After my house flooded from I thought I would share what I've learned


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Hi Folks,

You guys have always been helpful with my pond issues I've had so I thought I would share what I've learned after my house flooded.

First the damage. 3 bedrooms, 3 closets and 2 bathrooms plus a hallway. All flooded in just 30 minutes by 3 inches of water during that time period.












Video of the disaster where the drainage system failed. Time Lapsed over 30 minutes



What was installed. (and still is for the moment)



And first let me tell you what kind of "defenses" I had in place. Bear in mind we did an overhaul exactly a year ago and spent 4500 dollars. This is what we have now that did not work:

A french drain 4 inch perforated pipe and next to it a 4 inch corrugated pipe carrying water from 3 gutter downspouts. 2 catch basins with one sump pump with a 2 inch line exhaust pipe and next to it a 4 inch corrugated pop up pipe for the gutters along with one main line for the rest of the water to the front sidewalk.

Now I told the drain guy we hired I wanted a separate line for the gutter water because everyone will tell you the water form the roof is many times over larger than the water coming from the ground just in surface area alone. I couldn't be there to watch him that day and he really screwed me. He did run the line for the gutters but he attached it to the main line as well so if the main line backed up it would back up the other line too. Also, he ran the pop up pipe for the gutter water next to the exit line for the sump pump. Now think about that for a second. So when the sump pump is running it creates a nice little puddle so when the pop up is draining, it is overwhelmed by the sump pump water. Yes this guy was a genius.

This system above is adequate for regular rain and short time heavy rain but for torrential rain it cannot keep up.

What will be installed.



One of the reasons I'm writing this is the amount of money at stake. This is most likely going to cost us 7-8 grand so any tips or tricks I can pass along to the good people here I'm more than willing to do.

All of the 4 inch pipe both the corrugated and perforated 4 inch pipe and the sump pump will be removed. The catch basins will also be removed and larger catch basins installed along with the number of them tripiled. They will take the place of the perforated pipe to collect the ground water and whisk it to the street. The main drain will be a 6 inch PVC pipe which will drain both the roof and ground water and exit at the street in 3 main drains at the sidewalk. The reason for 3 is because of the volume of water that will be coming out of the 6 inch pipe.

One of the benefits is that the sump pump will no longer be needed which means if the power goes out the drainage system will continue to be effective.


Corrugated pipe vs PVC pipe. Every single drain guy I have called to look at this disaster said no one uses Corrugated pipe anymore because its too flexible and has ridges that slow water down from draining. I know this to be true because I poked a camera down from street and ran it back to the beginning of the drain after the storm and there were puddles everywhere inside the pipe that never do drain. Its also more prone to roots getting in because its thinner. PVC pipe is far more rigid and the water can flow much faster through it making it the ideal choice for drainage.

Catch Basins vs French drain

As I said before a French drain is a perforated pipe to allow water to seep in and be carried out. It is designed for low flow water ONLY. Catch basins are basically plastic hollow boxes with a 4 inch exit at the bottom with a green grid on top. They are designed to attach directly to pvc pipe for maximum drainage away from your foundation which is why they are greatly preferred over French drains for drainage of heavy rain water.


I'm sorry this is so long and if you made it this far well done :D
 
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I know how you feel with a flooded house. I had my sump pump fail during a storm that dumped 8 inches of rain. Came home to 7 inches of water in a finished basement.I ended up pulling one of the 4,000 gph pond pumps and connecting to the discharge pipe and it took 2 hours to pump out the water, Best of luck with the rework of the drain system. I don't really have any suggestions for you though.
 
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I know how you feel with a flooded house. I had my sump pump fail during a storm that dumped 8 inches of rain. Came home to 7 inches of water in a finished basement.I ended up pulling one of the 4,000 gph pond pumps and connecting to the discharge pipe and it took 2 hours to pump out the water, Best of luck with the rework of the drain system. I don't really have any suggestions for you though.
8 inches wow! We don't have basements down here unfortunately because of the clay soil.
 
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Good plan. I second your decision to use pvc. The water really screams through them versus the corrugated pipe. Also, corrugated pipe joints leak and the water from the leaks has a tendency to fill the voids left in the backfill and run back the trench to your house. I had to replace all of my builder installed corrugated pipe for this reason. Also, if you have armadillos, they like to dig holes around your foundation, and in my case, dug right through the corrugated drain line. Just another reason to not like armadillos.
 
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Good plan. I second your decision to use pvc. The water really screams through them versus the corrugated pipe. Also, corrugated pipe joints leak and the water from the leaks has a tendency to fill the voids left in the backfill and run back the trench to your house. I had to replace all of my builder installed corrugated pipe for this reason. Also, if you have armadillos, they like to dig holes around your foundation, and in my case, dug right through the corrugated drain line. Just another reason to not like armadillos.
Unfortunately we are required by law to like Armadillos (state animal) but thank God there aren't any around here! I've heard of the same horror stories about those little guys from others out west.

Great point about the joints being weak too for corrugated pipe!
 

addy1

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So sorry for your loss @texmaster water is so distructive.

I am so happy our house is on a hill, at the top of the hill. Made pond building difficult, but the water sure flows away from us. We have flooding everywhere again. 3 inches fell on Wednesday/Thursday. This has been the 4th wettest summer in history.
 

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Our house too is on a hill and am so thankful. I'll never buy a house in the lowlands again! Nice of you to share all that info and I hope it will be used by any who could end up in the same situation as @texmaster . I hope you can make everything nice again @texmaster and fix it so it can't happen again!
Now if we have a huge earthquake here we will have a big problem! House is built to w/stand regular quakes but a big one will do us all in! We will have waterfront property if that's a plus?
 
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Just one more comment, without knowing the volume of water you could potentially be dealing with, it is hard to determine if the 6" PVC will handle the expected max volume.
 
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One more thought, you should put a box in where the 6” line connects to the three 4” lines to the street. Because that transition will be prone to clogging up and you will need a way to clean it out. I would terminate the 6” in a box and then start your three 4” lines out the other side. This will also let you easily check to make sure it is all open when you are expecting a big storm.
 
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Just one more comment, without knowing the volume of water you could potentially be dealing with, it is hard to determine if the 6" PVC will handle the expected max volume.
The drainage guy did the math on that. I can only hope he's correct.
 

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@texmaster We are getting dumped on right now in NWLA and I was thinking about you. Checked weather radar and it looks like what’s getting us has come up from the TX Gulf coast, traveling NE and is missing the Dallas area. Hope you don’t have any more flooding before you get this all worked out.
 

sissy

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all my gutters have extensions that lead them away from my house by at least 50 to 60 feet .But on small lots with lots of houses the water really has no place to go .I have never had water in my basement ,yet others here have because the gutters dump right next to the foundations and they have the land but do nothing about it
 
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@texmaster We are getting dumped on right now in NWLA and I was thinking about you. Checked weather radar and it looks like what’s getting us has come up from the TX Gulf coast, traveling NE and is missing the Dallas area. Hope you don’t have any more flooding before you get this all worked out.
Thanks @Mmathis !!

I hope so too. I do have my redneck emergency solution. I've rigged a sump pump to one of those plug in remotes so if we get hit again I can or my son can stand out on the porch and hit that remote if it gets bad. We like it. The women of the house want no part of it :)



 

addy1

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All of our house gutters feed into black drain pipes. Takes the water away from the house, down to the pond. Most of the gutter feed goes into the pond. Gives it good water changes with every storm.
 
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.I have never had water in my basement ,yet others here have because the gutters dump right next to the foundations and they have the land but do nothing about it
:unsure: I mentioned water getting into my basement, gutters don't dump onto foundation either as they collect rain into barrels. Doing nothing about a problem like flooding is not how I would characterize my family.
 

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