03:05PM | 08/03/03
Member Since: 08/02/03
1 lifetime posts
I have an outside stairwell with a drain. The drain system is a gravel filled drainage box. I believe the drainage box has become filled with silt over the years and drains rather slowly. Is there a way to remove the silt without jack hammering out the concrete floor or am I stuck with replacing the concret and drain?

plumber Tom

04:31PM | 08/06/03
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
If the drain is tied into the waterproofing system, try to flush it with a garden hose. If it's tied into the house plumbing, try to snake it with a cable. Just suggestions before you decide you have to break it out...... good luck, Tom


12:05PM | 04/23/04
Member Since: 04/22/04
1 lifetime posts
I've actually got a similar problem. I doubt my drain is tied to the house plumbing. I tried snaking it, but couldn't get it to go much further than a couple feet.

The drain itself is a hole that is approx. 4" in diameter that goes only a couple inches into the ground. Then there's a perpendicular 1/2" hole that goes horizontal away from the main hole (into a french drain? I have no idea).

House was built in 1940. The stairwell in question leads to my (daylight) basement.

I'm thinking to just jackhammer the stairwell and auger a hole as deep as an auger will go. Fill that with gravel. Recement and leave a new 4" hole right above the gravel. What am I missing? This solution (which is just off the top of my inexperienced head) seems too easy.

One concern that I have with this solution is: how do I prevent the new drain from becoming "silt-ridden?"

Any advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

plumber Tom

02:10PM | 04/23/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
2 things. 1) If the drain is in fact tied into the main house drain plumbing, you don't want sewer gas filling up your basement. 2) If the drain is tied into the french drain, you want to clear it if possible to allow for drainage when it rains so ground water will not collect at the bottom of your steps and/or doorway. Try to determine how this drain is connected, it may lead to nowhere, but on the other hand you don't want scenario #1. Sometimes waterproofers use what is called a grid drain that ties into the existing pipe inside your basement around the perimeter. If you can see what type of pipe that leads away from the drain that may be helpful in your determination. Floor drains connected to house plumbing are usually cast-iron. The drain connected to a french drain may be made of plastic or some kind of ABS pipe.
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