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Elevated drip troughs plumbed out to lawn.

Mackinfo's picture

Elevated drip troughs plumbed out to lawn. (post #212581)

I’m looking for for some advice and comments on my plan to move rain water away from my house using troughs placed under the drip edges.

My house has three sections: a two story colonial with a stoop at the front door, an A-frame den with the spine of the roof parallel to the front, and a two story garage with the spine of the roof perpendicular to the A-frame.  All the roofs have a drip edge and the grade of the yard is mostly level around the house with only a slight angle to drain water away from the house.

I’m having moisture problems in some specific spots.  I don’t want gutters so, instead of a French drain, I’m thinking of creating an elevated drain made of poly troughs on stands 8” above the ground and plumbed together until draining out to the yard. It should be easy to blow the leaves out with a leaf blower.  The troughs will be hidden behind 30" high shrubbery.

The roof of the den and the roof of the garage form a crotch that collects and concentrates any rainfall and the water drains from the roof at the end of the crotch and falls to the foundation and causes a moisture problem in the crawlspace below.

The water from the colonial roof drips onto the stoop roof and the water concentrates and drains to the foundation causing a moisture problem in the crawlspace.

My plan is to locate the troughs below the areas of heavy discharge. The troughs will be 40” x 24” x 7” and angled so as to drain by gravity.  There is an option for a deeper trough.

Some areas will need only a single trough.  These can be drained to the yard via PVC pipes plumbed to the trough.  The area below the den and garage roofs will require three troughs plumbed together and then drained through a PVC pipe to the yard.

To prevent splash, I will put fabric, sand, and soil in the troughs and add some small-leafed plant that can take a short soaking.  If plants don’t work I will just use fabric, sand, and gravel.

I have tested the idea with a large poly sheep trough the shape and size of a standard residential bathtub and was surprised at the large amount of water that collected in the trough - two tubs full plus.  It will be good to effectively move this water away from the house.

Please help me and comment on this idea, I need someone knowledgeable to tell me if this is a good or bad idea and why.



160207 - Thank you for the your comments, I agree with what you have noted.   I should give more information to be clear.

I want to avoid gutters because I am a 60 yo old man with injuries to the joints in my knees and shoulders and will not climb a ladder or get on a roof to clean or maintain gutters.

I also do not want to install a buried or surface drain which would require digging.

I have found inexpensive troughs that will cover any drips from light rain or any shooting water from heavy rain.  I've already tested a beta-system and now I am going to install the system described above. The cost of the system will be less than half of installing gutters and the maintenance should be very low.

I welcome all comments, but would particularly like to hear ideas on how to make it work and work better.



In all likely hood, your plan (post #212581, reply #1 of 2)

In all likely hood, your plan is going to cost more than getting gutters professionally installed WITH leaf proof caps and no one can really tell you how it would work because its unique to your house.....unless of course you know a junk hound that can come up with free troughs and pvc.

This scheme is not unlike the (post #212581, reply #2 of 2)

This scheme is not unlike the one where people make a gravel drip bed below the drip edge, often with an embedded perforated drain to carry the water away.  Some people claim these work quite well, others have said they kinda suck.

I suspect the main problem with your scheme, as with the gravel drip bed, is that water doesn't fall straight down.  In a light rain with no wind the water will drip nicely off the edge and into your trough, but if the rain comes down harder it will shoot off the edge and land several feet farther out in the yard.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville