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Discuss Solution needed for a drain channel poorly fitted to clay drain and previous plastic interface leaks and is broken in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

Messages
21
Hi there

I am struggling to contain my fury and discontent to find that I have a Drain Channel outside the back of my new house which is leaking but seems to me to have been seriously bodged so need some advice from someone who may know how to fix.

I have posted a couple of pictures of the problem, the detailed one shows the drain channel which must have been angle ground out in an oblong which falls about 12 inches down into a clay drain. The problem is the connection between the clay drain and the drain channel, its plastic barrier which now leaks alot, and is non-standard. The leaching water is causing smells in the house.

What's the best option? Replace the whole meter section of the drain channel ( type unknown, no branding and try to fix ) and fit with another section and try to match it or some more creative solution that won't involve me breaking the section out of the concret?

Your opinions would be appreciated!!

Best

diy
 
Messages
21
Hi there

I am struggling to contain my fury and discontent to find that I have a Drain Channel outside the back of my new house which is leaking but seems to me to have been seriously bodged so need some advice from someone who may know how to fix.

I have posted a couple of pictures of the problem, the detailed one shows the drain channel which must have been angle ground out in an oblong which falls about 12 inches down into a clay drain. The problem is the connection between the clay drain and the drain channel, its plastic barrier which now leaks alot, and is non-standard. The leaching water is causing smells in the house.

What's the best option? Replace the whole meter section of the drain channel ( type unknown, no branding and try to fix ) and fit with another section and try to match it or some more creative solution that won't involve me breaking the section out of the concret?

Your opinions would be appreciated!!

Best

diy
And the photos I forgot to attach, a long shot about about 70cm away and one right into the drain cavity.

Thanks
 

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Ric2013

Plumber
Messages
2,958
Most popular firm is probably ACO, IIRC.

Having fitted a similar channel drain to manufacturer's standards in my own garden, I would comment that using the 'correct' fittings would seem to be a waste of money. To be honest, connecting to clay is likely to be more satisfactory than connecting to plastic anyway. The channel I fitted was a kind of plasticcy concrete similar to yours and used an 'adapter' to connect to underground soil/sewer pipe. When the adapter arrived at the merchant, we discovered it was just a bit of cut down PVC pipe with bevelled ends. The manufacturer's connection method was to knock out a hole in the channel and effectively use concrete to seal between the channel and the pipe - not what I was expecting/hoping to be honest. In fairness, the joint between channel sections is also mostly reliant on the concrete bedding for watertightness.

That said, the channel should normally be almost empty and should be completely empty when it is not actually raining hence there is no water pressure to force through small gaps, and the very small quantity that may get past the concrete, realistically, is unlikely to matter. I'm not quite sure what yours has been sealed with: has someone placed plastic sheet on top of the concrete to assist setting, but the seal is the concrete itself, or is there also some silicone sealant?

What I'm wondering is why your clay drain is full of water. Even if there is a hopper or some kind of trap under there, I would not expect the water level to be quite that high. If it's a real bodge, you'll find that the clay pipe doesn't actually connect to any form of surface water drain or soakaway and just finishes underground somewhere - and that may be worth correcting, which will involve digging!

My suggestion would be - check if the drain is blocked. If so, clear it, otherwise your channel will fill with water every time it rains. Then look at sealing between the clay drain and the drain channel. Assuming it isn't rocking about, get it as clean as you can and fill in with some concrete or cement mortar, possibly with a waterproofing agent added, and if need be seal over the top of that with some kind of mastic - possibly a roof and gutter sealant would work. I'd suggest as long as 95%+ of the water runs down the drain, the final <5% is not of much importance.

Have a look at the pavingexpert dot com website as it has some useful information on linear channel drains and how they should be fitted.
 
Last edited:

Ric2013

Plumber
Messages
2,958
With regard to your fury and discontent, I discovered that the previous home owners of my house has plumbed in the boiler backwards, raised the soil level outside to the extent that damp was an issue, thrown rubble down the cavity wall so as to allow rising damp, bodge the electrics so badly the house was liable to catch fire, leave massive gaps in insulation that will involve me having to remove plasterboard to rectify etc etc. When you've worked with buildings as long as I have you get used to it, and new builds don't tend to be much (if any) better.

Try to see the funny side (or at least satisfaction when you put it right) and if you ever feel like writing a bodge of the day coffee-table book, it's just a question of which one of us gets there first!
 

Ric2013

Plumber
Messages
2,958
Needs to be replaced
I'm not sure what you can see in the picture as I'm struggling to make sense of it myself. The (looks like) blockage is a concern, but I can't tell what's under that black plastic.

Assuming it's all bedded in concrete properly and that the drain can be cleared and made to run freely, would you really dig up the crazy paving and single channel section (assuming it's actually possible to remove one channel section without disturbing the adjacent ones) just because the cutting in of the drain isn't that good and the concrete seal has failed?

Or can you see that there isn't any concrete and the plastic itself is supposed to be the seal, in which case, I'd suggest you are right?
 

ShaunCorbs

Staff member
S. Mod
Plumber
Gas Engineer
Messages
27,663
Looks like either they’ve broken the spigot off or they’ve made an outlet in the channel (most likely) and put some plastic around

bodged not blocked
 
Messages
21
Most popular firm is probably ACO, IIRC.

Having fitted a similar channel drain to manufacturer's standards in my own garden, I would comment that using the 'correct' fittings would seem to be a waste of money. To be honest, connecting to clay is likely to be more satisfactory than connecting to plastic anyway. The channel I fitted was a kind of plasticcy concrete similar to yours and used an 'adapter' to connect to underground soil/sewer pipe. When the adapter arrived at the merchant, we discovered it was just a bit of cut down PVC pipe with bevelled ends. The manufacturer's connection method was to knock out a hole in the channel and effectively use concrete to seal between the channel and the pipe - not what I was expecting/hoping to be honest. In fairness, the joint between channel sections is also mostly reliant on the concrete bedding for watertightness.

That said, the channel should normally be almost empty and should be completely empty when it is not actually raining hence there is no water pressure to force through small gaps, and the very small quantity that may get past the concrete, realistically, is unlikely to matter. I'm not quite sure what yours has been sealed with: has someone placed plastic sheet on top of the concrete to assist setting, but the seal is the concrete itself, or is there also some silicone sealant?

What I'm wondering is why your clay drain is full of water. Even if there is a hopper or some kind of trap under there, I would not expect the water level to be quite that high. If it's a real bodge, you'll find that the clay pipe doesn't actually connect to any form of surface water drain or soakaway and just finishes underground somewhere - and that may be worth correcting, which will involve digging!

My suggestion would be - check if the drain is blocked. If so, clear it, otherwise your channel will fill with water every time it rains. Then look at sealing between the clay drain and the drain channel. Assuming it isn't rocking about, get it as clean as you can and fill in with some concrete or cement mortar, possibly with a waterproofing agent added, and if need be seal over the top of that with some kind of mastic - possibly a roof and gutter sealant would work. I'd suggest as long as 95%+ of the water runs down the drain, the final <5% is not of much importance.

Have a look at the pavingexpert dot com website as it has some useful information on linear channel drains and how they should be fitted.
Hi Ric2013

Thankyou for your comprehensive reply! Definitely food for thought.

I unblocked the drain when I first arrived at the property and the water seemed to settle at the mouth of the clay drain as in the picture. There is no manhole visible but have a suspicion that an oblong paving slab, the rest are diamonds, close to the drain is covering the manhole of what i think would be the house soil pipe so think the drain maybe s shaped or a trap ( if thats the right word ) to avoid spells coming back through.

I had looked at manh videos of manufacturer methods to connect a drain which are quite tidy but this looks less than great. Appreaciate your comments about cementing the connector pipe and that I think maybe my best bet.

The plastic layer is quite thick as it is were designed for something like this but not sure whats behind it, concrete or earth. I could take it out and and if its concrete paint the side walls with some acropol type stuff I have left over from a previous flat roof mend. If not concrete think it would be best to cement a pipe into the clay pipe with a connector and make good the top of the drian with hand crafted cement hopper into the pipe.

Many thanks for your response much appreciated!!!

diy_m

I have watched some youtube videos about
 
Messages
21
With regard to your fury and discontent, I discovered that the previous home owners of my house has plumbed in the boiler backwards, raised the soil level outside to the extent that damp was an issue, thrown rubble down the cavity wall so as to allow rising damp, bodge the electrics so badly the house was liable to catch fire, leave massive gaps in insulation that will involve me having to remove plasterboard to rectify etc etc. When you've worked with buildings as long as I have you get used to it, and new builds don't tend to be much (if any) better.

Try to see the funny side (or at least satisfaction when you put it right) and if you ever feel like writing a bodge of the day coffee-table book, it's just a question of which one of us gets there first!
thats hilarious! You should write your own book.

Best

diy-m
 

WC1

Gas Engineer
Messages
941
"non-standard." is one way to describe that junction

A suggestion- find some pipe that fits snugly into the clay at the bottom. Shape it to the channel invert at the top and use it as a sleeve to allow you to pour cement in around up to the channel invert.
Edit - I think that's sort of what you are suggesting above.

As above it does boil one's pish when you come across that sort of bodgery.

You can then think about any blockage issues which there surely must be as it looks like material from under the plastic may be falling into the clay

I don't think shaun is wrong, it should all be replaced but that could become very complex and expensive, especially if the same clowns laid the clay.

Is there a reason you haven't found the suspected under the slab and lifted it?
 

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