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French Drain, Do It Your Self, DIY, French Drain Information, Surface Drain Installation

Oklahoma Drainage Systems and Sprinkler Repair

(405) 203 9419 We install all types of Residential Drains and Repair Sprinkler Systems

French Drain Installation

French Drain running from back yard to street

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RSS Drainage Systems and French Drains

  • French Drain Installation, Choctaw, Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond June 3, 2020
    Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair recently installed a French Drain along the edge and under a Stepping Stone walkway.  The Work took place In Choctaw East of Choctaw Road. Every time it rained, our customer had water standing on the walkway between the pool and the house.  Not only would the water stand there but […]
  • Norman Oklahoma French Drain Installation, Oklahoma City, Edmond, June 1, 2020
    Recently  Norman Oklahoma had 4 inches of rain in two hours.  That’s the most rain in a short time that I can remember.  Storm-Water runoff can cause damage to all types of property and buildings.  Water getting inside your house is never a good thing.  A Drainage System that utilizes a French Drain can help.  […]
  • French Drains, Sub-Surface Water, What you need to think about! May 31, 2020
    A “French Drain” Moves “surface water” away from a low lying problem drainage area.  Sub surface water is many times not considered or thought about when a drainage system is being installed.  People only think about what they can see and don’t think much about what they can’t see. Sub Surface water is water that […]
  • Oklahoma City French Drain information, pictures, and tips May 30, 2020
    Standing water can cause a lot of damage to your yard.  The above picture was from a French Drain Installation in Oklahoma City. Many times we wait until things dry out a bit before beginning a French Drain Installation.  Some times the water never goes away.  So we start digging in standing water and putting […]
  • French Drain Installation in Moore Oklahoma, Standing Water Problem Solved May 29, 2020
    Moore Oklahoma was the location of our most recent French Drain Installation.  Our customer had a problem that is very common.  Every time it rained, she had a large pond in her back yard.  Water stood there so long that her normally nice Bermuda Grass died out because it was under water so long.  Her […]
  • French Drain Pipe, What size do you need? Oklahoma City, Edmond, Moore, Norman May 25, 2020
    When installing a Drainage System of any type, a decision must be made on the size of Drain Pipe used.  Typically 6 inch, 4 inch, and 3 inch are the most common in Residential Drainage Systems.   If you have one or two 6 inch Surface Drains or a stretch of French Drain that is […]
  • French Drain Installation with not much “Fall” or Slope May 24, 2020
    French Drain Installation can be tricky sometimes.  Recently we installed a French Drain in Norman with very little “Fall”.  This means that the “Intake” For the Drainage System is close to the same level as the “Exit.”  Simply Put, it is hard to make a Drain work if it isn’t ” Down Hill,” to where […]
  • Sod Delivery and Installation, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Yukon, Lawton, Norman May 23, 2020
    Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair Now is adding Sod Installation to our Drainage System Services and Lawn Sprinkler Repair. We install Fescue and Bermuda Sod by the “Pallet.”  Each Pallet provides roughly 450 square feet per pallet. In the above picture, we installed two pallets of Fescue.  It was unrolled in the back yard and […]
  • New French Drain in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair, Edmond, Norman, Lawton May 10, 2020
    A NEW FRENCH DRAIN IN OKLAHOMA CITY Recently we installed a large Drainage System in OKC.  It was a 4 inch System using 4 inch ADS French Drain Pipe with Soc and 4 inch ADS Solid Drain Pipe.  The “Intake” of the Drainage System had two parts.  Water from the gutters on the house was fed […]
  • French Drain Installation Mistakes, Problems, and bad practices. May 6, 2020
    Recently we installed a Drainage System in NE Edmond.  Our customer had purchased a new home at a large discount.  The new home had sat empty for three years because of all the drainage problems on the West side of the house in the front, side, and back yard.  The builder could not sell the […]

When Determining what type of Drain you need for your Drainage System.  In our last blog, we talked about Surface Water and Sub-Surface water and why you need to understand them before designing your Drainage System.  If you need to review, click below.  If you have a question or comment please leave it at the bottom of the page. I will respond as quickly as I can.

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Before we get into Water Movement, we need to discuss Surface Drains.

Surface Drains come in many shapes and sizes.  The two most common are Basin Drains and Channel Drains.

A Basin Drain has a Square Grate and it sits on top of a catch basin.  It will have a single pipe connected to it or it will have a drain pipe running into it and a pipe running out of it.  We used this picture in a previous blog, but I want to show it to you again.

Surface Drain Connection

Surface Drain connected to a Transition Pipe

Below is a Basin before the pipe is connected to both sides.  The pipe is cut and connected to one side.   Another piece of Drain Pipe is connected to the other side.  The Drain pipe does not run straight through the basin.  Water must have a way to enter the Drain Pipe.  The Surface Drain in the picture is the most common size used in residential applications.  The Drain Pipe connecting to it is 4 inch ADS Solid Drain Pipe.

For a Surface Drain to work well it must be placed in a low lying area of standing water.  It is not intended to intercept moving water or to drain away Sub-Surface water.


In review, detecting Surface Water is straight forward.  You can observe how it flows into the Problem Drainage Area.

Sub-Surface water is not so easy.  You can’t see it move into the problem area.  So What do you do?

First take a look at your soil.  What type of soil do you have?

Soil with a lot of clay will have less Sub-Surface Water, Maybe none at all.  If you do have some it will move into the area slowly.  If you have sandy soil the underground water will move there in a hurry.  Most people will have something in between.

To be sure, a few simple tests can help.

Next check the problem drainage area when there is no water standing in it.  Is it soft and mushy when the surrounding area is more firm?  This is an indication that Sub-Surface Water is still flowing into the area.  Another way to collect information is to dig a small hole about a foot deep in the area. Check it every day for several days.  If water is standing in the hole, you have a Sub-Surface Water issue.  How fast it flows into the hole is also important.

OK, you have Sub-Surface water along with Surface Water in your problem drainage area.  Your Choice for the correct “Intake” for your Drainage System should be a French Drain.

OK, You have no Sub-Surface water. You only have Surface Water flowing into the problem area.  You need a French Drain If you are trying to intercept the water as it comes into the area.  Many times water will run around the surface drain and still flood the area.  Also the Surface Drain is much more easily overwhelmed and water will run past it that way too.  Again, this is very important,  If you are trying to intercept water before it gets to where its going, don’t use a Surface Drain.

A Surface Drain should be used in a Medium to Low Volume Water situation.  The water needs to be stationary or moving very slowly.  It should be placed in an area that is the lowest point in the Problem Drainage area.  They also work well in smaller confined areas such as pool decks, along sidewalks, or in flower beds.

More than one Surface Drain can be connected to one drain pipe in a “Daisy Chain” of Drains if you have several low spots in a larger area.

In many cases a small french drain can be installed in almost every place that a Surface Drain might be installed.  People opt for a Surface Drain over a French Drain because they like the way the Surface Drain looks more than the way the French Drain looks.  For some People, Looks are more important than functionality.

Channel drain in concrete

Channel drain in concrete

Setting a Surface Drain in Concrete such as a driveway or a Sidewalk is a good application for a Surface Drain.  Many times it is better to install a French Drain in your yard over a Surface Drain.  What ever makes you happy!

French Drains can be made to look very decorative.

decorative french drain

French Drains can be decorated with many types of stone

In conclusions,

French Drains are used for :  1.  Higher water volume situations  2.  Intercepting moving Surface Water  3.  Solving Sub-Surface water problems

Surface Drains are used for: 1.  Smaller water volume situations  2.  Standing Surface Water that has reached its destination   3.  Smaller and more confined areas  4.  Set in concrete such as sidewalks or Driveways


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Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair –  Email us at

frenchdrain.sprinklerrepair@gmail.com  or call or text to 405 203 9419

French Drain InstallationDrainage System Repair, Sprinkler Repair, Emergency Sprinkler Repair,


  1. […] Simple rules about French Drains and Surface Drains.  A French Drain should be installed when there is a large volume of water to be drained over a large area.  Surface […]

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