What’s a Perforated Pipe?

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Perforated pipes are a popular solution for drainage problems caused by rain and floods. They come in various materials and sizes, with polyethylene being the most popular due to its flexibility. The holes or slots in the pipe allow water to fill and be carried away, preventing soil saturation. Perforated pipes are commonly used in residential and public spaces, as well as in agriculture to prevent crop damage from overwatering.

When it rains and floods occur, perforated pipe is a good solution. Available in a variety of sizes for an equally diverse number of uses, this plastic pipe helps relieve sodden backyards, flooded fields, and damp basements. Knowing the different options is a great way to figure out which type of drainage is best for a particular situation.
Perforated pipe can be made from a variety of materials, including iron, PVC, concrete, and clay, but the most popular type is polyethylene. This thick plastic is lightweight and flexible. Flexibility is essential for these types of pipes because they are always buried. As the ground expands and contracts with the seasons, stiffer pipes can break, but polyethylene flexes with movement and stays in one piece.

The distinguishing feature of perforated pipe is the holes or slots punched in the pipe. By cutting holes or crevices, it can fill with water as the soil becomes saturated. This tube carries away moisture and allows the soil to stay dry. The number and size of holes differ between pipes because each combination serves different purposes. Most are relatively small to keep dirt out of the pipe and prevent buildup and clogging.

Residential perforated pipe tends to be quite small, usually about 5 inches (127 mm) in diameter. The installation of perforated pipes around the house occurs frequently to prevent the yards from flooding during heavy rains. Another common household use is for waterproofing basements. Placing a plug of pipe around the foundation prevents leaks in basements and water damage.

Public spaces are also major users of plastic perforated pipes. Large grassy areas use it to avoid turning a baseball diamond or playground into a swamp. These larger spaces tend to use larger diameter pipes because more water seeps through.

One of the largest users of perforated drainage pipes is the agricultural industry. A flooded field can ruin crops and cause serious financial losses. Proper use of pipes helps keep crops from overwatering by carrying excess moisture to nearby ditches. Large 12-inch (304 mm) pipes are often semi-drilled. This style allows water that comes up from the surface and hits the top half of the pipe to be carried away and allows natural groundwater to remain.

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