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fabric wrapped pipe good or bad

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by wab1234, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. wab1234

    wab1234 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    this complicated so i will do my best to describe. i built a 4 ft high retaining wall 3 feet from the edge of cold storage freezer that was having problems with heaving because of water getting underneath and freezing.so i put a french drain long the side of the building. i put a drain pipe with holes in the bottom of the trench and wrapped it in what looked like a sock then pitched to the loading dock area with a storm drain to get rid of the water. the trench filled with water during a big rainstorm with only a couple gallons a minute coming out of the pipe.So i put a pump in the trench and put the discharge in a clean out i had installed, the water came out the end of the pipe no problem. The pipe is pitched correctly and not crushed.SO MY QUESTION IS HAS ANYONE EVER USED THIS SOCK AND HAD PROBLEMS WITH IT.I think now it sucks but it seemed like a good idea at the time. the pipe is set in 3/4 stone with nothing on top so i will dig out the pipe and remove the sock which seems to stopping water getting into the pipe. I also put landscape fabric under the stone so no dirt could migrate up into the stone and pipe i wish i knew how to post pictures so i could show it a little clearer
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Pics are easy to post. Click on the "post reply" below the last post in a thread and scroll down to "manage attachments". Browse through and find the ones you want.

    Now to your question. If the drain pipe is set in washed 3/4 stone (no fines), then a sock is not needed. However, it should not hurt that there is one on there. For all practical purposes, sock pipe will flow water just as fast as non-sock pipe.

    Did you check the installation of the pipe with a laser/transit? Or are you just assuming since it flowed water with the pump that it's in correctly?

    Without seeing any pics of what you did, I'd say you are blaming something that's not the problem (the sock). Having laid thousands of feet of pipe in the last 10 years, its not hard to do, but it's also really EASY to screw it up. ;)

    Post some pics and we'll go from there. It's hard to get a good idea of what's going on by your description.
  3. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    During my NCMA class last year, the instructor spoke of fabrics and their ability to get "clogged" with dirt and fines. This then limits the flow through the pipe. Possibility???

  4. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    If the gravel around the pipe was clean gravel to begin with, there should be little to no clogging of the sock right after a new install. Which is what this sounds like.

    It's a possibility that it's clogged (I've never had perfectly clean washed stone), but I find that hard to believe. I've put sock pipe in a clay trench, backfilled with a VERY sandy loam soil, and still had water coming out of the pipe.

    Again, I'd like to see some pics before I say it's definately this or definately that. :)
  5. chris638

    chris638 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    It doesn't matter how well you backfill with clean gravel. Socks around pipes are the worst. They act similar to a coffee filter. The first time you use it, the water will flow well. But each time it rains more and more sediment gets into them and will plug them up. Plus water will find the easiest path to travel, so unless the water is standing at the pipe, the water will filter through the gravel and move to the base of the wall (NOT GOOD) or leach through the wall. If you are using rigid perforated pipe all you need to do is have approximately 1" of clean 3/4" gravel put on the bottom and then completely cover and surround the pipe with the gravel. Not the state the obvious, but make sure the holes on the pipe are facing down. Any sediment that does migrate through the gravel and into the pipe will easily be taken away.
  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    That was something I meant to ask- is the pipe corrogated (with slits) or solid wall with holes?
  7. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    The NCMA class i took last week spoke against the sock.
  8. Shadetree Ltd

    Shadetree Ltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I would assume the pipe was corrugated, I haven't seen solid pvc that comes in a sock. The drain is most likely working if it is graded properly. Remember french drains work on ground saturation and the rising water table. Just because it is pouring rain right now, most of the rainfall has to perculate through the surface, saturate the sub soil and raise the water table/saturation to the height of the drain. The drain is exiting water that has risen into it, not fallen. The depth of the drain as well as the type of soils you are working in will drastically change the performance of the drain. You should see water coming out of the pipe for a long time after the rain has stopped (provided enough fell in the first place).
  9. wab1234

    wab1234 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    the stone did have some fines in it and for the first 3 months perfect no problem. there is also a similar system that drains a concrete road and slab that drains to the same storm drain it always has brownish water coming out when it rains. the water coming out of the socked pipe you could drink. so it was exactly like a coffee filter and the fines clogged the holes in the pipe because of the sock. To answer that question the pipe had about half inch holes not slits
  10. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929



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