french drain

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    • #278624
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      i am wanting to build a french drain for my ice maker. it drains constantly thru a pipe to the outside, but i would like to build a deck where it drains. could you please tell my what the proper construction of a french drain is. any help will be greatly appreciated

    • #298901
      CallMeChaz

      Bob,

      I’m not sure you want a french drain or a sump. Where I live, a french drain is usually used to gather water that originates underground and move it, underground, away from the point of origination. It is constructed as follows: 1) Dig a trench to the depth you want to drain, sloping the bottom in the direction you want to send the water. It must terminate in open air. 2) Fill it partially with coarse stone that has lots of air space 3) Cover it with roofing felt to keep dirt out 4) Finish filling it with 6 or more inches of soil. Optionally, in step two, you can line the bottom with two inches of #2 stone, install a perforated pipe on it and cover that with more stone. This will drain more water, and will not clog up as quickly.

      Unless you are moving a lot of water, however, you may be talking about a sump. Unless you have a hell of an icemaker, just drain it into a rockfilled hole. You size the hole depending on the volume of water, and the rate your soil will drain. Let’s say you dig a hole 3x3x3 feet. Fill it 2′ with coarse rock or washed, gravel. stick your drain pipe on the top of the gravel bed. Cover bed with roofing felt or something that will not rot. Put a foot of soil back over it. Always put enough soil over it to hold enough natural moisture to support grass growth, or it will dry out and nothing will grow there. Sufficient soil will also ensure that surface water won’t seep into the hole too easily, creating a swamp. If you want to get fancy, drill lots and lots of 1-2 inch holes in a plastic garbage can (bottom and sides). Bury it. Fill it with rocks. Drain the water in there, slap the lid on, and cover as described above.

      Be forwarned, if you have heavy clay soil, and a lot of water, you may have a soggy mess. But an icemaker?? Why don’t you just drain it on top of the ground. How much water can it produce?

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