French Drain System

How to Install a Foundation French Drain System

Do It Yourself – Watch the How to Install a Foundation French Drain System Video

Foundation French Drain System are simple to install. The supplies can be foundation at any local hardware store. Foundation French drains can be a very effective way for draining subsurface water away from a foundation. Follow this video for simple steps on how to install a foundation french drain system.


  • HI I’m Fred Marshall with Advanced Foundation Repair.
  • I’m here today to talk to you about foundation French drains.
  • Drainage problems can be caused by surface or sub-surface water.
  • French drains are a type of drain that is used to remove sub-surface water.
  • As a general rule French drains should be at least 24 inches deep.
  • Drains that are less than 24 inches deep are most likely collecting surface water in which case a French drain is not needed.
  • A typical French drain is a trench lined with a special filter fabric covered with a few inches of gravel in the bottom of the trench.
  • The next step is to lay in a perforated pipe with the holes of the bottom side.
  • After the pipe is laid, the trench is filled with gravel to within a few inches of the surface.
  • Here you can see they are stopping at about 6 inches below the ground.
  • As a final step, the filter fabric is folded over the top of the gravel and the fabric is covered with dirt.
  • If you do not line the trench with filter fabric, the soil will wash into gravel and plug up the drain.
  • Wrapping a pipe in a cloth is no substitute for lining the trench.
  • The drain works by capturing water that is flowing through the ground. Sub-surface water enters into the gravel, flows down into the pipe, and is carried away through the pipe.
  • The cloth keeps soil particles from plugging up the gravel.
  • Never ever connect down spouts to your French drain.
  • Remember the reason for going through the expense of installing a French drain is to get rid of ground water.
  • If you connect you down spouts to your French drains, the flow of water can be so great that you fill up the French drain and actually push water back into the ground.
  • For expert drainage advice call the professionals at Advanced Foundation Repair, 214-333-0003.

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