French Drain Information, DIY, Drainage System v.s. Flood Prevention System, Do you know the difference? Part 4

Posted: February 11, 2020 in Drain Installation, french drain
Tags: , , ,

French Drain along walk

French Drain along walkway

This is a series of blogs that first explains exactly what French Drains and Surface Drains are,  and how they are used in a Drainage System.

Next, I will explain exactly what the benefits and drawbacks are of each type of drain and why you would use one type of drain over another in many different situations.

Last, I will explain the specifics of how to install your own Drainage System and how to diagnose exactly what type of system you need in the first place.

At the top and  bottom of every blog in this series will be a listing of all the connecting blogs that you can “Click” on to easily move back and forth through the series.

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Problem Drainage Area

This is a good spot for a French Drain

A final thought on Intakes as part of a Drainage System.  Remember, an Intake is a French Drain or a Surface Drain.  It is the part of the Drainage System that draws water into the Drain Pipe.

Once you have decided where and  how many Intakes your drainage system needs,( how many and what kind of Drains ) the next thing to think about is the Transition other wise known as the Drain Pipe.  For a typical Drainage System there are three choices of Drain Pipe by Size.  ( 3 Inch, 4 Inch, and 6 Inch )

Three inch is least expensive but can easily be overwhelmed if a large amount of water needs to be drained away.

Four inch is by far the most common.  It also can be overwhelmed if too many Intakes (Drains) are connected to it.

Six Inch Drain Pipe is almost never overwhelmed, but it is bulky and hard to work with and is by far the most expensive.

4 inch Drain pipe

4 Inch Drain Pipe before it goes in the trench

What Do I mean by overwhelmed?  It means that water is going to the Problem Drainage Area faster than the Pipe can move it away.

This is very important to some people and not important at all to others.  Here is why!

house flood

This is a great place for a French Drain

Really, think for a minute about why you want to install a Drain in the first place.

Do you want to prevent water from ever reaching Problem Drainage Area?  Or is it OK for water to reach the Problem Drainage Area and then be drained away over time.

If, for example, you are trying to protect your prize plants, you don’t want flood water reaching them at all.  Or you might be trying to prevent water from reaching part of your house because it then runs into the basement.  You don’t want water, under any circumstances,  to reach a specific spot or area.   If this is the case,  You want a

Flood Prevention System

Gutter to French Drain

Gutter Connected to High Volume 6-inch French Drain

A Flood Prevention System is actually a type of Drainage System, However the goal is different and that can change the Design.

On the other hand if you don’t mind so much if water gets into the Problem Drainage Area,  you just want it to drain away in a relatively short amount of time.   This is called a

Drainage System

If your motivation is to have a Flood Prevention System,  Then the Drain Pipe being overwhelmed is a really bad thing.  It means that your Flood Prevention System has failed.  Your Drain Pipe could not move the water fast enough to provide the Safety that you desire.   Your plants have drowned and your basement has flooded.

 

 

 

If your motivation is to have a Drainage System, Then the Drain Pipe being overwhelmed is not so bad.  Even though water is flowing into the Problem Drainage Area faster than the Drain Pipe can take it away,  The Drain Pipe is still moving a lot of water and eventually the rain will stop and the Drain Pipe will catch up.  In relatively a short amount of time, the water will be gone.

French Drain install front

French Drain Installation in Edmond

What you want, dictates how you design your Drainage System!

Drainage Systems are not as robust as Flood Prevention Systems.  A Flood Prevention System has all the same basic concepts and structure as a regular drainage system, just more!

If you want a Flood Prevention System, the goal is to intercept water before it runs somewhere.

This means:

  1.  More Intakes ( Lots of Drains) French Or Surface
  2.  Larger Drains,  6 inch French Drains, or 18 inch Surface Drains for example
  3.  Larger Transitions ( Larger Drain Pipe )
  4.  More Transitions (  More Drain Pipes )
  5.  Larger Drainage Exits
  6.  More Drainage Exits

I know we haven’t talked about Drainage Exits, but we will in the next blog.

A Drainage System is less of everything listed above.

Obviously a Drainage System is less expensive, less evasive, and easier to install.

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Comments
  1. […] is not always clear to the untrained eye. We have repaired or overhauled many french drains and drainage systems that were installed by, “weekend warriors, a brother-in-law, or a landscaping company that […]

  2. […] French Drain Information, DIY, Drainage System v.s. Flood Prevention System, Do you know the differe… February 12, 2020This is a series of blogs that first explains exactly what French Drains and Surface Drains are,  and how they are used in a Drainage System. Next, I will explain exactly what the benefits and drawbacks are of each type of drain and why you would use one type of drain over another in many […] blanecallen […]

  3. […] French Drain Information, DIY, Drainage System v.s. Flood Prevention System, Do you know the differe… February 12, 2020This is a series of blogs that first explains exactly what French Drains and Surface Drains are,  and how they are used in a Drainage System. Next, I will explain exactly what the benefits and drawbacks are of each type of drain and why you would use one type of drain over another in many […] blanecallen […]

  4. […] 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 […]

  5. […] 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 […]

  6. […] on top of the drain.  Water travels through the gravel all along the trench.  It enters the French Drain pipe and travels down hill to the exit […]

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