I Ordered Perforated Corrugated Pipe and Received Uncut Pipe – Any Way to Salvage This?

Shown above is a section of 4″ perforated corrugated drainage pipe. It has slots cut into it, with slot placements staggered between rings.

Shown here is a 100-foot coil of 4″ unperforated drainage pipe.

I’ve been ordering supplies online, to avoid having to make multiple small trips to the home centers given COVID-19-related travel and shopping restrictions. I need about 40′ of perforated drainage pipe for an upcoming experimental sub-irrigated wicking planter project, and will likely need more later in the season.

I figured that maybe a 100-foot coil from my industrial supplier would be a good idea, rather than picking up 10-foot sections from the local home center. I thought I’d use what I need and toss the remainder into storage or the garage attic for next year.

I paid a small premium for the coil over what it costs at the home center, but not a lot more, and it seemed worth it for the time and effort savings.

Well, a truck carrier dropped off the coil today and I didn’t check the pipe closely enough before they left. Big mistake.

I ordered perforated drainage pipe and received non-perforated drainage pipe. There are no slots and no holes other than at the two ends. *sigh*

I just got off the phone with my supplier. To be honest, I’m not confident they’ll be able to send a replacement without the same problem happening again. If the mix-up happened once, it will likely happen again if I order a replacement right now. To their credit, they offered to put a note on the order for the warehouse to verify the replacement would be the correct item, but I wasn’t convinced that it’ll work.

So, I requested that we do a return and a refund. I thought I’d get this off my hands, and will just pick up smaller sections at the home center, which I admit is what I should have done in the first place.

Great, they can process the refund.

But, due to how much it would cost to pick up the coil of unwanted non-perforated pipe, it’s mine to keep, they won’t be picking it up. Uh-oh. Well, that’s disappointing, but understandable. They said I could give it to a neighbor or something.

So now I have a 100-foot coil of non-perforated drainage pipe, and nothing I can do with it.

Maybe a local contractor can use it, I’ll have to ask around. But if not, bulk trash pickup is a few months away. Local bulk recycling drop-offs have been suspended for the time being. Regular recycling pickup definitely won’t take it.

But before I move it to storage, the garage attic, or into storage, maybe there’s a way I can use it so it’s not wasted?

Is there any way to perforate this myself? There’s no way am I willing to drill holes into it. First, larger holes will clog with dirt, and although this can be remedied with landscaping fabric or a fabric sock that slips over the pipes, that’s an additional expense. If I’m going to spend more money, I’m just going to buy what I need in the first place – perforated pipe.

What about smaller holes? There would have to be more of them, and how much time and effort will that take over the span of 10 feet? 40 feet? The entire coil of 100 feet?

Maybe I can cut slots with a miter saw? But that will be extremely labor-intensive, especially considering that the first part of my upcoming project requires 40-feet of perforated pipe. There would be maybe 48 slots per foot, so that would be nearly 2000 cuts, and in 8 different positions given the way slots are staggered.

My refund is being processed, and I’m putting together a list of other stuff I need from a high-impact run to the home center. Meaning, in my mind I’ve already accepted that I’ll have to store this large coil of pipe until I can either give it away or discard it, whichever comes first.

But, maybe there’s some way I can effectively perforate it easily and without costing much in the way of fabric socks or covers?

Aside from donating it to an irrigation or drainage contractor, sending it off to recycling, or putting it at the curb with a “free” sign, what else can I do with this stuff? I briefly considered maybe some kind of external planter water reservoir, but that seems like a solution in need of a problem I don’t have right now.

Maybe I can… use it to create some kind of… I don’t know. Ideas?
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