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Thread: Water Source Heat Pump Discharge

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Wichita, KS
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    Default Water Source Heat Pump Discharge

    Hello-

    Not sure if this is the correct forum to post, but here goes...

    We have 2 water source heat pumps that discharge into a "french drain" type of setup. Last winter, I began to notice water seeping form the ground and washouts occurring out in the yard, approximately 100' from the house. I have finally been able to dig down and locate the discharge line, a 6" pvc sewer/drain line with holes drilled in one side. This line is approximately 3' below the surface, with gravel 1' around all sides. I found one spot where roots have intruded the line, and suspect more. This line the used to be (I would guess) perfectly round, is now oval in shape.

    I had a sewer/drain company out today that didn't really want to try to auger the line, as he thought his tools would simply damage the line. The line also does not have a cleanout (that I have been able to find).

    Does anybody have thoughts as to what to do to either:

    A-open the line and keep open (whether it's annual cleaning, etc)

    or
    B-replace line with something less permeable to tree roots

    Thanks in advance

    Jeremy

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    ANything with holes and water running through it is going to invite tree roots. An alternative would be to drill a well, and inject the water there below where the roots normally would grow, but that may need some environmental impact work - not sure about the rules for that.
    Interesting problem (probably not to you!)...see what others have to say.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member PistonDog's Avatar
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    Salem, NH
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    Lightbulb

    There's a new type of leachfield pipe being installed that uses 12" (slightly perforated) black pipe surrounded by a 1" green non-woven plastic mat, all covered by (something like) landscape fabric. Seems pretty impervious to roots. Might give you an idea.

    The ultimate source of all knowledge (wikipedia) describes some french drains as being lined with landscaping fabric.

    "Landscaping textiles are used to prevent migration of the drainage material as well as preventing dirt and roots from entering and clogging the drainage pipe."

    Might be worth a try.

    Whats the output (or input) of the system (gallons/day)?

    PD

  4. #4
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    An alternative would be to drill a well, and inject the water there below where the roots normally would grow, but that may need some environmental impact work - not sure about the rules for that.
    Sending water down a well is not allowed here in Minnesota.

    I would chock it up to bad construction and rip it up and replace with ones with more fabric.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

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