How to install draintile?

There are different ways to drain water. I used to use the black perforated draintile. This stuff usually comes in a roll of 250 ft and is 4” in diameter. You can buy any kind of fitting you need for this kind of pipe. If I need a coupler I cut 1 foot off the roll of tile and split it with a sharp knife.(Don’t cut yourself) Spread the cut pipe and slide it over the ends of the drain-tile. I think this method works better than the couplers you can buy and they are free. One roll of black draintile will cost you about 100 dollars.

When you are ready to lay the drain-tile, find yourself a 2X4 that is 6 feet long. Do not cut the string around the tile until you put the 2X4 through the center. You need a helper to hold one end of the 2X4. When you are ready, cut the string and start rolling the roll. Use your hand to keep the role going, it will tighten up if you don’t.

Roll the tile out as far as you need to. Keep it back from the trench so it doesn’t get hit with anything. I quite often use a shovel if I don’t have a 2X4. Anything that will fit in your hand and stand the weight of the draintile will work. If you cut the string and try to roll it out by itself you will create a mess of work for yourself. It will get all tangled up and will take you an hour to straighten it out.

The one problem I have had with this stuff is that mud plugs it up easily. It works great if you are digging in gravelly or sandy soil. I have seen it plug up when placed in clay material. The draintile has little tiny slots in it to let the water through. The mud pressing against the tile slows down the drainage. And quite often mud will shut off the drainage completely.

Another problem I have with draintile is that it collapses easily. Drop a big rock on it and it’s crushed. If you are draining a long stretch of ground it will be better to use draintile because PVC pipe is far more expensive. If you are not worried about the cost then go with the Pvc pipe. Pvc pipe is used more for septic systems and draining water away from the basement.

To lay draintile properly this is what you do! Always dig the trench so that it has a smooth bottom. After you get the trench down to grade, use the bottom of the bucket to smooth the trench. A smooth trench is easier to keep a steady grade going and the bucket will drive down any sharp rocks. Suppose there was a low spot in the trench. This would make a place for sediment to lie and gradually the pipe would plug up.

When you have 20 feet of trench dug, start laying the draintile. This job requires two, maybe three people. Always keep the drain tile to the lower side of the trench. There is far less pressure at the side of the trench than there is in the middle of the trench. Use a round pointed shovel to go along and clean a spot for the pipe to lie on.

When I have the pipe lying tight against the bank I shovel fine material or sod over the pipe to protect it from sharp rocks. Keep your foot on the pipe as you walk along making sure it stays down. Watch out for sharp rocks that might fall on top of the pipe or get under the pipe. Most operators will pile their earth to one side of the trench when they dig. What I do is I remove the sod and fine dirt and place it on the opposite side for later.

Put a good 12 inches of dirt over the pipe to protect it from big rocks. Because the pipe is against the bank it doesn’t require a lot of dirt.I use my shovel to cut the side of the trench to get material for the top of the pipe. Run the draintile out into a ditch and leave it sticking out of the bank 12” or more so the water flow doesn’t get cut off.

Watch for big rocks when you are back filling the rest of the trench. The pipe is covered up but you still need to be careful.

One very important thing to remember! Do not dig the trench for the draintile too close to your septic system. The fluids from the septic system could leach into the drain tile and drain to a ditch. Dig at least 20 feet away from the closest septic pipe.

You can use this pipe around your new home,to drain water away from flower beds.. Water will build up around the house in some places and can’t get away. I use it behind retaining walls. Retaining walls are always backfilled with good drainage gravel that will allow the water to seep into the draintile freely. I use it for running wire or a water line through. The pipe protects the water line and wires from being damaged. You can also pull wires through the pipe later on if you need to. Draintile is very common and used often in a French drain.

How to install draintile?

Very Important! Never get in a trench that is more than 4 feet deep. Soft ground is terrible for caving in. If the trench was over your head and you bent over you would be burried if the trench caved in. It then is extremely hard for one person to dig you out.

When I dig a trench and it is over 4 feet deep I dig both sides of the trench down about half way. This takes the pressure off and you are safe to work in the trench. This certainly takes longer and more work to clean up but a persons life is worth a lot more. It is good to work with more than one person in situations like this. I am a believer of hiring professional operators. There are many contractors but only a few good operators.

When hiring a contractor make sure he is familiar with this type of work. The work needs to be done properly or you will waste your time and money.