- Q.Can gutter downspouts be
connected to 4-inch pipes connected to the footing
drains? The footing drains eventually terminate at
daylight, away from the house.
Paul Fisette responds: This is a terrible
idea. Don’t do it. Downspouts should feed
into a solid, non-perforated pipe that directs roof
water far away from the house. The pipe should run
independently from the footing drain.
Surprisingly, there is nothing in most building
codes that prevents you from connecting downspouts
to a foundation’s perimeter drainage
system. The pipes used for perimeter drainage have
slits or weep holes along the pipe to allow water
to enter the pipe and be carried away. The goal is
to remove water from around the foundation.
Bringing additional water from connected downspouts
to the base of the foundation runs counter to the
system plan, since it introduces water to a place
where you don’t want it. In all
likelihood, the downspout water would leak from the
perforated pipe, saturating the soil near the
footing. If the perimeter footing drain ever fails
or gets blocked, you also run the risk of flooding
the subsoil area.