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  • Nick Veilleux

How to Properly Install Downspout Drains!

Step 1:

Call 811

Before any digging make sure to contact 811! 811 will come to your property and mark off any utility lines that you may run into while digging. This will help you get a plan ready for the drainage routes.

Step 2:

Create a Plan

Scout out all the downspouts around the property and decide where you want to run the piping; whether it is to the street, a ditch, pond, dry well, or lower area of the property. You will need to find an area low enough to maintain a 1% slope or enough slope for water to drain easily.

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Along with your plan you will measure the area out and find out how many feet of piping you will need and if you need any attachments, couplings, etc

Step 3:

Choosing the Correct Piping

For downspout drains it is most common to either use 4" corrugated solid black piping or 4" PVC solid piping. Both options work great, however, here at Nick of All Trades Landscaping LLC we typically go with the 4" Solid PVC Pipe.

Pros for Black Corrugated Piping:


-Easier to Maneuver

-Easier to Use

-Can be purchased in Large Pieces

Cons for Black Corrugated Piping:

-Less Durability

-Difficult to Clean out if Clogged

-Less Water Flow

Pros for PVC Piping:

-High Durability

-Easy to Clean out

-Smooth Design Encourages Water Flow

Cons for PVC Piping:

-More Expensive

-More Difficult to Maneuver around Roots, Stumps, Rocks, etc

-Can Only Be Purchased in Pieces

-More Difficult to Install/Connect

Step 4:

Get Your Supplies

Once you decide which pipe you are going to use and you have a plan with measurements, purchase the supplies. You are going to want to calculate how many pipe pieces, connectors, couplings, and adapters you will need. It is smart to buy a few extra.

Step 5:

Dig a Trench and Install

Dig a trench 8 inches deep and 5 inches wide with a slope of 1%. If the property doesn't have a natural slope then you will have to trench a slope. Once you have your trench dug, start by placing a catch basin or other debris preventative box directly under the downspout. To keep small debris out put a small screen over the top of the catch basin. Connect the pipe pieces together and lay the pipe into the trench. Then connect the final pieces, check with a hand level/pour water from the top and make sure it reaches the end spot, and then Refill the trench with dirt.

Now rest easy knowing your downspouts are clear of your home!

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