Foundation Drain Tile Installation

31 responses

  1. Damon Biddle
    October 3, 2012

    I am wondering if a French Drain would help solve the water problem in my crawl space. My house was built late 70's. For whatever reason, the crawl space floor is lower than the yard on the exterior of the house. The back yard does slope towards the house, which helps bring extra water into the crawl space. Basically, they did dig a trench around the interior foundation of the crawl space, to direct water to the front yard corner of the crawl space. At this time, we siphon the water out as it accumulates. I am sure a crawl spacea sump would help as well, but I may not need that at all if a French Drain would work. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks so much.

    • Tim Carter
      January 6, 2013

      Damon, your question requires lots of typing, plus I have some questions for you so I can give you the correct answer(s). I only do pithy answers here in the comment section. If you want to protect the investment you have in your house and not waste time or money *hoping* you make the right decision, you should talk to me on the phone for just 15 minutes. It'll be the best investment you've ever made in your home!

      • Jim Goostree
        March 8, 2017

        Tim, Please give us a brief answer to the question that was discussed on the phone.

        Thank you,

  2. jeff hanson
    March 13, 2013

    The drain tile entering my 24 inch deep pit are 1 inch from the bottom. My pump doesn't engage unroll the water level is 2 inches above the tiles. Then it takes up to 3 minutes to pump out the back logged water. Should this be changed?

    • Tim Carter
      April 1, 2013

      Jeff, Walter, this is what my 500-Second Consult is all about. Click the Shop icon at the top of the page!

  3. David Freeman
    March 16, 2014

    I need to redo/install new drain tile for my mother. I know and have found all the basics and done extensive research on what are the best ways to do it, what the best tools are, what pipe and gravel and gravel cover to use etc....however...I absolutely cannot find ANYTHING about the drain tile for a split level home. I need to know what to do where the sub basement drops to the lower basement. Do I just run a pipe straight down to the next level or does it need to be on a small angle??? Or is it different all together when it comes to a split level home???

    • Tim Carter
      March 16, 2014

      I would just make a 90-degree angle. That's what water wants to do. The entire step gets filled with gravel. You should REALLY consider buying my DVD about Linear French Drains to get your head around what's happening with ground water. I'm a college-trained hydrogeologist.

  4. Tim Stone
    May 6, 2014

    My home was built in the late 40's early 50's using a concrete foundation. the problem is water leaks in thru the corner walls some springs. last spring it was 5 bucket fulls, this spring it was just a bucket full & some springs none at all. i notice i have two sump pits with one pit having a pump. i looked into the pit the other day wondering why this thing isn't draining and i noticed there is not any drain tile or pipes running into either pit but both have water in them. i don't understand were the water is coming from in the pits or why i am leaking.

    • Tim Carter
      May 7, 2014

      There are holes in the sides of the sump pit to accept water. That's my guess not being there.

  5. David Abelardo
    July 12, 2014

    I want to install drain tile in an old limestone basement. The rule is 6 inches away from the wall along the footer. I have an old lime stone foundation that has no footings. Could I start breaking concrete 6 inches away or do I break concrete next to to the walls and lay the drain tile along the walls. My fear is would the foundation give if I break concrete alond the walls. I never have installed on a limestone foundation and this is for inside the basment. Thank You

    • Tim Carter
      July 13, 2014

      I would NEVER install one inside. Read all of my Linear French Drain columns and do it that way. Get my Linear French Drain DVD.

  6. Howard Lisitza
    November 13, 2014

    We are in a building that is suppose to have a drain tile around the outside of the entire footing and then go to a sump pump for expulsion of water. We have found out that only a small part of the tile was put in at the time it was built. We have a finished basement, and would like to have someone dig it up and properly install a drain tile around the outside of the footing, as our city code calls for. Who would I be trying to hire for a job like this? Any info you can supply would be greatly appreciated!

    • Tim Carter
      November 14, 2014

      You hire an expert backhoe operator. But BEFORE you do that, you may want to get this Linear French Drain DVD of mine because there could be an EASIER way to STOP the water from getting into your basement. I've used this method to STOP water in thousands of homes.

  7. Diana Maurer
    January 14, 2015

    Is it best to place interior drain tile around the entire perimeter of the house? Someone suggested we only do it on what would be considered the "upstream" side.

    • Tim Carter
      January 14, 2015

      That someone is completely WRONG..... I suggest you do what I've written in all my foundation drain tile columns. Read ALL OF THEM.

  8. bill howard
    February 17, 2015

    I am going to build a house in Morelia mexico and on sloping (18"/10ft). The rain is very heavy july and August and dry the other months. bedrock is 6 ft deep on the high side and 8 ft on the low side. 6" deep cracks at end of dry season. I am going to use fill with crushed volcanic local rock (local) to 3 ft above the high side for the slab and the stepped footing 38" into the clay soil with block to slab level. Question: do I drain tile the outside footings or set piers at the intersections of the bearing walls to bed rock? which is less effective? or is there another way?

  9. Connie
    May 12, 2015

    I have a 1960's brick rambler on a septic system, with a sump pump. During a recent week of heavy rains, the drain outside the basement door had water coming up through it. None of the drains inside the basement were flooding. Any thoughts as to what the problem could be?

  10. tim
    May 17, 2015

    I have a room in my basement that is finished and it does not have drain tile is it possible to put drain tile about 8 inches away from the footing and then I could hook it to my old drain tile that is in the rest of the house. would this work

    thanks tim

  11. Brad
    June 9, 2015

    I have two problems during the wet season, leakage at the wall/floor interface, and small amt of water from cracks in the foundation walls. I also have window wells that fill up during heavy rain(not from the top, they continue to fill over the next few days). My sump pump is working. My question is, I have a 1948 home with poured concrete walls. Is there anything specific about this era of home that needs to be addressed, or does this sound like typical basement leakage?

  12. Jim
    June 30, 2015

    I have a 150 year old home in Chicago. The foundation was dry-poured. The walls were seal coated about 20 years ago and faced with foundation insulation. It is still subject to seepage during heavy rains.
    Can i install the perforated drain tile outside and connect it directly to my main drain to the city sewer system to carry the water away?

    • someone
      July 22, 2015

      Check the codes there, I would imagine it is the same- in Minnesota you can not connect drain tile to the sanitary sewer system. Cities do not want to deal with all of the water you would be adding to the system.

  13. Darlene
    July 7, 2015

    I have a working drain tile system in my basement. The two sump pumps kicks on constantly during heavy rain, but for some reason my basement floor still gets wet considerably. I have lots of cracks in my basement floor and water comes through what can i do? Thanks

  14. Mark Woods
    July 22, 2015

    I have a waterproofed basement. It was done 15 years ago with a local company and is an interior French Drain System. I had my first problem a year ago. The company came out and we found out we do not have a footer. Water came in from under the wall and carried mud and silt which slowly traveled thru the gravel and clogged up the slits in the drainage pipe. They cleaned out the gravel, put in new pipe and sealed with concrete. Here we are a year later with same problem. I have diverted all the water on the outside away from the house. The back corner is where the problem is. Any suggestions?

  15. Tim
    July 27, 2015

    I bought a home a few months ago and just noticed that the drainage pipe from the tiles leading into the pit is sloped upward at a 30 degree angle - half of it on one side of the opening and the other half into the sump pit. This inspector did not pick it out. Is this a flaw in design?
    By the way, some water does make it into the pit and it does get pumped out when a good amount has accumulated.

  16. Steve
    December 3, 2015

    How long does a properly installed French drain last. Home is 14 years old and the drain is full of mud...

    • Tim Carter
      December 4, 2015

      Forever..... Go up to the top of the comments and BOTTOM of my column above. See my DVD about Linear French Drains??? BUY it to discover how to have one MUD-FREE for life.

  17. William Schone
    January 29, 2016

    Water takes the path of least resistance, which means if you don't line the dirt wall with barrier until you get to the top, it's still going to fill with silt even if you cover the top... just like a retaining wall. You must put barrier all the way from bottom to top, or the path of least resistance, as you said, is horizontally into your gravel, with the silt in tow.

  18. Kathy
    February 8, 2016

    we have a drain pipe that goes through the foundation into the crawl space, this is supposed to be connected to the tile drain around the house, which my understanding, is that it has an overflow to our sump pump. No we are not in a flood plain, no hills around us, highway close by and it would have to flood up to the bridge plus before we would flood! But we have this pipe, just in case??? It creates moisture in an area that should be moisture free. We have standing water in the middle on top of the plastic. The builders superintendent has put a dehumidifier under there and as the bucket fills up my husband has to dump it! But he travels and I'm not crawling under there to do it. The problem I see is the water has not gone down! Why this superintendent has not used a shop vac or other suction to get the water out is beyond me!!! I'm trying to be PC here, but being stretched to my last string! Any ideas!

  19. Jeff Hogan
    February 17, 2016

    We excavated for an indoor sport court. The room is 21' below grade. We are still in construction phase, but past framing and mechanicals. Our court continues to take water in from the outside, and more concerning is the amount of mud/silt accompanying the water. The sump pit has been cleaned out multiple times. Debris and gravel have caused multiple pump failures (and replacements). The problem has been occurring for months. We are concerned about the process followed during construction. Any ideas what could be causing our problem, and, how to confirm issue and correct? Thank you,

  20. L Mason
    March 26, 2016

    I live in Chicago in a 1920's bungalow . For 16 yrs the basement stayed dry. We do not have a sump system. Recently the basement flooded coming up mostly thru the two floor drains. We diverted the downspouts, riddled out the line to the street and put more dirt around house. After a mild rain a day later some water came up the drain which we had put floats in. Wondering where the water is coming from- ground water seeping.? What is a possible solution?

  21. Ruthann
    April 16, 2016

    We recently bought a 4 unit apartment building, built on 1904 with rock/cement foundation. We have noticed pin hole leaks, we also had a drain pipe under ground break and found our soil is saturated. We live at the low level on a corner were everyone's water drains to us. What do you suggest? Also we are doing the work ourselves if that makes a difference.

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