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Oklahoma City French Drain

OKLAHOMA CITY FRENCH DRAIN

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Oklahoma City is one of the communities in  Oklahoma that CMG services.  We have installed almost a thousand French Drains in the Oklahoma City community in the past 21 years.  Oklahoma City  has many hills and valleys.  Many Neighborhoods are built on hillsides.  This causes many Drainage Problems.  CMG has installed French Drains by themselves and as a part of Drainage Systems to protect Driveways, Sidewalks, Foundations all over Edmond.  French Drains may be installed in Flower Beds or grassy areas too.  French Drains when installed correctly can provide many years of property protection and Piece of Mind.

CMG has 21 years of experience installing French Drains, and Drainage Systems.  This ensures that a Drainage System that we install won’t have Drain Pipes that are too small, or Surface Drains installed where French Drains Should be placed, or Exit Points that allow water to Stand and become stagnant.  CMG relies on 21 years of experience to Diagnose a Drainage Problem.   Many Drainage Problems are not as simple as they seem.  Understanding why a French Drain should be installed over a Surface Drain in particular situations is just one of many variables that must be considered when Diagnosing a Drainage Problem.

Many times CMG is asked to look at Drainage Systems that aren’t working correctly.  Here are a few common problems that we find:

French Drain Pipe is too small for the Drainage Area.

French Drain is not connected to an Exit Point.

French Drain is installed where a Surface Drain is needed.

Surface Drain is installed where a French Drain is needed.

Too many gutters connected to French Drain.

French Drain covered with dirt.

Exit Point Covered with Dirt.

Water flow is bad for French Drain,  (trying to drain water up hill)

These are just a few of the Problems we are asked to solve when fixing a Drainage System that wasn’t designed correctly.

Drainage Systems can be made up of one drain or a combination of many drains.  Drainage  problems can be very complex.   Complex Drainage Problems may require a combination of several different types of drains all inter-connected and working together.  Other times the drainage problem may be simple and straight-forward requiring only one drain or several of the same type of drain connected together.

An example of a complex drainage system would be:  A French Drain in the back yard connected to a Surface Drain near a flower bed connected to several gutter downspouts, which are connected to a Channel Drain going across a driveway, which is connected to additional Surface Drain in the front yard, which runs to a Curb Fitting that lets all the water drain out on to the street.

A simple Drainage System might consist of a Surface Drain that is connected to a second Surface Drain which runs to a Pop-up Emitter which lets water drain over the curb and into the street.

An “Exit Point” is the term used for where all the water leaves the Drainage System.  Determining the Exit Point is very critical.  It is one of the first things we do when diagnosing a Drainage Problem.

Drainage Systems can:

1.  Keep water away from foundations — A French Drain is best because it can move Surface Water and Sub-Surface Water (water moving under ground) away from the foundation.  Many times less experienced companies install Surface Drains to keep water away from foundations.  This can be a big mistake.  A Surface Drain can’t move or drain Sub-Surface Water.   Also A Surface Drain often can’t move enough water fast enough and easily becomes overwhelmed during a heavy rain.  A Surface Drain also can’t cover or protect a broad enough area. Surface Drains should be designed in a Drainage System to be located in smaller Drainage Areas moving moderate amounts of water.  Surface Drains look better than French Drains.  If ,”appearance” is more important than Drainage Capacity, Go with the Surface Drain.  Just know what you are getting into and what your expectations should be. One side of a foundation alone,  can be over 100 feet.  A 4 inch or 6 inch French Drain is best when protecting a large area such as a foundation.

2.  Keep water away from small or inclosed areas.  This might be a low area just through a gate on the side of a house, or the low area between a flowerbed and the wall of a house, or standing water on or near a sidewalk or driveway.  These types of Drainage Problems are best served with Surface Drains.  A Surface Drain can move water away from a low area that is relatively small.  This can occur in yards, flowerbeds, sidewalks and driveways.  A surface Drain is designed to move Surface Water away from a problem area to a predetermined exit point.  Surface Drains are available in many sizes.  How quickly they remove standing water is usually determined by the size of the pipe that is connected to the drain.

Simply put, a Drainage System is one or a group of underground Drain Pipes that take water away from a place that has water standing on it or flowing across it.  The water that is in the problem area, can be causing damage or may be inconvenient or both.  (Usually Both)  A simple Drainage System is a Drain for the water to enter, a Drain Pipe to move the water away from the Drain, and an Exit Point for the water to be released out of the Drain Pipe.

Drainage Systems quickly can become more complicated.  Considerations must include:

How does the water get to the problem area?  There may be one or many sources.

Water Sources:

1.  It falls from the sky directly

2.  It flows down hill over the surface (surface water)

3.  It flows underground under the surface (sub-surface water)

4.  It flows from the edge of a roof ( There may be many roofs near the problem area, neighbors etc.)

5.  It flows from a gutter downspout

6.  It flows over the edge of a gutter because the gutter is too small or clogged

7.  It flows up from the ground (seeps and springs are common in Oklahoma)

8.  It flows from a sprinkler system use ( yours or your neighbors)

9.  It flows from a leaking pipe ( water mains, water meters, water lines, sprinkler pipes, sprinkler valves)

There are other reasons for Drainage Problems, the above reasons are just the most common.

Once the number of water sources is determined, a rough estimate of the amount of water that needs to be drained away on average must be estimated.  This can be simplified down to “SMALL, MEDIUM, OR LARGE AMOUNTS OF WATER TO BE DRAINED AWAY.  You don’t have to be an engineer trying to calculate fluid dynamics.  Experience at diagnosing drainage problems helps however.  How much water needs to be moved will help determine the type and size of the Surface Drain or French Drain that needs to be installed.  It also helps to determine the size of Drain Pipe required for the Drainage System.  A good rule to follow is, “If in doubt, install a larger Drain and Drain Pipe.”  Unused Drainage Capacity is better than property damage caused by a Drain that is overwhelmed by too much water.

For home and small business use typical materials used are:

6 inch, 9 inch, and 12 inch Surface Drains

3 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch Drain Pipes

3 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch French Drains

French Drains move more water than Surface Drains —

French Drains move Surface Water and Sub-Surface Water

Surface Drains move Surface Water only

Surface Drains look nicer than French Drains in most cases

Once the type and number of drains is determined and what size Drain Pipe will connect them, an exit point must be selected.  (Where is the Drainage System going to take the water to and release it?)

The Drainage Curb Fitting is installed when the desired exit point for the French Drain will release the Drainage Water into the Street.   The Drainage Curb Fitting is rectangular in shape and made to be installed through the curb.  A small section of Curb is cut out with a concrete saw.  The Section is a few inches wider than the Drainage Curb Fitting.  We then install new concrete around the curb fitting.  Once the concrete has dried, the Drain Pipe coming from a French Drain or Surface Drain is connected to the Drainage Curb fitting and then covered with dirt.DSC00560

Edmond Oklahoma French Drain

EDMOND OKLAHOMA FRENCH DRAIN

Angie’s List Customer Service Award Winner        Activerain Member

Edmond is one of the communities in Central Oklahoma that CMG services.  We have installed almost a thousand French Drains in the Edmond community in the past 21 years.  Edmond has many hills and valleys.  Many Neighborhoods are built on hillsides.  This causes many Drainage Problems.  CMG has installed French Drains by themselves and as a part of Drainage Systems to protect Driveways, Sidewalks, Foundations all over Edmond.  French Drains may be installed in Flower Beds or grassy areas too.  French Drains when installed correctly can provide many years of property protection and Piece of Mind.

FRENCH DRAIN CONNECTED TO GUTTERS

FRENCH DRAIN CONNECTED TO GUTTERS

 

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Servicing all of central Oklahoma including:  Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman, Yukon, Midwest City, Mustang, Moore and Del City.

 

 

Many different types of Drains can be hooked together by one Drain Pipe.  The Drain Pipe then running to an Exit Point makes up a Drainage System.  One common type of Drain used in a Drainage System is A “French Drain.”  Many times a French Drain is installed close to a building foundation or in a low area next to a home or business.  This puts the French Drain in close proximity to Gutter Down Spouts.  Rather than have water come off the roof and out the Down Spout and on to the ground below, many times it is much better to tie a Gutter Down Spout Directly into a French Drain or near by Drain Pipe depending on the Drainage System Design.   Connecting The Down Spouts Directly into a French Drain is much  more efficient and causes suction to occur in the French Drain.  Connection of Gutter Down Spouts to a French Drain makes the Drainage System work better.

Connecting Gutter into French Drain System

Connecting Gutter into French Drain System

French Drain Running Through Low Areas

French Drain Running Through Low Areas

 

One Problem with connecting Gutter Down Spouts into a French Drain is overwhelming the Drainage System with too much water.  Three Gutter Down Spouts is usually OK to connect into a French Drain.  More than 3 Down Spouts can be too many.  The Drainage System Design should also take into account the size of the French Drain and the Gutters.  If you have a large long French Drain or over-sized gutters,  the number of Gutter Down Spouts connected into the French Drain Should be reduced.  This problem can usually be solved by increasing the size of the French Drain Pipe.  This ususally means moving up from a 4 inch French Drain Pipe to a 6 inch French Drain Pipe.  Four inch is the most common size of French Drain Pipe.  If you have more than 3 gutter Down Spouts to connect, you should move up to a 6 inch French Drain Pipe.

Gutter connected straight into 6 inch French Drain System

Gutter connected straight into 6 inch French Drain System

FRENCH DRAIN DESIGN

French Drain Design

 

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French Drain Design must take into account many variables.  One consideration for a French Drain that many times is missed, is the type of soil.  French Drain Design must take into account the type of soil that the French Drain runs through.  If the soil is “Tight or made up of Clay, A French Drain Liner may not be necessary.  The Gravel or Limestone that is used to fill the French Drain trench may be all that is needed to maintain the integrity of the trench over time.   This means that dirt will not mix in with the French Drain Gravel and clog it up over time.  This is not the case however if your soil is sandy or loose.  A Trench Liner should be used to prevent this type of soil from moving into the gravel of the French Drain.  Trench Liners are relatively inexpensive and are not hard to install.  If you are not sure what to do then install the Trench Liner in the French Drain.

Determining  the size of the French Drain Pipe can be difficult.  If the French Drain is not very big and has no Gutter Down-Spouts or Surface Drains connected to it then 3 inch or 4 inch French Drain Pipe may be used.  If the French Drain is large or has many gutters or Surface Drains connected into it, then you should use 6 Inch French Drain Pipe or larger.

French Drain Design is also determined by the Problem Drainage Area.  If water is moving into the Problem Drainage Area underground (Sub-Surface), then installing a French Drain is a “Must!”  French Drains can move Sub-Surface water as well as Surface Water.  Surface Drains can only move Surface Water.  This is why French Drains do such a good job protecting driveways, sidewalks, and foundations.

CMG installs French Drains and Drainage Systems in all of Central Oklahoma including:  Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, Moore, Mustang, Yukon, and Midwest City.

French Drain as part of a Drainage System

FRENCH DRAIN AS PART OF A DRAINAGE SYSTEM

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A Drainage System has 3 basic parts.  They are the:  1.  Intake Point,  2.  Transition Stage,  3.  The Exit Point

 

The, ” Intake’ part of a Drainage System is usually located in the ,”Problem Drainage Area” at it lowest point.  This is where water is taken into the Drainage System through some type of Drain or Gutter.  A French Drain or a Surface Drain are the two most common intake Drains.  A French Drain is a trench that runs through the Problem Drainage Area.  The French Drain Trench usually runs one or two feet deep but can be deeper or more shallow depending on the need.  In most cases a trench liner is placed in the trench.  This is necessary to maintain the integrity of the French Drain Trench.  A perforated French Drain Pipe is placed on top of  the liner and runs to the, “Transitions Stage.”

Installing Gravel on top of a 6 inch French Drain

Installing Gravel on top of a 6 inch French Drain

A Surface Drain is also used as an Intake point.  A Surface Drain is a basin with a square or round grate on top.  The Drain Pipe that is connected to the Surface Drain or French Drain begins the Transition stage.  Simply put, for water to get into a Drainage System, it must pass through either a French Drain or a Surface Drain.

A French Drain is designed to handle large amounts of water over a large area.  A Surface Drain is designed to handle smaller amounts or water that is more centralized in a smaller area.

A French Drain takes in Surface Water and Sub-Surface Water(water flowing underground).  A Surface Drain can only take in Surface Water on top of the ground.

The Transition Stage is where water travels out of the French Drain or Surface Drain and into a Solid Drain Pipe.  The Solid Drain Pipe takes the water to an Exit point or another Problem Drainage Area.  Several French Drains or Surface Drains can be connected in any combination.  This is determined by the needs of the next Problem Drainage Area that is farther down the hill.  The limiting factor is the size of the Drain Pipe between Drains.  The greater the number of Drains that are connected together, the larger the Solid Drain Pipe must be between them.  Surface Drains induct small amounts of water into the Drainage System.  If you have a large 6 inch Drain Pipe, many Surface Drains can be connected together on their way to the exit point.  French Drains Take In larger amounts of water faster.  As a result, only a Few French Drains can be connected together on their way to the exit point.  French Drains and Surface Drains can also be connected together by one Drain Pipe.

 

Installing Cement around Curb Fitting for French Drain

Installing Cement around Curb Fitting for French Drain

Once water leaves the French Drain or Surface Drain, it runs through the solid Drain Pipe (The Transitions) to the Exit Point.  Water  is released through two types of Exit Points.  They are the Pop-Up Emitter and the Curb Fitting.  A Pop-Up Emitter can be in any good open area.  A Curb Fitting is installed through the curb and requires Wet Cement to install it.
Popup Emitter to release water from a French Drain in Yukon

Popup Emitter to release water from a French Drain in Yukon

 

French Drain Installation in Downtown Oklahoma City

French Drain Installation In Downtown Oklahoma City

French Drain

A little bit North of Downtown Oklahoma City CMG installed a 6 inch French Drain between two businesses which were less than three feet apart.  The French Drain went between a Law Firm and a Tire shop.  Water was leaking through the walls of both businesses.  Gutters between the two establishments were dumping a huge amount of water.  CMG installed a 6 inch French Drain between the two.

French Drain connected to gutter

It took a long time to get the dirt out of the trench for the French Drain.  It was a very tight fit.  We had to use a little red wagon to haul out the dirt for the French Drain and haul back in the crushed limestone for the French Drain.  It looked a little silly, but it was the only thing we could find that was narrow enough to fit between the buildings.  A French Drain that normally would take 1 day to install took three.

Curb Outlet for French Drain

The French Drain had a Double Exit Point.  This means that once water entered the French Drain Pipe, it could run South to the street or it could run North to the alley.  To exit points greatly increases the water capacity for any French Drain.

Along the course of the French Drain, we connected two large gutters directly into the Drain Pipe.

Once in place, the French Drain eliminated all the water that was leaking into the two buildings.

Drainage Problem Solved!

FRENCH DRAIN INSTALLATION IN NICHOLS HILLS

French Drain Installation in Nichols Hills

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CMG Sprinklers and Drains Recently installed a Drainage System in Nichols Hills.  The Drainage System was made up of a 4 inch French Drain starting in the back yard.  It ran between the garage and the pool.  Several gutters were connected directly into the French Drain.  From this point, we expanded up to a larger 6 inch Drain pipe to handle the added water into the system from the gutters.  In several places the French Drain had to run through areas where Sprinkler Pipes were in the way.  We had to re-rout all the Sprinkler Pipes and Wires under the French Drain.

Once the Sprinkler System had been redesigned and the gutters had been connected, CMG ran the 6 inch Drain Pipe from the end of the French Drain, around the house to release through the curb.  We cut the curb and installed a 6 inch curb fitting with acrylic concrete.  A few days later a major thunderstorm poured down on the property.  The French Drain and the Drainage System Worked Perfectly.

Pipe running to street form French Drain in  back yard.

Pipe running to street form French Drain in back yard.

If you live in Nichols Hills and need a French Drain, or if you live in Oklahoma City and have water standing on your driveway, or if your back yard turns into a moat ever time it rains, give CMG a call