Installing a French Drain is a project the homeowner could do themselves. All the parts are readily available from Lowes or Home Depot. Just be prepared to do some work.
Here is everything you need to install a gravel drain (French Drain)
1st you need the pipe.
These are 100 foot rolls of both Soild and Perforated Pipe. This is from Lowes but Home Depot has the same stuff.
NOTE – Remember you need Perforated Pipe (has holes in it) that will be surrounded by Gravel for a French Drain.
100 foot rolls of perforated pipe at Lowes
2nd will be the gravel -
How Much Gravel Do you Need? A lot!
Best way to figure how many bags is 1 bag will cover about 2′ feet of a trench 14 to 16 inches deep. So if you are installing 60 feet of pipe, you’ll need at least 30 bags.
3rd you will need some way to transport your gravel. While you could put in your car or trunk, better is a truck, or trailer to haul the gravel and pipe and shovels and wheel barrels, etc..
Transporting the gravel for a french drain
4th You need a wheel barrel to move the gravel to the area you are digging. You carry each bag, but each bag weighs 40 lbs. So a wheel barrel allows you to move more than 1 at a timne and is much easier.
Wheel barrels bring the gravel from the trailer to the rear yard where the low spot is
5th – You need shovels, picks, axe, and rake to dig your trench.. Pretty much you will be digging through mud if its a really bad low spot. Water will have saturated the soil. But if you believe you can do something
You may also need a Catch Basain or 2.
Trenched section of yard for French Drain
Catch Basins help collect immediate surface water run off – Gravel Perforated Pipe helps collect subsurface water. Together they work to remove the water from your low spot.
6 – Once the Trench is complete, including your discharge (this where the water is going to flow), its time to install the Gravel and Pipe.
1st lay a small base of gravel in the trench. Next Install the Perforated Pipe with HOLES POINTING DOWN. Connect your catch basins then cover with gravel. We like to bring ou gravel to grade to really make the water drop into our system, but you cancover the gravel with soil. If doing this, be sure to use a soil seperater fabric. Youdon’t need to wrap the trench in this fabric, it will simply slow the flow of water into the gravel and also the fabric will get packed with dirt and further slow the water infiltration into the gravel. Some people think its best to wrap the gravel and or the pipe, but actually the life of the systemis still the same. 15 to 20 years.
Holes Point Down from Perforated Pipe for the French Drain
Lastly – Lay your all the gravel and pipe, rake out the excess soil to fill other low spots and help water drain into your system. Make sure your Catch Basin Grate is just below grade to allow that water to flow quickly into the catch basin!
Raking out the excess soil from your install of a French Drain
Congratulations! You did it!
This is Chuck with Apple Drains, Reminding You..
If You Believe You Can Do Something, I Guarantee You Can Do It!