Leak Detection Equipment LD-12 to find drain?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Tools and Equipment' started by Pat4444443, Sep 2, 2019.

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  1. Sep 2, 2019 #1

    Pat4444443

    Pat4444443

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    I am having a tough time tracking down my underground drain system that the builder put in 15 years ago for my homes gutters / sump pump. I found all drains except for the final drain pipe that goes into my seepage "dry" bed.

    I have already run an expensive rental drain camera and a cheap one I bought on Amazon and don't see the opening but I know it's there because in the air vent opening in seepage bed I can "barely hear" the water going into the bed.

    I have found a place that rents this device to find leaks: LD-12 Sonic Subsurface Water Leak Detector.

    I would run water into the drain system. Then I was hoping to listen to the ground. Most of the pipes that I have found are between 2 and 3 feet deep covered by clay soil. I would make sure the soil was dry and then run my experiment. Any ideas if this might work?
     
  2. Sep 2, 2019 #2

    Rickyman

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    A water leak detector is typically for pressure leaks.

    You need a camera w/ sonde and a locator to find the drain pipe
     
  3. Sep 2, 2019 #3

    Pat4444443

    Pat4444443

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    Thanks for the reply :) Forgot to say I had a sonde (with locator) on the camera I rented. So I was able to locate all of the pipes except for the one going to the dry bed...the reason being is I did not see the opening plus it would be impossible to push the camera through all the turns...already made one turn and another would be impossible.
     
  4. Sep 2, 2019 #4

    Pat4444443

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    Ground penetrating radar is a solution but I read not the best solution for clay plus hard to find rental company. Anyone think LD-12 could work? I think it might. I will update this thread if I go ahead and try it...
     
  5. Sep 2, 2019 #5

    Jeff Handy

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    What exactly are you trying to locate?
    Which end of which opening?
    If you are trying to locate a catch basin or yard drain, which then leads to your dry well, the catch basin cover might just be covered over with grass that crept in over it.
    So water will still eventually drain down, but the opening has a thin sheet of living grass hiding it.

    Your blueprints should show these drains.
     
  6. Sep 3, 2019 #6

    RenewDave

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    Probably an experienced camera man could figure it out. Sometimes hiring a pro gets you a lot of experience.
     
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  7. Sep 3, 2019 #7

    Pat4444443

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    Thank you. The pipe I am looking for leads to a catch basin that is covered with grass. So the gutters lead to a pipe that goes around house at a slight slope. I have found all of these. But those pipes lead to the "dry well" - there is no catch basin...via a "final pipe" which the rest lead to...I cannot find the pipe. The blue cover for dry well is there. When you look down the pipe under the cover you mention it leads to rock as it should - that's where the water goes.

    My original question still exists, "I would run water into the drain system. Then I was hoping to listen to the ground. Most of the pipes that I have found are between 2 and 3 feet deep covered by clay soil. I would make sure the soil was dry and then run my experiment. Any ideas if this might work?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  8. Sep 3, 2019 #8

    RenewDave

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    Refer to earlier post.
     
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  9. Sep 3, 2019 #9

    Pat4444443

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    That costs cash...I am not built of money. For certain things like complicated plumbing problems, construction, etc. I am not against spending cash but I am 80% there on this project.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  10. Sep 3, 2019 #10

    RenewDave

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    What are you into it, total? How many hours have you spent?
     
  11. Sep 3, 2019 #11

    Pat4444443

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    I hear you RenewDave but I am on a fixed income...retired. If you told me this at the beginning of the project I would now agree with you but I am literally 80% done. Then again...I would have learned little not using trial and error. Sometimes a small project turns big sometimes not. When I owned my last business I would not hesitate to hire someone immediately...time is money. I used to hire $75/hr programmers and used them plenty. Other contractors no problem if they saved me time.

    If I did not do DIY and listened to the guy on the phone I wanted to buy a part from to fix my furnace - he would not sell to me because I was not a pro so I bought on Amazon. I would have spent $800. Took me a few hrs to "safely" fix. My A/C - people say could get killed fixing...a little reading and I discharged capacitor and fixed - lots saved there for 1 hr of work...and other big projects...you could go broke hiring pros.

    So since no one can answer my question (my guess is no one knows answer which is understandable) I will figure out 100% guaranteed. Not rocket science. Not easy either and I do know when I am in over my head...like construction and other plumbing projects. This is "relatively" easy. Still your advice is sound so thanks for that!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  12. Sep 3, 2019 #12

    Pat4444443

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    floating sonde ...this is another idea...will let everyone know whenever I finish...
     
  13. Sep 3, 2019 #13

    Jeff Handy

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    It’s kind of hard to follow your explanations, maybe you are translating from another language other than English?

    But as RenewDave suggested, hiring a pro sounds like the way to go, since you seem to be unable to solve this last part of your puzzle by yourself.

    Your “Plat of Survey” for your property might show these drains and where they are located.

    Your village hall or county government might have a copy of your blueprints, filed with them when permits were issued during the building of your house.
     
  14. Sep 3, 2019 #14

    Jeff Handy

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    Whatever you put into any of these drains, any type of sonde, other signal generators, cable snake, make sure you can get it back out.

    The fittings and connecting elbows, wyes, etc of underground yard drains are often not as smooth and well fitted as indoor drain plumbing would be. Usually lots of rough and ragged connections.

    You can easily get something stuck down there, maybe something expensive, which is now blocking your drain water flow.
     
  15. Sep 3, 2019 #15

    Pat4444443

    Pat4444443

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    Yes, I did request the plan - the builder put my dry well in wrong place (different from plan) and the town has no information regarding the underground drainage system. You would think they would have inspected better but I am second owner so was not there for construction. The pipe is smooth - I have dug some of it up. Yes, for sure there will be a line connected to the transmitter...not smart to leave it in there jammed up. I will check with the county to see if they have different records (good idea...thanks)

    "But as RenewDave suggested, hiring a pro sounds like the way to go, since you seem to be unable to solve this last part of your puzzle by yourself"

    LOL...I will solve the puzzle. I enjoy doing this.

    "maybe you are translating from another language other than English"

    Sorry...not everyone can be experts in the field of plumbing
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  16. Sep 3, 2019 #16

    Diehard

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    Just trying to make sure I get the correct picture here.

    So it's the final(assumed single) pipe that flows into the dry well that you are trying to locate? May ask why? Or did I miss that?

    You say, "When you look down the pipe under the cover you mention it leads to rock as it should - that's where the water goes." Was pipe near the top?
    I thought most dry wells were designed to leach out the water and typically not have an exit pipe to somewhere else. (Except in my case where I added a line when my dry well's leaching slowed down considerably.)
    So you can see a pipe under the cover? Is there standing water in the tank and how far down?
    May I assume you looked for other (inlet)pipe(s) from within the dry well?
     
  17. Sep 4, 2019 #17

    Pat4444443

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    Thanks for the questions Diehard. The final pipe (assumed single...but there could be 2 pipes...one at back of house and one at front...but I'm assuming one for now). Yes, it flows "into" the dry well. It does this to drain the water out of the drain pipe that goes around my house. The dry well was supposed to be in front way away from the house but the builder put the dry well on the side of the house. So I am assuming a lot of this water is going back towards the house. During a "major storm" I get a pool of water above the dry well and my house is over 4,000 square feet...that's a lot of water draining into the dry well from the gutter system and due to my house being at a lower level than most houses in my neighborhood. I am assuming the drywell is undersized.

    The pipe is on top of the dry well (sort of a vent or overflow). There is no container that I can see that makes up the dry well...looks like just big rocks. If we get a huge major storm the water will come out of that top pipe. The pipe I am trying to find that's going into the dry well is different than the top pipe I just mentioned...neither pipe connected to the other. There is another pipe I did not mention that goes from the dry well to the town drain but even in a major storm very little water passes through this pipe. I sent a camera up this pipe and it just leads to rock and is not connected to another pipe. This pipe is useless.

    There is standing water in the dry well "if" there is a major storm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  18. Sep 4, 2019 #18

    Diehard

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    Oh wow! That doesn't sound good at all.
    Is it mandatory that the downspouts get pipe to a dry well?
    It is in some towns around me but not most. But it seems to be going in that direction.
    I take it you are not getting any water in your basement or lowest level.
    Do you have any part of your property that slopes down away from you? As ideally that would be the place to direct that water.
    What's strange to me is that if that was a mandatory system then there should have been a mandatory design for that dry well.
    We used to have mandatory requirements for dry wells to handle the houses grey water. Even that we had to build large buried tanks made up of concrete blocks laying on their sides with a couple of feet of larger stone around the peripheral, to minimize he clogging by soap and grease. No longer allowed.

    Sounds like maybe a line from your existing stone dry well to a lower spot,if one exists and
     
  19. Sep 4, 2019 #19

    Pat4444443

    Pat4444443

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    I'm not sure if it's mandatory...if it was mandatory (even if it was not) they really should have done a better job! Not one problem yet in basement after 10 years!

    I have multiple redundant water alarms connected to the Internet plus a pumpspy device.. I have 2 full sized sump pumps on different lines. One sump pump is higher than the other. I have an electronic float on the first sump pump. I have the second full sized pump on an inverter with 2 full sized batteries in case I am not home when problem occurs. I have a third sump pump on a battery...one of those cheap basement watch dogs. I have a portable generator in case a storm takes me out for a few days. As you can see I am quite proud of my basement setup. I also have sump pump failure insurance.

    My wife says stop worrying now that I have such a complete system but I want to fix this problem to take off even more load. I spoke with my township informally and they have no problem with me going towards their storm drain but I cannot directly connect. Need to go into stone first. The slope is nicely downhill for the front of my house (if I do not find the missing pipe I could just take the front downspouts down to the drain easily because they are all on one underground pipe...they all connect to it that is)...the back not so much slopped but it's enough for a little over 1/4 inch per foot all the way to the drain ...need to rent a tool again to be sure.

    To paint a better picture think of a square house and there are gutters in each of the 4 corners plus 4 more in the center of each side. My house is not exactly square but you get the idea. All pipes from gutters go out evenly and connect to the another pipe that is parallel to the house...like another square. This pipe is on a slope and they meet on the side of house where the dry well is located. This is where the hidden pipe is...you would think it's in the center of that side but it does not appear to be. Could also be 2 hidden pipes (one in back and one in front) going to dry well. Will find out!

    If the pipe I am looking for is in the back of house I will hire a pro to help me dig correctly. If I have to go with front of house pipe only then I will rent a ditch witch and do myself since slope is excellent and only like 30 feet. The missing pipe is last piece to this puzzle.

    Thanks for asking. Nice to write about my problem to get me thinking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  20. Oct 9, 2019 #20

    Pat4444443

    Pat4444443

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    Worked on this off and on when I felt like it and my issue is solved! Through some deductive reasoning and a little luck I found the pipe that leads to the dry bed. In addition, I put a hole in this PVC underground pipe (which I later patched) and stuck a hose in several downspout vents around the house. I then, one at a time, turned on the water in each downspout and witnessed the water flowing to the dry well pipe. I can, with pretty good certainty, assume that there is only one pipe that leads to dry bed. Sweet victory for DIY! I need to finish other chores around the house before cold sets in so that's it for this year...will pick up again next Spring or Summer.
     
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