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HomeTrendingSurface Drain Vs French Drain

Surface Drain Vs French Drain

What Are Trench Drain Systems

French Drain and Surface Drain Install

Trench drains are linear drains used to easily collect and convey water runoff, stormwater and other surface liquids found around homes and businesses. These modular drains can also be used in industrial applications that require the grate to be forklift rated. In commercial applications, they can also be used to collect snow melt, chemicals, caustics, food and beverage spills.

These surface drainage systems are made of a dominant channel- or through-shaped body with a solid cover, cast iron, polymer or steel grating. It is usually made out of pre formed concrete or polymer channels. Channel composition comes in a variety of composite materials such as Fiber reinforced concrete, polymer concrete, stainless steel and others depending on project requirements. Trench drains can also have decorative grates and come in different slot styles such as perforated and ADA depending on expected pedestrian traffic.

Trench Drain Systems are characterized by long length and narrow width with channels ranging from 1 inch to 2 feet in width and up to 4 feet in depth. The channels usually have a side or bottom outlet that drains to a Sch 40 pipe. Usual pipe sizes are 3″, 4″, 6″ and 8″.

Trench Drain Systems are different to French Drains

Types of trench drains

Based on the manner in which they are formed or installed, there are 4 types of trench drains which are commonly used:

  • Pre-cast concrete
  • So where are trench drains used mostly?

    How are trench drains installed?

    How To Install A French Drain

    French drains serve to collect and remove groundwater that would otherwise cause a problem. Theyre often used along driveways, in damp areas of a lawn, and around house foundations to help keep the basement or crawlspace dry. Read this guide to learn more about how to install a french drain in your yard.

    The essence of a French drain is to create a free-draining conduit that captures groundwater and leads it to a suitable discharge point.

    Curtain Drain Vs French Drain

    Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

    Curtain drain is at ground level. French drain is at the bottom of footer.

    If you are having problems with Water shed. Water running down hill on top of ground. Ditch or curtain drain may be an option. A true curtain drain should be 2×2 full of gravel. The gravel works as a filter, collecting the water and taking it away form the surface.

    But if you are concerned with water in crawl space or basement, a curtain drain will not take care of the problem. Water runs downhill, even under ground. In growing areas these problems may also be worse. Development disturbs waters natural course and it must find a new path.

    A French drain typically sits at least 8 feet below the ground, at or below the footing. The French drain is a pipe covered with filter fabric. Do you know a filter that does not need to be changed? At some point the pipe will clog. Depending on settlement and type of soil is a factor in how long a French drain will work. This area has a lot of clay soil, which tends to clog faster.

    Assume the French drain is a pipe 4 around. Now look a few years down the road and add 1 debris to 4pipe you only have 3 pipe for water to flow. Fast forward a little further, 2 of debris now only 2 pipe for water flow. And so on, before you know it you have more water than this narrow drainage canal can handle. Heavy rains, higher pressure – cant handle the flow.

    Heartaches of French drains:

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    What Is Better Than A French Drain

    The most popular alternative to French drains or any other type of passive drain system is the sump pump. It actively pumps out water to keep water from pooling. Sump pumps are usually used to prevent water from flooding the basements. The installation and maintenance of a sump pump are quite expensive as it uses both electrical and mechanical parts. A sump pump requires electricity to function, which could be a slight disadvantage. But you can use a suitable backup sump pump to remove the water even during a power outage.

    Construction And Installation Process Is Not The Same

    Drainage System Colleyville TX

    When constructing a French drain, it is placed next to the house foundation and is buried underneath by an assortment of rock and gravel. A performed pipe is used in making this type of drain. Water slowly sinks into the pipe and is discharged away from the house.

    The surface drain is dissimilar to a typical French drain in that it is not installed right next to the foundation, but out in the yard. Unlike a French drainage system, surface systems utilize non-performed pipe and are designed to prevent lots of water from accumulating in low lying areas of a yard. They move vast amounts of surface water away from your home fast.

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    How Trench Drainage Works

    Do you know how your home’s gutter redirects rainwater into one spot? Trench drainage works under the same premisethe drain redirects water that would cause slips and soil erosion to another area. After digging the trench and laying the components, the drain must connect to a storm sewer or another waterway. Otherwise, allowing the water to drain elsewhere would harm the local ecosystem.

    French Drain Or Surface Drain How Do I Decide Diy French Drain Tips French Drain Information Part 3

    When Determining what type of Drain you need for your Drainage System. In our last blog, we talked about Surface Waterand Sub-Surface waterand why you need to understand them before designing your Drainage System. If you need to review, click below. If you have a question or comment please leave it at the bottom of the page. I will respond as quickly as I can.

    Next Blog

    Before we get into Water Movement, we need to discuss Surface Drains.

    Surface Drainscome in many shapes and sizes. The two most common are Basin Drains and Channel Drains.

    Small Surface Drain

    A Basin Drainhas a Square Grate and it sits on top of a catch basin. It will have a single pipe connected to it or it will have a drain pipe running into it and a pipe running out of it. We used this picture in a previous blog, but I want to show it to you again.

    Surface Drain connected to a Transition Pipe

    Below is a Basin before the pipe is connected to both sides. The pipe is cut and connected to one side. Another piece of Drain Pipe is connected to the other side. The Drain pipedoes not run straight through the basin. Water must have a way to enter the Drain Pipe. The Surface Drain in the picture is the most common size used in residential applications. The Drain Pipe connecting to it is 4 inch ADS Solid Drain Pipe.

    For a Surface Drainto work well it must be placed in a low lying area of standing water. It is not intended to intercept moving water or to drain away Sub-Surface water.

    Channel drain in concrete

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    Which Drainage System Is Better

    French drains are the best solution for removing water from over-saturated soil. If you experience any of the following, contact a foundation repair specialist who can install a French drain before the situation damages your foundation:

    • Puddles appear on your lawn every time it rains
    • You have big pools of standing water on the property after a thunderstorm
    • You notice water in your basement after a heavy downpour

    While a French drain can prevent water from accumulating against your foundation wall, they are not as effective for removing high volumes of water in a short amount of time, so they can experience issues in high rainfall or flooding conditions.

    Surface drains remove large amounts of water quickly. If your yard slopes toward your foundation, a surface drainage system can help ensure that water does not collect against the wall and lead to soil movement, moisture ingress, and other complications that can eventually make the home unstable.

    How Trench Drains Operate

    A French Drain Done Right Does Not Need Inlet Drain to Take in Surface Water

    Trench drains are also referred to as channel drains and are classified as an above-ground drainage method even though the actual materials are embedded into the ground. This drainage method involves digging a long, narrow trench and finishing it with a grated covering, giving the impression of a large piece of guttering in the ground.

    Just like a gutter, trench drains redirect water away from areas where it could cause harm by presenting slip/fall dangers, causing surface erosion of the soil, or presenting other dangers. Once dug and laid, the trench drain must be connected to a local storm sewer or environmentally responsible waterway to direct water away from the site without damaging the ecosystem.

    The surface area surrounding the drain must be neat and clear of all obstructions to allow the free flow of water through the grate. Trench drains can be applied at a gentle slope to aid with runoff and sometimes work with a sump pump to drain low-lying areas more effectively.

    This kind of drainage can be installed temporarily or permanently with grate strengths varying in load-bearing capability. This kind of drain is exposed on the surface, so it may have to handle some serious weights. The lightest grating examples Load Class A by ANSI standards handle foot traffic, on up the scale to Extra Heavy Duty and Special Duty strengths Load Classes E and F which can handle passing loads of up to 10,000 pounds.

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    What Is A French Drain

    Not quite as exciting as French fries, French toast or French kisses, the French drain is used to remove groundwater.

    Before you start conjuring up images of the Eiffel Tower, you should know the French drain has nothing to do with France.

    It was invented back in the 1800s by Henry Flagg French, the first president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College , a judge, lawyer and agriculturalist.

    Slot Drain Vs French Drain Vs Trench Drain Vs Swale : A Complete Breakdown Of Landscape Drainage Options

    Landscaping is an art form, and it’s important to maintain your property so that things remain beautiful. Ensuring that the landscape gets sufficient water and that any excess is properly drained is a vitally important consideration. The drainage system you choose will drastically impact how your property handles standing water, runoff, and heavy rains.

    With so many options on the market, how do you know which one is best for your landscaping needs?

    Here’s what you need to know to make a decision.

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    French Drains Vs Surface Drains: Design And Layout

    French drain designs have evolved over the years. Today, they are installed by digging a trench, laying a perforated PVC pipe, placing a permeable wrap around it, and covering it with gravel. They protect your lawn from erosion while flushing away any toxic substances and ensuring that your plants, grass, and soil have access to the moisture needed to stay healthy.

    In comparison, surface drains have a metal grating that is flush with the surface and a flexible PVC pipe. They are easy to install and, being made of metal, they resist breakage and corrosion. Unlike French drains, they can be applied in garages and other concrete areas where water accumulation is a problem.

    How To Keep Rain And Stormwater Away From Critical Infrastructure

    Drainage System Garland

    Our bodies can survive without water for about three days but just one heavy rainfall on our residential or commercial property is enough to cause thousands of dollars of damage to buildings, foundations, and landscaping. Whether you have ground- or surface-level water concerns, youre reading the right article to learn how to fix it!

    Excess water on your property affects both the infrastructure and safety of the property and people who pass through. Too much water can seep into basements, ground-level rooms, and even into the foundation to cause structural damage. When water pools or is not properly drained at surface level it can lead to puddles. Puddles and pooling water become a hazard for pedestrians and residents, not to mention can lead to some uncomfortable wet pant cuffs!

    Today were going to look at two types of hardscaping solutions for excess water on your property. But first, lets go over a bit of terminology so we can speak the same language.

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    What Are The Differences Between A French Drain & A Trench Drain

    Trench drains are surface structures or above-ground drainage systems. They are used to redirect surface water to prevent soil erosion, water damage. However, French drains are underground or sub-surface drainage structures. French drains are used to capture and remove groundwater whereas trench drains are used to remove the surface water.

    What Is A Trench Drain

    While French drains deal with water thats underground, trench drains divert excess water away from the surface.

    Trench drains are usually lined with concrete and sloped appropriately to take advantage of gravity. Steel grates or other filters are used to cover the trench drain to keep it from getting clogged with debris.

    These drains are great for managing excess rainwater and stormwater in concrete areas such as parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways.

    Theyre also popular around pool edges since they capture water that drips off of swimmers and redirects it to the desired location without allowing water to collect where you dont want it.

    Trench drains are great for business property owners because they work well in multi-level parking garages, high traffic walkways, and busy entrances.

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    What Are Trench Drains

    Trench drains, also known as channel drains, are surface system drains. They are designed to intercept runoff surface water as it flows throughout the property.

    Trench drains assist in keeping the surrounding pavement and surface vegetation dry, making them reliable solutions for avoiding slips and falls.

    Trench drains are usually made of a drainage box located underneath the drain grate that installed on top of the box.

    This box serves as a transport system for runoff water, effectively dispersing it away from the property and to an appropriate outlet.

    French Drain Vs Trench Drain: Comparison Of Types And Variations

    How to install a French drain with surface water


    When it comes to drainage systems for your property, you may have heard of both French Drains and Trench Drains. But what are they exactly? And which one is right for you?

    In this article, we will compare the French Drain Vs. Trench Drain, including types and variations. Well also discuss the pros and cons of each type so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your needs.

    Our company Pipe Xpress and its owner Sean Redfern has 33+ years of experience servicing the plastic pipe, fitting, and valve needs of businesses in the Philadelphia and tri-state area.

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    Is A French Drain Useful For Preventing Flooding

    French drains are commonly used around the exterior of buildings to prevent water from seeping in and causing flooding in basement floor. They are also often used in basements and crawlspaces to keep these areas dry. French drains can be installed by digging a trench around the perimeter of the area to be protected, then lining the trench with a perforated pipe and filling it with gravel.

    • Prevent Flooding even with Heavy rainfall

    • When water reaches the foundation wall, it will leak through any crack in the mortar.

    French Drain Vs Trench Drain Vs Swale

    Water is essential to life, and vital to the progress of civilizations. It is delightful to sip on a hot summer day or to watch falling gracefully into a fountain basin. However, water becomes an insidious foe when it decides to start pouring into your basement or collecting in sodden pools on your lawn.

    Drainage, therefore, is a constant concern in the landscape. There are various devices designed to direct water over and through the landscape. Sometimes the terms can get confusing, so today Id like to clarify the difference between three of the most common water diversion mechanisms: trench drains vs. French drains vs. swales.

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    How Pipeless French Drains Work

    French drains are trenches covered with gravel or rock. They contain a perforated pipe that redirects surface water away from a specific area to a septic tank or drain field.

    Most homes will have French drains built around the external sides of the foundation, or have them installed underneath the basement floor on the inside perimeter of the basement.

    Then, when heavy rainfall hits, your home is protected from sub-surface water collection, and water is directed away from any area of your property thats underground.

    Because French drains are buried underneath earth or rocks, theyre out of view.

    French drain systems can typically operate untouched for up to 10 years, but they require regular inspection. A clogged French drain pipe can lead to flooded basements and other problems.

    Where To End A French Drain

    Education Station

    After you have planned out your French drain installation, the next problem you may face is knowing where to end the drain, and where the water can go. The drain must end at the lowest point for the water to be able to flow at a downwards slope and work efficiently. The slope needs to be no less than 1% gradient.

    Ideally if installing in your home or garden you want the end of the drain to be relatively close to the start to save costs, but long enough to actively remove the water to a drier area away from the problem area.

    There are a number of suitable end points for your French drain system:

    • The water can be directed into an existing rain gutter.
    • Into a gravel pit or dry well filled with small gravel stones.
    • You can install a soakaway system such as a RAINBOX® crate which will hold the water and then slowly release back into the soil avoiding flooding.

    Before discharging from a French Drain system, get approval from your local planning authority.

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