- Q.Can gutter downspouts be
connected to 4-inch pipes that lead to footing drains?
The footing drains eventually terminate at daylight,
away from the house.
A.Paul Fisette, director of
Building Materials and Wood Technology at the
University of Massachusetts Amherst and a JLC
contributing editor, responds: Surprisingly,
there is nothing in most building codes that
prevents downspouts from being connected to a
foundation's perimeter drainage system. But there
should be, because this is a bad idea. Pipes used
for perimeter drainage typically are perforated so
that water can be carried away from the foundation.
Additional water from a connected downspout would
likely leak from the perforated pipe, saturating
the soil near the footing. Also, if the perimeter
footing drain ever fails or gets blocked, you run
the risk of flooding the subsoil area.
Instead, downspouts should feed into a solid,
nonperforated pipe that directs roof water far away
from the house. This pipe should run independently
from the footing drain.