How Deep Can A Pop Up Drain Be?

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If your yard has an issue with excess rainwater, you’re not alone. Homeowners all over the world have been trying to manage excess water for decades. Pop-up drains are a great way to discreetly move excess water away from your home. If you’re considering a pop-up drainage system, you may have a few concerns- how deep can a pop-up drain be?

Generally, pop-up drains in your yard can be anywhere from a few inches below the soil line to 16 inches below it, depending on your environment and specific needs. Remember, the pop-up drain emitter needs to be lower than the drain inlet. 

Now that you have an idea of how deep your pop-up drain can be, scroll down to read more about pop-up drain systems. We’ll discuss how pop-up drains work, concerns over pop-up drains freezing, drain emitters, and how to clean your pop-up drain system if there is a clog. We have done the research to help answer your questions and calm your concerns.

Running tap water in a sink, How Deep Can A Pop Up Drain Be?

What Is A Pop-Up Drain?

Pop-up drains are an effective drain system that redirects captured water to a “water-safe” area. This area may be a drainage ditch, street, pond, or any other area that keeps water away from your home’s foundation.

The system allows for captured water from gutters, catch basins, and downspouts to be carried through a drainage pipe away from your home. The drain leads to a pop-up drain emitter, opened by hydrostatic pressure (pressure exerted by a fluid at rest due to the force of gravity), which then releases the water away from the home to the desired area.

Because the system relies on hydrostatic pressure, the system does not require electricity to operate. When not in use, the lid on the pop-up drain emitters close. This keeps small animals and debris from entering and clogging the drainage system.

How Deep Should Your Pop-Up Drain Be?

Pop-up drain systems should be buried at a gradual decline. The entry point for water should be buried roughly two inches above the exit point (the pop-up drain emitter). This will allow the water to flow through the system easier.

In colder climates, bury your system deeper to help combat freezing. Remember, the deeper you bury the pop-up drain, the more water will be needed to eject the water from the emitter. Most pop-up drain emitters come with a pre-fitted elbow to easily install onto your drain pipe. If your pipe needs to be deeper, make sure to purchase an emitter without an elbow or a “replacement emitter” to fit onto your pipe.

Check out pop-up emitters and replacements on Amazon.

Will A Pop-Up Drain Freeze?

Although the system is designed to keep water moving away from the house, pop-up drains can freeze if there is standing water in the system. A smaller drain located in the pipe below the emitter normally prevents most standing water in the system, draining the excess water into the ground.

But, the freezing concerns come on warm winter days. If the sun melts the snow on your roof, but the ground underneath the pipe is still frozen, the water may get stuck in the system and freeze again when the temperature drops. Luckily, if there is enough water to start the system, the emitter will disperse the water.

Whatever water that is left in the pipe may freeze but shouldn’t be enough to burst your pop-up drain system. Pipe heating strips or cables may help prevent any freezing from happening. Concerned homeowners may consider redirecting their gutter outflow in the winter to prevent water from entering the system until spring. This would save your system from any damage due to freezing.

Check out underground pipe heating cables on Amazon.

Do Pop-Up Drain Emitters Work?

Excess water around the outside of your home can create leaks or cracks in your foundation, a waterlogged yard, and potentially kill your landscape. Pop-up drain emitters work well to combat these issues when properly placed and installed.

If your soil does not drain well, your gutter system drains too much water into one area, or if your property suffers from grading issues that prevent water from draining away from the house, a pop-up drain system would be ideal in helping combat excess water. Pop-up drain emitters are a great alternative to drain grates which tend to clog over time.

And unlike French drains or drain grates, pop-up drains are concealed from view, allowing your property to keep a clean look. If you’re in an urban or suburban area, emitters work well close to a street. Due to the hydrostatic pressure, the emitter has the potential for overshooting curbs. This will move the excess water to the street without the homeowners having to drill through concrete curbsides.

How Do You Clean A Pop-Up Yard Drain?

Typically, you shouldn’t have to clean your pop-up drain system. The system is designed to prevent debris and small animals from entering the pipes. But if you find your system isn’t working properly and suspect a clog, cleaning your pop-up yard drain is easy.

First, inspect your entry and exit points. Most likely the clog is at the gutter or entry drain. Remove any debris found and flush the rest with water. Check your emitter and make sure nothing is keeping the top from closing properly. With a hose, run water through your system for a few minutes to clean out any extra debris that may have entered your pop up drain system. If the clog is in the middle of the pipe between your entry point and your emitter, you may need to dig up the pipe to remove the clog.

In Closing

Pop-up drains are an effective way for homeowners to discreetly move water away from their homes. The system can be buried at a depth between a few inches to 16 inches deep as long as the pop-up drain emitter is sloped from the entry point of water. Although there is a potential for the system to freeze, it is unlikely. Pop-up drain systems are simple, easy to install, and easy to clean.

Before you go, check out these other articles to help with your home maintenance:

How To Stop Rain From Overshooting The Gutter?

How To Fix A Leaky Basement Wall From The Inside

Are Gutters Hard to Install? [Can This Be Your Next DIY Project?]

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