French Drain finally done

The drain is done! Hallelujah. Total cost DIY plus some labor of about $1800. Had to rent a jackhammer to deepen the drain and the water pipe channel in the back yard by 4-6″.  Once the ditch was dug, we ran a garden hose to it and filled it with water to check the level, making sure it drained. Once confirmed, we lined it with landscape cloth, put in the plastic french drain pipe withe perforations, then the gravel, then a layer of landscape cloth over it. Then 3″ of gravel again and the paving stones over it. This all leaves the 8″ before you reach floor level in the house.

 

Connecting drain to water runoff pipe. The drain collects it, the runoff pipe takes it away from house.

Connecting drain to water runoff pipe. The drain collects it, the runoff pipe takes it away from house. The pipe isn’t connected yet in the photo.

Under best practices I would have used a white perforated pipe for the French drain pipe, to make it easier to clean-out in 10-20 years. But the previous contractor already had the corrugated black one, so it was reused. Plus, the ideal gravel is supposed to be 3/4″ diameter, and I had 2-3″ gravel which could be used for a French drain without the pipe itself. So basically I have two drains in play.

French Drain done! WIth paving stones so wheelbarrows can navigate atop it.

French Drain done! With paving stones in middle so wheelbarrows can navigate atop it.

The paving stones we laid on top were about $1.50/sq ft which is more than I pay for tile, but the wife had a good point, we needed to roll wheelbarrows along it. The 2-3″ gravel is an ankle twister to walk over, a wheelbarrow is worse.

The connection from a 4″ French drain pipe to a 2″ PVC pipe was done using a drain grate box of 4″ to 4″ then a 4×3″ adapter and a 3×2″ adapter as you see in the picture.

I leveled out the runoff line to drain the French drain, and realized that once I put in the PVC pipe, if I fill in the ditch with 2″ gravel, I can drain the yard there as well. The space between the outside of the pipe and the ditch is the annulus and so I call it the annulus drain.  So the pipe takes water away from the side of the house, and the annulus gravel drain takes it from the low part of the yard.

Runoff line in place with gravel by it to make a annulus drain as a bonus. Where the large standing paving stone slabs are is where we get standing water after a rain.

Runoff line in place with gravel by it to make a annulus drain as a bonus. Where the large standing paving stone slabs are is where we get standing water after a rain.

The French drain in action. There is no sign of water at the side of the house.

The French drain in action. There is no sign of water at the side of the house. On the right you see the swale that captures water for the orchard. It is about 20′ long.

While the primary drain water is obvious, notice the water on the ground the pipe midway, That is draining from the annulus drain! It works!

While the primary drain water is obvious, notice the water on the ground the pipe midway, That is draining from the annulus drain! It works!

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Update June 3, 2016 – hit with 3″ rain in 2 hours. 2″ diverter pipe at 1/2 capacity and working like a champ.

3" of rain in 2 hours, The 2" pipe was running half capacity.

3″ of rain in 2 hours, The 2″ pipe was running half capacity.



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