We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, April 6. 2014
Non-stop rain in New England for a few days, converting the entire countryside to a
This fellow build a good one. I like the fact that the word "tile" is still used for PVC pipe.
Glad I do not need any of them, though. In 1824, farmers did not build their houses where they would get flooded, where there was an underground spring, where there was poor drainage, or where they would have wet cellars. They checked first.
They did not consider every piece of land to be a building site. Nobody builds on a flood plain, a beach, or on a hilltop. It's just stupid.
Photo on right is a shallow French drain. Holes down, of course. (Dummies are known to install them with the perforations facing up.) You can rent one of those mini-backhoes, have a load of gravel delivered, and make one yourself. A plain old-fashioned ditch or swale works too.
Photo below is a constructed swale. Man-made or natural, a swale is just a pleasant drainage ditch or depression. A small vale, you might say.
In all likelihood, making these today probably violates some federal laws. After all, the EPA now claims to regulate ditches. At the farm, we have plenty of man-made ditches and swales, but none made recently.
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If they were really French, they would leak stinky sewer gas into your house.
I think the French are getting the water away from the house so they don't have to bathe!
(Oooh! French bashing. More fun a Maggie's!)
I had this demotivator card framed on my desk for awhile:
The management asked me to hide this when our European staff came for a visit. I wonder why?
The company a year later moved all of its staff and systems out of France to other locations (including moving some systems to the U.S.). A funny thing happened in that move, all of a sudden the operations issues we had with the French I.T. staff disappeared.... since they no longer were involved in operations. All those strange work rules in Europe became a non issue. Now if we need something done, there aren't 14 committees of management needed to approve the effort, somebody in the operations center just gets up and does it.
I did want to comment on the French Drain but sidetracked on the hijack there....
I looked at the link to the guy who installed one, then read his blog. It appears he bought a money pit and the French drain is just fixing one issue he had. Reading down through his blog, he's also installed a high dollar PV system to 'bank' electricity by pumping it INTO the grid during the day so he can suck it out at night. So other than the false 'banking' of electricity (the electricity is not being saved, it lowers the grid demand by some minuscule amount -- probably less power than is lost by the insulators on the power lines feeding his neighborhood), he has some good writeups.
After reading the house issues on his blog, it makes me wonder about sinking those kinds of dollars into a fixer-upper, for he says he is doing this towards resale. I wonder what the electric rate is in his part of the country that would make installing a PV system pay for itself?
A PV system can never "pay for itself". But with enough federal, state and utility subsidy it can appear to be practical at least to the owner and the company selling the PV system.
Perimeter drain tile around the footing of the house. Connect the perforated pvc ( holes down) to solid pvc and run it 50 feet from the house. Gutters help, but are no replacement for slope and grading.
If this fails contact: B and BD Sump Pumps Inc.
"Connect the perforated pvc ( holes down)"
It amazes me how often this is done wrong - ie holes up.
Drainage is on of those issues that is easy to skimp on when a house is built. Nobody ever sees it and the average buyer wouldn't think to ask. Done wrong, however, and it can be devistating.
A simple question such as "Where does the water from the downspouts go?" can reveal alot.
I live along a river. When I built my house - I put drainage under my basement floor every 2' and all around the foundation. It's all tied into an extra large sump hole with a large commercial pump. The gutters tie into a 6" drain that goes right to the river.
An ounce of prevention ...
"They did not consider every piece of land to be a building site."
After all I have seen in the last 35 years as a Geotechnical Engineer, I consider the above quote as 'Wisdom of the Ancients'. Hardly anyone thinks this sort of thing out anymore. One does not need to be specially trained or Mensa material to avoid most of the common water problems with a house. Actually Mensa material seems to accomplished some of the silliest mistakes I have ever dealt with.
I am also amused by absolute rules given by many people. The particular site conditions, to include where the water is actually coming from, soil types/properties & climates can require a bit of thought.
Regarding building mistakes by those who should know better, there was a builder who in HIS OWN HOUSE had solar windows put on the north side of the house.
Great sun in the winter.
In case of many Mensa people it's simply attitude, not knowledge.
They''re Mensa, they are smarter than anyone else, so they're not going to go asking others for advise.
Would you admit to your inferiors that they might know something you don't? That kind of thinking.
Of course the really smart don't think like that, but they're too smart to pay money to be part of a society of smart people for the sake of being allowed to call themselves smart.
"Semper paratus" - I try
I forgot to add - that you better have a generator ready. When it rains hard enough to flood your basement - there is a good chance the power will be out. A sump pump does no good without electricity.
Here in Israel swales and directed drains were essential until recently. Runoff management is how the Nabateans lived in the Negev desert, and why Bethlehem and southern Judea were the breadbasket of ancient Israel.
In California and Australia they do this alongside roads - and plant a tree in each bay of the swale.
That is one of the tasks on the list. I'm pondering cheating, by using a "ditch-witch" style slit-trencher as would be used for burying cable. It only leaves a 4 to 6 inch wide trench, which could mean less space for the gravel that allows the water to flow freely into the lower-hydrostatic-pressure zone of the tile. But I'm thinking it would leave less chance of damaging my neighbor's fence in the narrow space between his and my house.
Unfortunately we hired charlatans when seeking a "fix" to a frozen sump outflow. We did end up with two Zoeller pumps and a DC-battery backup pump however, and so far our pump output has exceeded the combined flow of nature and the water returning from the uphill location the contractor thought best for dumping the water...
I dread the work of digging the trenches but do look forward to letting simple physics do the work of moving water away from the house, instead of harnessing electricity to move it.
jappy, your recommendation didn't google well for me.
My other concern is surveying to make sure that the "drain to daylight" outflow spot I've picked will really allow an adequate slope and depth. It seems to me that there ought to be cheap electronic devices by now that would give you elevation within a tenth of a meter, but I suspect I'm going to need to buy a transit or acquire enough hosepipe for a water level.
When I moved to eastern Kentucky from Ohio a few years back I mentioned to a neighbor that I needed to do some drainage work on part of the property. I described in detail how I planned to do it, the material needed and equipment to be used. Part of my discourse mentioned a "swale" at the bottom draining to a small creek that divided our properties.
He listened politely, nodding his head occasionally and at the end asked me, "Do you mean a ditch?"
I've never used the word "swale" since.
Next time you see that hillbilly, you up and tell him you meant to say del or dingle. Cause if it looked like that picture there with the rocks, that's what it was.
There is a difference between building in a floodplain and elevating your home out of the flood plain. My house on the Susquehanna river was built elevated above the land on fill rock from the furnace that stood there in the late 1800's. My home only flooded once in 1972. After the Army built flood protection downstream. The last 10 years have brought billions of dollars in losses to the region. My cost has been less than $1000.
We grow world class black walnuts which grace the walls of some of the finest boardrooms in the country. The fertile soil and lovely views of the water have paid many times over what a property above the plain would have. The notion that old farmers did not build in floodplains is not correct. They built there for the fertile soil and they have profited fabulously. Go over the mountain into coal country and you have poverty and despair. They are not in a flood plain and the soil has no life. No flood, No life.