Storm Drains & Covers
Storm drains prevent water from building up on the pavement and in your garden. Standing water is a health hazard, so it’s important to install a storm drain wherever you notice water begin pooling. Depending on your circumstance, you may need on of the following drains:
- Outdoor Drain: A solid cover option for your storm grate, an outdoor drain is also useful as it helps to protect the environment by preventing chemical spill off from entering the water supply.
- Channel Drain: Traditional choices for outdoor areas such as driveways and curbs, channel drain grates, also known as trench drain grates, are commonly made using polyethylene to resist erosion.
- Round Drains: Often found on patios, pool areas and lawns, and made of stainless steel or polyethylene, round drains come in smaller diameters and are a low-profile way to reduce standing water.
- Atrium Grate: A great addition to your outdoor planter bed, install a drain with an atrium grate where excess water builds up to redirect it to the curb. Typically designed in synthetic materials, this type of grate is elevated for easy access and clearing.
Set The Dry Well In Place
Lower the dry well into the hole after wrapping the sides with a special silt blocking landscape fabric. To tuck the fabric under the dry well top cover, loosen the screws, push an inch of fabric under the cover, then re-tighten the screws. Once its lowered into place, insert the top drain fitting and make sure its level with the surrounding soil. Our situation is a low spot in the back yard. The only practical place to drain the puddle was along the garage and then into a downward-sloping hill toward the front yard. Instead of draining all the water to the front yard, however, we decided to install a dry well, which is merely a holding tank for a large water runoff. After a rain, it slowly drains itself into the surrounding soil.
We also connected a 4-in. perforated drain tube to the side of the dry well to help drain off and percolate overflow water. This tube rests on a bed of 3 to 4 in. of crushed rock or small river stone and slopes downhill from the dry well. A sock sleeve made of a rot-resistant fabric is slid over the tube to filter out any small grains of soil that would otherwise eventually collect in and clog the tube.
Attach A Cover Over The End Of The Tube
Screw a drain cover over the end of the tubing as it approaches daylight to keep critters out. To prevent erosion, make a rock bed around the end of the tube. Where the tube passes by the downspout from the gutter, we installed a Y-fitting and drained the roof water from the gutter system directly into the main drainage line. That line eventually emptied into the low spot in the back yard. Once all the parts of the drainage system were installed, we covered the tubes with several inches of rock. We then covered the rock with landscape filter fabric and finally tamped the soil to the surrounding grade over the rock and fabric. This meant digging, and lots of it! Theres no magic number for the depth of your trench.
Figure that youll need at least 3 in. of gravel under the 4-in. tube, 3 in. on top of the tube and about 6 in. of soil over that. Also, figure in whatever slope you need to get to the low spot.
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Slope The Trench To Ensure Proper Drainage
Measure the depth of your trench using a line level. Pound a stake in near the house to use as a reference point. Tie the string exactly level to each stake and measure the depth. Youll need to increase the depth as you get farther from the well. Adjust the gravel at the base of the trench as needed.
Dig An Adjoining Trench
Dig the trench deep enough to drain downhill from the side of the dry well. Youll also need at least 3 in. of crushed rock to add to the bottom of the trench to promote water absorption. Assuming your lot isnt shaped like a large salad bowl with the house at the bottom center, look for a spot thats lower than the house to drain the excess water. If one of those spots is right next to your neighbors garage, resist the temptation. If the lay of the land isnt obvious, use a line level with stakes and a tape measure to check for water escape routes. Remember, you might not be able to use all the techniques we show, so pick those that best meet your needs.
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Find Your Replacement Drain & Cover At Ace Today
Looking for a drain cover or other plumbing essentials? Stop by your local Ace Hardware for expert advice from our helpful staff and find everything from indoor and outdoor drain grates, kitchen garbage disposal parts, plumbing tools and more. Find these plumbing supplies and more all from our in-house line and other top brands like SharkBite and Korky.
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Indoor Drains & Covers
There are many different types of drain stoppers for use in your bathroom, kitchen or workshop. The pop-up or toe-touch drain assembly is a convenient choice for the bathtub, letting you seal and unseal your drain in a flash by simply pushing it. If you’re tired of clogged bathtubs, try a silicone hair catcher plug as a replacement for the standard grate: It’s easy to insert, remove and clean.
And if you have a busy workshop, floor drain covers are a necessity. These are typically made in epoxy-coated cast iron and are loosely set, making them easy to remove for regular drain maintenance.
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Some Soils Are Tough To Dig
The soil we dug up for our 70-ft. long trench and dry well was among the worst for digging. The mostly clay soil was full of 4- to 8-in. fieldstonea far cry from the ideal sand soil. The digging took me and a helper two solid days of backbreaking labor. With any luck, yours will be a lot easier to dig, but be prepared. Get a large chisel-point bar to pry stones out of the way just to make room for each shovelful.
Determine The Source Of Your Water Problem
In most cases, its pretty obvious where the water is coming from. Often theres a slope approaching the house, a depression in the yard that causes pooling, or excess roof water draining next to the foundation. You can take care of minor foundation drainage problems by making sure the soil slopes away from the house.
Also, properly installed gutters, with a well-directed downspout that empties clear of the foundation, can be very effective. If youve already zeroed in on those solutions and still need help, stick with this article.
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Buy Everything You Need For This Job At A Home Center
The dry well we used has a capacity of nearly 30 gallons. This unit can also be stacked on top of or alongside another if you need extra holding capacity. The dry well is very strong, and once you bury it, you can drive your car over it without breaking it. In fact, the dry well can be installed under a driveway. The drain inlet at the top is optional.
You can also choose to: drain water directly into the side port of the unit from a run of perforated or unperforated drain tubing, link two or more dry well units together, or use it independently with a top drain for small pooling areas. You can purchase snap-together tube in 10-ft. lengths as we did or buy a 50-ft. roll, which is difficult to transport. Youll find the tube is available in either perforated or unperforated.
Choose a perforated tube if youd like it to drain as it carries water. However, if you only want the tube to deliver water from one spot to another, buy unperforated tubing and dont use a sock. The sock is typically sold in 100-ft. lengths. You can also buy a wide assortment of fittings to connect lines, as well as a fitting to attach to your downspout. The materials for this system cost about $200. We spent another $200 for 2 cu. yds. of crushed rock delivered to our driveway.
Before going to the home center, make sure youve got a good shovel, a string line and level, and a solid wheelbarrow. If you dont, buy them.
The Importance Of Drain Grates
A plumbing necessity, the function of a drain grate is to allow water to flow through while trapping larger particles outside the pipe. This is an effective way to maintain your drain and reduce the need for repairs. Covers are important because they provide a simple way to block off a drain completely when you need to. They’re good for combination shower and tub situations when you want to take a bath, and are also good for preventing chemicals from running down storm drains.
Keep in mind that your drain grate should fit its intended drain and that it is properly installed so that it works as needed.
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