How Do French Drains Work?

Man Digging Out French Drain In Driveway To Clean Out

Your Comprehensive Guide to Effective Drainage

French drains are a time-tested, effective solution for managing excess water on your property. As a leading provider of sewer and drainage services, Sewer TV is here to help you better understand how French drains work and why they’re so beneficial. Our expert team has compiled all the essential information you need to make an informed decision about whether a French drain system is right for your property. Join us as we dive into the fascinating world of French drains!

What is a French Drain?

A French drain, also known as a weeping tile, drain tile, or sub-surface drain, is a simple yet highly efficient drainage system that helps to prevent waterlogging and protect your property from damage caused by excess water. French drains redirect groundwater and surface water away from your home or other structures, reducing the risk of foundation damage, basement flooding, and landscape erosion.


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How French Drains Work: The Basics

A French drain consists of a sloped trench filled with gravel and a perforated pipe. The trench is dug around the perimeter of the area that requires drainage, directing water away from structures and toward a designated discharge point. The perforated pipe is placed at the bottom of the trench, surrounded by gravel, which serves to filter out debris and prevent clogging. As water seeps into the trench, it enters the pipe through the holes and flows downhill to the discharge point, effectively redirecting excess water away from your property.

Key Components of a French Drain System

  1. Trench: The trench is the foundation of the French drain system. Its depth and slope are crucial to the drain’s effectiveness. The trench should be deep enough to reach the water table and sloped to ensure proper water flow.
  2. Perforated Pipe: A perforated pipe is placed at the bottom of the trench. The pipe is designed with small holes along its length, allowing water to enter while keeping out debris that could cause clogs.
  3. Gravel: Gravel is used to fill the trench around the perforated pipe, acting as a filter to prevent debris from entering the pipe while allowing water to pass through.
  4. Filter Fabric: In some cases, a layer of filter fabric is placed between the gravel and the surrounding soil to further prevent silt and debris from entering the drainage system.
  5. Discharge Point: The discharge point is where the water exits the French drain system. This can be a natural drainage area, a dry well, or even a connection to a storm sewer.

Pipelining is also incredibly reliable. It uses sophisticated technology to give homeowners an accurate picture of the condition of their drainage system, making it easier to plan and execute the most suitable course of action. Plus, modern CCTV equipment is designed to provide the highest resolution images possible, allowing for more detailed analysis.

Building A Drain System

The Benefits of French Drains

Installing a French drain on your property comes with several benefits:

  • Prevents Flooding: By redirecting excess water away from your home, French drains can help prevent basement flooding and water damage.
  • Reduces Foundation Damage: Excess water can cause the soil around your foundation to expand and contract, leading to foundation damage. A French drain helps to manage this water, protecting your home’s structural integrity.
  • Protects Landscaping: Waterlogged soil can lead to erosion and damage to plants and landscaping features. French drains help to keep your yard looking its best by controlling excess water.
  • Increases Property Value: A well-designed drainage system is an attractive feature for potential homebuyers, as it demonstrates a proactive approach to property maintenance and water management.

Safeguard Your Property with French Drains: Trust Sewer TV's Expertise

French drains are a tried-and-true solution for effectively managing excess water on your property. By understanding how French drains work, you can make an informed decision about whether this drainage system is the best choice for your home or landscaping project.


At Sewer TV, our team of experts is here to help you with all sewer and drainage needs. From French drain installation to maintenance, we are committed to providing top-notch service and ensuring your property is protected from excess water. Don’t hesitate to contact us for information or schedule a consultation. With Sewer TV, you can have peace of mind knowing your property is in good hands.


So, if you’re looking to safeguard your property from water damage, consider installing a French drain system. Not only will it help keep your home and landscaping in pristine condition, but it will also increase the value of your property. Trust Sewer TV to guide you through the process and provide the expert services you need for a successful French drain installation.


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Dave Flynn

Established in 2002. SewerTV is a licensed, bonded, and insured plumbing Contractor