Question: Mr. Lamoureux, I have been enjoying your column in The Signal since we came to Stevenson Ranch 21 years ago, and you have given me good advice in the past. Now, I am writing with a perplexing situation on our patio.
We have a 3.5-inch drain near the center, and a 10-foot by 3-inch drain separating the patio from the grass. In addition, we have a 2-foot retaining wall on two sides of the patio, one side at the bottom of a 45-degree slope.
The problem: Whenever we get substantial rainfall, as we have been recently, the patio floods. We tried cleaning out the drains after the previous rains about four weeks ago (found quite a bit of dirt and mud) but found ourselves in the same predicament. What would you suggest? Do we call a plumber? A gardener who can deal with this? Thank you.
Answer: Evelyn, thank you for being a loyal Signal reader. You’ll need a plumber who has a jetter. A jetter is a high-pressure water blaster that goes into the pipe and blows out the mud to the street. A snake alone will not work as well as a jetter.
The jetter typically has 4,000 PSI of pressure. You can also ask the plumber to run a camera after the jetting to be sure the pipe is thoroughly clear as well as to see where the mud is entering.
If there are any breaks or tree roots in the pipe, he can isolate the area and then dig it up if needed. Be sure you look over his shoulder on his monitor to see for yourself that the line is clear and if there are any obstructions you see them for yourself.
Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].