Tricky Drainage Situation with SRW

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    Stevem

    That's why I asked the question to begin with. I was sort of thinking exactly what you said but almost every schematic I've ever seen for an SRW has a tile drain in it. So I started to second guess myself, thinking maybe it was absolutely necessary for some reason. Thanks for your explanation and PM calling me back to this thread!
     
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406


    You are on the right track Steve.

    I have pictures of water pouring through wall joints in a heavy storm, and that is the beauty of SRW's. This does not mean this is to be used as the system's drain. It's an all else fails. Just as a drainage chimney is.

    I would be careful telling folks that they don't "need" drain tubing. (Personally, I'm not a fan of the term "drain tile"). Over the course of the last 15 yrs I have had 2 walls fail. One of them was a wall standing at a mere 36" in height. We did not install drain tubing. My foreman even questioned me and I said "nope it'll be just fine". That wall did not last 4 months as a result of WATER. And he was quick to say......"I told you so"!!! Take that for what it's worth.

    Anyone installing the drain tubing at the same level as the ground infront of the wall - probably should not be building walls and should stick with cutting lawns.

    I have a wall detail on PDF of a recent job that our engineer mis-addressed.

    I'll switch computers and post it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    Saying drain tubing isn't necessary is like a patrol sergeant telling his subordinates that it's not necessary to respond to a police call at 3:15 in the a.m. with lights and siren on because no one is out on the roads at that hour.

    I don't normally post job plans online, but the engineer has the incorrect job information. This is a preliminary detail before final detail is completed, so if you really study it - you may find some inconsistencies.

    Click the clicky thing below for a "typical" wall detail. The drainage is your typical drainage detail.

    Go one step further, and you'll see this particular engineer has us install NOT ONE....but THREE drain tubes! The 3rd drain tube is intended to collect any water that may seep into the ground in the undisturbed zone. Not something you see very often, but I can totally relate as in 1999 we had a wall fail as a result of a seasonal spring discharging water into our wall, so it makes sense to me.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  4. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    DVS, could you read my explanation on why drain tile is unnecesary behind and above the sub base, after you read it, think about it and then explain in detail why I am wrong.

    On your drawing, the drain in the sub base will do good, the drain above the sub base, behind the wall is useless, except that it make people feel good. the drain at the back of the excavation, you'll need to explain why that is there.

    "I have pictures of water pouring through wall joints in a heavy storm, and that is the beauty of SRW's. This does not mean this is to be used as the system's drain. It's an all else fails. Just as a drainage chimney is."

    Go to the top right drawing on your attachment and it shows what you were missing that caused that problem.

    "I would be careful telling folks that they don't "need" drain tubing. (Personally, I'm not a fan of the term "drain tile"). Over the course of the last 15 yrs I have had 2 walls fail. One of them was a wall standing at a mere 36" in height. We did not install drain tubing. My foreman even questioned me and I said "nope it'll be just fine". That wall did not last 4 months as a result of WATER. And he was quick to say......"I told you so"!!! Take that for what it's worth."

    You should probably re-evaluate that wall failure. If enough water gets behind your wall, you made a mistake somewhere else.

    One more thing, check your condescending attitude. I've been hardscaping for twelve years and have built walls in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.
     
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    No condescending attitude, Stevo. Being a small business owner and wearing MANY hats - I have far better/more important things to do than peck away at the keyboard for the hell of it! I take this very seriously.

    Steve, You're not an engineer, right?

    Ok.

    So, The sergeant can't know when some nurse just got off from working overtime at the hospital and the she is driving home in the wee hrs of the a.m, so it would be wrong for him to tell his team they don't need to use lights and siren because there is no one on the roads at that hour. This would violate due-dilligance.

    The wall builder can't know when site conditions may change. So you take all necessary measures.

    It's easier to install a drainage system from the get-go than it is to return to build it. This way all measures are in place. Relying on the properly butted together wall joints as a drain system is absurd. Condensending? Ok, if it were that simple - then why is everyone fooling with gravel and all that jazz??

    Lewie's diagram showed tight working quarters. I'd hate to have to tear apart a wall with no space to stack block and pile stone and dirt.

    We all know water is the SRW's biggest enemy. As I've stated numerously on this fourm, the name of the game is to find ways to route water away from the wall before it comes anywhere close to the wall.

    Infact, with wall designs, there are usually written details with a paragragh or two addressing this, usually making mentions of swales.

    Your drainage chimney and your drain tubing is an all else fails. Just like a modern day smoke detector - it's hardwired, so if you forget to change the battery, it MIGHT still alert you. But since we never forget to change the battery, we don't need our smoke detector hard wired.

    When walls start to get complicated, thats when you address the client as to how necessary it is that they have a wall.

    I think I've pretty much covered my thoughts and experiences. This forum's terms of use do not bind anyone to agreeing with me :)

    And....my geographic location borders multiple states too! Do I get a prize?



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  6. MexicanAmerican1

    MexicanAmerican1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Anybudy know of wall failure due to no drain tile? Just curious.
     
  7. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    DVS, explain why the drain tile is needed. If you can't, just say so. I don't need to hear about cops and nurses. Put your thinking cap on and explain it to me.
     
  8. MexicanAmerican1

    MexicanAmerican1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Steve, Im agreeing with you. Im come here learn the language and work bery hard. Im on internet trying to learn as much as possible an Im coming here and this person making fun of me for no typing the english bery well. Es not necessary. Im reading posts and Im thinking this guy have good information but he think he invent paver or sumthing. He not like to answer question, only ask.

    Take it easy man. Im thinking we all here to learn and help each other. No need to be sabelotodo.
     
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    Steve, there are a million ways to skin a cat. At this point I'm not interested in engaging in an online pissing match, moreover I really don't have the time for all this typing. I can discuss much quicker than I can type. If you would like to discuss anything and share ideas feel free to call me at (301) 416-2600. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure you're more interested in arguing, which is non-productive.

    Not all walls need drain tubing (as you know). Walls have been built for hundreds and hundreds of years.....long before plastic was ever invented.

    Lewie, shared a drawing of a tightly confined scenerio.

    Had Lewie showed a drawing with a wall along a back property line 125-feet away from any structures I would have expressed my views differntly.

    My statements are directed towards his drawing, and are my opinions.

    The 2 walls that failed us are not theory. I'm sharing what happened, how
    and why.




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  10. juststartin

    juststartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 341

    DVS... at a loss of words???? It can't be so.:waving:

    I don't think Steve is trying to argue. We all want to hear what you(DVS) have to say(because we respect your opinion) but we don't need a 5th grade analogy either.

    After reading the thread and mulling over it... it seems like it is "hardscape policy" to put drain tile in walls, yet no one ever sees anything come out of the drain pipe?

    In Jim's case the mere sight of the pipe is just offensive. Just thinking outloud. Is there any way to create a water path that will not involve a pipe? What about using larger aggregate? What about wrapping it with water permeable fabric? Or if you must have a pipe... what about having it end a foot before the wall ends and just using aggregate so there is not an offensive view of the pipe?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011

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