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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had a farm road rebuilt including install of a plastic culvert. It's double lined and a month after install we noticed a crack on the inside, which is growing. Its on the upper side and water is coming in. Iv'e been in touch with the installer and they are telling me it is not an issue (structural or otherwise) and does not need to be replaced. They are well respected company loved by the community and I trust them, but I cant help but think that a growing crack is an issue or will become an issue down the road. What do you all think? Thanks for feedback, Iv'e searched for this issue here and don't see any similar posts.
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I think it may wash out what is behind the pipe there. I would insert the nozzle on one of the expanding foam cans and fill the ripple cavities.

Washouts are another thing that I have life experience with.:rolleyes:
 

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I’m hardly a culvert expert, but they should have minimum burial depths based on the diameter and loads above? Do you drive over the culvert? Maybe it wasn’t buried deep enough or it was damaged during back filling. It looks like an issue to me.
 

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Did the installer come out to do an inspection or did they just tell you over the phone? I am by no means a civil engineer but the plastc is pretty thick stuff. If you're prone to freezing, I would suspect freezing and shifting.
Just my opinion. Good luck.
 

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First thing I would do is stop-drill the crack.

If the crack keeps growing, it's bound to be a problem eventually; however, if you drill a hole at each end of the crack, and maybe a second hole just beyond each end, it could provide stress relief.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your replies to answer questions: We don't get freezing temps here and this is used by vehicles including the future logging trucks (probably by the guys that built the road/culvert).



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Thanks for your replies to answer questions: We don't get freezing temps here and this is used by vehicles including the future logging trucks (probably by the guys that built the road/culvert).



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If it really isn't an issue then you should be able to get the company to put that into writing regarding the install of this that they performed. A warranty of sorts, or at least their word (on paper!) That all is well here.
 

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How big of a culvert across is that?

I was expecting a foot or 18 inches across, but the bottom pics look much bigger than that?

1. if water is coming through the crack, it will wash silt and clay through, which creates voids and leads to washouts. Might take 10 years, but it gets there.

2. As well, if water is coming through the crack it means the outside layer is also cracked somewhere near as well? With both layers cracked, there isn’t much holding that edge together.

3. on a 1 foot culvert that might not be a bad crack. On whatever size that culvert is, that looks like a very big crack on a very big culvert. I think you have good reason to be concerned. Especially if it continues to grow.

Paul
 

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Do you really think a plastic pipe is supporting the weight of trucks?...The load is being borne and diverted around the culvert by all that 6 inch gravel.

Drain tiles are made with holes in them on purpose. Remember the old clay drainitiles? They were just butted up against each other.....How much water is this installation meant to handle? ..Continuous flow of a stream or just the run-off from an occasional rain?
 

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The tube diverts pressures in a circle to material around it. There needs to be a certain depth of material above the tube to support a certain amount of load. The tube needs to be bedded properly in material of the right type and the right compacted level so it all works right.

Large culverts do not often have perforations, they move water they don’t drain water.

for a 1 foot diameter tube they over build it and the loads aren’t to big a deal and it generally works out ‘close enough.’

for the large size this appears to be, and a new install, and a crack formed that is growing, it doesn’t seem like a good situation nor something that will last for decades.

I would not rely on a phone conversation with the installer to conclude that everything is fine and normal. They are most interested in moving on, not in fixing a manufacturing or installation defect that was overlooked that basically requires someone do the entire job over at someone’s expense....

heavy rains that fill a tube that size are very powerful, as water swirls over that crack I wonder what happens. If not this year, how about 12 years from now...... catches debris, pulls, tugs, deforms, water jets the fill behind it.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's on a season creek and the project is part of a government grant with several agencies and lots of government oversight/approvals. It's a 48"round 30' long culvert engineered for a 100 yr storm event of 82.4 cfs and a slope of 27%. It has several feet of aggregate rock on top of it. The photos above was the 1st time we got the tape measure out, but it did grow some. I appreciate everyones suggestions and I agree that they need to come out and look at it and at the least put something in writing and look at drilling holes ( I would rather have them do that than me if there's any issues in the future). In this photo you can see the bigger picture. Again thank you all for your comments- I feel prepared to have a better conversation with the intaller.
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Hmmmmm looks like they broke it putting it in or maybe cracked in shipping . that is not caving in from traffic .
If the split is on the down stream side , I would say it would be ok .
Upstream side would be a no go .
It’s placed as if it was broken when it went in .
If it’s filled in with riprap or course gravel it won’t pull out .
I have broken concrete /plastictanks and pipes show up all the time , every one is trying to make a living .
I’m sure they where all ready to do the job and they just dropped it in the hole .
No one wanted to move the equipment home and comeback in 2 weeks when they get a new pipe .
You did not pay for a cracked pipe so there is no reason to except one have them change it out
 

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They probably broke it back filling with the rocks...If you could slip that culvert out like pulling a table cloth out from under the plates & silverwear, the rocks would hardly move at this point (Take a similar culvert and see how much weight you can put on it before it buckles--not much)

Given the amount of surrounding rocks, I'm sure more dirt will get washed in with normal flow thru the open side than from any trickling down filtering thru the soil from above.
 

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I don't think there is any question that you got a bad install. Of course it is not right that a brand new item you purchased has a big crack in it.
They may be correct that it won't be a major issue, but I'd make them produce a letter to you recognizing this problem and promising to remove and replace it no charge, in the event this crack becomes a problem down the road.

If you've not yet paid them in full, hold back some money till this is addressed to your satisfaction.
 

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Doc, those culverts have deep ripples forming the outer surface. It’s not going to slide out.

They are QUITE rigid and strong.
I know you can't slip it out-- that's not the point...The point is that any weight borne on that crummy little plastic tube is borne in all directions equally (net vector of force is zero). That's why once buried, it will support the weight of a truck, but sitting freely in the ground, it would buckle under the weight of your foot if you tried to stand on it...

Have any drain tile tubes laying around? Try it...I know-- they're smaller and weaker, but they still won't collapse under the weight of a combine.
 
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