If you are installing new runs for underground drainage or converting or switching existing runs, you are legally required in the UK to inform your Building Control Department. When you contact them, you need to present drawings of your proposed drain works and also have the works inspected by a Building Control Officer. If your project is merely a replacement of underground drains, then no contact is necessary.
The Colours of Underground and Aboveground Pipes
When you search online, you will find a variety of pipes that have been used for underground drainage projects. They are made from materials, such as uPVC, vitrified clay, concrete, or glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP). Today, most pipes are made of more sustainable or safe materials, such as plastic. Pipes for underground drains always have a distinct brown tone, whilst above-ground pipes are coloured black or grey.
Most properties in the UK have featured two types of pipes for underground drainage since the late part of the 1970’s. These pipes are designed with plastic uPVC or clay.
The uPVC pipe material is cheaper and more popular. In parts of the country where soil movement is an issue, experts recommend the use of pipes made with vitrified clay. Linking older clay pipes to newer plastic pipes can be facilitated with the use of a clay-to-plastic coupling.
Plastic Underground Drainage Pipes
Using plastic underground drainage pipes for your drainage needs has obvious benefits. Not only are the pipes easy to use, they are lighter in weight and need less connections. Plastic pipes come in three meter and six meter lengths. Plastic pipe runs used for underground applications may be rigid and therefore less flexible.
Generally, you only need a hacksaw to cut a plastic pipe. However, using a cheap wood saw may be better in order to achieve a straight cut. If you are installing any plastic pipe work during the winter season, you should take your time while cutting the pipe. During cold weather, the material is more brittle, and therefore more prone to crack or fracture.
File Down the Cut Edge of the Pipe
After cutting the pipe, you should file down the edge to create a chamfer. With this approach, you can more easily install the connector and lubricant. Whilst a large number of drain layers use fairy liquid to lubricate and join pipes, professionals normally advise the use of a proprietary compound.
The affordability of a pipe made of plastic will be offset by the higher costs associated with backfill materials. The backfill materials used with clay pipe sections are normally cheaper by comparison.
Before you lay the pipe, you need to dig a trench. However, do not dig the trench too far ahead of schedule. An overnight rain can cause the channel to fill with water or collapse, which can halt your project for a while. Once you complete the installation of your underground drainage run, you can begin the back filling process.