I have a landscape drain that has been buried, lost over the years of neglect from previous owners. I have located what I can within somewhere around 3-5 ft of the end that would be somewhere close to the edge of the driveway to drain away rain etc into the lower end of the backyard. I cannot for the life of me dig up anything that appears to be the end or grate. Would there be any way to use the pipe I can find and drill into it and attach something to allow drainage? Drill holes and wrap with landscape fabric? I really need to stop the ponding and the muck from poorly draining clay that is all that is in that area. It seems to be probably 3-4" white PVC. I am about ready to drill a hole and shove a hose into it and just let the hose drain the water. But I don't know if that is a very good idea. A plumber told me he would clean it out --but I have to find the end first. I am afraid an idiot previous owner buried it under a huge rock... any ideas?

  • Do you know where at least one end of it is? Most plumbers will have a camera that also has a locator on it
    – Steven
    Mar 14, 2013 at 20:17
  • 1
    So you've located (uncovered?) the middle of the pipe, but can't find either end?
    – mac
    Mar 14, 2013 at 20:27
  • 3
    Yes... I only found the middle, but neither end.
    – C. Shaw
    Mar 14, 2013 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


You can find the end, or at least the first leakage point in the line, with one of these:

enter image description here

It's intended for cleaning drain/sewer pipe. How it works is the small bladder/balloon will expand under the water pressure of the hose (garden hose water source) and has a small exit point on the other side of the balloon. So it will expand to the pipe size then fill it up. This way will use a decent amount of water but on a dry yard day should work fairly well.

Item/Picture source but they come is all different sizes and should be available at your local hardware store. I would measure the pipe first and buy the largest/closest size one you can, this is a 3" to 4" pictured but it may not seal a 4" pipe well until it has a certain amount of back pressure.

Same concept different approach, you can get 4" (or 3" depending on what you have) pipe fittings and step it down to a garden hose fitting.

  • That looks like it might work... if I could find the end of the pipe.
    – C. Shaw
    Mar 14, 2013 at 22:06
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    Your question makes it sound like you found the pipe but can't find the ends. Dig up that section and cut the pipe. Then use this bladder thing on both ends. Once you've found the other ends of those ends, you can get a PVC union and put the pipes back together. Or even better, instead of a union put in a cleanout.
    – longneck
    Jun 13, 2013 at 15:22

Sounds like for some reason you cannot just keep digging the 3-5 feet until the end is located? Since it is not pressure pipe, it's not the end of the world to cut a hole into the top and run water into it until you locate where it's seeping out near the outlet. Then follow the seepage back until you locate the actual end.

You can patch the hole by placing a half pipe patch over it and securing in place with silicone sealant and a couple large hose clamps.

  • You are probably right... I am making mud soup right now and the "soup" just slides back in where I dug a hole leading me right back where I started or I hit a really large rock. Since it is warming up, I might try your idea by drilling a hole, shoving the garden hose in and seeing if that helps locate the ends. Thanks!
    – C. Shaw
    Mar 14, 2013 at 23:23

Use a Shop-Vac to blow into the line and a smoke bomb (such as a gopher smoke bomb) to introduce smoke. Then watch for smoke somewhere at the other end.

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