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Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-12-2013, 7:23 AM Reply   
I am building a retaining wall with a drain tile system behind it. I picked up the drain tile from menards. My questions is, are these perforations really large enough for water to effectively enter the pipe? Should they be enlargend? Maybe poke some holes with a 1/4" drill bit?

My thought is that the water will easily by-pass the perforations and just travel down to the bottom of my rock bed and eventually into my compacted gravel base and possibly disturb the base. That seems to be the path of least resistance for the water before it would ever seep into the small slits in the pipe... Or am I missing something??

I just want this done right the first time!
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Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-12-2013, 9:15 AM Reply   
Don't the holes go on the bottom?
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       09-12-2013, 10:45 AM Reply

Or if that doesn't work, my Google query was

perforated drain pipe holes up or down
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-12-2013, 12:35 PM Reply   
The perforations go 360 degrees around the pipe. I was more concerned about the "thoroughness" of the perforations. It just doesn't seem water can easily enter through that slit. Its about the equivalent of someone stabbing it with a utility knife.
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       09-12-2013, 3:16 PM Reply   
I understood your basic question, 'do slits look wrong compared to punched holes.?' But you also said, 'I just want this done right the first time!'

I've trenched a trench and buried 200 feet of perf pipe twice in my life ... and I'm not a tradesman. My suggestion is, you might be doing it wrong for reasons other than the slits.
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-12-2013, 4:09 PM Reply   
do tell...
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-12-2013, 4:11 PM Reply   
My guess is that the pipe has the necessary perforations. It's a tradeoff between hole size and soil getting into the pipe and clogging it up. The more holes you put in the pipe the quicker it will fill up with dirt. Well sand points have very fine slits in them and a lot of water gets through.
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-12-2013, 4:40 PM Reply   
Hopefully it works. I've read numerous procedures on how to do this and they all seem to have some reason or another for a deviation from one practice to the next.

When I picked the stuff up, I just kinda though the "perforations" were a joke compared to some pictures I have seen on the web of other drain pipes. Who knows, maybe the PVC stuff is the better route with only the larger holes on the bottom.
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       09-12-2013, 6:00 PM Reply   
This is taken from something I read awhile ago about the subject and I can't really word it better.

The drain pipe behind the wall does not perform the same task as say, a drain pipe leading water away from a house tied to a downspout....

The purpose of the drain pipe is to evacuate excess water pressure......not necessarily excess water. The pipe basically is acting like a sponge, sucking out the excess water and then ejecting it out the opening. What happens with a perforated pipe is the water isn't being taken away, but more or less 'distributed evenly' across the back side of the other words, it is likely that one spot behind the wall may have more water than others. The perforated pipe more or less distributes areas of high saturation to areas of lesser. In a drastic situation, when the entire area behind the wall becomes saturated, it then flows out of the pipe where it is day lighted.

Also, perf pipe can crush under the pressure of the back fill. Ridgid perf pipe is better. We also lay down filter fabric in the bottom of the trench oe behind the wall and do a layer of washed rock down, then the pipe, then more rock and wrap the whole thing like a big burrito. This will keep everything free of silt. I have built multiple houses in Seattle on steep side slopes and this is what we did at the footings.

Hope this helps.
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-12-2013, 7:43 PM Reply   
That makes sense. I was having a hard time imagining how effective it would be at draining water. But like your explanation states, its only draining water in extreme situations.

This particular wall will be about 48" above grade at its highest point and over 20' it progressively decreases in height down to being at grade. I did basically as you described with the clean rock layer essentially wrapped in landscape fabric with my drain pipe almost at the bottom (sitting on a 4" bed if rock at the highest point and sloping down to where its daylighted)
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       09-13-2013, 5:07 AM Reply   
I would think you will be fine.

To prove the method I described works, a couple of years ago a 2" water ling broke above a 13' tall retaining wall. The wall was sprayed with waterproofing (which is more like damp proofing) had a layer of drain mat and the described foundation drain installed on top of the footing and also at the bottom. The water line was under roughly 75 psi and we didn't find the break for 4 days. The water undermined a set of concrete steps going around the house and the front porch and all the flag stone dropped almost 18" When I went into the crawl space expecting to see a disaster it was bone dry.


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