French Drain Installation In Yukon

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

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 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.

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

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.

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.

This is a good spot for a French Drain

This is a good spot for a French Drain

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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