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Finding storm water pipe

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  1. #1
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    Default Finding storm water pipe

    Hi,

    We have a blocked (handles small amount of water, but not a lot - though does eventually drain away) storm water pipe. We use to have a big jacaranda tree (gone now which had aggressive roots, so I'm suspecting that is the cause.

    I've looked on the dial before you dig website, it shows a sewer pipe (and attachment point) that runs parallel to the back fence (the block slopes down to the back fence), but there is no indication of a storm water pipe. On the other side of the back fence is another house and then a street, the street looks like it has storm water running from the gutter. Is it possible that my storm water flows out onto that gutter ?

    The storm water pipe at the house end is about 10 - 15 metres to the back fence (the first 5 metres is pavers). I'm comfortable in replacing pvc (the joys of pool ownership), but whats the best way to work out where the storm water pipe is ? The options i can think of

    - dig a trench from the house following the pipe - yikes
    - dig a trench parallel to the back fence and hopefully jag it
    - check with council ? would they have records of this ?
    - pay for someone to come and clear the pipe and use there gear to locate the pipes location - $400 - $500
    - walk around with a wire coat hanger
    - anything else ?

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by raging View Post
    Hi,

    We have a blocked (handles small amount of water, but not a lot - though does eventually drain away) storm water pipe. We use to have a big jacaranda tree (gone now which had aggressive roots, so I'm suspecting that is the cause.

    I've looked on the dial before you dig website, it shows a sewer pipe (and attachment point) that runs parallel to the back fence (the block slopes down to the back fence), but there is no indication of a storm water pipe. On the other side of the back fence is another house and then a street, the street looks like it has storm water running from the gutter. Is it possible that my storm water flows out onto that gutter ?

    The storm water pipe at the house end is about 10 - 15 metres to the back fence (the first 5 metres is pavers). I'm comfortable in replacing pvc (the joys of pool ownership), but whats the best way to work out where the storm water pipe is ? The options i can think of

    1- dig a trench from the house following the pipe - yikes
    2- dig a trench parallel to the back fence and hopefully jag it
    3- check with council ? would they have records of this ?
    4- pay for someone to come and clear the pipe and use there gear to locate the pipes location - $400 - $500
    5- walk around with a wire coat hanger
    6- anything else ?

    Cheers

    Re your questions/suggestions above
    1 Possibility
    2 Probably waste of time because 99% chance your drain goes into a soakage pit and not through your neighbours drain, but one way to find out is go into their street on a dry day, make sure no water is coming from their drain, run a hose into your drain for 15 minutes, then walk around to their street again and check for water coming out of their drain.
    3 99.9% no
    4 Your choice
    5 Can't answer to this
    6 See 2, also there are pipe and cable locators who can feed a cable down the drain then trace it from above ground, so you might want to try one of them, however, if the drain is blocked, they might not be able to run the cable far enough.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
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    Great suggestion around running a hose down and inspecting the street, I'll do that tonight.

  4. #4
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    It sounds hoo-doo voodoo but try Dowsing. Make two L shaped bits of wire, poke 'em in front of you, when you come across a pipe they will cross each other.
    Sounds like BS but I've found many a buried pipe with this technique. I even mapped out complex irrigation pipes on a farm (all confirmed via digging).

  5. #5
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuckCommander View Post
    It sounds hoo-doo voodoo but try Dowsing.
    I always thought the same. Till I tried it and it indeed does work

  6. #6
    GeoffW1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I always thought the same. Till I tried it and it indeed does work
    Awwww

  7. #7
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    Will it work on a pipe without water in it though?

    Tools

  8. #8
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tools View Post
    Will it work on a pipe without water in it though?

    Tools
    Probably not a plastic or earthenware type.

    OP, another old trick you can do (if the pipe isn't too deep and the ground is soft and accessible) is, try a long metal rod. Prod the ground, following from a known location.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    Probably not a plastic or earthenware type.

    OP, another old trick you can do (if the pipe isn't too deep and the ground is soft and accessible) is, try a long metal rod. Prod the ground, following from a known location.
    Thanks for the tip. So I went and investigated tonight (we haven't lived here long) during the rain

    - left hand side down pipe is overflowing at the bottom (down pipe into pvc)
    - right hand side down pipe is overflowing at the bottom (down pipe into old terracotta pipe)
    - The back of the house, touching the house, has pavers about 4 meters deep all the way accross. It has 2 drains (near the pool) which overflowed as well.

    So looks like the choice is to pull up the pavers to follow the pipes, or dig a trench parallel to the edge of the pavers and hopefully jag the pipes. Not sure which yet, but re laying pavers doesn't sound like much fun. What would you guys do ?

    The back yard goes down hill, about 1 meter over 15 meters. Whats the typical depth of storm water pipes ?

    Thanks again.

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