Is My Calculation Correct? -- Figuring The Amt Of Cu. Yard Of Gravel For French Drain - Landscaping & Lawn Care - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

 DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum Is my calculation correct? -- figuring the amt of cu. yard of gravel for french drain
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03-08-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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## Is my calculation correct? -- figuring the amt of cu. yard of gravel for french drain

I am going to dig two french drains for two of my down spouts. I am trying to figure out how much pea gravel I need.

the trench will be 8" wide, averaging 18" deep and totaling 40' long. I will use 4" diameter solid corrugated pipe. Here is my calculation:

the cross section of the gravel = the square - pipe = 8"x18" - 3.14*2^2=131 sq-in.

Total volume for the gravel = cross-secion x length = 131*40*12=62880 cubic inches = 62880/36^3=1.35 cubic yards. That's like 2 tons of pea gravel, which seems a lot to me.

Is this correct? I thought I could just use my small trailer to haul. After all, this should be a tiny project.

03-08-2012, 06:49 PM   #2
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Math seems right to me for 1.35 cubic yards.
One site I saw had: (1) Cubic Yard of Pea Gravel actually = 1.16 Tons
so, that would be 1.56 tons of pea.

03-08-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by bob22 Math seems right to me for 1.35 cubic yards. One site I saw had: (1) Cubic Yard of Pea Gravel actually = 1.16 Tons so, that would be 1.56 tons of pea.
This is my first DIY project involving digging stuffs so I have no idea of the amount of materials I am up to. Guess whenever you touch landscaping digging and filling, you are talking about things in units of tons.

Before my calculation I was thinking I could buy the bags of gravel from Home Depot and haul it in my sedan.

 03-08-2012, 07:19 PM #4 Member   Join Date: May 2009 Posts: 116 Rewards Points: 75 If you are looking for that roof water to be temporally stored in the gravel until it's absorbed into the soil, then you need to look at the roof area drained and the amount of water to be dealt with. Example: Roof area of 600 sq ft, with a 1 inch rain. 600 divided by 12 equal 50 cu ft of water. Gravel can hold in voids about a third of its volume in water. So you need 150 cu ft of gravel for the 50 cu ft of water. 150 cu ft = 5.5 cu yd. of gravel. Got a 2400 sq ft house with four downspouts to be run into french drains/ dry wells? Burying 22 cu yd of gravel needs a BIG hole. Are ya starting to see why french drains are a stupid idea for roof water?
03-08-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by pls8xx If you are looking for that roof water to be temporally stored in the gravel until it's absorbed into the soil, then you need to look at the roof area drained and the amount of water to be dealt with. Example: Roof area of 600 sq ft, with a 1 inch rain. 600 divided by 12 equal 50 cu ft of water. Gravel can hold in voids about a third of its volume in water. So you need 150 cu ft of gravel for the 50 cu ft of water. 150 cu ft = 5.5 cu yd. of gravel. Got a 2400 sq ft house with four downspouts to be run into french drains/ dry wells? Burying 22 cu yd of gravel needs a BIG hole. Are ya starting to see why french drains are a stupid idea for roof water?
It's California. We don't have much rain here anyway. Plus, this gravel is to support the solid pipe, where ends in a blind well.

 03-08-2012, 07:47 PM #6 Civil Engineer   Join Date: Mar 2009 Location: Boston Posts: 5,679 Rewards Points: 4,938 The calcs are correct as far as they go, however you need to account for the fact that you buy gravel loose, and you should compact the gravel when you put it in, so you should add about 15 percent to your total. Compaction is easy, you just tamp it down with a heavy object (your child works well, they like to stomp on gravel) in six inch or less lifts. If you do not compact the gravel, it will settle over time, leaving an unpleasant dip in your lawn.
 03-09-2012, 08:29 AM #7 Member   Join Date: Nov 2007 Location: Nashua, NH, USA Posts: 7,971 Rewards Points: 1,548 deleted __________________ The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit. Last edited by AllanJ; 03-09-2012 at 08:32 AM.
 03-09-2012, 11:06 AM #8 Member     Join Date: Sep 2007 Location: Springville, NY Posts: 2,014 Rewards Points: 74 Are you going to cover the gravel with soil and lawn or leave the stone exposed?
03-09-2012, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by 47_47 Are you going to cover the gravel with soil and lawn or leave the stone exposed?
I am going to cover the whole thing with soil and lawn so that it looks just as everywhere else in the yard.

03-09-2012, 12:12 PM   #10
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Amount of stone for trench 8" wide x 18" deep, less pipe less 8" wide x ~4" of soil x length.

Added: I would not use pea gravel, it doesnt compact and your lawn will sink. Use clean #2.

Last edited by 47_47; 03-09-2012 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Added

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