Working as drainage specialists for over a quarter of a century, we have learned that several factors go into an effective drainage solution. Understanding the problem, creating the best design, and providing a professional installation are key ingredients, but using quality materials correctly suited for the project are just as important.
Drainage pipe comes in lots of sizes and types. Weaver and Associates uses pipe that is suited for the job and will continue to perform for years to come.
You have probably seen, for example, the black, corrugated pipe found in most retail home improvement stores. Many contractors use this pipe because it is very inexpensive, but it is not our first choice. Through the years, debris and dirt will begin to obstruct the flow in most drainage pipes, so at some point in the future, it will need to be cleaned out. This is usually done with a cleanout snake that a plumber or rotor-rooter type company will use. However, such a tool can actually cut into the black, thin- walled, corrugated pipe that is found at most retail stores.
Pipe with a thicker, smooth interior wall works best. The flow rate is greater and a cleanout snake can be used without harming the system.
A good drainage contractor can evaluate the site conditions and design parameters and choose the type of pipe that is best suited for your particular situation. The wrong pipe can actually result in a drainage solution becoming a project nightmare.
Surface water is typically collected in boxes buried in the ground whose top is installed level with the soil. These boxes, usually made of rigid PVC, are called catch basins. The soil is sloped towards the basin, and water flows across the soil and through grate material placed on the top of the basin. After it enters the basin, it enters a pipe attached to it and flows with the pipe.
We have found that doing a little “fortune telling” is important when choosing the best catch basins. Through the years, debris and dirt will build up in the basins. They do need to be maintained and kept as clean as possible, but most home owners are busy with their daily routines, and don’t have the time to check their drainage system every few days. It is important, therefore, that the basins can be counted on for adequate flow of water for the long haul, not just immediately after installation.
Choosing the right size basin is a must. If it is too small, the volume of water that the system can handle will diminish as debris collects in the basin.
The grating material on top of the basin should be adequate as well. Grass clippings and other yard debris can quickly clog up the conventional plastic grates that you see at most stores. We have found that metal grates have about two and one half times the space for debris to pass through and into the system. If the grates, basins, and pipe are sized correctly, the small debris that clogs most systems will simply pass into and through the system.
Sometimes it is necessary to use a pump in a drainage system. We use pumps that have a good warranty and are capable of discharging collected water at a minimum of 70 to 80 gallons per minute. In most applications, that discharge rate is quite adequate.
No matter what size pump is necessary, Weaver and Associates can usually give the customer the option of using a pump with a lifetime guaranty. Although it costs more, you will only pay for it once.
Regardless of the size drainage problem that you have, we think you should have to pay for a solution only one time. Using the right materials – materials that will perform well for years – is a large part of making that happen.