View Full Version : PVC pipe outside of house keeps overflowing

08-02-2010, 12:21 PM
First off, I am not a professional plumber.

Here is the situation. Outside of my house there are two PVC pipes. Each has its own separate location. One is to the left of the side door on the house and the other is on the back of the house. Both pipes are no more than 1" away from the house.

The pipe I am concerned about is the one in the back of the house. The PVC pipe isn't connected to any other pipes. It just sits in the ground about 5" deep, with another inch or so above ground. The pipe has an inch gap on the side closest to the house. This gap runs from the top of the pipe to the bottom. This pipe constantly keeps filling up with water and it overflows onto the back patio and makes it look as though it had been raining outside, although that isn't the case.

Yesterday, I pumped all of the water out of the PVC pipe to see what would happen and sure enough within a couple of hours it was full again and overflowing. About two inches down from where the bottom rows of brick on the house, I could feel a small hole on the side of the house in which water seemed to be leaking out of, but it wasn't like there was a pipe there.

If no one knows what this is off the top of their head, then I will try to provide pictures because I have no clue what this is for. Our last water bill was not out of the norm, but this overflow of water has just started recently, so it might show up on the next bill.

Thanks for any help.

08-02-2010, 12:56 PM
If it's a 4" pipe, it may be for draing the gutters, or for ground water.

Have you looked at your water meter to see if that is moving?
A leaking water main could be filling the pipes.

If you post a picture, use 800 pixels or less.

08-02-2010, 02:20 PM
Thanks for the reply Terry. It would probably be best if I posted a picture. Give me a day and maybe I will have one up.

08-03-2010, 02:47 PM
Well, upon further examination it seems as though it has something to do with the AC.

I've noticed no water movement in the pipe when the AC isn't on. However, when the AC is on then you clearly see water. I've now noticed a small little pipe where the water is draining out.

Is this just an AC overflow pipe?

08-04-2010, 06:13 AM
Sounds like it is a drain for your AC condensate. When AC runs, water vapor that is in the air condenses on the cold coils. This water is collected and drained to either the sewer system or outside. Sometimes you will also see in older homes when the AC unit was added in the basement, but there are no drain lines located low enough, there will be a pan to collect the condensate and a condensate pump that will pump it to the outside or to another drain.

08-04-2010, 12:28 PM

Had my cousin take a picture with his iPhone. There is no basement. The house was built around the mid 70's, with some remodeling in the 90's. The car port was transformed into a living room and there was a 2nd AC unit added. This is the picture of the outback PVC pipe I was talking about.

Let me know what you all think.


08-05-2010, 02:44 PM
Anybody know exactly what that picture is, also read the first post.


Nate R
08-06-2010, 02:53 AM
Looks to me like Nukeman was correct - probably the A/C condensate line draining into that pipe.

08-06-2010, 06:10 AM
This pipe constantly keeps filling up with water and it overflows onto the back patio and makes it look as though it had been raining outside, although that isn't the case.

That piece of pipe is only there to stop the discharge from your AC condensor from cutting a rut where it hits the ground, and it is "overflowing" simply because the rocks inside and under it have become saturated with dirt. You can remove that pipe, replace it or do whatever else you wish to keep you AC discharge off your patio as long as you do not block all flow.

08-06-2010, 11:13 AM
If you are using a condensate pump, you may be able to relocate the outlet to another area. The pumps differ in how big of a reservoir they have and how high they can pump. If it is gravity, you could also probably just extend the line, as long as it can pitch properly, to where ever you wish. If you dug out that sump, then filled it with sand or gravel, it might seep into the ground faster than what's there now.

08-06-2010, 11:56 AM
Sounds good. Thank you all for your advice and thoughts.