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Old 09-08-2012, 04:12 AM   #1
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french drain in basement


how do i install a french drain system when i already have concrete walls dividing rooms. ?

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Old 09-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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french drain in basement


What size of a trench do you need?
Usually you need to bust up the concrete up to the wall on both sides, dig out the gravel/dirt, then dig under the wall.

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Old 09-08-2012, 10:30 AM   #3
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french drain in basement


A french drain goes outside.
Why are you dealing with the water after it's made it's way in, instead of outside?
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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french drain in basement


Here weeping tile or what some refer to as a french drain is sometimes put on the inside.
Done in new construction sometimes but usually in a renovation situation.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:17 AM   #5
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french drain in basement


As long as it is subsurface, perforated and surrounded on all sides by granular material, it is a "french drain". The traditional french drains we constructed withou pipe and just used the correct aggregate to carry water away and drain large areas of land. I played an old golf course where they frequently discovered fully functioning 70+ year old traditional french drains there were long forgotten, but still worked to dry out areas despite an additional 5 or 10 feet of ground was added for contouring purposes. Water will always seek the lowest area despite what man has done.

Interior french drains are installed inside the exterior wall line at the level or below the footings. The reason interior drains are effective is because of the elevation and they are NOT in the living space. They can prevent leakage by lowering the water and reducing the moisture level and pressure under the slab that could otherwise cause cracks or force leakage at joints. This is particularly the joint between the slab and wall if it is a foundation wall on a strip footing.

Just because they are within the exterior limits of the structure does not put them in the "living area" since they collect water before it gets to the living area. If fact they are superior to exterior drain tile for reducing the soil pressure under a slab because water down not just go down, but it travel horizontally and vertically, depending on the soil types.

I know of several builders that have used both interior and exterior drain tile on every home (standard irregardless of the soil type and water table) because it is so cheap during initial construction and it becomes a part of the routine for the crews. Each has built thousands of home without a problem or complaint.

As far as the cost, very often an interior true french drain is cheaper and more practical on an existing house AND can also drain water of the cores of block (if used) when the exterior coating fail and patios, steps, garages are built and the house is landscaped. It is far easier to install than exterior drain tile even if it means going trough or under a footing (if one exists) for an interior partition. If the wall is just a non-bearing masonry partition, there may be no footing and ir is just a matter of excavating the 16" wide trench extension under the remaining part of the slab under the wall.

Dick
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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french drain in basement


I would also check to see if radon is a problem where you live before installing a french drain.

If yes, you might have to go with a sump pump
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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french drain in basement


joe, mae, concrete, and any others I missed, I gave up long ago tryin to explain what a French drain is and what its for and how it works. If folks wanta call surface collection and sump drainage systems French drains, I let um. problem occurs when they try to use French drain pipes for drainage pipe. " Its a French drain, so i use French drain piping." How you gonna move the water away when its leaking out of all those holes? Besides I don't parlor view Fronsay anyway. Well, there was this little French parlor maid one time and....oh, maybe some other time and place.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:20 PM   #8
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^

it's "parlez-vous Francais"

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #9
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french drain in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
As long as it is subsurface, perforated and surrounded on all sides by granular material, it is a "french drain". The traditional french drains we constructed withou pipe and just used the correct aggregate to carry water away and drain large areas of land. I played an old golf course where they frequently discovered fully functioning 70+ year old traditional french drains there were long forgotten, but still worked to dry out areas despite an additional 5 or 10 feet of ground was added for contouring purposes. Water will always seek the lowest area despite what man has done.

Interior french drains are installed inside the exterior wall line at the level or below the footings. The reason interior drains are effective is because of the elevation and they are NOT in the living space. They can prevent leakage by lowering the water and reducing the moisture level and pressure under the slab that could otherwise cause cracks or force leakage at joints. This is particularly the joint between the slab and wall if it is a foundation wall on a strip footing.

Just because they are within the exterior limits of the structure does not put them in the "living area" since they collect water before it gets to the living area. If fact they are superior to exterior drain tile for reducing the soil pressure under a slab because water down not just go down, but it travel horizontally and vertically, depending on the soil types.

I know of several builders that have used both interior and exterior drain tile on every home (standard irregardless of the soil type and water table) because it is so cheap during initial construction and it becomes a part of the routine for the crews. Each has built thousands of home without a problem or complaint.

As far as the cost, very often an interior true french drain is cheaper and more practical on an existing house AND can also drain water of the cores of block (if used) when the exterior coating fail and patios, steps, garages are built and the house is landscaped. It is far easier to install than exterior drain tile even if it means going trough or under a footing (if one exists) for an interior partition. If the wall is just a non-bearing masonry partition, there may be no footing and ir is just a matter of excavating the 16" wide trench extension under the remaining part of the slab under the wall.

Dick
Great explanation Dick.........

As for the OP's question, you will literally need to open the floor up to know how your going to have to approach it for sure. If the walls are partially exposed (on the exterior) where the dividing wall(s) are, you may luck out and the footing may not go all the way to the wall although this may be unlikeley. Another option would be to tunnel under the footing if possible, or run 2 independent systems with 2 sump crocks........
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allthumbsdiy View Post
^

it's "parlez-vous Francais"

That may explain why i didn't make much progress with that French maid.
Kudos to concrete once again. 'As long as it is subsurface, perforated and surrounded on all sides by granular material, it is a "french drain" '
To me a French drain is to keep water from getting into an area. Other drainage systems are to get it out of an area and may use a French drain type collector. ( And I said I gave up)
French drain is a specific kind of ground water diverter, its Dick's(?) perferated "tube" ( I've seen hollow cinder blocks used). that makes it French. Henry Flagg French (1813-1885), Asst.Sect. of US Treasury 1876-1885 and "gentleman farmer." he didn't invent it, putting a perferated tube in the aggregate had probably been around a long time, but he made it well known when he described how he put roofing tiles seperated by a gap in an aggregate filled trench in a book he wrote. Well, he didn't put the tiles in the book, that's just where he described it. He probably didn't lay the tiles himself either, bein a gentleman farmer and sect of treasury and all. The aggregate filled trench goes way back to prehistoric times, some have been found that are still working and folks hadn't even known they were there either, till somebody found them. I dunno if they've ever found any prehistoric golf balls.
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Last edited by notmrjohn; 09-08-2012 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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What type of materials should I use, weeping tile or PVC? What about cutting the concrete?
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:46 PM   #12
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french drain in basement


Hard pvc, not the flex, will probably be easier to tie into non perferated drain lines.

Jack hammers, concrete saws, sledges and concrete chisels. Labor and sweat.
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Last edited by notmrjohn; 10-15-2012 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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NOT LABOR AND SWEAT! Ughhhhhhhhhhh.....

Hard pvc, not the flex, will probably be easier to tie into non perferated drain lines.

That makes alot of sense. Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:44 PM   #14
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french drain in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by allthumbsdiy View Post
^

it's "parlez-vous Francais"

not when you're from Texas, or even down south ...... LOL
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:58 AM   #15
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french drain in basement


In Massychewsit its pahlez-vous Francais. Sack of blue! Its gettin to be ya gotta be a linguist just to tock to folks anymore.
The French flag once flew over Texas. I dunno if La Salle installed any drains while he was here. They didn't have PVC back then.

Did samd turn into bd?
Sam, is this a finished basement? If so you're probably gonna want to use less obtrusive surface drains than an aggregate filled trench (French drain), possibly some sort of channel drains along exterior walls. There are also permeable and perforated paving tiles made for purpose. To get past intersecting walls you'll have to bust concrete floor and dig "tunnel" , lay pipe or channel under wall. Try to plan drain line layout and slope to avoid walls. Unfinished basement could just have open concrete lined trench, channel grate on top, but you have to dig deeper and wider to get thickness of concrete trench walls than if you use plastic channel.

Whether surface drains, French drains or somethin else, install clean outs in buried or closed lines ( as opposed to channels), at least one at each end, two ways in long runs, preferabbly one each tight angles. This is doubly important in exterior lines. And don't use thin flex lines except in temporary easily accessable situations. Drain snake will tear them up.

Outdoors especially, indoors if entering water is silty, use permiable mesh to prevent sediment and roots from entering aggregate. Not the tubular "sock" that just goes around pipe. Line trench with cloth, layer of aggregate, pipe with holes on bottom, fill almost to top with aggregate, fold over cloth, layer of aggreagate. You don't want aggregate to become clogged with silt and clay.

Tuyau de ma tante se trouve dans le sous-sol.

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