Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Downspouts are buried in the ground
6 posts / 0 new
Last post
50sranchgirl
Downspouts are buried in the ground

My home has almost all of the gutter downspouts buried into the ground next to the house, is this normal? The home was built in the 50's and I am not sure if this was how it was done then but, it doesn't seem like a good idea to me. The last house we lived in was built in 2002 and all the downspouts were above the ground. We do experience some minor water in the basement when there is a heavy rain, could it be caused by the gutters? Should we change the way they drain or just leave them?

Thanks!

Timothy Miller
Re: Downspouts are buried in the ground

Howdy, where does the buried pipes go? Some times they just open into a planter or the grass and the ends get encapsulated with growth and debris which would allow water to not drain. Other times they are in a perimeter drain system. After a rain do you see any wet spots about 4 to 8' from the down spout in the lawn? If so dig gently to locate the end of the pipe and expose it to drain.
Burying the down spout makes for less tripping and not having to move it to mow...

KCPumpkinStalker
Re: Downspouts are buried in the ground

My house is 75 years old. I had some water issues by one of my gutters and in digging up the area underneath it I found clay pipe burried. I'm a youngin, but I have heard from others that they used to run into the sewer (now against code).

A. Spruce
Re: Downspouts are buried in the ground

The downspouts should be going into a drainage system of some sort. I personally prefer to use a receptacle box with a grate to keep the downspouts above ground and accessible. This way you can remove the downspouts for cleaning as necessary (which is next to impossible if buried such as yours ), and the grate can be removed from the receptacle box to remove debris or snake the line if necessary. The grate also keeps leaves and large debris from entering the drain system, particularly important if the drains go to a French drain or drywell of some sort.

canuk
Re: Downspouts are buried in the ground
50sranchgirl wrote:

My home has almost all of the gutter downspouts buried into the ground next to the house, is this normal? The home was built in the 50's and I am not sure if this was how it was done then but, it doesn't seem like a good idea to me. The last house we lived in was built in 2002 and all the downspouts were above the ground. We do experience some minor water in the basement when there is a heavy rain, could it be caused by the gutters? Should we change the way they drain or just leave them?

Thanks!

In many areas this practice has been abondoned and discourged continuing the use of existing.
For decades around here this method has been banned for houses built till current.
The main reason is the older municipal storm drain and sewer are a single system and running the down spouts into the drains overwhelms this type of system.

Another issue is many types of these older down pipe systems going down into the ground were clay and times cast iron pipes which crack or break over the years.
When the the gutters drain into these cracked or broken pipes concentrate all that water around the foundation which will cause water infiltration issues with basements.
It would be best to remove or seal these underground drain pipes and extend your downpipes ou ino he yard .... at leas 3 feet or more to direct the water away from the foundation.

Just a thought. :)

samsmom
Re: Downspouts are buried in the ground

This won't help you much but I thought you would enjoy our experience. When we moved in to our house we saw pvc (pcv? I can never remember which) :o going under the fence from our neighbor's yard ending in our yard. It seemed that a previous owner to their house buried their downspouts and had them drain into our yard! Problem solved! When we talked to the neighbors about it they happily changed it.

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.