Edmond Oklahoma French Drain Installation, Oklahoma City, Norman, Moore

Posted: July 15, 2010 in Drain Installation, french drain, sprinkler repair
Tags: , , ,

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.

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

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.

Comments
  1. […] our name says, CMG Sprinklers and Drains also installs New Lawn Sprinkler Systems and Drainage Systems for folks who live in Central Oklahoma. If you live in Mustang and would like a French Drain […]

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