View Full Version : Underground 4" drain y connections, how to seal these?

03-31-2005, 07:49 PM
I did some 4" drains for my gutter downspouts along the side of the house, connected both drains via y connector and ran them out away from the house. I've noticed that the pipes aren't holding water and suspect that the y connection isn't water tight. Figured this would occur. Great! Now I need to dig this stuff up! Digging this stuff up is going to be harder than installing it! Anyone want to help dig? LOL Used pvc cement on the connection and it didn't seem good enough.

So how do guys connect these unions? Everyones input is welcome, like to hear different opinions or methods. I asked Home Depot and those guys were clueless, yikes. You'd think they know more since they sell the stuff. A friend said to use weatherproof cauking, probally better than PVC cement. :cry:

Krois Landscaping
03-31-2005, 07:58 PM
What kind of pipe did you use the cheap flexible black stuff or the green/white pvc pipe?

Randy Scott
03-31-2005, 08:22 PM
We bury a lot of the green sewer pipe with connections and have never had a problem with the PVC cement. That stuff sets up and that's it. Something else is wrong.

LawnScapers of Dayton
03-31-2005, 08:25 PM
I have seen guys pour a bag of Qwikcrete over the connections in the black corregated pipe. Then water it down. I don't think this is the right way.......but I have seen it.

03-31-2005, 09:18 PM
I'm kinda confused.The pipes aren't supposed to hold water.They're supposed to move the water.
Anyway,medium/fast set cement should be fine for the joints.Put it on thick.Heck,I've even secured a a 4" grate to the end of black corrugated with it.It's getting pounded by water discharging,yet it's still there.

03-31-2005, 09:22 PM
I used the 4" black corrugated stuff, should have made that clear. Whoops.

Concrete is funny, maybe those y connections always leak no matter what? Concret would help hold it in place if the gound underneat moves from water. I'm sure all that water is leaking out right on the corner of my home foundation, not good. There's got to be some method to sealing those y connections. I used pvc cement and pressed the connection together all the way. Are guys using pvc for this type of drain? I see the corrugated drains under downspouts occationally. Good think I didn't do this on any customers property yet, except my neighbors. I searched the forums and couldn't find much, so far.

03-31-2005, 09:28 PM
If you are trying to make sure the connections do not come apart, duck tape is the answer. Get them nice and tight and wrap away. As long as the surface you are applying it is clean and they will be buried, that is the best. Be sure to backfill/compact tightly. Since there will be no UV breakdown, it will last a LONG time

03-31-2005, 09:52 PM
The way the drain is setup is to slide pipe up onto the downspout on both corners of the house. The front of the house downspout pipe runs along the house to the back of the house where the other drain is. I connected both drains with a y connector and ran the pipe twenty feet back, to a downslope away from the house. The pipes are slid about 20 inches up on the downspout, pipe bottom is 12 inches deep in the ground them turns back to daylight and has a screen at the end. Water pressure pushes the water up the turn in the drain. Water will sit in the pipe below surface level. Water is leaking out of my y connection and I need to figure out how to seal that connection. I bet this setup runs smooth during rain, but I'd rather not have any leaking. If I can't stop the leaking, it's ok. It's not a fast leak I'm sure. Any takers

03-31-2005, 11:00 PM
As I said before, duck tape and good compaction alont the pipe should solve that problem. Any pictures??

03-31-2005, 11:06 PM
duct tape............

03-31-2005, 11:13 PM
Never heard of duck tape??
It is MUCH BETTER than the crappy usual DUCT tape

I know how to spell and sound out the letters, thanks...
I guess you shop at HD

04-01-2005, 12:01 AM
I read your post about duct tape used to hold the fittings together and I like that idea. God bless duct tape! Always have a roll in the truck. There' probally six rolls around the house. I was hoping for some other method of sealing that y connection from water leakage. Duct tape and soil compaction are meant to hold the conn. together, right? You don't mean to seal water leakage, right? LOL

I don't believe the union has moved, causing the leak, I compacted well and liked the fit. I believe that the unions leak slowly and I want to seal that. Guess no one has a good solution yet. I can definitely sell this service and have a lead lined up so I want to learn how to seal a 4" corrugated drain pipe connection.

04-01-2005, 09:20 AM
An old plumber/pipefitter taught me an old trick for situations like this: cement bandages. Take strips of cloth and soak them in a slurry of concrete. Wrap the bandages around the pipe that you are having problems with. Don't skimp, you can layer them on, if necessary. Let it set up a bit, then backfill. I broke a crock-style drain once and used this method to repair it. The drain is still in use today.

04-01-2005, 05:40 PM
Never heard of duck tape??
It is MUCH BETTER than the crappy usual DUCT tape

I know how to spell and sound out the letters, thanks...
I guess you shop at HD

I wasn't trying to correct your spelling, only agreeing.

D Felix
04-02-2005, 10:23 AM
I wouldn't use cement "bandages" on corrogated pipe... Not flexible enough, IMHO.

What I've found works best to seal the connections is tile tape. It's black tape, about 1.5-2" wide that is basically electrical tape, but probably a little stronger. It really pulls into the grooves of the pipe and helps to seal it, much better than duct tape.

Problem is finding it can be a challenge. EJP used to carry it, but don't any more. The only place I can find it is our local redi-mix concrete plant- they sell drainage supplies as well.

Good luck. Remember that the geometry of the connection will change slightly once you get it into the trench, compared to how you will have it when you tape the connection. If you forget that, it will cause some headaches when you put it in the trench.:)


04-02-2005, 12:19 PM
The pipe should be laying in stone,and stone should be covering the top.

This should make it easy to dig up the pipe for a needed repair.

You should be using a non-perferated pipe since you are dealing with a main flow.

The Y's should be wrapped in duct tape. (I have not tried Black tape but it sounds like it may work.)

If you have sod to go back on top of the pipe or you are seeding over the pipe then you need a layer of soil over the stone that is on top of the pipe.

Since you are using solid pipe there should not be a problem with the pipe clogging up.You need a fabric between the stone and the soil to keep from looseing the soil through the stone.


04-02-2005, 06:58 PM
Duct tape here

08-08-2015, 06:31 PM
I know a few guys that install this pipe as most home owners want the cheapest way possible. They told me they us silicone rubber on all joints ( put it on heavy and wear thick latex gloves ) Put in the joint ( Y, T, or collars) remember to shoot a few screws in the outside pipe to secure then after caulking use 2" wide Frog duct tape to wrap around all joints a few times. let set for at least 16 hours, then bury the pipe. You'll be fine 3 "or 4" corrugated pipe joints will never be water proof since it's not a tight fit. PVC cement is a waste of time and money. even a few drops of water coming out of the joint is OK if it does leak. I also heard hydraulic cement works good just thin it out and pour it around the joint.

08-09-2015, 10:25 AM
They are not meant to be sealed. The pipe should be sloped down hill for gravity to do the work. These pipes are not designed to have "water pressure" moving the water, just gravity.

Even if you seal it, you'll have another problem. The water will carry debris (even if it is just pollen and dust) that the water will carry when it is moving fast, but will fall out of solution when it slows down. It will accumulate in the low points in your pipe and eventually clog it.

08-09-2015, 02:15 PM
I agree with above post these connections are not meant to be 100% sealed, corrugated pipe installed with enough fall simply allows a path for the water to free flow. I use duct tape at these connections because it's simple cheap and I can install/cover immediately.
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08-09-2015, 04:01 PM
First: https://www.ndspro.com/images/stories/pdfs/drainage/principles-of-exterior-drainage.pdf Read that.
Second: your pipe should not rise one bit. A rise will reduce flow capacity and hold water. I did a post on this site some time ago of how I dig my pipes to ensure proper flow and FLAT trench bottoms. Look it up and dig it right.
Third: fitting generally don't need special treatment. Snap it and forget it. There is a PVC tape if you must seal it. Plumber/pipe supply will have it. As long as the pipe doesn't rise seepage from snap joints are not a problem. The mindset of ahy seal joinys isnt seepage but limit shrub and tree roots from entering the pipe.
Fourth: thanks for the chuckle. :-)
Fifth: screens are the end are not needed. There are special guards that limit creatures making a home in your pipes but with 4" you don't have much to worry about that. No need for a screen.
Sixth: going up 20" on a downspout is not necessary. There is a fancy pants adaptor that makes for a nicer looking result. The book will talk about it.
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08-11-2015, 04:33 PM
I never seal pipe connections. I always use rigid pipe. I use sdr 35 under hardscapes. I orient the pipe so the male end fits into the female end going down hill to minimize debris buildup and aid in positive water flow. I've never had a problem with this.

08-17-2015, 09:42 PM
:hammerhead: you installed it wrong. water moves downhill... constantly. If your pipe is elevated at any point... guess what... it will back up and create an area of standing water. If your pipe is to small... guess what... it cant handle the load and will back up.


09-26-2015, 05:28 PM
Duct tape as well. You can even get camo water proof tape.