Landscape drains

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The Importance of Pop-Up Drain Emitters

A pop-up drain emitter is part of a system that more efficiently carries water away from a house’s foundation than a standard downspout.

I’ve said many times that the most important decisions we made in the construction of our home were around the things you never see: the blown-in insulation, the PEX plumbing, the argon gas between the panes of our high-efficiency windows, and so on.

We thought about and planned for a lot of things like that during the pre-construction phase of our home-building adventure. And of course, there were things we missed. One of the most important: pop-up drain emitters.

Drainage Basics

Most standard drainage systems have a downspout that catches water from the gutters on the roof and deposits it some small distance (around 1 – 3 feet) away from the house’s foundation. With soil that drains well and proper grading, this can work okay. Which is what we thought would happen for us. But it didn’t.

With each rainstorm we watched water quickly wash away the dirt and mulch in the planting beds in front of our house. The soil around our foundation even began to erode. I’m no home-building expert, but I knew right away this was not a good situation.

What Is a Pop-Up Drain Emitter?

So, what is a pop-up drain? It’s a drain system that more efficiently carries water away from a house’s foundation than a standard downspout does. (View example on Amazon.) A flexible hose is attached to the downspout, which is then run through a trench to a simple emitter that “pops up” once the water pressure builds enough, allowing it to disperse over a larger surface area, so it doesn’t cause damage or erosion.

Do I Need a Pop-Up Drain Emitter?

We worked with the service department of our builder to have pop-up drains installed, and we’ve seen an immense difference. Our mulch is staying where it should, and our plants are beginning to recover. Most importantly, our foundation is staying protected.

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