Tips for installing a French drain in your basement

Water tends to find it’s way into your basement, no matter how good the exterior drainage system of your home is. There are solutions for these kinds of problems, and one of them is French drains. They are not expensive and also they can be installed easily by anyone.

Here are a few tips on how to install them:

  1. First of all you will need to make some measurements in your basement. First of all make a line, 8 inches away from the walls. Use chalk to mark the lines.
  2. Now you will need to have a concrete saw. You can rent one from your local hardware store. Keep the dust down by using a water hose. Some concrete saws have water systems integrated.
  3. The trench will need to be 6 inches deep and make sure you have a 1% slope for the trench.
  4. Now, what you need to do is lay the filter fabric in the trench, making sure you leave some edges at the top to overlap. You will then need to add a layer of gravel in the trench. Then lay the 4 inch drain tiles. When it comes to the sump pump, you need to know that it has to be a little lower than the pipes and drain tiles. You may also need to add some gravel under the pump. After you have laid the tiles, fill the trench with clear gravel and then attach them to the sump pump. Also fill the space around the pump with clear gravel.
  5. The PVC pipe, for the evacuation, will need to be attached to the sump pump. Set the pump in the sump pit. Then make sure you screw the black flow valve onto the pipe. This will create a tight seal. Then see where the next PVC pipe will be installed in order to get the water outside, and make the required measurements.
  6. Next, drill a hole in the box sill that the pipe will exit the basement. A 2 inch hole should be good. Then glue a 2 inch PVC pipe in the hole. Cut a new pipe for the rest of the vertical piece and glue it to the 90 degree elbow and screws the bottom in the compression washer.
  7. Plugin the pump and see if it works. Make sure the electric wires are not on the ground.


  • to test the pump fill the trench with water.
  • use a flexible extension for the end of the pipe
  • use can foam to seal the pipes
  • you can also use a solid top tile that will be covered with concrete, instead of the drain tiles.
  • always use a respiratory mask when cutting concrete.
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