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MLMIB 04-07-2011 09:52 PM

what to do with the french drain behind a retaining wall
so I'm building a short retaining wall, ~2 feet max, probably more like a foot 'n a half. it's going to be slopped and it's just to deal with a drop off around a corner of my house where a downspout is, I've run the downspout into a buried line so it puts out elsewhere now so it's no longer a problem. For the retaining wall, I know it'd be smart/best to put in a french drain so that water weight doesn't build up behind the wall, but what do I need to do with the end of the drain? the stone wall is going to taper to start and taper to begin, so do I need to just run the french drain into the ground with the wall and it will 'cause the water to at least not be held behind the wall or do I need to find a way to vent it out? I've seen a few directions that mention the necessity for a french drain but few seem to deal with what to do with the french drain at the end of the wall. I'd like to avoid having it be evident as that would negate the effort to hide the downspout.

thanks for the help

druminman 04-07-2011 09:56 PM

It should drain to daylight. You can run it through the wall, around the end, or even under the wall and on down the slope.

MLMIB 04-07-2011 09:58 PM

and so is there a rule of thumb for what height retaining wall starts to require a french drain?

JoeLena 04-08-2011 08:06 AM

It might depend on your location, on the soil type.

But the pros I talked with before I did mine indicated that for 18 inches a drain wasn't needed in my situation.

Daniel Holzman 04-08-2011 08:52 AM

If you are building a porous type wall, for example made of unmortared concrete block with weepholes or fieldstone, or you are using free draining material behind the wall such as clean gravel or crushed stone, there is no need for a tile drain behind an 18 inch or 2 foot high wall. You may need a drain if the wall gets higher, say three feet or more, and the wall is impervious, like a poured in place concrete wall, or a mortared block wall.

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