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Old 01-15-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
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french drain interior location


Thanks for the read. I am installing a french drain in a basement with the concrete floor removed. Where should the top of the drain pipe be in relation to the footer? A stem wall sits on the footer. The stem wall is about 8" wide. The footer is about 24" wide and perhaps 3 foot deep. I am treching in sandy loam mostly. Again, I am asking for help in how to locate the drain. Thank you.

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Old 01-15-2012, 10:04 PM   #2
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The piping should sit at least footer level, and not against it. BTW, did you pull a permit if your area requires it, for this mod? If so, your permit office would have told you per the scope & plans, what they require if they are peculiar in how it is done.

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Old 01-15-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
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You need to come out a little farther. That is way too close, plus too small, when you start throwing in the rock. If it was me, I would be making the hole at least 18 inches wide, and anywhere from 12 to 14 inches deep, but not so deep that you go below the footer. I would say that rule of thumb should be, that it should be deep enough that you have a good layer of rock on it, and leave 4 inches for concrete to be placed back on top.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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That doesn't look like a basement, unless it's a walk-out.

Are you sure the footing is 3' deep? Kind of looks like it's only 8-10" deep from the picture.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:24 PM   #6
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gregzoll.......Why is the trench "way to close"? Close to what? When you say the drain should be at footer level.....do you mean the top of the pipe or the bottom of the pipe? A PE structural engineer has said use a 4" drain( I have not paid him to come back to inspect yet), so you say I should have 12" to 14"depth of trench...but shouldn't the depth be determined by the spot being looked at relative to the "fall"? You made no mention of the " fall" which is critical for drainage.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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jomamama....If you read my first post you would know this is a basement/walkout. Also, there is noway to tell the depth of the footer by looking at the picture. You could know if you read my first post. I need real help with my project.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:32 PM   #8
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You are building a French drain, which in your case would be more accurately called an interior perimeter drain, no offense to Mr. French, inventor of the French drain. I have designed many such drains, and I never worry about the elevation of the drain relative to the footer, since there is no reason to drain the soil to bottom of footer level. I typically spec the trench to be approximately 6-12 inches below the top of the concrete slab, after all that is what you are trying to keep the groundwater below.

Also, it is a common misconception that a groundwater drains needs pitch, it can be laid flat, and often is. It is essential of course that the water drain to a low point, which is either to "daylight" outside the building, if you are building a gravity drain, or to a sump pit, if you are building a pumped system. In either case, the water will flow very nicely as long as the water level at the drain point is lower than the water level in the pipes, which of course is the groundwater level.

The only significance of the distance between the trench and the footer is the stability of the footer, which of course your engineer discussed with you, seeing as you hired him, and he is coming back.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
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Thanks alot. I appreciate your participation keeping me on the right track. The stability of the footer will always be a problem as the house is on a "fairly good" slope. Thanks again!
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowbuilder View Post
jomamama....If you read my first post you would know this is a basement/walkout. Also, there is noway to tell the depth of the footer by looking at the picture. You could know if you read my first post. I need real help with my project.
Sorry I'm not psychic, and I still don't notice any mention of a walk-out basement after reading it again.

Dan gave you good info, but you need to keep one other thing in mind. The elevation of the draintile will be limited in depth by the non-exposed wall(s). Where the foundation actually has enough un-balanced fill that it is frost protected, the footing "should" be much higher than the walk-out footings, like right below the floor.

Also, the concrete "flashing" as it appears in the picture threw me off, maybe it's just grey dirt next to the footing??
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:01 PM   #11
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french drain interior location


Just put your tile in right next to the footing, with the top flush to the top of the footing. This will let you get it in level.

Some guys form up the footings with material which doubles as the drainage tile. Obviously, this stuff is flush with the top of the footing because they screed off it.

You might be able to land an internship with a foundation crew and they could instruct you on some of the other points to keep in mind, the so called "tricks of the trade".
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:10 PM   #12
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Daniel Holzman, I have been enlightened. I belive I now am building an interior perimeter gravity drain to daylight. I will also not be overly concerned about pitch. Thanks.

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