Experience in Replacing a Clay Drainage Pipe?

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Topic: Experience in Replacing a Clay Drainage Pipe?

Home and Garden April 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Experience in Replacing a Clay Drainage Pipe?

We have a large clay drainage pipe in the front yard of our rowhouse into which our rain gutter feeds. We are pretty sure either a tree root has broken into the pipe, or else it’s clogged with years of dirt. The water does drain, but very slowly, and we noticed that one corner of our basement gets wet occasionally (the brick wall directly adjacent to the pipe appears damp and mildewy). Just curious if anyone has tried to replace a similar pipe themselves, and has any advice for us.
Our thought is to dig a little big around the pipe and see if we can see the problem, before calling in the professionals. Has anyone done this either by themselves or through a professional plumber? Any help would be appreciated.

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We disconnected our downspout from the clay pipe completely, attached some perforated pipe and buried it in the front yard. if you have good drainage this is a better option than repairing the pipe. DC likes it when homeowners reroute downspouts like this – it eases the burden on the storm water system. Sign up for the DC RiverSmart Homes program, and someone will come build a proper rain garden for $75. ddoe.dc.gov/riversmarthomes

What we did initially was connect the downspout to a long piece of tubing – black, looks like the perf pipe but no perforations – long enough so the end was in the middle of our little front garden. when it rains, some of the runoff was absorbed, some ran off the top, over the retaining wall and onto the sidewalk. When we had our RiverSmart audit, it got the blessing of the auditor. We buried it recently, because it was a total slug farm under the pipe last year. Our front garden is small too – maybe 9′ x 10′.

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