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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    French Drain Materials

    Every time it rains, our back yard turns into a river. We end up getting moisture in our crawl space and I'm thinking of renting a trencher and installing a french drain myself. I visited Lowes and Home Depot to get an idea of costs of materials, and found two different kinds of pipe. They have the black, corrugated piping that has holes in it, which seems to be lacking in strength, but they also have white PVC piping with pre-drilled holes on the bottom side of the pipe. Doing research online, I typically see more of the black corrugated pipe being used. Is there a reason for this? Is one actually better than the other? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    chicopee, Massachusetts
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    I would not suggest that you use either of those pipes.

    The problem with the pipe with holes is that any rock up to diameter can get into your pipe and over time those pipes usually get backed up with sand and gravel.

    In addition to solid pipe and pipe with holes the corrugated Polyethylene is also made as a slotted pipe. The slotted pipe has small slots about 1/16 wide and long continuously along the wall of the corrugation. This type of pipe actually has more open cross sectional area to allow water to enter than what the type with holes does, but because the slots are only 1/16 wide it will not permit pebbles to get into your pipe so there is far less risk of the pipe being blocked up by silt, sand, pebbles or other debris.

    Your local home supply store may or may not have the slotted pipe. Personally I would suggest you check out a local agricultural supply center such as TSC (Tractor Supply Company), Agway, or Farm Bureau Store first because the slotted pipe is commonly used as drainage tile in large agricultural fields and generally they have a much cheaper price on the pipe.

    At the farm supply you will commonly find the pipe in 35, 50, 100, 250 and by special order sometimes they have 500 rolls.

    The corrugated pipe is much easier to lay than PVC because being flexible it will tolerate a trench that may not be exactly straight.

    In regards to strength, with as little as a 24 burial the corrugated pipe will routinely tolerate operating heavy farm equipment that weighs in excess of 10 tons over it so I doubt that you would have any need to worry about the pipe collapsing under home use.

    I am attaching a link to TSC (Tractor Supply Company)
    They have a store locator on their home page and you can browse there catalog to see their pricing.

    Tractor Supply Company - Home

  3. #3
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    Fantastic! Thanks for the awesome suggestions. We have a Tractor Supply Co. a few miles from the house. I will definitely check that out. I'm glad to know that there is pipe with slits VS. holes because that was going to be my next question when applying rock.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Any pipe you use can be convered with a mesh "sock" to prevent soil intrusion. Added cost but, it works.

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