French Drains

I am thinking of installing some around my house. I have a crawl space and for the most part it stays dry other than after a torrential rain, then one side of it get water in it.
I have read conflicting things on where exactly they should be placed. Seve ral say right up against the foundation. I read in one place however that t he drain should be 4-6 feet away from the foundation and that you are actua lly inviting more water by placing it against the foundation due to the hyd rostatic action of the soil.
Was wonder which was right and will it make a big difference?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

it depends a great deal upon the soils around your foundation as to what will work and what is a waste of time, effort and money.
where does the potential drain go? do you have a sump pump in the crawl space or a natural slope away from the house you can use?
dig outside the wall that has the water and put the drain slightly below the level of the footing and run the drain pipe to your sump pump. do the french drain along the wall properly (slope it enough, fabric around the pipe, pea gravel then sharp sand). the wall itself could be cleaned and sealed (tar it and then stick a thick mil plastic on it) while you've got it dug out.
leave an access to the drain so you can check it for critters if there are further problems.
songbird
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wrote:

through the foundation in the first place. Unless the water is definitely coming up from below the basement floor, and not from outside the perimeter, an internal french drain is total stupidity in mnost cases.. Keep the water away from the foundation (proper grading and gutters), then remove any water that does get to the foundation level with an external drain, and waterproof the OUTSIDE of the foundation with a drainage membrane - and you won't ever have water trouble in the basement.
Ignore the rest and install an internal french drain, and water coming through the foundation will progressively damage the foundation./footing. (there's a reason it's called a "french" drain)
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