French drains are not drains that originated in France and nor do they have anything to do with France. They are so named because a person called Henry Flagg French invented them. French drains are mostly used to take out unwanted water from a basement or from yards. French drains are widely used in Canadian and American homes.
They provide the best channels to remove water, which is first made to run into a trench filled with gravel. From there, the water flows into a perforated pipe, which lies deep in the trench. The water that flows through the pipe travels without encountering any hindrance and is then emptied far from the home. It is a good idea to slope the bottom of the French drain at an angle of one inch and at intervals of eight feet.
The trouble with an old French drain is that it can clog up. Once it clogs up, the drain must be replaced. Here is a look at French drain replacement: what’s involved?
- Find the area where water stagnates and mark the area
First of all, you need to locate the place where water has started to stagnate. Mark this area and then decide how and where you want to remove the water.
- Find out if there are any building code restrictions
Get in touch with the local city office and find out whether there are any building code restrictions. Next, request the local city office to send a representative to show you where the pipes and the utility lines are to be placed.
- Mark where the drain should start
Put a stake into the ground to mark the beginning of the French drain. Place another stake at the spot where the drain is to end. Make sure that there is a slope that goes down from the start to the end of the drain.
- Find out the length of the drain
Find out how long the intended drain is and then dig a trench between the starting point stake and the ending point stake. The trench should at least be six inches wide and two feet deep.
- Shovel some gravel into the trench
Place about two inches of gravel into the trench and then put the drainpipe into the gravel before covering it with some landscaping fabric.
- Place more gravel
Cover the landscaping fabric with gravel and make sure that the trench is filled to about two inches from the top of the trench. Finally, compact and also flatten the trench top with the help of a hand tamper.
To prevent the French drain from clogging up, it makes sense to ensure that no silt gets into the drain area. Secondly, you need to make sure that the depth of the pipe is sufficient and that the pipe is underneath the lower section of the structure that it is protecting. Do regular inspections of the pipe and look for signs of damage and also look for clogged areas. Finally, should something go wrong with your French drain, makes sure that you call in the professional plumbing contractor to solve problems which you yourself cannot handle.