Soakaway overflow, downpipe fills up.

10 Mar 2009
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United Kingdom
Hi Guys,

I have a problem with my downpipe which is causing water to leak onto my brickwork and causing damp.

When it rains heavily the attached soakaway fills up, it appears the seal to the soakaway is to tight (underground) that the downpipe then fills all the way up to the top of the house where the first guttering joins leaks / sprays out and down my upstairs all. :oops:

So... I modified a downpipe socket (linked) with a hose connector (quite a neat job really with my Dremal) applied it about 18 inches from the ground and attached a hose so excess water escapes down the hose to the bottom of the garden. It mostly works!!! :D

B&Q Marley Square Downpipe Socket

Unfortunately the laws of gravity apply. When the downpipe is not full the water flows down as hoped but when it filled up to the connector the water is effectively flowing up from the bottom, in this case the normal downpipe joints down truly work, a bit of sealant hasn't lasted long and it leaks. Now I'm concerned about water around the base of my house.

:?: Is there some proper kit for dealing with this or something that will give me a proper seal on the downpipe.

I want to do it properly and while cleaning the soakaway is an option is a joint downpipe with next door and the soakaway is not on my land.

I'll attach a picture later today when I get home. :p
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It might be easier to dig a new soakaway which could go on your land if convenient. Just connect it up to the existing pipework, and leave the existing soakaway where it is.

It's not a horrendous job - perhaps the biggest pain is getting rid of the soil from the hole.
Yeah, i had considered the same thing. The complicating factor is the downpipe is adjoined on a semi-detached and the soakaway is actually in next doors garden. I suppose the a new one could go anywhere.

I'll try and get something a bit more sturdy the bottom seal on the connector. bathroom sealent outdoors was only ever going to be a quick fix. If that failed the maybe a soakaway if the only reasonable alternative.

Do soakaways not just become less effective overtime? I imagine the old out just gets filled up with crap, surely a new one would suffer the same fate?
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Soakaways do clog up over the years but you should expect a good 10 years or so of service from a domestic jobby before maintainance or renewal is necessary bear in mind that they should not be built within 5m of a building or road or 2.5m of a boundary.

You may want to consider adapting the downpipe - Dig out around the junction of the downpipe and soakaway connection to expose pipework, temporarily remove downpipe section and construct/connect in a 'back inlet gulley' (big) to the soakaway connection, then shorten downpipe so that it just enters the top of the cover to the back inlet gulley and replace same. Now when the problem occurs the back inlet gulley will flood and you will not have your problem, you may wish to consider replacing the section of pipe as it is now damaged.

Or on the assumption that the downpipe already goes into a 'big' (as it should do, damn unusual to have the downpipe running below ground - never known it myself!) anyway I digress, clean out the trap, which will block up from time to time!

If you know where the existing soakaway is next door - and it`s near the boundary with you- dig yours near to it and get a 1.+1/2 size one :idea: allowing for existing one half blocked ;)

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