Trench Drain

8 responses

  1. Andrew
    May 26, 2012

    Last year, before we finished our basement, we had a 3.5" rain storm, that ended with things floating. The sidewalk around the house especially was trapping water up against the foundation. The home is a 1950's build that has no sump pump, sealing, or other such modern trappings for the foundation.

    I used your trench/French drain design in an 85 foot section dug out around the entire house. I started at 20" deep in the front and ended up at 36" deep in the back before heading out toward the hill in back to spill. In order to drain inside the sidewalk entrapment I had to tunnel under it to exit toward the hill.

    The result? We have and are still getting hammered this week. In the last five days we have received about 7" of rain. Not one drop of moisture has made it into the basement. This drain design seems as bulletproof as they come.

    I did however use 4" PVC perforated pipe instead of the black flex tube, and put two cleanout access points on the system. I realize that silt concerns are usually unfounded if done correctly but it would be a monumental task to dig this system back up so I played it safe.

    Thanks for all the info on your site.

    -Andrew, Oakdale, MN

  2. Frank Noberini
    August 20, 2013

    How can I stop my drain grate from getting clogged with silt, drain works fine until the grate gets covered with silt and becomes clogged! Help!

    • Tim Carter
      January 11, 2014

      Two choices: Stop muddy water from entering drain by re-diverting it. Regularly rinse out drain.

  3. jr
    January 31, 2014

    I have an above ground Trenching system type in the basement/ garage 1923 bungalow around the perimeter. It goes to a 6" flange inbetted in the concrete at the end of the trench that cones down to a 2" opening to a basin about 8" deep and part of the flange. In the cone to the left just below the flange a hole 1 1/4" threaded both holes seem to service each other being part of the same basin. Water seeps in the basin under the flange above the threaded hole like a French drain and also into the basin from the trench. I'm trying to find out what kind of pump sits in that flange and what it is called. It appears to me as an enclosed above and below grade' type impeller pump. Is there such a thing. And wouldn't an internal float have to command it to on/off when water meets in the cone?

  4. Doug Paris
    June 12, 2014

    Hey Tim - I tried this trench drain around our old home and what a difference just digging the trench made!

    I haven't even got the pipe/gravel in yet and the system is already stopping the watering from entering our crawlspace and we are noticing the humidity levels dropping in the crawl and the house.

    Plus the leaking we experienced in the 1/2 basement has stopped!

    Based on this success I ordered your trench video.

    Just want to say thanks - you are saving me a lot of pain!

    73's from Northern Minnesota

    • Tim Carter
      June 13, 2014

      Doug, WOO HOO! Remember, deeper is always better. Also, don't forget final grading and roof water. All roof water MUST be piped far away from the house in solid pipe. 72 (I'm a QRPr) Tim W3ATB

  5. Jeff R
    July 27, 2016

    I just installed a trench drain on the uphill side of my house because during heavy rains I get all the water coming down the hill toward the house. I could have just graded the yard in this area to move the water away from the house, but I wanted to stay away from clay type soils since I have a hard time growing grass on this side. So I did a drain and topped everything off with top soil in the hope I can get a better looking yard on this side.. Typical perf pipe (not the flex pipe). Testing with a water hose shows it's operating well. It's about 18" deep with 3/4 washed gravel fill. All seems to be well,. however I now have a concern.

    Seems everyone has an opinion on drainage and how it should be done. As of late I've been reading that you should never use a trench/french drain to deal with surface water because this allows the surface water to move deeper into the soil where you don't want it to begin with. My take is if you have a good drain pipe system and you can move the collected water away quickly there should be no appreciable penetration of water due to the trench.

    What say you?

  6. Sarah
    August 2, 2016

    Hello! I am working on a project for an engineering program. My team and I are trying to find a solution to the rising water issue in Boston, MA. By 2050, the water will rise up to about 7 feet.
    Would a system like this be able to be used on a larger scale such as this if it was made large enough?

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