Quick Answer: How Do You Know If French Drain Is Working?

Can you do a French drain without pipe?

Installing a French Drain Without a Pipe You don’t always need a base, though.

If your soil drains well, you can simply dig the trench and cover the bottom with 3 to 4 inches of 3/4-inch drainage rock, depending on the depth of the trench..

Can a French drain be too deep?

This digging may encounter gas and water lines, electrical wires and sewer pipes, all of which pose hazards. It’s also important not to dig too deep – if the drain is dug below the level of the footer, it may undermine the foundation, causing the home to settle.

Do I need a French drain or just a sump pump?

An interior French drain is much less likely to clog than an exterior, partially due to the fact that it is not sitting underneath several feet of soil. Then we come to the sump pump. … A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in water collecting sump pit, commonly found in the basement of homes.

Where should a French drain end?

The two ends of a French drain system are:The drain field, or high end, where excess ground water enters the drain pipes.The drain exit, or lowest point, where water leaves the system.

How deep should you dig for French drain?

French drain depth: About 8 inches to 2 feet deep should be sufficient for many water-diverting projects, though related systems, such as those built around foundations and sub-ground living spaces, as well as the bases of retaining walls, may be deeper.

What size gravel is best for French drain?

Gravel used for this layer is typically 1/2 inch to 1 inch across — the larger it is, the better the water flow and less chance of clogs and blockages. For a French drain without a perforated pipe, opt for even larger gravel, such as 1 1/2 inches across.

What is the difference between a curtain drain and a French drain?

The main difference is that french drains deal more with groundwater while curtain drains have more to do with surface water. Curtain drains are built in a very similar way to french drains but are dug to a shallow depth.

Why is my French drain not working?

Over time, a French drain may become clogged. Tiny soil and clay granules slip through the pores of the landscape fabric and gradually build up inside the pipe. Another common cause of French drain clogs is root intrusion from grass, shrubs, and trees.

Can you cover a French drain with dirt?

The simplest drain is a classic French drain, which is nothing more than a trench filled with coarse stone or gravel. A 2–4% slope is adequate to quickly move water away from trouble areas. The drain can be left open or, if aesthetics are a concern, can be covered with a couple of inches of topsoil and sod.

Do holes go up or down in a French drain?

When you lay your PVC pipe, the rows of holes should always be facing the downward position. You want to keep the water level in your French drain as low as possible at all times, and you can’t achieve this if the holes are facing upwards or sideways.

Do French drains need maintenance?

French drains need annual maintenance Despite the design’s best efforts, French drains get clogged by dirt, debris and silt. They do need to be cleaned out regularly – about once per year – to ensure that they continue to direct water away from the building’s foundation.

Why are French drains called French drains?

It’s from Henry French, a judge and farmer in Concord, Massachusetts, who promoted the idea in an 1859 book about farm drainage. French drains provide an easy channel for water to flow through.

How do I dig a French drain around my house?

Here’s how to do it:Dig a trench along the outside of your footing. … Lay the pipe on the virgin soil. … Cover the pipe with at least 12 inches of washed gravel.Lay filter fabric over the gravel to prevent any soil from clogging the pipe.Back-fill the foundation with top soil back to its original grade height.

Does a French drain need to be below frost line?

French drains are definitely appropriate for cold climates. … When placed below the frost line, your French drain will work in all seasons and will not suffer from issues such as frozen obstructions caused by either the freezing or thawing cycles.

How long do French drains last?

approximately 30 to 40 yearsGenerally speaking, a French drain will last approximately 30 to 40 years.

How effective is a French drain?

How Effective is a French Drain System? French drain systems are incredibly effective because, unlike typical surface drains, they collect water over the entire length of the drain as opposed to one dedicated area. The force of gravity helps to guide water along a reliably smooth path to a desired discharge point.