Today we are installing a French Drain system for a customer in East Norman. She has water running into her front door through her flower bed. The bed acts like a pond and over-spills onto her front porch and then through her front door. To solve the problem, we are installing a French Drain running across her flower bed and under her sidewalk. Once under the sidewalk the French Drain will connect to Solid Drain Pipe and continue on down the hill to the exit point where we will install a pop-up emitter. There are two gutter downspouts that will be connected into the French Drain System along the way.
Residential Drainage Systems and Sprinkler Repair Services, all of Central and Western Oklahoma
A French Drain is a long perforated pipe in the bottom of a trench. The trench runs through the problem drainage area. The trench is filled with gravel or crushed lime stone. The French Drain takes in water any place that water runs into the trench.
A French Drain will move large amounts of water from the Drainage Problem Area to the Exit point.
A French Drain will Drain away water that gets to the Drainage Problem Area in 3 ways.
1. Water gets to the problem area by falling from the sky.
2. Water gets to the problem area by flowing down hill over the ground.
3. Water gets to the problem area by flowing underground. (Sub-Surface water flow)
Number 3, Sub-Surface water flow is the big consideration. When doing a Drainage Diagnostic, this is the area that is many times missed or not considered by less experienced companies. Many Times it is cheaper and more effective to install a French Drain over a Surface Drain. A Surface Drain can’t move as much water as a French Drain, and a Surface Drain can’t Drain away Sub-Surface water. Surface Drains should be installed in areas where the Drainage Problem area is smaller and is not affected by sub-surface water.
The draw back to a French Drain, is that it is not a pretty as a Surface Drain.
French Drains do a great job running along foundations and driveways. A French Drain will keep water away from cement and prevent damage to concrete if water should freeze up against it. A French Drain can keep your foundation Dry.
French Drains can utilize several types and sizes of French Drain Pipe. An older type that is not commonly used any more is 4 inch PVC Pipe with large half inch holes drilled in the Pipe. This doesn’t work very well, Because the holes are too large and the number of holes in the French Drain Pipe are too few. Also there is no filter or “Soc” around this particular French Drain Pipe. If it is used in sandy or loose soil the holes will clog and the pipe will fill up with sand. PVC French Drain Pipe should be avoided.
ADS French Drain Pipe is much better, the holes are smaller and much more numerous. It also comes inside a soc that acts as a filter and helps keep sand and debris out of the French Drain Pipe. It works very well.
For Small business and Residential French Drains, Four inch ADS Perf/Soc French Drain pipe is adequate and the most common. It is used for the majority of all French Drains installed. French Drains can be installed using 3 inch ADS Perf/Soc but many times it is too small and can be overwhelmed by a heavy rain or from a bad design. (Too many gutter down spouts connected directly into the French Drain, For Example) Three Inch French Drain Pipe should be avoided if possible.
Six inch ADS Perf/Soc French Drain Pipe is usually a good idea when possible. It carries a much larger volume of water. Six Inch French Drains are rarely overwhelmed.The Drawbacks to 6 inch French Drain installation are: 1. The Materials Cost is higher for six-inch French Drain Compared to Four Inch Pipe. 2. Many times 6 Inch French Drain Pipe is too large for many applications, Such as going under a fence or sidewalk. 3. The trench for a 6 inch French Drain must be much larger than a 4 Inch 4. The amount of gravel or limestone or River Rock used to Cover the 6 inch French Drain is Much larger All things being considered, the performance and longevity of a 6 inch French Drain is well worth it if you are trying to protect something of value to you! If the higher cost and the additional labor and materials are not a problem and 6 inch French Drain pipe is not too big for what you want to do then a 6 inch French Drain would be the best.