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Old 05-24-2010, 05:35 PM   #16
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Building a french drain


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Originally Posted by Ontario Buckeye View Post
Well, I only went down about a foot and a half. It doesn't really matter how far you go, because it is your lawn. I have never used the pipe that you are talking about, so I can't make comment if it is junk or not. I have the cloth sock that I wrapped myself. As for the debris, it all depends on your surrounding area and your eave-troughs. I installed a piece of chicken wire at the top of my down spout, so that the big leaves don't even make it into the spout. For the little stuff, I have a little clean out that I cut into my down spout near the bottom. I cut a hole in my down spout that is about halfway through the pipe and about 6 inches in height. I cut it out using a jigsaw, but it really depends on the material of your eaves. Try not to mangle the piece you are going to remove...I used the removed piece as a cover for the hole. I inserted a piece of chicken wire and placed a piece of screening (from an old window) on top of it and secured both to the inside of the pipe, near the bottom of the hole. This collects all the little stuff that comes down without disrupting the flow of the water. If you have a lot of water coming down, you might want to use something a little less restrictive than the screening...possibly old pantyhose?. After my little filter was installed using a couple screws, I used the remove piece from when I cut the hole to make a door, so that it looked nicer. I had to cut the edges a little, but was able to have it so it is attached at 1 end and swings open and closed. I then used a little "hook" for lack of a better name to secure the door closed. It is barely noticeable and I only have to clean in out once or twice a year...usually around the fall. Here is a picture I found on-line that is similar to what I did
I assume you remove this for the winter.

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Old 05-25-2010, 09:50 AM   #17
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Building a french drain


@AllanJ: It does't water my entire lawn...just a 4 foot cross section which happened to be the worst 4 foot cross section of my entire lawn.

@Gruntman: Personally, I wouldn't run it to the back fence...bad drainage makes bad neighbors. As I said before and based on your pictures, I would loop it around my lawn. You remove water away from your house and you irrigate the spots where grass is having a hard time growing.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:38 AM   #18
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Building a french drain


I don't know about your local requirements, but I just stumbled across a ton of legal requirements I'm subject to in MA in order to dig a trench on my own property if it's deeper than 36". Being in New England, I had hoped to keep it below the frost line, which I think is around 42".

So, either I'll keep it at 36", or I'll need a permit, barriers while unattented (plywood can't be used!) and it even mentions an insurance certificate when applying for the permit! Ugh.

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:59 PM   #19
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Building a french drain


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I assume you remove this for the winter.
never have and it has never been a problem for me
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:33 PM   #20
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Building a french drain


I decided to go for it an dig the french drain. How much crushed rock should I purchase if the pipe is going to run for 30 feet? 1 yard? 2 yards?

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Old 05-28-2010, 11:07 AM   #21
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Building a french drain


Actually it is closer to 40 feet. Does anyone have a way to calculate how much stone to put down? Is 3/4 inch diameter the right size stone to use?

Last edited by gruntman; 05-28-2010 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:23 AM   #22
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Building a french drain


If you google "gravel calculator" you'll find forms that let you figure this out. On the first page is "earth products". You'll have to figure out how wide and deep you want the gravel. Assuming 12" wide and 4" on the top and 4 on the bottom, plus ... say 2" for each side, that would be 2.2 tons. In researching my own project, I've found they usually sell gravel by the ton. And I've read that 3/4" is the correct size. Please keep us posted of your project. I'm getting serious about starting one of my own.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:15 PM   #23
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Building a french drain


Started digging and ran into very large rocks. I was able to move all of them except one. Im thinking of using black landscape pipe to go around it and then switch back to perf pipe with holes on the bottom. These are the NDS containers I am deciding between.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:59 PM   #24
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Building a french drain


Dug deeper - the rocks were boulders. I used the black perf pipe at the beginning and then switched to the solid with hole on the bottom wrapped by the sock. Covered top & bottom in 2 tons of 3/4 inch stone and wrapped the whole thing in landscape fabric. Threw left over stone and then the dirt on top. Had a storm last night and it worked great.

A couple of things - I shoud have dug deeper; once I added 4 inches of stone the trench was no longer 3 feet deep. Buy 30 year professional grade landscape fabric - the cheap stuff tears easy and dirt gets in. Buy it wide enough (6 feet) so that you can wrap up the entire thing once you put down gravel on top of your perf pipe. I'll attach another pic when it is complete.
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