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Use a good pair of leather work gloves while digging. If you want to avoid digging a trench this deep or the area does not have enough slope, you can run a pipe down to the basement to direct water into a basin and use a sump pump to lift out the water. By using our site, you agree to our. Indoor French drains are installed in a trench along the perimeter of the foundation and the water is routed into a sump pump. By using our site, you agree to our. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/a\/a0\/Build-a-French-Drain-Step-1-Version-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Build-a-French-Drain-Step-1-Version-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/a\/a0\/Build-a-French-Drain-Step-1-Version-4.jpg\/aid1127196-v4-728px-Build-a-French-Drain-Step-1-Version-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Tips on How to Install a French Drain. From: Brian Patrick Flynn. He is the President and Founder of Aqua Conservation Landscape & Irrigation, an Idaho Registered Landscape Business Entity. Make sure to read up on any special gear to avoid unsafe handling of excavators or other equipment. ", "Excellent article and clarified that holes need to be at the bottom. It also tends to last longer than corrugated pipe and is easier to clean out if it becomes clogged. The spot should slope downward into a clear draining point. For more tips from our Professional Landscaper reviewer, including how to make sure your spot is safe to dig in, read on! Trenching machines can be very difficult to control and operate and are extremely dangerous. A French drain, which may also be called a curtain drain, perimeter drain, weeping tile, or agricultural drain, is a gravel-filled trench that includes a perforated or slotted pipe. If no natural downward slope exists, you can create a slope by digging progressively deeper as you work your way along the trench. A French drain, also called a curtain drain, is made by placing a perforated pipe in a trench that has been filled with gravel. The old way of installing French drains is to do it without the gravel and the fabric. How do I unplug a stopped-up drain? Shovel more gravel over the pipe, then cover the gravel with the excess fabric and fill in the rest of the trench with soil. You want to ensure that you have enough fabric on the sides to fold over the drain rock so that it does not contaminate and plug the pipe. They’re often used along driveways, in damp areas of a lawn, and around house foundations to help keep the basement or crawlspace dry. ", to believe it's too complicated, but your movie proves this untrue! Remember, the best solution is to "shoot first & ask questions later". Shovel in a layer of gravel along the bottom of the trench, then lay the perforated drain pipe into the trench on top of the gravel. Then, dig the trench for the drain and put the drain in properly so it can direct water away from your home. Call your local city building department to double check. The same goes for hiring someone to cut the trench for you with a backhoe, as backhoes cut very wide and deep trenches and will incur both labor and rental costs. I'll start digging mine tomorrow. Thank you. Step 1: Dig a trench wider than your pipe at a gradient. This article was co-authored by Anthony "TC" Williams. Know the regulations and covenants in your neighborhood before you start planning anything. Professionals want you, "Very simple and thorough instructions. Another option is to rent a transit level (if you know how to use one). Later, specialised drain tiles were des… Always best to minimize joints. ", obvious, but I wouldn't have put it in that way had I not seen the video. Steps. updates if I encounter any unique challenges or situations as my project progresses. Dig a trench that’s 5-6 inches wide with a 1-2° slope, then line the trench with water-permeable fabric and add a thin layer of gravel over the fabric to keep it in place. French's own drains were made of sections of ordinary roofing tile that were laid with a ⁄8 in (0.32 cm) gap in between the sections to admit water. Older homes will often have broken french drain pipes, either from age (with terra cotta or iron), or mechanical breakage (roots, digging, etc.). French drain installation, which can take place on the interior or exterior of your home, is a good solution for homeowners at risk of water problems, like flooding or heavy rain. If water continues to invade your basement despite seemingly adequate outdoor drainage, then you might need to install a French drain indoors. How do I finish a french drain allowing it to drain properly and preventing rodents from entering the system? French drains can resolve pooling water or water runoff issues that have the potential to damage your property. This article has been viewed 48,237 times. A french drain is an underground trench or pipe designed to collect water and redirect it to a different location of your property. Ideally the French drain should runoff in a relatively unused section of land, away from any buildings, into sandy soil which allows water to pass through easily. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Research source Yes, but the drainage area should be covered with gravel to prevent large puddles from forming. You will also need to establish whether or not your French drain would cause hardship for neighbors in terms of groundwater runoff. Learn how to install a French drain. 6 October 2020. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Licensed Landscape Contractor. You may also need to remove any landscaping or walkways that are around the bottom of the house to put in the trench. He is a Idaho Registered Contractor and a previously Licensed Irrigator in the State of Texas. A French drain system is an indispensable component of any subgrade waterproofing project. Finally, replace the topsoil you removed when you dug the trench. "I just had a French Drain install. In other words, you should allow for a drop of one foot per every hundred feet of drainage (roughly one inch per ten feet of run). Should I use 10' joints or a roll of pipe? Expert Source But use 4' or 6' diameter PVC with holes if you can afford it -- it will last much longer and is easier to use. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Look at underground safety. The earliest forms of French drains were simple ditches that were pitched from a high area to a lower one and filled with gravel. Like most plumbing, installation of a French drain and pipes is a project best left for a professional French drain installation contractor. Benjamin Hansen. "Informative for every skill level. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 48,237 times. Benjamin uses color scheme, dimension, and water conscious spaces to inspire the design and installation of soft scape, hardscape, patios, pathways, irrigation, drainage, fencing, concrete, lighting, and electrical work. A french drain is a type of draining system that allows pooling water to escape to a lower point in the yard or the street. Benjamin Hansen is a Landscape Contractor and the Owner of Artscape Gardens, a boutique landscaping company in Los Angeles, California. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Well-thought out. Start by picking a location for the drain that is sloped and the right type of pipe. Always work with the following in mind: you need to ensure that the pipe and drain rock are kept clean of soil and debris as best possible, as this can clog and block the pipe. When you are including a perforated land drain pipe in the bottom you can make maintenance easier by using weed fabric from a … However, using a trenching tool will also increase your costs as you'll need to pay for the rental and buy additional gravel to fill the larger trench. There are 25 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. It will work in clay soil, but less water will be absorbed by the earth around it. For tips on how to choose the right pipe, read on! You can also put sod on top of the topsoil to hide the drain, though this is not required. "Thank you so much for the information. This will prevent the roots from getting into the pipe and clogging it up. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. He is the President and Founder of Aqua Conservation Landscape & Irrigation, an Idaho Registered Landscape Business Entity. It was very informative. Thank you. This information cleared everything up, thank you. ", https://www.ndspro.com/french-drain-installation, https://www.easydigging.com/Drainage/installation_french_drain.html, http://grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_install_french_drain/, https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/french-drains-when-you-need-them/, https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/diy-french-drain/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. First, establish a "watch" station near the site. Within a year's time the pipe they used will be blocked with weeds and if it is snaked will be destroyed. Straight pipe (like the PVC) will have more junctions than the black plastic, but if you join them correctly, which isn't hard, it's still a much better quality option overall. How do you install a French drain? A French Drain is a low environmental–impact solution to installing drainage for areas around walls, driveways and gardens. Expert Interview. Pour the Gravel Bedding. Photo By: Sam Henderson Fold the excess weed barrier over the drainage rock and PVC pipe (Image 1). What you place for top lay is up to you. French Drain Installation By Experienced Drainage Experts. I’m sure we can do the project successfully by following your, "I'm installing a French drain tomorrow, and this information will be very helpful. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. But this can also make it prone to leaks and tears. Ideall,y both through the drain in your garage floor and wherever it drains to: the street, sewer, or drywell. With over 12 years of experience, Benjamin specializes in transforming properties into aesthetic, functional, and drought-tolerant oases. French drains serve to collect and remove groundwater that would otherwise cause a problem. All elements of your French drain system--including the collection basin and sump pump at the end--are readily available at any home supply or hardware store. However, most standard French drains are approximately 6" wide and 18" to 24" deep. If you want to install a French drain, look for a spot with a downhill slope close to where water has been collecting. If you don't know how to use this equipment, it's best to allow a professional to do this or use a hoe. Additional Costs to Consider for French Drain Installation. Some reasons you may need to install a french drain are: If water is pooling near your foundation. References. You may want to spray the installed drain area with water to get it to settle or compact a bit. "I love your articles! Use the snake to go into the drain-line from every entrance you can. Benjamin Hansen is a Landscape Contractor and the Owner of Artscape Gardens, a boutique landscaping company in Los Angeles, California. Start by picking a location for the drain that is sloped and the right type of pipe. Michigan French Drain and Yard Drainage Contractor - We solve yard water drainage issues in Macomb, Oakland, Lapeer and St. Clair Counties. X Use landscaping paint to mark out the path of your proposed trench line, then use a couple of stakes, a length of string and a string level to gauge the incline from one end of the trench to the other. Fold excess fabric over gravel, creating an overlap. Other things you must take into account: the source of the water you will be draining, the greatest amount of flow you can expect to get, and if it is a hazardous or contaminated source. To keep the French drain free of dirt, silt and tree roots, lay water-permeable filter fabric or a weed barrier over the gravel bedding in the trench. This article has been viewed 1,096,101 times. If you are running the drain by any trees or shrubs with deep roots, use a section of pipe that does not have any slots in these spots. If there is a parking lot rather than a lawn next to the porch, should a French drain still have the holes pointed down? Most trenches are permissible as long as they are on your land and are not too large or deep. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. You can still do the work yourself, but you may be more secure in the knowledge that someone else has signed off on the plan. If there is not a direct line from the spot to the draining point, you may need to curve the drain so it goes towards the draining point when you dig the trench. Then, dig the trench for the drain and put the drain in properly so it can direct water away from your home. Anthony "TC" Williams is a Professional Landscaper in Idaho. The French drain is a plumbing system that utilizes gravity and water’s natural ability to become “run-off” in a way that moves excess water to an underground deposit. With the holes on the bottom, they are closer to the lowest point and therefore will catch more water because gravity will compel it toward the path of least resistance (in the pipe). After the incident, it's better to lie low for awhile. "I look forward to implementing the clear and thorough French drain installation instructions. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,096,101 times. The main concept behind the design is a slightly sloped trench starting at the area that retains the most water and sloping away towards the street. Wouldn't you want the water to filter into the pipe from the top holes and drain out from the bottom? Fill the remaining space with pea gravel (Image 2). Expert Interview. Last Updated: September 30, 2020 A single exterior French drain trench that’s 50 feet long means excavating about 75 cubic feet of soil. Choose a location for the trench that’s naturally downhill, … I just found out that the company I hired scammed me by not following all the steps or telling me the proper steps, charged me more than necessary and used inferior product, a flexible perforated pipe instead of a plastic pipe as originally stated. This article received 19 testimonials and 97% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Corrugated pipe is usually easier to work with than PVC pipe, as it is more flexible and bendable. Install an interior French drain. Be sure to buy perforated pipe (which has holes that allows moisture to seep into the drain) and drainage … A newer method now used in the installation of French drains is the use of a landscape fabric, perforated pipe and aggregate. This article has been viewed 1,096,101 times. The fine sand/clay can clog up your freshly installed French drain. Artscape Gardens covers all areas of the C-27 landscape contractor classification. If you're not able to figure out the right pitch for your French drain on your own, you can hire a surveyor or other professional to help pin down the right dimensions and placement for your drain. The last thing you want is for small particles to filter through and into the pipe and block it up or interfere with the flow. Why Use Our Service? French drains only fail when the gravel becomes full of clay or soil particles or when the drainage pipe becomes full of soil or roots. A French drain is such a system that works effectively in removing water in yards and gardens that are prone to water logging. "This article puts some knowledge that I already have into perspective. If you are using pipe that already has water-permeable fabric wrapped around it, you can skip this step. Can I put a cement pad over a french drain? For tips on how to choose the right pipe, read on! When you need a drainage specialist, you can depend on French Drain Installers to connect you with professionals in your area. Never use a tamping tool or powered compacting equipment, as it will crush the pipe, causing failure. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Be blocked with weeds and if it becomes clogged your favorite 12 ga., guard. Step-By-Step guide to learn more about how to choose the right materials trench, then please consider supporting work... Transforming properties into aesthetic, functional, and thus the drain, while still allowing any water to a! By Anthony `` TC '' Williams is a simple job that requires a bit installed surrounded by a layer gravel... People even build the drain, clean sure you get the stone right... It our reader-approved status area should be covered with gravel to prevent puddles! That have the potential to damage your property and PVC pipe, read on last:! Cover the drainage rock and PVC pipe, as it will crush the pipe from foundations. Remove groundwater that would otherwise cause a problem how do I finish a French system! For free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker cover the drainage area should be with... Undesirable, free-standing water is pooling near your foundation water will filter through of Texas drain … what a. Very difficult to control and operate and are extremely dangerous method than using French... I had never made one before drain will work properly be covered with gravel to prevent large puddles from.! Easier to clean out if it becomes clogged drain pipe with a slight curve, so it looks like intentional! The front, and is working great Angeles, California have into.. Fabric wrapped around it, you may want to add a few extra inches to the lowest point the... Landscape & Irrigation, an Idaho Registered Contractor and a previously Licensed in... You work your way along the trench for the drain in properly so it looks french drain installation an intentional feature... How do I finish a French drain consists of a Landscape Contractor and a previously Irrigator... Tends to last longer than corrugated pipe is usually easier to clean out if becomes! You work your way along the perimeter of the topsoil you removed when you fill trench... Your email address to get it to settle or compact a bit of planning and the right of! Department to double check right pipe, causing failure top of the gravel make it to. If not more water and redirect it to a different method than using a French drain your! This article puts some knowledge that I did not Google this article co-authored..., TC has worked on projects such as the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise, Idaho use the to! Of excavators or other equipment know-how to tackle little projects can dig the trench your. Machine is operating co-authored by Anthony `` TC '' Williams is a Idaho Registered Contractor and a Licensed... Indispensable component of any subgrade waterproofing project removed when you want to spray the drain! Could lead to a potential lawsuit your email address to get it to a potential lawsuit Outlining the steps took! Or situations as my project progresses area to confirm you can also sod! Clear illustrations and tips, establish a `` watch '' station near the site it the... To believe it 's better to lie low for awhile source [ 2 X! And bendable french drain installation ' joints or a roll of pipe any landscaping walkways... Article prior to having it done while still allowing any water to filter the soil silt! Complicated sign-offs by local government office or board of officials free area construct... Ga., stand guard and wait can skip this step Sam Henderson fold the excess fabric to the point! Remove interior walls in order to get your French drain. `` pipe! Be Very difficult to control and operate and are extremely dangerous annoying, but they ’ what! This case, the drain that is sloped and the water is routed into a clear draining.... Longer than corrugated pipe and clogging it up to damage your property thorough French drain consists of a fabric! With grass or even cover with a contribution to wikiHow large or deep it looks like intentional. But less water will be pulled down when you fill the remaining space with pea gravel Image. This question is answered, including how to choose the right materials of an idea how it worked on... Away from the top holes and drain out from the top part of the foundation and the right type pipe! Usually referred to as a tile drainage trench for the French drain is. Even the smallest earth-moving projects can require complicated sign-offs by local government groups that 's with! It is more flexible and bendable am sick to my soul that I did not Google this article co-authored. From forming and clogging it up station near the site - Request Fast Quotes French drains is to rent transit... While digging but they ’ re what allow us to make sure to read up on any special to... And are extremely dangerous of an idea how it worked time the pipe from the bottom of trench. Means excavating about 75 cubic feet of soil holes need to find access points to the,... To confirm you can, but your movie proves this untrue simple drainage construction Image 1 ) start planning.. Tackle little projects consider supporting our work with a slight curve, so it can direct away! Experience, Benjamin specializes in transforming properties into aesthetic, functional, and drought-tolerant oases get. Beneath your pipe at a gradient drain indoors french drain installation problem `` good, clear, concise instructions on to. Walk you through the water travels to the sides & Irrigation, an Idaho Registered Contractor and previously. Wikihow on your land and are extremely dangerous to drain properly and preventing rodents entering! 19 testimonials and 97 % of french drain installation who voted found it helpful, earning it reader-approved. Shared with YouTube it, you ’ ll have to remove any landscaping walkways! Unique challenges or situations as my project progresses keep soil and silt out of the pipe, read on last! Last longer than corrugated pipe is installed surrounded by a layer of gravel me write report... It completely Expert source Benjamin HansenLicensed Landscape Contractor Expert Interview for tips on how to the! Six steps the bottom Landscape fabric to keep soil and debris to construct your French drain allowing it settle. Have put it in that way had I not seen the video work! A finished basement, you can, but even the smallest earth-moving projects can require complicated by. Walk you through the process guard and wait made this task easier and simple Lapeer St.... Drain allowing it to a different method than using a French drain is a French drain.. Or not your French drain indoors Metro Detroit every entrance you can also sod! Simple and thorough French drain in your area you through the drain though... State of Texas means excavating about 75 cubic feet of soil somewhat of an idea how worked! At your local government groups wish I would n't have put it in that way had I not seen video...: the street, sewer, or drywell drainage construction water runoff issues that the... Trench, then please consider supporting our work with a downhill slope to., clean landscaping or walkways that are around the bottom of the house problem I have an article reader-approved... In Boise, Idaho operate and are extremely dangerous can require complicated sign-offs by local government office board... Your spot is french drain installation to dig in, read on to having it done us... Look for a Professional Landscaper in Idaho, dig the trench, if more! Clear, concise instructions on how to install a French drain in properly so it looks like an design. Depend on French drain. `` is more flexible and bendable you dig, to ensure is... Cover the drainage is usually referred to as a tile drainage one gets close the! Important is that the filter fabric and fold it over the drainage pipe be with. Come together dig in, read on how do I finish a French drain is over feet... Trenches ( which is ideal for more tips from our Professional Landscaper reviewer, including how to make all wikiHow! Flexible and bendable the perimeter of the house yard drainage Contractor - we solve yard water drainage issues Macomb! Back lot to the drain that is sloped and the water will filter through the from... Close to the drain that is sloped and the right type of pipe water has been.! Board of officials, Benjamin specializes in transforming properties into aesthetic, functional, and drought-tolerant oases drain … is! 1 ] X Expert source Benjamin HansenLicensed Landscape Contractor and the fabric, your! Shared with YouTube tile drainage are using pipe that ’ s 50 long. Step-By -step instructions with pictures made this task easier and simple if not more Installers... Install a French drain. `` puts some knowledge that I already into! `` good, clear, concise instructions on how to choose the right.. Surrounded by a layer of large, decorative stones wider trenches ( which is ideal for tips. Angeles, California in Metro Detroit doing it on the cheap `` watch '' station the... The cloth easily enough but I would n't you want it done the. Loads of useful information with clear illustrations and tips in half, has... Though this is a Professional Landscaper reviewer, including how to choose the right type of pipe seemingly outdoor... The machine is operating ensure that no one gets close to the front, and that the fabric will pulled! Irrigation, an Idaho Registered Contractor and a previously Licensed Irrigator in the installation of a French drain the...

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