How to Install PVC Pipe for Drainage

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 can construction marker spray paint

  • Rental trenching machine

  • Shovel

  • Gloves (if needed)

  • Section of 4-inch diameter PVC pipe, 8 foot (number sections needed pending project)

  • Rain gutter adapter

  • Various PVC adapters 4-inch diameter (elbows, couplers, T connectors)

  • PVC cement

  • Gravel


Avoid contact of the cement to the hands or skin as it can cause burns.

Use caution and follow the manufacturer guidelines when operating the trencher as the blades underneath could cause serious injury.

PVC Drainage Pipe

Installing a PVC drainage system and connecting it to your existing rain gutter is a great way to help prevent water damage to your home or erosion to your landscape. Water that stands or is drained at the foundation of the home will, over time, erode or seep into the foundation and cause structural issues. By connecting a series of PVC pipes underground and hooking them up to your gutter system, you can divert the water away from the home and safely into a designated area.


Step 1

Start from the location of the down spout on the gutter system, and mark the desired path of the PVC drainage pipe on the ground, using construction marker spray.

Step 2

Begin at the very end of where the drainage will end and set the depth on the trencher to 16 inches. Dig the trench up to the down spout on the house following the marked path from step 1. The trenching unit automatically maintains the right depth as it follows the contour of the ground toward the house.

Step 3

Smooth out the bottom of the trench as needed to remove any rocks or roots. At the end of the trench where the pipe will end, dig a shallow hole that is 16 inches deep and about 36 inches in diameter.


Step 4

Attach the down spout adapter to the bottom of the rain gutter down spout and secure it in place with the existing clips that will snap around the down spout holding it in place.

Step 5

Hold the 90-degree elbow in the bottom of the trench below the adapter, and measure the distance between the middle of the elbow and the adapter. Cut a piece of PVC pipe to that measurement. Apply PVC cement to the outside of each end of the cut pipe and to the inside of the elbow and adapter. Quickly insert one end of the pipe into the adapter and the remaining end into the elbow, and allow the cement to set.


Step 6

Apply cement to one end of a new section of pipe and to the remaining end of the elbow, and insert the pipe into the elbow to form the next connections.

Step 7

Apply cement to the remaining end of the pipe and to the inside end of one of the couplers. Insert the coupler over the end of the pipe and allow the cement to set. Repeat this step to connect additional sections of pipe using the couplers or other fitting to make any turns in the layout of the pipe as needed.

Step 8

Measure and cut the last length of pipe as needed to end with about six inches extending into the 3-foot wide hole. Cement this piece of pipe to the pipe in the trench using the same process as above.


Step 9

Fill in the hole with the gravel and spread it out even with the shovel, covering the end of the pipe.

Step 10

Shovel dirt under any portion of the pipe that is not laying flat on the bottom of the trench to add support. This will help to keep the pipe from breaking from the weight of the dirt as you fill in the trench.

Step 11

Fill in the trench with the dirt and pack it evenly across the ground.


references & resources

Laurie Brown

Laurie Brown has worked as a high school English teacher for the last several years and loves writing. She enjoys helping her students develop a love and appreciation for writing, reading, and literature. Laurie has a degree in education with a major in English. Currently she is a writer for eHow.