muddy french drain installation

Installing a French Drain in the mud

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 the mud in a wheelbarrow.   We then haul it to a dump trailer to be hauled away.  It isn’t the easiest thing to do.

 

Liner and French dran

Perforated Pipe, Filter , and Liner installed in a drainage trench.

The water started draining away as soon as we dug the Drainage Trench.  Once the Pipe and Limestone were installed, it drained away even faster.

The trench liner allows sub surface water to pass through it and reach the French Drain Pipe.  The reason it is installed is to maintain the integrity of the drainage trench so it doesn’t collapse over time.  It also helps protect the pipe from filling up with mud or sand, clogging the French Drain.

Below is a picture of a French Drain that we had to take out and replace because it had no liner or filter around the Pipe.

clogged French Drain Pipe

result of French Drain Installed Incorrectly

Installing concrete channel drain

Setting the concrete around the channel drain

 

The French Drain Pipe shown above has a neo Preen soc around it to prevent sand and debris from clogging the French Drain.  The next step is to add the lime stone on top.

Other types of stone can be used as well.

colored gravel french drain

French Drain with colored gravel.’

 

FD River roc

A French Drain with River Rock

The type of rock that covers a perforated French Drain Pipe can be just about any type of quality gravel or crushed stone.  Very small crushed stone or sand is not a good idea, however.  The water must be able to flow through the stone to reach the perforated pipe.

Drain Basin Connected into a French Drain and Several Gutters

Drain Basin Connected into a French Drain and Several Gutters

Servicing Central Oklahoma including: Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, Midwest City, Del City, Yukon, Mustang, Moore, Norman, Purcell, Newcastle, Blanchard and surrounding areas.

Just what is a “French Drain?”  Many times people incorrectly

use the phrase, “French Drain,”  to apply to many different types of Drains that could be used in a Drainage System.  The term is widely used and many times incorrectly connected to “Surface Drains,” or “Channel Drains.”

A Surface Drain has a grate that sits on top of a basin.  The basin is underground.  A Drain Pipe is connected underground to an outlet on the Drain Basin Storm-Water Drains through the grate into the Drain Basin.  Once in the Drain Basin, water travels out of the basin through a Drain Pipe.  The Storm-Water continues downhill in an underground Drain Pipe to an exit point.

THIS IS NOT A FRENCH DRAIN!

A Surface Drain may come in many different shapes or sizes.  The Drain Grate may be round or square.  Here is a picture of a common Surface Drain.

Surface Drain and Drain Pipe

A Channel Drain is a type of Surface Drain and many times is installed in concrete across sidewalks or driveways.

A French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged.

The dirt that was taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipe or the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed.

French Drain 
A French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.
The main downfall of a French Drain is that they, for the most part aren’t very pretty.  They don’t look very nice in a yard once they are completed.
Depending on the area the French Drain is installed and the type of grass around the French Drain, will dictate whether grass grows over the lime stone.  Grass can grow up and through the gravel in the French Drain over time eventually covering the gravel.  This is Ok.  It won’t have a measurable effect on the performance of the drain.
DONT COVER THE GRAVEL IN THE FRENCH DRAIN WITH DIRT.  THE FRENCH DRAIN WON’T WORK IF THE TRENCH IS CLOGGED WITH DIRT.  DON’T EVEN INSTALL IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO COVER IT UP WITH DIRT.

DECORATIVE STONE CAN BE USED TO COVER A FRENCH DRAIN AND THEY LOOK GREAT AND LAST A LIFETIME.

French Drains Can Look Great!

 

 

 

French Drains can look great!

Just what is a “French Drain?”  Many times people incorrectly use the phrase, “French Drain,”  to apply to many different types of Drains that could be used in a Drainage System.  The term is widely used and many times incorrectly connected to “Surface Drains,” or “Channel Drains.”

A Surface Drain has a grate that sits on top of a basin.  The basin is underground.  A Drain Pipe is connected underground to an outlet on the Drain BasinStorm-Water Drains through the grate into the Drain Basin.  Once in the Drain Basin, water travels out of the basin through a Drain Pipe.  The Storm-Water continues downhill in an underground Drain Pipe to an exit point.

THIS IS NOT A FRENCH DRAIN!

A Surface Drain may come in many different shapes or sizes.  The Drain Grate may be round or square.  Here is a picture of a common Surface Drain.

A Channel Drain is a type of Surface Drain and many times is installed in concrete across sidewalks or driveways.

Channel Drain

A French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged.

The dirt that was taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipe or the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed

Drain Pipe running to street from French Drain

Drain Pipe running to street from French Drain

A French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.
The main downfall of a French Drain is, that they, for the most part aren’t very pretty.  They don’t look very nice in a yard once they are completed.
Depending on the area the French Drain is installed and the type of grass around the French Drain, will dictate whether grass grows over the lime stone.  Grass can grow up and through the gravel in the French Drain over time eventually covering the gravel.  This is Ok.  It won’t have a measurable effect on the performance of the drain.
DONT COVER THE GRAVEL IN THE FRENCH DRAIN WITH DIRT.  THE FRENCH DRAIN WON’T WORK IF THE TRENCH IS CLOGGED WITH DIRT.  DON’T EVEN INSTALL IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO COVER IT UP WITH DIRT.  PUTTING DIRT OVER A FRENCH DRAIN IS LIKE PUTTING A CORK BACK IN A BOTTLE.

DECORATIVE STONE CAN BE USED TO COVER A FRENCH DRAIN AND THEY LOOK GREAT AND LAST A LIFETIME.

 

 


French Drains, 

           Surface Drains,

                        Driveway and Sidewalk Drains, 

                                  Sump Pumps

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.

New French Drain

French Drain with very little fall

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.

Sump Pump installation

Sump Pump Fed by a Driveway Channel Drain

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair — Installing – French Drains – Surface Drains – Channel Drains – Sump Pumps

Providing Expert Sprinkler RepairBroken Sprinkler Pipes Sprinkler Head AdjustmentSprinkler Valve Replacement

Servicing all of Central and Western Oklahoma since 1993.

channel drain driveway

Channel Drain set in Driveway

FRENCH DRAIN IN EDMOND OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler RepairFrench Drain Installation, Drainage System Design, Expert Lawn Sprinkler RepairDrain 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.

 

 

 

Setting in the channel drain

Setting in the Channel Drain in the cut.

 

Curb Outlet for French Drain in Edmond

Curb Outletfor French Drain in Edmond

French Drain Installation

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.

Simple enough.

driveway channel drain

Driveway Channel Drain Installation

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 System Installation

Drainage System Installation

 

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.

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

Surface Drains

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.

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 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.
Popup Emitter to release water from a Drainage System in Yukon.

 


Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair — Installing – French Drains – Surface Drains – Channel Drains – Sump Pumps

Providing Expert Sprinkler RepairBroken Sprinkler Pipes Sprinkler Head AdjustmentSprinkler Valve Replacement

Servicing all of Central and Western Oklahoma since 1993.

channel drain driveway

Channel Drain set in Driveway

FRENCH DRAIN IN EDMOND OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler RepairFrench Drain Installation, Drainage System Design, Expert Lawn Sprinkler RepairDrain Repair 

Recently Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repairinstalled a large 6 inchFrench 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 Draindesign that we proposed would intercept the surface water and subsurface water that was flowing under the steps.  The French Draindesign 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 Drainwould 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, theFrench 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 Spoutsinto the French Drain.

 

 

 

Setting in the channel drain

Setting in the Channel Drain in the cut.

 

Curb Outlet for French Drain in Edmond

Curb Outletfor French Drain in Edmond

French Drain Installation

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.

Simple enough.

driveway channel drain

Driveway Channel Drain Installation

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.

 

river rock french drain install

A French DrainCan Handle Standing Water

FRENCH DRAIN IN EDMOND OKLAHOMA, DRAINAGE CONTRACTOR

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair Recently 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.

 

French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  A  Trench Liner is sometimes used depending on the Drainage System Design and the type of soil.   The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged. A trench is dug that is slightly wider than the French Drain Pipe that is being used.  There are several sizes of French Drain Pipe.   Three Inch, Four Inch, and Six Inch are the most common sizes of French drain Pipe. The dirt that is taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipeor the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed.

A French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair Services all of Central Oklahoma including: Norman, Moore, Edmond, Yukon, Mustang, Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Del City, Blanchard, Newcastle, Purcell and Chickasha.

 

Keep water off your driveway with a channel drain

Standing water comes from many sources.  It causes damage to  sidewalks, driveways, and foundations not to mention plants, trees, and  grass.  Does the side of your house flood because your neighbor doesn’t  have gutters, or does your sidewalk turn into a moat after a heavy rain,  or worst of all, is water seeping into your foundation and duct work  after a thunderstorm?  Theses are just a few of the Drainage  Problems that Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair can help with.  We can design a Drainage  System to fit your specific needs.  We install many types  of Drains  to solve many types of problems.    French  Drains, Surface  Drains, Channel  Drains, Basement  Drains, Trench Drains, Basin Drains, and Sump  Pumps are utilized.

 

French Drains can look great!
French Drains can look great!

Just what is a “French Drain?”  Many times people incorrectly use the phrase, “French Drain,”  to apply to many different types of Drains that could be used in a Drainage System.  The term is widely used and many times incorrectly connected to “Surface Drains,” or “Channel Drains.”

A Surface Drain has a grate that sits on top of a basin.  The basin is underground.  A Drain Pipe is connected underground to an outlet on the Drain BasinStorm-Water Drains through the grate into the Drain Basin.  Once in the Drain Basin, water travels out of the basin through a Drain Pipe.  The Storm-Water continues downhill in an underground Drain Pipe to an exit point.

THIS IS NOT A FRENCH DRAIN!

A Surface Drain may come in many different shapes or sizes.  The Drain Grate may be round or square.  Here is a picture of a common Surface Drain.

Surface Drain and Drain Pipe

A Channel Drain is a type of Surface Drain and many times is installed in concrete across sidewalks or driveways.

A French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged.

The dirt that was taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipe or the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed.

A French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.
The main downfall of a French Drain is, that they, for the most part aren’t very pretty.  They don’t look very nice in a yard once they are completed.
Depending on the area the French Drain is installed and the type of grass around the French Drain, will dictate whether grass grows over the lime stone.  Grass can grow up and through the gravel in the French Drain over time eventually covering the gravel.  This is Ok.  It won’t have a measurable effect on the performance of the drain.
DONT COVER THE GRAVEL IN THE FRENCH DRAIN WITH DIRT.  THE FRENCH DRAIN WON’T WORK IF THE TRENCH IS CLOGGED WITH DIRT.  DON’T EVEN INSTALL IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO COVER IT UP WITH DIRT.  PUTTING DIRT OVER A FRENCH DRAIN IS LIKE PUTTING A CORK BACK IN A BOTTLE.

DECORATIVE STONE CAN BE USED TO COVER A FRENCH DRAIN AND THEY LOOK GREAT AND LAST A LIFETI

 

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair 405 203 9419 — We provide:

    French Drain Installation, Surface Drain Installation, Drainage System Installation

    Sprinkler Repair for all aspects of Residential Sprinkler Systems

    Emergency Sprinkler Repair Service, AFTER HOURS AND WEEKENDS.

 

French Drain Running Through Low Areas

French Drain with stepping stones

French Drain with stepping stones

French Drains are designed to cover large areas and move lots of water.  During a hard rain water will seep down through the gravel and into the Perforated French Drain Pipe that is buried under the gravel.  The water fills into the pipe and moves down hill to the desired Exit Point.  French Drains like the one in the picture above that are in the sun most of the day will have grass that overgrows the limestone.  The gravel will disappear over time.  The French Drain will continue to work even after the grass has grown over it.  A “Thatch Filter ” is made up of the grass that covers the French Drain.  The French Drain then has two filters.  First is the Neo-Prene Soc that comes around the Perforated French Drain Pipe.  Later when the grass grows over it, the French Drain then has a second Thatch Filter.  This ensures that the French Drain Pipe won’t clog over time with dirt, sand, or debris.  This only works with grass that does well in the sun like Bermuda or Tift.

Shade Grasses won’t grow up and through French Drain gravel.

YOU DON’T WANT TO COVER THE FRENCH DRAIN  WITH DIRT.  IT WILL GREATLY REDUCE THE DRAINAGE PERFORMANCE OF THE FRENCH DRAIN.  IT DEFEATS THE ENTIRE REASON FOR THE FRENCH DRAIN.  IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE WAY IT LOOKS AND CAN’T BE PATIENT ENOUGH TO WAIT UNTIL  THE GRASS GROWS THROUGH IT IF IT IS IN THE SUN, THEN DON’T INSTALL IT AT ALL.

IF THE FRENCH DRAIN IS INSTALLED IN THE SHADE YOU CAN USE DECORATIVE ROCK TO MAKE A FOOT PATH OR ROCK GARDEN ON TOP OF IT.  YOU ARE ONLY LIMITED BY YOU IMAGINATION.

 

clogged French Drain Pipe

result of French Drain Installed Incorrectly

A French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged.

The dirt that was taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipe or the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed.

A French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.
The main downfall of a French Drain is, that they, for the most part aren’t very pretty.  They don’t look very nice in a yard once they are completed.
Depending on the area the French Drain is installed and the type of grass around the French Drain, will dictate whether grass grows over the lime stone.  Grass can grow up and through the gravel in the French Drain over time eventually covering the gravel.  This is Ok.  It won’t have a measurable effect on the performance of the drain.
DONT COVER THE GRAVEL IN THE FRENCH DRAIN WITH DIRT.  THE FRENCH DRAIN WON’T WORK IF THE TRENCH IS CLOGGED WITH DIRT.  DON’T EVEN INSTALL IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO COVER IT UP WITH DIRT.  PUTTING DIRT OVER A FRENCH DRAIN IS LIKE PUTTING A CORK BACK IN A BOTTLE.

DECORATIVE STONE CAN BE USED TO COVER A FRENCH DRAIN AND THEY LOOK GREAT AND LAST A LIFETIME.


French Drain Success

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair

Recently we installed a French Drain that ran parallel between two houses in Moore Oklahoma.  We also installed a French Drain under a walkway to a pool in Choctaw.

French Drain walk way

French Drain Installed along and under walk way to pool.

As you can see, we installed a French Drain under the left edge of the walk way.  The stones and gravel were temporarily removed while the French Drain was installed. Then the walk way was put back on top of the French Drain.

Finished French Drain

Completed French Drain under walk way

Yesterday it rained very hard on the walkway in Choctaw.  We received a text from the home owner.

text drain

Text and photo of French Drain

 

Before we installed the French Drain, our customer told us that the walk way to the pool typically stood in 6 inches of water after even a small rain.  The water would pool on the right side and stay there for a long time after the rain had gone.  As you can see in the text pic, there is very little water standing while it is raining, and when the rain stopped, the water was gone completely.

Our customer in Moore also sent us a text as well.  He had standing water between his house and his neighbors.  His neighbor did not have any gutters which made the water problem worse.  We installed a French Drain running down the property line between the two houses.  We connected the customer’s gutters directly into the Drainage System with 4 inch gutter connections.  Had the neighbor had gutters, we would have connected them as well.  The French Drain transitioned to a solid drain pipe which ran across the front yard, under the sidewalk to the street.  We cut the curb and installed a curb outlet.

new curb outlet

Curb outlet with more than 6 inches of fall

 

DRAIN TEXT

DRAIN TEXT

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.

Surface Drain Installed next to sidewalk in Oklahoma City.
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
Surface Drain Installation in Norman
 

We install Drains in lots of places including, Yards, Flower Beds, Driveways, Sidewalks, and next to Swimming Pools.

Surface Drain Installation in Oklahoma City
Surface Drain Installation in Oklahoma City

Just what is a “French Drain?”  Many times people incorrectly use the phrase, “French Drain,”  to apply to many different types of Drains that could be used in a Drainage System.  The term is widely used and many times incorrectly connected to “Surface Drains,” or “Channel Drains.”

A Surface Drain has a grate that sits on top of a basin.  The basin is underground.  A Drain Pipe is connected underground to an outlet on the Drain Basin.  Storm-Water Drains through the grate into the Drain Basin.  Once in the Drain Basin, water travels out of the basin through a Drain Pipe.  The Storm-Water continues downhill in an underground Drain Pipe to an exit point.

THIS IS NOT A FRENCH DRAIN!

Surface Drain may come in many different shapes or sizes.  The Drain Grate may be round or square.  Here is a picture of a common  Surface Drain.

Surface Drain and Drain Pipe

A Channel Drain is a type of Surface Drain and many times is installed in concrete across sidewalks or driveways.

Channel Drain

A  French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged.

The dirt that was taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipe or the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed.

French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.
The main downfall of a French Drain is that they, for the most part aren’t very pretty.  They don’t look very nice in a yard once they are completed.
Depending on the area the French Drain is installed and the type of grass around the French Drain, will dictate whether grass grows over the lime stone.  Grass can grow up and through the gravel in the French Drain over time eventually covering the gravel.  This is Ok.  It won’t have a measurable effect on the performance of the drain.
DONT COVER THE GRAVEL IN THE FRENCH DRAIN WITH DIRT.  THE FRENCH DRAIN WON’T WORK IF THE TRENCH IS CLOGGED WITH DIRT.  DON’T EVEN INSTALL IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO COVER IT UP WITH DIRT.

DECORATIVE STONE CAN BE USED TO COVER A FRENCH DRAIN AND THEY LOOK GREAT AND LAST A LIFETIME.

French Drains Can Look Great!

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 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

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair 405 203 9419 — We provide:

    French Drain Installation, Surface Drain Installation, Drainage System Installation

    Sprinkler Repair for all aspects of Residential Sprinkler Systems

    Emergency Sprinkler Repair Service, AFTER HOURS AND WEEKENDS.

 

French Drain Running Through Low Areas

French Drain with stepping stones

French Drain with stepping stones

French Drains are designed to cover large areas and move lots of water.  During a hard rain water will seep down through the gravel and into the Perforated French Drain Pipe that is buried under the gravel.  The water fills into the pipe and moves down hill to the desired Exit Point.  French Drains like the one in the picture above that are in the sun most of the day will have grass that overgrows the limestone.  The gravel will disappear over time.  The French Drain will continue to work even after the grass has grown over it.  A “Thatch Filter ” is made up of the grass that covers the French Drain.  The French Drain then has two filters.  First is the Neo-Prene Soc that comes around the Perforated French Drain Pipe.  Later when the grass grows over it, the French Drain then has a second Thatch Filter.  This ensures that the French Drain Pipe won’t clog over time with dirt, sand, or debris.  This only works with grass that does well in the sun like Bermuda or Tift.

Shade Grasses won’t grow up and through French Drain gravel.

YOU DON’T WANT TO COVER THE FRENCH DRAIN  WITH DIRT.  IT WILL GREATLY REDUCE THE DRAINAGE PERFORMANCE OF THE FRENCH DRAIN.  IT DEFEATS THE ENTIRE REASON FOR THE FRENCH DRAIN.  IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE WAY IT LOOKS AND CAN’T BE PATIENT ENOUGH TO WAIT UNTIL  THE GRASS GROWS THROUGH IT IF IT IS IN THE SUN, THEN DON’T INSTALL IT AT ALL.

IF THE FRENCH DRAIN IS INSTALLED IN THE SHADE YOU CAN USE DECORATIVE ROCK TO MAKE A FOOT PATH OR ROCK GARDEN ON TOP OF IT.  YOU ARE ONLY LIMITED BY YOU IMAGINATION.

French Drains can be decorated with many types of stone

French Drains can be decorated with many types of stone

 

clogged French Drain Pipe

result of French Drain Installed Incorrectly

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.
Popup Emitter to release water from a Drainage System in Yukon.

 

 

Lawn Sprinkler Repair is one of our business focuses.   We can help with:

1. Sprinkler Controller Problems

2. Leaking Back-Flow Valves

3. Leaking Sprinkler Pipes

4.  Shorted or disconnected valve wires

5. Sprinkler Zones or Sprinkler Stations that won’t work

6. Broken Sprinkler Heads

The above are the most common problems that we deal with.

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair can help if you need to re-design your sprinkler system. If for example you are adding a swimming pool in your back yard, we can move the sprinkler heads and sprinkler pipes to fit the new dimensions of your yard. We can redesign or add-on to sprinkler systems where the home owners needs change.

 


Driveway Drain Installation

 

Channel Drain

Before

 

cnannel drain location

Water standing on Driveway, a channel drain is needed.

After

 

Installing concrete channel drain

Setting the concrete around the channel drain

French Drain Installation—   French Drains are designed to do a lot of things.  If you have an area that has unwanted water standing in it or running across it, a French Drain can be the answer.  A French Drain is a trench that runs across the Drainage Problem Area.  A French Drain Pipe is placed in the bottom of the trench.  The French Drain Pipe is perforated with thousands of small holes.  In most cases the Drain Pipe has a nylon soc around the pipe to act as a filter for the French Drain.  The French Drain trench is then filled with some type of small rock or stone.  We typically use crushed 1 inch Lime Stone to cover the French Drain Pipe.  The dirt that was dug out of the trench is taken away or spread out around the French Drain.  The Lime Stone replaces the dirt and fills the French Drain Trench all the way to the surface.

Before

French Drain walk way

French Drain Installed along and under walk way to pool.

After

walk way french drain

Completed French Drain under walk way

Covering a French Drain with dirt is a bad idea.  Water can’t get into the drain through the stones if it is clogged with dirt.  If you are more concerned about how it looks over what it does, then don’t install it in the first place.  French drains can move a lot of water and protect property such as foundations, sidewalks, plants, yards just to mention a few things.  If you don’t like how a French Drain looks then change it.  Put Stepping stones on top of it, use river rock to improve the look, You are limited only by your own creativity.

 

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair — Installing – French Drains – Surface Drains – Channel Drains – Sump Pumps

Providing Expert Sprinkler RepairBroken Sprinkler Pipes Sprinkler Head AdjustmentSprinkler Valve Replacement

Servicing all of Central and Western Oklahoma since 1993.  If you have water standing in your yard, we can install a French Drain for you.  If you step out of your car into water on your driveway, you may need a Channel Drain.  If water is in your basement, you may need a sump Pump.  Your Drainage needs may be very complex or very simple.  We have been solving every type of Residential Drainage Problem since 1993.

Installing concrete channel drain

Setting the concrete around the Channel Drain

 



This week we installed a 6 Inch French Drain in Oklahoma City.  Water was running down the hill, under the back fence, into the back yard, across the sidewalk, and into the side door going into the garage.  After every heavy rain, water was getting into the garage.  We installed a 6 Inch French Drain across the back yard to divert the water.  We also connected the Gutter Down Spouts Directly into the French Drain.  Once the French Drain was down hill from the house, we changed from French Drain Pipe to solid 6 inch ADS Drain Pipe and continued across the front yard to the street.  Once at the curb, we cut the curb with a concrete saw and installed a Curb Outlet for the French Drain.  Problem solved!

drain install

Installing French Drain in standing water

Something to think about — Most people see and deal with what is obvious when it comes to Drainage Problems.  Surface Water is “Obvious”!  People see it washing over the surface into the area that collects the water.  Simple enough.

A good place for a French Drain

Water Standing in your yard can be tricky.

Designing a Drainage System to intercept the Surface Water is the first step, but many times is not the only step.  Often Sub-Surface Water( Water Running Under Ground ) is not accounted for by people with less experience in designing Drainage Systems.  They install A Drainage System that uses Surface Drains to Intercept the running surface water.  Sometimes that works if that is the only water source to the Problem Drainage Area.

Surface Drains drain surface water away only.  Sub Surface water runs right around them and into the same Problem Drainage Area.  There may be less water there than there was before but the problem still remains.

A French Drain is the solution when water is running into a problem area over the surface and under ground.  A French Drain solves both problems and the area will be dry.

 

cnannel drain location

Water standing on Driveway, a channel drain is needed.

cutting concrete for channel drain

Cutting Driveway for Channel Drain

cutting the driveway for a channel drain

Breaking out the cut concrete

Setting in the channel drain

Setting in the Channel Drain in the cut.

Installing concrete channel drain

Completed Channel Drain


Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair 405 203 9419 — We provide:

    French Drain Installation, Surface Drain Installation, Drainage System Installation

    Sprinkler Repair for all aspects of Residential Sprinkler Systems

    Emergency Sprinkler Repair Service, AFTER HOURS AND WEEKENDS.

 

French Drain Running Through Low Areas

French Drain with stepping stones

WHAT SIZE DRAIN PIPE FOR FRENCH DRAINS?

French Drains can be decorated with many types of stone

French Drains can be decorated with many types of stone

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.

French Drain in flowerbed

French Drain in flowerbed

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.

Installing Gravel on top of a 6 inch French Drain

Installing Gravel on top of a 6 inch French Drain

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.  
 
 
 
French Drain Installation In YukonOklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair : Servicing all of Central and Western Oklahoma since 1993.Standing Water on Your Driveway?  A Surface Drain set in concrete may be what you need. Or maybe you need a French Drain Running alongside your driveway instead.  Handling water problems is what we are good at.  If you need help, Oklahoma Drainage can provide the best solution for your unwanted water problems.

standing water

A good place for a French Drain

We just finished a 4 inch Drainage System in Yukon.  It was a complicated system to install.  It utilized 4 inch French Drain in the flower beds,  12 inch Surface Drains on the side of the house,  6 inch French Drain along the garage foundation with 2 Pop – Up Emitters in the back yard and 3 Curb Fittings in the front.    First we installed 4 inch French Drain in the flowerbeds on both sides of the front door.  We connected 4 inch solid Drain Pipe into the French Drain and ran them underside walk to the curb.  Next we cut the curb with a concrete saw and installed 3 curb outlets for 3 separate French Drains.

Next we installed 4 12 Inch Drain Basins with grates along both sides of the house continuing with Solid Drain Pipe to the Pop-Up Emitters on the back fence. Finally we completed the Drainage System by installing a long run of 6 inch French Drain down the side of the garage foundation.   Installing the French Drains in the flower beds was the most difficult and took the most time.  Each French Drain took over a ton of crushed limestone to fill the French Drain trench.  The Six inch French Drain took even more limestone.

 Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair

Hey Oklahoma, We are expanding to service all of Western Oklahoma as well as Central Oklahoma.  If you live in Elk City, and need a French Drain, we can help.  If water is standing on your driveway in Clinton, Give us a call.  Duncan, Lawton, and Altus are all new areas of service for us.

Since 1993 Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair has solved all types of standing water and drainage issues.  We install Drainage Systems that utilize French Drains, Surface, Drains, Channel Drains, and Sump Pumps depending on the customers needs.

If you have water in the wrong place , we can help!

We also have Decades of experience repairing all types of Lawn Sprinkler Problems.  Fixing broken sprinkler heads, sprinkler valve problems and controller trouble just to name a few things.

French Drains as part of a Drainage System – 

Many times people use the term ” French Drain” as general name for a Drain used in or around your home.  French Drains are designed to move a lot of water over a large flooded area.  They are also designed to take water in on the surface of the ground or below the surface of the ground.  This is very important if the water coming into the flooded area is moving through the ground or coming up from underneath.  ” Sub Surface Water Movement.”  The picture below is not a French Drain!

A French Drain looks like this

river rock french drain

A French Drain Can Handle Standing Water

A French Drain can take in water in a broad area.  It can move a much larger volume of water compared to a Surface Drain.  Also, it can move sub surface water moving into the area where a Surface Drain won’t move any water at all.

Surface Drains are designed to move surface water only on a smaller scale in confined areas.

Each solves specific drainage problems.  A Drainage System may use one or both together or even several using many types of drains.

Do you have standing water in a large area in your yard?  Typically this calls for a French Drain.  A French Drain is a great way to control standing water in a large grassy area.  It can also protect areas from flooding to a certain degree.  As long as the French Drains capacity to move water is not exceeded.  If the French Drains capacity is exceeded then water will stand in the drainage area until the rain stops and the drain has time to catch up.  A good way to prevent this is to install a bigger French Drain with a larger pipe.  The difference between a 3 inch French Drain and a 6 inch French Drain is huge.

Another way to beef up a French Drain is to connect gutter down spouts in front of the French Drain.  The water coming off the roof causes suction in the French Drain Behind it.  This greatly increases the French Drains ability to move water without increasing the size of the French Drain Pipe.

gutter connect to drain

Gutter Downspout Connected to 6 Inch French Drain

Recently we installed a French Drain inside the court yard of a rest home in Norman.  We had several interesting challenges to overcome that were not typical for a French Drain Installation.  The court yard was in the center of the home and was a secure area for the patrons.  We had to put down painters tarps to run our wheel barrows over.  We took out 44 loads of dirt and brought in 52 loads of Crushed one inch lime stone for the French Drain.  Each trip was over a hundred yards from the trailer in the parking lot, in the front door, down the hall, making two turns along the way.  Each time we had to be escorted by security.  Needless to say, the installation of this particular drainage system took a while.In the above picture, the French Drain runs along the low area crossing all the areas where water would stand each time it rained.

Rest home french drain

French Drain in Rest Home Courtyard

When a French Drain is installed, a big mistake that is made by many people is to cover up the gravel with dirt.  This is a big mistake.  Basically it is ” Putting the cork back in the bottle.”  If the French Drain is in full sun and has a type of grass surrounding it that spreads on its own such a ” Tift” or “Bermuda” , Grass will grow over it and the French Drain will eventually disappear.  Grass covering a French Drain is a good thing if it grows across the drain without adding dirt.  The Grass thatch acts a water filter preventing clogging and extending the life of the Drainage System.

When a French Drain is in Full Shade, or the surrounding grass will not spread on its own, such as with Fescue,  other steps must be taken.  One option is to just leave it alone.  If you don’t mind how it looks, it will drain a large amount of water for many years.  Many times a French Drain can be a landscaping focal point.  They can be dressed up with all kinds of Rocks and Stones and Plants.

 

Just what is a “French Drain?”  Many times people incorrectly

French drain installed
A French Drain can protect your foundation!

use the phrase, “French Drain,”  to apply to many different types of Drains that could be used in a Drainage System.  The term is widely used and many times incorrectly connected to “Surface Drains,” or “Channel Drains.”

A Surface Drain has a grate that sits on top of a basin.  The basin is underground.  A Drain Pipe is connected underground to an outlet on the Drain Basin Storm-Water Drains through the grate into the Drain Basin.  Once in the Drain Basin, water travels out of the basin through a Drain Pipe.  The Storm-Water continues downhill in an underground Drain Pipe to an exit point.

THIS IS NOT A FRENCH DRAIN!

A Surface Drain may come in many different shapes or sizes.  The Drain Grate may be round or square.  Here is a picture of a common Surface Drain.

A Channel Drain is a type of Surface Drain and many times is installed in concrete across sidewalks or driveways.

A French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged.

The dirt that was taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipe or the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed.

A French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.
The main downfall of a French Drain is that they, for the most part aren’t very pretty.  They don’t look very nice in a yard once they are completed.
Depending on the area the French Drain is installed and the type of grass around the French Drain, will dictate whether grass grows over the lime stone.  Grass can grow up and through the gravel in the French Drain over time eventually covering the gravel.  This is Ok.  It won’t have a measurable effect on the performance of the drain.
DONT COVER THE GRAVEL IN THE FRENCH DRAIN WITH DIRT.  THE FRENCH DRAIN WON’T WORK IF THE TRENCH IS CLOGGED WITH DIRT.  DON’T EVEN INSTALL IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO COVER IT UP WITH DIRT.

DECORATIVE STONE CAN BE USED TO COVER A FRENCH DRAIN AND THEY LOOK GREAT AND LAST A LIFETIME.

nice rock
French Drains Can Look Great!

 

Installing Cement around Curb Fitting for French Drain

Installing Cement around Curb Fitting for French Drain

 

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.  Oklahoma  Drainage and Sprinkler Repair  relies on 26 years of experience.  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 waterSurface 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.

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Sprinkler after adjustment

 

Lawn Sprinkler Repair is one of our business focuses.   We can help with:

1. Sprinkler Controller Problems

2. Leaking Back-Flow Valves

3. Leaking Sprinkler Pipes

4.  Shorted or disconnected valve wires

5. Sprinkler Zones or Sprinkler Stations that won’t work

6.Broken Sprinkler Heads

The above are the most common problems that we deal with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair 405 203 9419

We Install Drainage Systems to fit various needs for home owners an businesses.  A Drainage System, can utilize French Drains, Surface Drains, Channel Drains or Sump Pumps as the intake part to the Drainage System.  The Drain or Sump Pump brings water into the Drain Pipe.  The Drain pipe takes the water to the ” Exit.”  Which is Either a “Curb Outlet” or a “ Pop Up Emitter.”

The Three parts of A Drainage System are:   THE  INTAKE ( French Drain or Surface Drain ) etc.  The TRANSITION ( The Drain Pipe ) which can be many sizes or type. The EXIT ( A Curb Outlet or Pop Up Emitter )

new curb outlet

Curb outlet with more than 6 inches of fall

new curb outlet

Curb Outlet as an Exit Point for a French Drain in Edmond

The Drainage part of our company name means that we solve water problems for people in Oklahoma.  Heavy rain is becoming more common.  Back in 1993 when I first started, a hard rain was considered to be about an Inch per/hour.  It was fairly rare but not too uncommon.  Today things are different.  A weather report of rain fall at or above 4 inches per/hour was not uncommon in 2019.  Excess water causes all types of damage to property both residential and commercial.

Our Drainage Systems drain water away from places you don’t want it to be.  You might have water standing along the foundation of your house, or inside your basement.  You might have water on your driveway or flowerbed too.

Designing a French Drain or a Drainage System

When I talk to a potential customer while doing a Drainage System estimate, I take a lot of things into consideration.  First I have the Customer show me where water is standing or where it is going that it shouldn’t.  This is part of defining the specific problem area.  Sometimes the Water Problem Area is larger and more involved than the customer realizes.  Once the Water Problem Area is clearly defined,  the next step is to determine how the water is getting to the problem area.  Many times there is more than one Water Source to the Water Problem area.  A big mistake in Drainage System Design is to stop once the most obvious  Water Source is found.  A Drainage System Designer must be a detective to some degree.  For Example:  Water running down the hill and onto the back patio might be the most obvious water source.  Sub-surface water or a neighbor’s new gutter downspout could also be contributing.  Most of the time water gets into the problem area from more than one source.

This is a good place for a French Drain

This is a good place for a French Drain

Next you must decide where to take the water.  This is determining an Exit Point for the Drainage System.  If possible you want your exit point to be down hill from the problem area.  If it is up hill in all directions from the problem area, then the only solution is a Sump Pump.

Once an exit Point is determined, you must ask yourself if there is any way to install two exit points.  Usually this can only work when an exit point can work on both ends of a Drainage System.  The benefit of two Exit Points in a Drainage System is it greatly increases the water capacity for the Drainage System.  It can move much more water faster during a heavy rain than a system with just one Exit Point.  Most Drainage Systems can only utilize one Exit Point.  In 21 years of Drainage System Installation,  I would say 10% of our Drainage Systems have two Exit Points.

Popup Emitter to release water from a French Drain in Yukon

Popup Emitter to release water from a French Drain in Yukon

Next we have to decide what type of drain to install in the problem area.  If it is a small area with one water source, Usually a Surface Drain is best.  If the water problem area is large with one or several water sources, a French Drain is usually installed.

If you have several problem drainage areas you must use larger Drain Pipe if you want to connect them together  to one exit point.  Large French Drains should have their own exit point without attaching other Surface Drains or Gutters to them.  It is very common to connect too many drains or gutters into a Drainage System.  A hard rain can overwhelm the Drainage Systems Water Flow Capacity.  When that happens, water backs up and the problem area floods.

French Drain connected into Drainage System

 

use the phrase, “French Drain,”  to apply to many different types of Drains that could be used in a Drainage System.  The term is widely used and

A Surface Drain has a grate that sits on top of a basin.  The basin is underground.  A Drain Pipe is connected underground to an outlet on the Drain Basin. Storm-Water Drains through the grate into the Drain Basin.  Once in the Drain Basin, water travels out of the basin through a Drain Pipe.  The Storm-Water continues downhill in an underground Drain Pipe to an exit point.

THIS IS NOT A FRENCH DRAIN!

A Surface Drain may come in many different shapes or sizes.  The Drain Grate may be round or square.  Here is a picture of a common Surface Drain.

A Channel Drain is a type of Surface Drain and many times is installed in concrete across sidewalks or driveways.

A French Drain is completely different from a Surface Drain.  A basic French Drain consists of a Perforated Drain Pipe in the bottom of a trench.  The Drain Pipe should have a neoprene sock around the Perforated Drain Pipe.   This is to ensure that the Drain Pipe does not become clogged.

The dirt that was taken out to make the trench is hauled away.  It is replaced by some type of small stone or gravel depending on what is desired or available.  I prefer crushed 1 inch lime stone.  It is the most economical option in my area.  Pea Gravel or some other type of small stone can work just as well.    The lime-stone or gravel is placed in the trench on top of the perforated Drain Pipe and filled all the way to the surface (ground level).   In some cases where the French Drain needs to be deep or is being placed in sandy soil, a special trench liner must be placed in the trench before the perforated Drain Pipe or the Gravel are installed.  This helps maintain the integrity of the trench over time.  It also increases the cost of the French Drain and the amount of time to install it.  I install a trench liner in a French Drain about 20% of the time.  Most of the time a liner in not needed.

French Drain 
A French Drain is designed to handle a large volume of water and cover a large area. The Drain is anyplace the trench goes. It has many applications and can be used in many situations.  It can be installed by itself or incorporated into a Drainage System with Surface Drains or Gutter Down-Spouts connected to it.
The main downfall of a French Drain is that they, for the most part aren’t very pretty.  They don’t look very nice in a yard once they are completed.
Depending on the area the French Drain is installed and the type of grass around the French Drain, will dictate whether grass grows over the lime stone.  Grass can grow up and through the gravel in the French Drain over time eventually covering the gravel.  This is Ok.  It won’t have a measurable effect on the performance of the drain.
DONT COVER THE GRAVEL IN THE FRENCH DRAIN WITH DIRT.  THE FRENCH DRAIN WON’T WORK IF THE TRENCH IS CLOGGED WITH DIRT.  DON’T EVEN INSTALL IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO COVER IT UP WITH DIRT.

DECORATIVE STONE CAN BE USED TO COVER A FRENCH DRAIN AND THEY LOOK GREAT AND LAST A LIFETIME.

French Drains Can Look Great!


French Drain Success

Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair

Recently we installed a French Drain that ran parallel between two houses in Moore Oklahoma.  We also installed a French Drain under a walkway to a pool in Choctaw.

French Drain walk way

French Drain Installed along and under walk way to pool.

As you can see, we installed a French Drain under the left edge of the walk way.  The stones and gravel were temporarily removed while the French Drain was installed. Then the walk way was put back on top of the French Drain.

Finished French Drain

Completed French Drain under walk way

Yesterday it rained very hard on the walkway in Choctaw.  We received a text from the home owner.

text drain

Text and photo of French Drain

 

Before we installed the French Drain, our customer told us that the walk way to the pool typically stood in 6 inches of water after even a small rain.  The water would pool on the right side and stay there for a long time after the rain had gone.  As you can see in the text pic, there is very little water standing while it is raining, and when the rain stopped, the water was gone completely.

Our customer in Moore also sent us a text as well.  He had standing water between his house and his neighbors.  His neighbor did not have any gutters which made the water problem worse.  We installed a French Drain running down the property line between the two houses.  We connected the customer’s gutters directly into the Drainage System with 4 inch gutter connections.  Had the neighbor had gutters, we would have connected them as well.  The French Drain transitioned to a solid drain pipe which ran across the front yard, under the sidewalk to the street.  We cut the curb and installed a curb outlet.

new curb outlet

Curb outlet with more than 6 inches of fall

 

DRAIN TEXT

DRAIN TEXT


Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair 405 203 9419

We Install Drainage Systems to fit various needs for home owners an businesses.  A Drainage System, can utilize French Drains, Surface Drains, Channel Drains or Sump Pumps as the intake part to the Drainage System.  The Drain or Sump Pump brings water into the Drain Pipe.  The Drain pipe takes the water to the ” Exit.”  Which is Either a “Curb Outlet” or a “ Pop Up Emitter.”

The Three parts of A Drainage System are:   THE  INTAKE ( French Drain or Surface Drain ) etc.  The TRANSITION ( The Drain Pipe ) which can be many sizes or type. The EXIT ( A Curb Outlet or Pop Up Emitter )

new curb outlet

Curb outlet with more than 6 inches of fall

new curb outlet

Curb Outlet as an Exit Point for a French Drain in Edmond

The Drainage part of our company name means that we solve water problems for people in Oklahoma.  Heavy rain is becoming more common.  Back in 1993 when I first started, a hard rain was considered to be about an Inch per/hour.  It was fairly rare but not too uncommon.  Today things are different.  A weather report of rain fall at or above 4 inches per/hour was not uncommon in 2019.  Excess water causes all types of damage to property both residential and commercial.

Our Drainage Systems drain water away from places you don’t want it to be.  You might have water standing along the foundation of your house, or inside your basement.  You might have water on your driveway or flowerbed too.

Designing a French Drain or a Drainage System

When I talk to a potential customer while doing a Drainage System estimate, I take a lot of things into consideration.  First I have the Customer show me where water is standing or where it is going that it shouldn’t.  This is part of defining the specific problem area.  Sometimes the Water Problem Area is larger and more involved than the customer realizes.  Once the Water Problem Area is clearly defined,  the next step is to determine how the water is getting to the problem area.  Many times there is more than one Water Source to the Water Problem area.  A big mistake in Drainage System Design is to stop once the most obvious  Water Source is found.  A Drainage System Designer must be a detective to some degree.  For Example:  Water running down the hill and onto the back patio might be the most obvious water source.  Sub-surface water or a neighbor’s new gutter downspout could also be contributing.  Most of the time water gets into the problem area from more than one source.

This is a good place for a French Drain

This is a good place for a French Drain

Next you must decide where to take the water.  This is determining an Exit Point for the Drainage System.  If possible you want your exit point to be down hill from the problem area.  If it is up hill in all directions from the problem area, then the only solution is a Sump Pump.

Once an exit Point is determined, you must ask yourself if there is any way to install two exit points.  Usually this can only work when an exit point can work on both ends of a Drainage System.  The benefit of two Exit Points in a Drainage System is it greatly increases the water capacity for the Drainage System.  It can move much more water faster during a heavy rain than a system with just one Exit Point.  Most Drainage Systems can only utilize one Exit Point.  In 21 years of Drainage System Installation,  I would say 10% of our Drainage Systems have two Exit Points.

Popup Emitter to release water from a French Drain in Yukon

Popup Emitter to release water from a French Drain in Yukon

Next we have to decide what type of drain to install in the problem area.  If it is a small area with one water source, Usually a Surface Drain is best.  If the water problem area is large with one or several water sources, a French Drain is usually installed.

If you have several problem drainage areas you must use larger Drain Pipe if you want to connect them together  to one exit point.  Large French Drains should have their own exit point without attaching other Surface Drains or Gutters to them.  It is very common to connect too many drains or gutters into a Drainage System.  A hard rain can overwhelm the Drainage Systems Water Flow Capacity.  When that happens, water backs up and the problem area floods.

I just shake my head when I see 3 French Drains and 5 gutters connected into one exit drain pipe. I see this type of design all the time.  Why spend money for a Drainage System that won’t work?  Lots of Cheap Builders and Fly-By-Night Drainage Companies cut corners on Drainage Systems and French Drains on new home construction.

For a French Drain or a Surface Drain or any type of Drainage System,  If in doubt, use a larger Drain Pipe.  Four Inch Drain Pipe is the most common. Six inch Drain Pipe is always better.   If you are going to connect a French Drain and Surface Drain together, use 6 inch Drain Pipe.

French Drain walkway

French Drain Installation under walkway

 

Oklahoma Drainage Services all of Central Oklahoma including: Norman, Moore, Edmond, Yukon, Mustang, Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Del City, Blanchard, Newcastle, Purcell and Chickasha.