What is a French Drain?

May 30, 2017

 

Other Names for a French Drain

All these terms describe the same basic drain system: a French drain is also known as a blind drain, rubble drain, rock drain, drain tile or French tile.

 

French Drain Construction

The structure of a French drain is a perforated pipe, surrounded by gravel in a trench. Water enters the gravel filled trench and drains out through the pipe and away from the house.

 

 

How a French Drain Works

The purpose of a French drain is to move unwanted water away from a structure. French drains work using gravity, the trenches slope away from structures and gravity moves the water through the pipe.

 

Where the Water Goes 

There are several places French drains can empty. Most commonly they empty into a drainage ditch, a storm drainage system or the street. Sometimes excess water can be drained away from your house and into a prepared rock based deposit area somewhere else on your property.

 

Signs You Need a French Drain 

A French drain is a way to remove unwanted water from your yard. It can also be installed around your house to protect your foundation or inside your basement to remove water.

 

DIY or Professional Installation

When deciding whether or not to install your own French Drain or have it professionally installed you will need to consider the scope of the job and the labor it will entail. While the overall structure of a French Drain is relatively simple, getting the slope of the trench system correct can be quite difficult. Finally, digging trenches requires a lot of manual labor. Unless you are an expert DIYer this is probably a job for a professional.

 

Why the Name French

A French drain isn’t named for the country; it’s actually named after a man with the last name French. Henry French was a farmer in the mid 1800s. He invented this type of drain to remove excess water from land that he wanted to farm.

 

If you are interested in French drains or other drainage solutions, learn more on our website by clicking on the button below. 

 

 

 

 

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