Home & Garden

Blocked Storm drain outside basement Entry Door

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 14th, 2021 1:02 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 2, 2018
87 posts
13 upvotes

Blocked Storm drain outside basement Entry Door

Hello,
My storm drain outside the basement entry door (this area is around 3 x 3 ft and is a step lower than surrounding areas and is all concrete) is connected to drainage system inside the home. Due to debris like sand, gravel, soil the drain is blocked and as per plumber snake & water jet will not work on it.
The plumber I consulted gave us two options
1) To change the entire drain pipe from 1.5 inches to 3"as the 1.5" is not enough. Build a catch basin and then connect it with 3" to the stack.
2) Dig 5-6 ft deeper and try to find the weeping tile installation and connect the storm drain directly to it totally bypassing it from the indoor system. I like this idea better but we are not sure whether our detached home build in 1989 (Brampton, ON) is installed with weeping tile system, It will be a wasted expense if the weeping tile is not found.
This is our own idea - build a French drain and take it to our backyard. Basement entry to backyard is covered by concrete pavers which can be easily removed and drain installed. Can't take it front as it will involving breaking through existing concrete for around 15 ft.
Looking for recommendations about best way to deal with it as all options involves a lot of money and I don't want to take any chances.
Images
  • basement entry door.jpg
  • pic 1.jpg
11 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
2003 posts
1733 upvotes
GTA
To go through your options.

#1 is likely illegal, as the area is not covered, etc, you are not allowed to connect it to sanitary.

#2 is a common practice, the design of the foundation would likely include a weeper to avoid the loading of saturated soils on the foundation. I assume you don't have a sump pit, do you have a storm and sanitary sewer on your street?

#3 Could work. Can you reach daylight in your backyard or would all the flows have to infiltrate? If you were to go this option, you would likely want to have solid pipe in the sideyard, as per OBC you are now allowed to infiltrate within 5m of a foundation. Additionally, this would be prone to freezing, which could create issues for you and threaten that house/entrance.

Also, get locates, if you or your contractor damages that gas without them, its going to be a bad time.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 2, 2018
87 posts
13 upvotes
Thank you so much for detailed explanation.
Regarding #1 The plumbing guy told me if we add a catch basin , p strap then it would be legal attaching it to the stack else it’s not legal. Haven’t researched on my own regarding this.
#2 we bought this house few years ago and not sure about sump pit (Most likely not there). Not very handy or knowledgeable regarding this stuff. There is a storm drain (square one ) on our street but couldn't see any neighbors gutter attached to the storm one. Everyone's gutter is flowing into driveway or front yard.

#3 Sorry, couldn’t understand the answer regarding reaching daylight in backyard. Our side yard is total 3 ft wide from the foundation and I do see few French drains in my neighbourhood and all have same lot. I totally agree about the freezing part…didn’t think about that.

He did say that will get locates before starting work.

SubjectivelyObjective wrote: To go through your options.

#1 is likely illegal, as the area is not covered, etc, you are not allowed to connect it to sanitary.

#2 is a common practice, the design of the foundation would likely include a weeper to avoid the loading of saturated soils on the foundation. I assume you don't have a sump pit, do you have a storm and sanitary sewer on your street?

#3 Could work. Can you reach daylight in your backyard or would all the flows have to infiltrate? If you were to go this option, you would likely want to have solid pipe in the sideyard, as per OBC you are now allowed to infiltrate within 5m of a foundation. Additionally, this would be prone to freezing, which could create issues for you and threaten that house/entrance.

Also, get locates, if you or your contractor damages that gas without them, its going to be a bad time.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
2003 posts
1733 upvotes
GTA
rg1974 wrote: Regarding #1 The plumbing guy told me if we add a catch basin , p strap then it would be legal attaching it to the stack else it’s not legal. Haven’t researched on my own regarding this.
#2 we bought this house few years ago and not sure about sump pit (Most likely not there). Not very handy or knowledgeable regarding this stuff. There is a storm drain (square one ) on our street but couldn't see any neighbors gutter attached to the storm one. Everyone's gutter is flowing into driveway or front yard.

#3 Sorry, couldn’t understand the answer regarding reaching daylight in backyard. Our side yard is total 3 ft wide from the foundation and I do see few French drains in my neighbourhood and all have same lot. I totally agree about the freezing part…didn’t think about that.

He did say that will get locates before starting work.
Re #1 - Connecting storm drainage to a dedicated sanitary sewer, and even adding new flows to a combined sewer is generally illegal everywhere. People do it a lot, but it causes a lot of issues. Its primarily why lots of houses in Toronto have their basements fill up with diluted fecal matter during big storms.

#2 - In all likelihood your foundation should have a weeper, its a structural requirement to prevent foundations collapsing. You should probably know if you have a sump pit in your basement, should be a hole in the floor with a pump in it. Granted in a number of places foundation drains just connect to storm sewers or FDCs via gravity, so no sump pit required. This option works, but its probably less than idea because weepers can get blocked and you're putting more water against your foundation, even if it is temporary.

This brings us back to Option #3. By daylight, I mean your pipe can reach above ground again after its buried. Ie you have enough slope/drop in your backyard that you pipe can see daylight again. Frost cover is about 4 ft, but you could get by with less if you insulate it. I would recommend a drain to a solid pipe that either has depth or is properly insulated, then bring that to a drywell in the rear yard that's far enough away from your foundation and neighbours foundations. If you do a perf pipe adjacent to the house, the water will just end up in your weeper or on your foundation to some degree. For this you would need to make sure your soils are permeable (ie not hard packed or clay) and can infiltrate the water in a reasonable amount of time.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 2, 2018
87 posts
13 upvotes
#1 Understood regarding this...will rule it out.
#2 No sump pump in our home for sure. Totally agree regarding weepers getting blocked or it might be already blocked as it an older home.
#3 oh.. I see. Our backyard is small around 15 ft long and same level as side yard. Getting a dry well and keeping it away from neighbors and our foundation could be tricky being a small yard.
Our soil is not at all permeable... all solid clay and dealing with it already for my gardening :)

I now think #2 & #3 will not work in my situation. Then best bet would be to break the concrete in front and get the drainage towards the front yard where there is enough slope and no issues caused to neighbours. Though the most expensive option !

I am out of ideas now :)
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: Re #1 - Connecting storm drainage to a dedicated sanitary sewer, and even adding new flows to a combined sewer is generally illegal everywhere. People do it a lot, but it causes a lot of issues. Its primarily why lots of houses in Toronto have their basements fill up with diluted fecal matter during big storms.

#2 - In all likelihood your foundation should have a weeper, its a structural requirement to prevent foundations collapsing. You should probably know if you have a sump pit in your basement, should be a hole in the floor with a pump in it. Granted in a number of places foundation drains just connect to storm sewers or FDCs via gravity, so no sump pit required. This option works, but its probably less than idea because weepers can get blocked and you're putting more water against your foundation, even if it is temporary.

This brings us back to Option #3. By daylight, I mean your pipe can reach above ground again after its buried. Ie you have enough slope/drop in your backyard that you pipe can see daylight again. Frost cover is about 4 ft, but you could get by with less if you insulate it. I would recommend a drain to a solid pipe that either has depth or is properly insulated, then bring that to a drywell in the rear yard that's far enough away from your foundation and neighbours foundations. If you do a perf pipe adjacent to the house, the water will just end up in your weeper or on your foundation to some degree. For this you would need to make sure your soils are permeable (ie not hard packed or clay) and can infiltrate the water in a reasonable amount of time.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
995 posts
453 upvotes
Can I ask why the neighbour's house doesn't have that drain in front of their door? What are they doing? Your houses look identical in that you both have that side entry door in exactly the same spot and the same grade but he doesn't have a visible drain.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 2, 2018
87 posts
13 upvotes
Katedontbreak wrote: Can I ask why the neighbour's house doesn't have that drain in front of their door? What are they doing? Your houses look identical in that you both have that side entry door in exactly the same spot and the same grade but he doesn't have a visible drain.
My neighbour has the same level going forward to the front yard so doesn’t need a drain. My door is a step below than his and is the lowest level of the entire side yard that’s why the drain on mine only.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
995 posts
453 upvotes
rg1974 wrote: My neighbour has the same level going forward to the front yard so doesn’t need a drain. My door is a step below than his and is the lowest level of the entire side yard that’s why the drain on mine only.
Then can't you get a permit to lift the door? It's such a small variance and I think that would be the cheapest and longest lasting solution?
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 2, 2018
87 posts
13 upvotes
We also want to have a permanent solution but the door cannot be moved up as there is no head space inside due to stairs going up. I have attached a pic from inside to give you a better idea. Also this basement door opens outside. God knows what the contractor did when it was initially doneUnamused Face
If we move up then it would be a shorter door and not standard sized door.
Katedontbreak wrote: Then can't you get a permit to lift the door? It's such a small variance and I think that would be the cheapest and longest lasting solution?
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  • 92C96D54-45BD-41DB-805D-149328204BC0.jpeg
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
7216 posts
2241 upvotes
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rg1974 wrote: My neighbour has the same level going forward to the front yard so doesn’t need a drain. My door is a step below than his and is the lowest level of the entire side yard that’s why the drain on mine only.
well there is your problem right there, by having the door a few inches higher you would avoid needing a drain, but to raise the doorway you would need a shorter door, or cut the frame higher but might have more complications with the above structure and some of that structure may need to be re-engineered a different way. its a catch 21,
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Oct 16, 2008
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Vaughan
Off topic, any notice, how low the meter and the vent became for both houses?
...
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
995 posts
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teoconca wrote: Off topic, any notice, how low the meter and the vent became for both houses?
Good eyes.
Looks like the problem is the grade. His pavers are also sloped toward his neighbour's house, which may explain why his door looks lower but isn't, his pavers are just higher.

I think he and his neighbour should work out lowering that side yard grade and redoing the pavers. Maybe put a nice french drain between them.

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