How to Install PVC Pipe on a Foundation for Gutter Drains

Leaky foundations and flooded basements affect many homeowners regardless of the age of their home. Most of this water comes from rainwater collected in the home's gutter system that flows through the downspouts to the base of the home, where it seeps into the ground and through the basement walls. However, the installation of a drainage pipe system around the foundation of your home will channel that excess water away from the foundation.

PVC pipe is cost-effective and easy to work with.
  1. Place a 4-inch 90 degree coupler at the base of each downspout and dry fit a length of 4-inch PVC pipe into the coupler and lay the pipe on the ground in the direction you intend to drain the storm water.

  2. Continue to lay and dry fit pipes from the base of each downspout. To reduce the amount of pipe you need to lay, you can connect pipes using a 4-inch Y coupler. If you are connecting a total of 4 pipes into one drainage line, you should connect the two secondary 4-inch pipe lines to a 6-inch main drainage pipe with a 4-inch to 6-inch Y connector.

  3. Cut any excess pipe length by marking the pipe with a pencil and carefully cutting the pipe with a hacksaw.

  4. Dig a trench 12 to 14 inches deep to bury your pipe. The trench should be shallower at the downspout and progressively deeper away from the foundation. To ensure good drainage you should plan on a slope of 1/4-inch per foot of pipe.

  5. Glue your pipes together and allow the cement to set.

  6. Bury the drainage pipes.


  • Contact your utility companies and have them mark your electric and gas lines so that you do not strike a utility line while digging.
  • Check with your local zoning board to determine if you are permitted to discharge your storm to a low point on your property,or if you must tie your system into the municipal sewage system.

About the Author

Kevin Owen has been a professional writer since 2005. He served as an editor for the American Bar Association's "Administrative Law Review." Owen is an employment litigator in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and practices before various state and federal trial and appellate courts. He earned his Juris Doctor from American University.