Guys and their *pop-ups*

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    I have a few pet peeves from this line of work.

    And one of my favorite is when I go on a sales presentation and a prosepctive client goes over all the details of their project and they tell me "and when we bury this downspout we'll need a pop-up emitter at the end of the pipe". And I respond "oh, why do you want a pop-up?" They respond "because they guy that was here 2 days ago said we need one"!! And this is when I need to pause my presentation and spend 15 minutes going over my thoughts on pop ups!

    (Let me back up here. For the disclaimer, we are in MD. We have winter. We have snow. We have ice. We have frozen ground. )

    Pop-ups - the quick, easy solution for those that DON'T know how handle a drainage issue!

    Pop-ups - an inexpensive cost alternative to appease the customer so they think you have a grasp on how to handle their drainage issue, without having to resort to more costy measures to properly contend with the issue!

    Folks -

    I've been waiting for an opportunity to snap a photo of the ground covered in ice to convince prospective clients that pop ups and NOT what they need. Here is a picture I shot the other week to include in my arsenol of photograghs. In the pic, you can tell there is ice ontop of the ground, right? But really, it was a warm day out, snow was melting off the roofs.

    Folks, tell me how on earth a pop up emitter is supposed to function WHEN IT'S BURRIED BELOW A SOLID SHEET OF ICE!!


    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  2. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    We use them when the customer won't spend the extra coin to trench the extra length to daylight the pipe. You brought up a good point for me to reconsider and to show the customer what can happen with freeze areas.

    Andrew how do you end your pipe runs?
  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I don't even know what a pop up thing a mabob is.

    99% of the time we pipe the downspouts/and any other drains to day light. ONE time that was not possible and we dug a big hole, ligned it with fabric and filled it clean stone.
  4. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    If there is not an area to daylight the drain to the face of a wall, or something vertical for that matter, you will end up using an NDS popup drain, unless you can dump into an existing drain line that might feed to the city sewer. We do all the time in TEXAS, but obviously we don't have the freeze snow issue.

    I could see a big problem if the roof melts ice, gutters fill with water, but the popup is frozen shut, then the downspouts pop off the house due to weight... now that would be an issue not to use a popup drain.

  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    We simply daylight the pipe(s) and allow the water to exit and spill into the lawn. Many clients start with saying they don't want the pipe in the yard because of unsightyness or trip hazards. Well, the water valve in the front lawn and the sewer clean out in the front lawn is a trip hazard! As far as asthetics - do you want a pretty yard or do you want to get the water off your roof and away from your foundation?

    One thing I think we need to start doing is placing grates on the exit end of the pipe as we recently had a job where a rodent make a home in the pipe!

    We have been doin hardscapes for almost 13 years (for those that forgot!) and to this day we have NOT installed a single pop up emitter.

  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    We use them quite often and what I tell the client is come early march when the snow is melting and the ground is frozen I tell them to disconnect at the downspout. The ground is frozen anyway so having it drain to daylight isn't going to do it much good in the winter anyway. They are a clean solution to spring summer and autumn drainage woes.
  7. CertPro

    CertPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    I use them all the time without issue. As with anything there is a certain level of maintenance that one must perform. Believe it or not, there are some properties that will not allow a pipe to be daylighted and in those cases, pop-ups work quite well.
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    :) Now we're gettin the responses I was anticipating!!! :)

    You mean after your job is all said and done there is WORK that someone is supposed to remember to do?? Your jobs come with home work assignments?

    CertPro, could you please share with us the "maintenance" that must be performed. And who is responsible for performing this "maintenance"?

    Might this "maintenance" share similar tasks with home owners watering their new plants? We all know how well that goes!

    I certainly hope you're not saying the client whom is working 60 to 70 hours a week and has their hands full with taking his/her 3 kids to their sporting events in the evenings and on weekends, and is helping the kids with their homework is supposed to take care of this "maintenance".

    Or I certainly hope you're not going to say the widowed, 64 year old retired female school teacher had you build a 400 SF patio is supposed to go out on that ice and chissel it away from the pop up?

    Please tell me I'm over reacting so my blood pressure can stop boiling!!
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  9. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Certpro why dont just create a stone pit? Hell, you can fill the pit with paver scraps and it will still work.
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    As far as the pop-up emitter not "popping" there really is no solution besides not using one at all or making sure to get it "popped" yourself. And yes, I'd rather daylight a pipe than use a pop-up...its just easier. However, a pop-up is an easier solution than approval for a drainage pipe. Here in Jersey I have to jump through hoops to get approval. It just isn't worth it. Between the engineers and the township approvals its a pain in the ass. Drawings, roof footage calculations, pit sizes, approved stone...the back and forth to the township..argghhhh. It sucks! So, call me lazy, say I'm not doing the job right, saving on the job cost, say whatever you want...placing a pop-up (again if can't daylight) is simply easier.

    However, at a minimum at least make sure they are installed correctly. When/if we use the pop-up emitters we make sure to drill a hole (if one isn't already present) on the 90 elbow to the pop-up. At the spot that the pop-up emitter is located we auger a 36" wide by about a 36" deep hole (below the actual elbow). That gets backfilled with filter fabric and 3/4" clean stone. That way any excess water in the pipe is able to "trickle" out of the pipe. That solves the "freezing in the pipe" issue. Some don't do this and you can tell b/c there is water visable in the pipe when you take off the pop-up. As a result the pipe is usally sticking above the ground were the mower blades nail it.

    Not that I have installed hundreds of these pop-ups but of the few I've used there hasn't been any major problem with the winter snow. The only time it actually is a problem is if we get a terrential rain with more than a few inches of snow/ice already on the ground. If it is just melting snow off the roof the hole in the bottom of the elbow is enough to accept the trickle from the roof.

    Fire Away DVS, I enjoy your responses and your topics.:waving:

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