deeper in the hillside than it is once it hits the flood plain. Also, the hillside is wooded now, so any trenching would be most practical between the base of the hill and the creek.

The dye idea is interesting. How could I best get it down to the pipe inlet? Maybe dig a hole next to the foundation, pour in some dye and a bunch of water?
 
   #8  

boomer1025

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Do you have any cellar floor drains ? They usually tie into the footer drain.
 
   #9  

barkerlakebob

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The pipe starts out 4 feet underground midway up the hill, then descends to the creek level were it used to be visible. I'm not sure how deep it is buried between the start and end, but I suspect it is a lot deeper in the hillside than it is once it hits the flood plain. Also, the hillside is wooded now, so any trenching would be most practical between the base of the hill and the creek.

The dye idea is interesting. How could I best get it down to the pipe inlet? Maybe dig a hole next to the foundation, pour in some dye and a bunch of water?

I would suggest a small hole near the foundation and pour the dye in.....eventually it should find its way into the pipe. Good luck !!
 

trailbuilder

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ask a plumber with a locator to send in a snake and track it....might cost a few bucks but won't dig up the lawn or field which is wet anyway.
 
 
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