How Do Pop Up Drains Work

How Do Pop Up Drains Work
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: October 8, 2022
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

The downspouts will flow to the ground at your foundation once your gutters and downspouts are installed. About six to eight inches will separate the downspout’s end from the wall. You will need to use an underground drain if you want to direct water away from your foundation.

To divert water to a desirable location, join the downspout’s bottom to the subsurface drain. When there is no water flow, the lid of the pop-up gutter drain, connected to the subsurface drain, drops.

Pop drains exist in many different shapes, but most are installed on the lawn close to your sprinkler heads, allowing the extra water to dissipate into the earth swiftly. This lessens runoff, which conserves water, protects the lawn from harm, and prevents erosion of the surrounding soil.

Pop-Up Drains: An Overview

Pop-up drains are a useful technique for diverting water away from a building’s foundation and into a dry location. It is a great way to keep structures safe from water damage. Another feature of pop-up drains is a cover that closes tightly to keep debris out of the pipe.

Most homes or buildings employ a standard downspout mechanism when rainwater is gathered by gutters and dumped nearby. This frequently works out well because the location where the water is dumped has a sturdy or solid base.

Why Does Pop-Up Drain Stop Working?

Damaged Emitter

Your pop-up emitter’s broken lid will most likely be your biggest problem. Due to an accident involving the lawnmower, this frequently happens. If much water is flowing, the emitter lids open. The covers keep out rubbish and pests while the emitters are not in use.

Clogged Gutters

As previously stated, pop-up emitters do not intend to allow rubbish or pests to enter them. However, if the gutter is not properly cleaned or debris is not removed, it could become clogged.

Freezing Water In Drain’s Pipe

The popup emitter may freeze in the winter if the downspout’s water flow freezes. It occurs when there is standing water. However, freezing concerns exist on warm winter days. If your roof’s snow melts, the water can get stuck and freeze as the temperature drops.

As long as there is sufficient water in this situation to start the system, the emitter will release the water. The underground downspout extension must have the right pitch for the best drainage in your yard. Water flow will be aided by an entrance point for the water above the exit point.

Working Approach Of Pop Up Drain

For a pop-up lawn drain to function, your sprinkler system’s surplus water must be able to disperse into your yard’s soil. The lawn pop-up is designed to be placed directly on top of your grass, next to your sprinkler heads, or in areas where you want to avoid standing water.

Excess water from the irrigation system flows through the perforations and into the ground after turning it on, where your lawn absorbs it. Having issues with the lawn pop-up drain emitter. Your yard pop-up drain may experience clogging, one of the most frequent issues.

Your drainage system may become clogged if you don’t frequently clear your law pop-up drain. Water cannot seep into the earth because of clogging. Aside from the drain bulging out of the ground, other issues include users forgetting to take them down in the spring and animals getting stuck in the drain.

Drains freezing in the winter are a major issue as well. Last but not least, if the lid of the lawn pop-up drain becomes entangled with your lawn mower, it can easily shatter.

How To Deal With Clogged Pop-Up Drain?

Heating The Drain Pipe

A heating cable will warm the gutter. The heating cable adapts to the temperature outside to keep the tube sufficiently warm. The water is therefore prevented from freezing as a result. Turn off the system in the winter.

The drainage system’s design should allow for the outlet’s disconnection if necessary. However, it’s important to remember that the pop-up drain will require more water to flush itself out the deeper you bury it.

Fix Broken Emitter

The emitter should be removed, the lid snapped off, and a new one to replace the broken one. It only takes about 10 minutes to finish the straightforward process. Make sure to use waterproof tape to seal the lid.

If your pop-up drain system is malfunctioning or has a clog, you may clear it up right away. Look at the entry and exit points first. Most likely, the entrance drain or gutter is where the obstruction is located.

Debris should be removed, and the remaining should be washed with water. Look for any obstructions in your emitter and confirm that the top can close. You can use a hose to flush out any extra debris that has gotten inside your pop-up drain system.

Run water through for a few minutes each time you clean the system. Between your pipe’s entry point and its emitter, there can be blockages that need to be excavated.


The normal lifespan of a pop-up grass drain is around five years before it needs to be replaced, although regular cleaning can help it survive longer by removing clogs. Water pooling in any area is undesirable, as you may already know.

This can lead to several problems near your home’s foundation, indoors and outside. Your garden may also be eroded and damaged.

Pop-up drain emitters are a lifesaver for homeowners who experience problems with their standard drainage systems. They have a few drawbacks while being far more convenient to use and much simpler to replace than the main water line.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.