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How To Create A French Drain System

How To Create a French Drain System If you've noticed water pooling up outside your home, you'll want to install a proper drainage system. This will not only carry away the water, but it will also help prevent water damage to your home. Installing a french drain will help you do exactly that. While novices may want to call a plumber for some guidance, more experienced DIY-ers can try this job themselves.

Purpose of a French Drainage System
Usually installed close to your home, a french drain is normally put in at the lowest point of your home. However, the drain system can be installed elsewhere if the troublesome water is not located right by your home. The end of the line for the draining system can be anywhere so long as it ends at a point that will not allow the water to flow back towards your home.

The system itself is does not lie very deep into the ground. However, because the the drain uses gravity to help it carry the water away, it is necessary to install your french drain on a downward slope of at least ¼ inch per foot. In some cases, this may require you to do a bit of extra digging in order to maintian the downward slope.

Doing It Yourself


Although the project is pretty simple to do, it can require a lot of work. And if you encounter some problems along the way, like tree roots, driveways, sidewalks, large rocks or underground utilities, installing the french drain can not only be more time consuming but also costly.

Assuming that the planned path of your french drain does not encounter any obstacles, you should be able to lay a 20' french drain system with a 4 inch diameter pipe in a day.

INSTRUCTIONS
How To Create a French Drain System These guidelines are intended for a drain pipe that is 4 inches in diameter. For this project, you will need:

  • Drain pipe
  • Rocks
  • Shovel

1. Starting from where the water will enter the drain and ending where the water will flow out, dig a ditch that's about 10 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Keep in mind that you will need to dig deeper if your starting point slopes upward.

2. Lay about 2 inches of rock into the trench before placing the pipe lengthwise into the ditch.

3. Cover the pipe with another layer of rocks, again about 2 inches.

4. Fill in the remaining space with soil and then plant some grass.

Hammer For more tips on draining systems, visit our Plumbing forum