French Drain Installation

French drains are primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations.

French Drain Installation

French Drain Installation

French Drain Installation


A French drain or weeping tile (also blind drain, rubble drain, rock drain, drain tile, perimeter drain, land drain, French ditch, sub-surface drain, sub-soil drain or agricultural drain) is a trench filled with gravel or rock or containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. A French drain can have perforated hollow pipes along the bottom (see images) to quickly vent water that seeps down through the upper gravel or rock. Pre-engineered French drain systems that eliminate the need for gravel and rock have become increasingly popular since their introduction over 40 years ago. The common features of these systems include a lightweight gravel substitute that is wrapped around perforated corrugated pipe and covered with commonly used filter fabric. French drains are primarily used to prevent ground and surface water from penetrating or damaging building foundations. Alternatively, French drains may be used to distribute water, such as a septic drain field at the outlet of a typical septic tank sewage treatment system. French drains are also used behind retaining walls to relieve ground water pressure.

French Drain Construction

French Drain Installation

French Drain Construction


The earliest forms of French drains were simple ditches, pitched from a high area to a lower one and filled with gravel. These may have been invented in France but were described and popularized by Henry Flagg French (1813–1885) of Concord, Massachusetts, a lawyer and Assistant US Treasury Secretary, in his 1859 book Farm Drainage. French's own drains were made of sections of ordinary roofing tile laid with a 1⁄8 in (0.32 cm) gap left in between the sections to admit water. Later, specialized drain tiles were designed with perforations.
Video: French Drain tips

Why Not Let The Pros at Let It Reign Construction do the French Drain installation for you?

General Contractor

French Drain Installation

General Contractor

Let It Reign Construction, one of the northwest Washington's most trusted roofing contractors, has as been expertly serving the French Drain Installation needs of people of Kent WA., Auburn , WA., Seattle , WA., Tacoma WA., Renton WA., Federal Way WA., Ballard WA., Redmond WA., Shoreline WA., Bellevue WA., and Kirkland WA.

Let It Reign Logo Let It Reign Construction offers the best workmanship and material out there. We are one of the most trusted roofing contractors in the area. When we do a French Drain Installation or gutter repairs or home remodeling projects, you are assured to be delighted with the outcome.

French Drain Construction

The earliest forms of French drains were simple ditches, pitched from a high area to a lower one and filled with gravel. These may have been invented in Franc but were described and popularized by Henry Flagg French (1813–1885) of Concord, Massachusetts, a lawyer and Assistant US Treasury Secretary, in his 1859 book Farm Drainage. French's own drains were made of sections of ordinary roofing tile laid with a 1⁄8 in (0.32 cm) gap left in between the sections to admit water. Later, specialized drain tiles were designed with perforations. To prevent clogging, the gravel size varied from coarse at the center to fine at the outside and was designed based on the gradation of the soil surrounding the drain. The particle sizing was critical to keep the surrounding soil from washing into the voids in the gravel and clogging the drain. The development of geotextiles greatly simplified this procedure.

Ditches may be dug by hand or with a trencher. An inclination of 1 in 100 to 1 in 200 is typical. Lining the bottom of the ditch with clay or plastic pipe increases the volume of water that can flow through the drain. Modern French drain systems can be made with perforated pipe (weeping tile) surrounded by sand or gravel and geotextile or landscaping textile. Landscaping textiles are used to prevent migration of the drainage material as well as preventing dirt and roots from entering and clogging the drainage pipe. The perforated pipe provides a minor underground storage volume but the prime purpose is for the perforations to drain the area along the full length of the pipe and to discharge any surplus water at its end. The direction of percolation will depend on the relative conditions inside and outside the pipe.

Subsurface drainage systems have been in common use for centuries. They take many forms, but are all similar in design and function to the traditional French drain. French drains are excavated trenches filled with aggregate surrounding a slotted or perforated pipe that conveys excess surface and groundwater to a discharge point away from the drainage area.