How To Stop A Corrugated Drain Pipe From Leaking

Corrugated drain pipes manufactured correctly can offer adequate performance for years without maintenance. However, issues will eventually develop. 

The best policy is to find solutions that prevent leaking from occurring. These reduce long-term servicing costs and enable installations to perform to the desired specification for longer. 

The next-best policy is to learn what may go wrong and the optimal repair methods. Corrugated drain piping can leak for multiple reasons, including from the coupler joints and through damage to pipe surfaces.

Key Summary Table

SectionKey Points
Preventing Leakage– Selecting the right pipes with considerations for wall thickness, internal smoothness, and chemical resistance. – Plasdrain™ is highlighted for its durable and flexible corrugated stormwater drainage system. – Choosing proper joint and connector designs, ensuring the correct slope and alignment, and adopting rigorous quality control measures. – Importance of using accepted backfilling and compaction standards to prevent pipe movement and cracking. – The necessity of thorough testing to identify and mitigate unforeseen issues.
Choosing the Right Pipes– Emphasis on thicker walls, higher load-bearing capacities, and smooth interiors for improved flow and reduced abrasion. – Chemical resistance is crucial for transporting aggressive chemicals, with enhancements like chlorination and glass fibers. – Plasdrain™ offers a corrugated stormwater system with extensive testing for durability, chemical and abrasion resistance, and load capacities.
Joint and Connector Design– Importance of selecting suitable connectors to prevent leaks, with considerations for matching pipe specifications and minimizing connection points. – Recommendations include lockable couplers and solvent welding for secure, long-lasting connections.
Slope and Alignment– Correct slope and alignment enhance drainage efficiency and reduce the risk of damage. – Engineers should avoid sharp directional changes and consider thermal properties of the ground when choosing coupling solutions.
Quality Control– Pre-installation inspections, adherence to manufacturer instructions, and advanced sealing processes are crucial for preventing leaks. – Compression couplings, locking couplers, and solvent cement are top options for ensuring joint integrity.
Backfilling and Compaction– Proper backfilling and compaction standards prevent pipe movement and cracking. – Only specified materials should be used, with attention to particle sizes, weight tolerances, and depth limits. – Testing for ground stress and seeking alternative routes if needed to accommodate traffic-related disturbances.
Testing– Testing is essential to identify potential failures due to contextual factors, even when installations meet manufacturer specifications. – Regular inspection and maintenance schedules can minimize long-term repair needs and costs.
Repairing Leaks– Leaks from joints typically involve coupler issues, requiring tightening or replacement of gaskets. – Pipe wall leaks might need repair tape, plastic-based filler, or section replacement, depending on the extent of damage. – Finding the precise source of the leak is crucial for effective repairs. – Consider replacing damaged sections with superior products like Plasdrain™ for better reliability and ROI.

Preventing A Corrugated Drain Pipe From Leaking

Preventing corrugated drain pipes from leaving requires careful market research. Some brands offer superior technologies that reduce the risk of leakage. 

Choose The Right Pipes

The first step is to choose the proper pipes. Those with thicker walls and higher load-bearing capacities are more likely to survive in the ground longer. 

Internal smoothness should also be a consideration. Fluid should move unimpeded down the pipes without forming eddies around points of friction. Rougher pipes could amplify internal abrasion, causing pipes to develop leaky sections. 

Lastly, pipes should have sufficient chemical resistance to transport designated fluids. Chlorination, for example, can improve the base resin, while glass fibres add strength if transporting aggressive chemicals. 

Plasdrain™ has a corrugated stormwater drainage system for critical infrastructure projects. It is less likely to crack than rigid piping because of the inherent flexibility built into the material. The recycled polypropylene construction ensures a longer life cycle and stops leaking, which could lead to environmental degradation, while additional strength comes from surface corrugations. The brand also tests the piping extensively, including its chemical and abrasion resistance and load-bearing capacities.

 

Choose The Proper Joint And Connector Design

Next, engineers should choose a suitable joint and connection design for the application to prevent pipe leakage. Connectors are a common point of failure on corrugated piping installations. 

Couples and fittings should match the pipe specifications to handle the specified fluids. Engineers should also minimise the number of connections to reduce points of failure. Joints should align in the ground to limit stress and reduce the risk of bursting during high-pressure events. 

Lockable couplers are an option for engineers looking to provide clients with more secure connections. Solvent welding can also help keep connectors in place long-term without the need for destructive excavation. 

Choose The Proper Slope And Alignment

Engineers should also ensure that corrugated drain piping has the proper slope and alignment. Getting the gradient right can improve drainage and stop water from accumulating in parts of the pipe where it could cause damage. 

Engineers should avoid tight bends, twists, and turns when selecting the layout. Sharp directional changes may stress couplers or parts of the pipe’s interior surface. 


Before choosing coupling solutions, engineers should ensure they take into account the ground’s thermal properties. Adding flexible joints can help in cases where they expect thermal expansion events. 

Adopt Rigorous Quality Control

Quality control during construction can also reduce the risk of corrugated drain pipe leakage. Engineers can inspect pipes for damage and problems before installation, cleaning them where necessary. 

Teams can also follow manufacturer instructions carefully to install hardware according to specifications. Improper use of materials or tools (or choosing the wrong substrate or depth) can cause irreparable harm immediately. 

Finally, teams can leverage advanced sealing processes. These help joints last longer and make them less prone to failure. Top options include compression couplings, locking couplers, and solvent cement for certain types of PVC piping. 

stormwater drainage pipe

Apply Accepted Backfilling And Compaction Standards

Applying accepted backfilling and compaction standards can also help prevent a corrugated drain pipe from leaking. Ensuring the surrounding soil and aggregate fit snugly stops pipework from moving around, reducing the risk of cracking. 

When backfilling, engineers should only use specified materials. Professionals should check the allowable particle sizes, weight tolerances, and depth limits permitted by the piping manufacturer.

Engineers should also test regions for movement and vibration. If a specific area is prone to ground stress or vibration, they should seek alternative piping routes. Some pipes can accommodate vehicle traffic-related disturbances, but many can’t, leading to leaks. 

Test Thoroughly

Finally, piping engineers must test solutions. Installations could abide by manufacturer specifications but still suffer sudden failures because of unpredictable contextual factors. 

Engineers do not need to test pressure tests on corrugated drain piping because flows are passive. However, they should arrange an inspection and maintenance timetable that reduces long-term costs. Evaluations can check for leaks and damage, reducing the number of couplers and piping sections requiring replacement. 

pp pipes

Fixing An Already-Leaking Corrugated Drain Pipe

Even taking the best precautions, corrugated drain pipes may still leak. Nonetheless, they remain fixable in most cases. 

Leaks in finished piping originate from two primary sources: 

  • The joints
  • The pipe wall

If joints are leaking, it is almost always a coupler issue. Engineers can tighten loose connections with screws or push the pipe further into the fitting for press-fit options. 


Damage to the coupler gasket will require a replacement. (That’s why it is often helpful to order spare parts at the start of any installation). These operations may involve small destructive excavation to fix, depending on depth. Using the wrong coupler type will increase the risk of leaks. Therefore, engineers should ensure that solutions complement each other. Check the manufacturer’s specifications for approved parts. 

Alternatively, if the leak is coming from the pipe wall, repairing it may require additional work. Some piping solutions let you fix small cracks with repair tape or plastic-based filler. If the damage is more extensive, you may need to replace the pipe section, particularly if the installation is old. 

Whenever you work on a pipe failure, find the leak’s precise source. Ensure you understand where the problem is arising for a proper fix. 

Lastly, look for opportunities to replace piping sections with superior products, like Plasdrain™’s corrugated options, where possible. These will behave more reliably over time and may improve return on investment.