Driveway and Sidewalk Drains,
Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair
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 the water is going.
This was the Situation for the French Drain we installed last week in Norman. The standing water was in the back yard. There was only one direction that we could take the unwanted water to drain away. In this case it was only slightly down hill. The French Drain was installed at a shallow level in the back yard. The solid drain pipe that was attached ran from the back yard, along the side of the house to a curb outlet at the street.
As the trench for the Drain Pipe was dug, it had to start shallow and slowly get slightly deeper as it approached the street. This was an absolute Precision Job. The trench could not be even an inch too deep or too shallow along its course.
At the street, a “Pop-Up” Emitter could not be used. It would cause the water to stop flowing. Two Install a Pop-up Emitter at the Exit of any Drainage System, There must be at least 6 inches of “Fall” from the Drain to the Exit.
In Our Case, we only had 3 inches of fall to work with.
The solution was to Cut the curb and Install a Curb Outlet.
This process involves cutting the Curb with a concrete saw and placing a rectangular Curb outlet in the empty space. We then put acrylic concrete around the outlet to make it look nice.
The fact that the outlet is square or rectangular is very important.
Many times I look at Round Curb outlets installed by my competitors and just shake my head! This is a mistake. Round Curb outlets are bad when the Drainage System is at Max Capacity and the pipe is completely full. Air needs to be able to get into the pipe at the curb to ensure that the Drainage System can work at its Max.
The Drain will work with a Round Outlet, Just not very well.
Have you ever tried to Pour liquid out of a Jug or 2 liter bottle holding it completely upside down?
It Drains and Stops and Starts as the liquid comes out. “It Chugs” and struggles to get air up inside the hole. It doesn’t work very well.
A Square Outlet allows air to constantly flow into the top corners of the Curb Outlet.
As a result, Much more water is moved in the same size pipe.
Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair — Installing – French Drains – Surface Drains – Channel Drains – Sump Pumps
Providing Expert Sprinkler Repair – Broken Sprinkler Pipes – Sprinkler Head Adjustment – Sprinkler Valve Replacement
Servicing all of Central and Western Oklahoma since 1993.
Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair – French Drain Installation, Drainage System Design, Expert Lawn Sprinkler Repair, Drain Repair
Recently Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair installed a large 6 inch French Drain in Edmond. The customer had water running under his back porch step and into his basement. We did a Free Drainage Diagnostic and Estimate. The French Drain design that we proposed would intercept the surface water and subsurface water that was flowing under the steps. The French Drain design called for a 6 inch French Drain to be installed above and several feet away from the steps. It would run around the house parallel to the foundation and about 5 feet to the East. The French Drain would run past the steps to a point where water must cross the French Drain or run up hill to the steps which in this case was not possible. Once past the steps, the French Drain would transition to Solid 6 inch Drain Pipe and continue on around the house to the Pop-Up Emitter down hill in the side yard. Along the way we attached several Gutter Down Spouts into the French Drain.
Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair has been diagnosing and solving Drainage Problems since 1993. Water has the ability to get into places around your home where you really don’t want it to be. Some drainage problems are easy to solve. Typically water enters the problem drainage area one way from one source. The really tricky drainage problems occur when water enters the problem drainage area from multiple directions and from multiple sources. Sometimes a secondary water source can’t be seen or identified until the primary water problem source is eliminated.
An example of this occurs when water is running into a problem area in an obvious way over the ground where you can see it.
A drainage system is installed with a surface drain as the “intake” with drainage pipe running to an exit point. Initially the water drains away and everything looks great. The next day water is back and is all around the surface drain, but below the edge and it hasn’t rained at all, so no additional water ran over the surface of the ground to flood the area. The primary water source was solved, ( The surface water run off ) but the secondary water source was not. Which was sub-surface water, (ground water) running into the area. A surface drain can’t drain “ground water.” A French Drain should have initially been installed instead of a Surface Drain. A French Drain can drain both Surface Water and Ground Water.
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.
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.
- Surface Drain Installed next to sidewalk in Oklahoma City.
2. Keep water away from small or enclosed 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 Drain Pipe that is connected to the Drain.
- Surface Drain Installation in Norman
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.
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 is is 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.
The Drainage Pop-Up Emitter is connected to the end of a Drain Pipe. It is downhill from a French Drain or a Surface Drain. It is a small release basin with a green pop-up lid. When releasing water, it pops up about an inch to release the water from the French Drain or Surface Drain. When the Storm Water has moved through the Drainage System and out of the Pop-Up Emitter, the green lid closes back to its original closed position. The emitter is designed to release water out into a yard or down a hill or other desirable Drainage Exit Point where there is no curb.
- Popup Emitter to release water from a Drainage System in Yukon.