Question about Fench Drains

Our downspout spills out onto our patio, and the water would then make its way out into the yard.
We recently had some new landscaping installed, and the landscaper built a berm along the patio. He didn't give any consideration to drainage.
We had a heavy rain yesterday, and the berm prevented water from escaping, and the patio was flooded.
My father-in-law is a builder, and he told me to install French drains. He told me that when I go to the home store, ask for French drains. But after Googling and reading about these, it seems to me a French drain is an idea, not a specific product. Am I wrong about that?
Is there actually a "French drain" product? What would it be? PVC pipe that's perferated only on one side?
And is it mandatory that I use gravel? Can I just bury a drain pipe under the berm to direct the water out into the low part of the yard?
I'd ask my father-in-law, but I don't want him to think I'm any more stupid then he already does.
Hope someone can help set me straight without meanness and sarcasm. :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Okay, dumbass, let me explain this one more time: You need to dig a damn hole, you know how to dig a hole, don't you?, fill it with gravel, trench (that means a long, skinny hole) away from the hole you dug that slopes downward toward the direction you want the water to go: partiallly fill the trench with gravel and perf. pipe and put a drain cover over the hole you dug. Understand, dumbass? Or should I ask my daughter to do it?
(sorry, bud - couldn't resist ) :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

LOL!
If she wasn't 9 months pregnant, she'd be out there with a shovel! :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
your father-in-law wrote:

That's actually pretty funny. And he's right: a French drain is a hole in the ground that's filled with aggregate, into which you send unwanted water. You hope the hole is big enough that it will temporarily hold the water, and then when it stops raining it will seep into the ground and go away, before it rains again. You use them when there is no way (legally, economically) to conduct the water to a real drain (the sewer, a stream, whatever). Many localities don't want groundwater, rainspouts or basement sumps connected to their sewer systems, so a French drain may be the best hope.
I have never seen a French drain product. I suppose someone could sell you a do-it-yourself kit consisting of a shovel, a bag of gravel and some screening. The screening goes over the aggregate so that topsoil doesn't clog it.
A related thing is the buried perforated pipe which is used to collect ground water. This is sometimes called a French drain but I believe the proper name is "weeping tile". But in your case it sounds like you want a drain hole at the lowest point of your patio leading to a French drain. Actually the downspout should be connected directly to the French drain too.
If your basement isn't well waterproofed and you get heavy rains, you may find that the French drain just puts enough water into the ground that it starts coming through your basement walls. The further away from the house, the better.
Chip C
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's a "dry well", not a "french drain".
"French drain" is a _trench_ filled with gravel that's used to route water somewhere else.
A drywell is essentially a gravel-filled pit you pour water into, letting it seep into the ground over time.
A french drain may lead to a drywell, but it isn't the drywell itself.
French drains are often seen just inside the perimeter footings in your basement (covered with concrete), because they do such an excellent job of draining water from the footings.
http://grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_install_french_drain /
These days, french drains usually use perforated pipe inside the gravel to avoid plugging up with silt.
"Drainage tile" is used to refer to whatever "pipe" you use in your french drain.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mitch@this_is_not_a_real_address.com wrote:

Maybe he meant to tell them that you want to put in a French drain?

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Problem is, the only place we have around here is Menard's, and they don't even know what a masonry bit is. Seriously, they only have 16-year-olds working there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 14:53:30 GMT, "Mitch@this_is_not_a_real_address.com" <> wrote:

The operative part of the phrase is "drain". The "French" part means nothing. Or, more accurately, it's meaning changes from place to place, and person to person.
Figure out where you want the water to go, and decide how to help it get there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You dumb shit. The French Drains are right there in the same aisle as the skyhooks and pipe stretchers! Tell FIL they had a sale on them.
Sheesh!
Steve ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
OK - read this http://www.askthebuilder.com/175_Drying_Soggy_Soil_-_A_Simple_Trench_Drain.shtml
'It was the first hit on the following google search http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q ylight+french+drain&spell=1
The reason the word daylight is on the search is because you used a key phrase "the low part of my yard" You do as the article suggests but have the end of the pipe exposed at the low end of your yard where the water can flow away naturally, by gravity. You do not want anything that would require a pump.
For your daylight end you could get fancy and put in something like this... http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId%652-676-422G&lpage=none
Also, on your patio you could put a grate of some type. See here for ideas http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&catalogId=SPEC_DRAIN
And for the other pieces http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&catalogId=CORRUGATED_PIPE
The orange store sells this stuff too as do many hardware stores and of course plumbing supplies and landscape supply houses.
Its an easy project. Have fun and let us know what you end up doing.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks for the links. I picked up the pipe and some 3" grates, hoping they'll be big enough.
My FIL swung by and said not to do an actual French drain, with gravel, etc.
I'm going to bury the solid pipe under the landscaping, and put a grate at the high end. Then I'm going to run the pipe from the downspout so that it spits the water near the grate.
Looking forward to digging up my brand new landscaping and mulch. :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
And just noticed the typo "Fench" in the subject. Hate when that happens.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Gravel keeps the dirt from clogging the pipe over time, but is not mandatory. I wouldn't do one without gravel.
--

PP
--------------------------------------
Deactivate the DYNOMITE to reply.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've not seen anyone recommend what I feel is the simplest, fastest, best answer. Why not change the landscaping to allow the water to go where it needs to go?
A simple surface drainage swale should be able to move the water, it will need attention through the years as these tend to silt in, but I think you will have more problems with an undersized drainage system that will be virtually impossible to daylight.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.