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Old 11-17-2018, 11:48 AM   #1
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French Drain Questions


Our garage was built at the bottom of a hill and, surprise, the water runs at it and under the door. I'm going to use sandbags to stop the water until we can redo the driveway with a proper drainage grate or swale. Before we moved in, the previous owners agreed to put in a French drain, which doesn't really do anything. They basically ran some corregated pipe and covered it with dirt. The only good thing is that the other end has a drain pipe that runs down hill toward the woods.

I'm thinking of pulling the pipe they put in and using some of the EZ Drain pipe. The installation directions recommend covering with dirt. Would it improve things to use gravel instead? It will be along the garage wall so looks doesn't really matter.

Also, I have a square drain grate on the end of the pipe, but it gets clogged with runoff dirt. I hope that with a better pipe that the water won't stand there and clog it, but is there a solution to prevent dirt getting in the pipe there?

Once the sandbags are in, they will be diverting the water to the pipe area, but I hope some of the runoff dirt will collect at the sandbags and stop the clogging.

Thanks for the help. Hoping to one day have a dry garage that doesn't have mud and mildew all over the place!
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: French Drain Questions


I haven't see a drain across the driveway that isn't a pain in the ass for the rest of your life. So I would vote for a swale and if you have a dirt problem I would put a sump in to catch the dirt and drain from there like the city has.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/U-S-TREN...0072/303526931


Unless you need to collect water along the way I would use solid pipe,


Years ago when I worked on things like French drains, we did gravel 18" wide by 18" deep with a pipe in the middle. Today they do much the same but wrap the gravel with fabric. If that is 10 times the fabric than a fabric covered pipe it should take 10 times as long to plug up.
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Old 11-17-2018, 03:49 PM   #3
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Re: French Drain Questions


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
I haven't see a drain across the driveway that isn't a pain in the ass for the rest of your life. So I would vote for a swale and if you have a dirt problem I would put a sump in to catch the dirt and drain from there like the city has.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/U-S-TREN...0072/303526931


Unless you need to collect water along the way I would use solid pipe,


Years ago when I worked on things like French drains, we did gravel 18" wide by 18" deep with a pipe in the middle. Today they do much the same but wrap the gravel with fabric. If that is 10 times the fabric than a fabric covered pipe it should take 10 times as long to plug up.
Thanks for the tips. This is the product I was going to use: EZ Drain. I tried solid pipe, but the grate would get clogged and buried by dirt runoff, that's why I'm thinking of a gravel strip with the pipe buried, so there is more area for the water to sink down into.

I think instead of a drain maybe I will go with a swale or a speed bump type design, which might be easier and cheaper anyway. But, sandbags for now!
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Old 11-17-2018, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: French Drain Questions


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Originally Posted by bcemail View Post
Thanks for the tips. This is the product I was going to use: EZ Drain. I tried solid pipe, but the grate would get clogged and buried by dirt runoff, that's why I'm thinking of a gravel strip with the pipe buried, so there is more area for the water to sink down into.

I think instead of a drain maybe I will go with a swale or a speed bump type design, which might be easier and cheaper anyway. But, sandbags for now!
If you pipe is going out the back to a lower area I would let it run to day light with solid pipe or dig a big hole and put a yard of gravel to catch the water. A sump of some sort to catch the water would catch the dirt and can be cleaned out regularly so the pipe does not get dirt.
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:15 PM   #5
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Re: French Drain Questions


You have any pictures.?


Including the hill.?
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: French Drain Questions


Surface water running down the driveway towards the garage would be better remaining on the surface as it is diverted using a swale or other means off to the side and onto the grass and away from the house/garage.

A speed bump merely creates a swale just uphill of it. You will still need some means of gravity draining of rain that lands between the speed bump and the garage door.

The disadvantage of just a French drain across the driveway is that it will take time for water to percolate through the gravel and into the perforated drain pipe/tile. And the drain pipe, being underground, needs more downhill running room to get back to daylight (or dump into a pit with sump pump).
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:25 PM   #7
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Re: French Drain Questions


Here are some pics. https://imgur.com/a/Hu6AOug. First one is looking down to the garage. You can see there is grass on either side of the driveway. Second and third are the current set up. Solid pipe with a drain grate. You can see how clogged the grate gets with dirt so after a storm it basically needs to be pulled out and cleaned (which I usually fail to do especially over the winter). The PVC attaches to a perf pipe that comes out on a hill around the side.

I was thinking that if I replaced the PVC pipe with the ez drain pipe and covered with gravel I could divert the water there (for now just with sandbags until I can afford something more permanent). The gravel wouldn't get clogged like the drain does. Maybe if I build up some gravel around the drain it would catch the dirt? I'm sure the sandbags will also catch some of the dirt.

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: French Drain Questions


If I'm seeing this right.

This is what I would do.

Dig out as much as possible away from the garage to insure a proper slope.

Also giving you a yard.

And put in a retaining wall to handle the remaining hill.

https://www.familyhandyman.com/lands...wall/view-all/




Here are several more.

https://www.familyhandyman.com/searc...taining%20wall
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