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.

decorative french drain

French Drains can be decorated with many types of stone

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.


A French Drain Can Handle Standing Water


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.




Oklahoma Drainage and Sprinkler Repair Recently installed a Drainage System in Nichols Hills.  The Drainage System was made up of a 4 inch French Drain starting in the back yard.  It ran between the garage and the pool.  Several gutters were connected directly into the French Drain.  From this point, we expanded up to a larger 6 inch Drain pipe to handle the added water into the system from the gutters.  In several places the French Drain had to run through areas where Sprinkler Pipes were in the way.  We had to re-rout all the Sprinkler Pipes and Wires under the French Drain.

French Drain Installed in Yukon

Once the Sprinkler System had been redesigned and the gutters had been connected, we ran the 6 inch Drain Pipe from the end of the French Drain, around the house to release through the curb.  We cut the curb and installed a 6 inch curb fitting with acrylic concrete.  A few days later a major thunderstorm poured down on the property.  The French Drain and the Drainage System Worked Perfectly. 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

A Channel Drain is a type of Surface Drain and many times is installed in concrete across sidewalks or driveways.  It is long and narrow with a grate on top.

Installing Channel Drain Across Sidewalk in Norman
Installing Channel Drain Across Sidewalk in Norman

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.  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 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.

  1. […] 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 […]

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