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Can I Connect a Downspout to a French Drain? (The 4-Step Process)

Can I Connect a Downspout to a French Drain? (The 4-Step Process)

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If you’re experiencing drainage issues with water run-off at your home, you’re probably wondering: can I connect a downspout to a French drain?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Read on to find out more about how you can do that.

Why You Should Connect Your Downspout to a French Drain

You definitely can connect your home’s downspout to a French drain. In fact, doing so will go a long way in preserving the structural integrity of your home.

Having your downspout deposit its contents directly onto the surface of your backyard is never a good idea. That’s because it’s not conducive to efficient drainage.

The water tends to pile up at certain spots, causing root damage in your yard’s greenery.

However, this isn’t the biggest concern. The biggest risk of having your downspout not connected to a drainage system revolves around your home’s foundation.

It can be damaged by the excess water it’s being exposed to.

This is where the role of a French drain becomes highly important. This is a drainage system consisting of a network of pipes that are strategically installed in underground trenches.

By connecting your downspout to a French drain, you’ll allow the water that accumulates in it to flow along the correct path. This limits the exposure of your grass and the foundation of your house to it.

How to Connect Your Downspout to a French Drain

If we said that connecting your downspout to a French drain is a simple task, that would be fairly misleading. This is a job that involves a lot of steps and you’re definitely better off hiring a professional to do it.

However, for all you DIY buffs out there, here are the steps you’ll need if you’re in a self-sufficient mood:

1 – Dig Up Trenches For the French Drain

The first step is to set up the underground alley through which the pipes of your French drain will flow.

Before you start digging, you should contact the relevant local authorities.

The purpose of this call will be to schedule a representative to come over and ensure that you won’t be digging in a position that’ll interfere with the infrastructure of utilities, such as electricity and sewage.

Once all of that is sorted out, grab your shovel and start digging. You’ll want to dig a trench with a large enough diameter.

Another thing you should keep in mind is the angle you dig the trench at. For your French drain to function, the trench should slope one inch downwards every ten feet.

2 – Setup the Catch Basin

After your trench is ready to go, the next step is to put together the catch basin and lay it down in the hole you’ve dug up.

Assembling the catch basin is a relatively complicated task. You’re going to need some silicone to stick all the pieces together.

Once you’re done putting it together, place the catch basin on top of the gravel inside your trench.

3 – Install the Drainage Pipe and Pop-Up Emitter

Now that the catch basin is correctly installed, it’s now time to lay down the pipes. Digging up the trench correctly in the first place will make your life a whole lot easier when you reach this step.

It allows you to install the pipes at the correct angle in no time.

Next, you’ll need to connect the pipe to the catch basin using silicone.

You’ll also want to attach the pop-up emitter to your pipe. This component deposits the water run-off at a location that’s at a safe distance from your home’s foundation.

4 – Bury the Downspout With the French Drain

The final step in the process is to bury the downspout with the French drain.

Simply use the dirt you dug up when creating the trench to fill it back up again until the ground is level.

Make sure to cover the pop-up emitter and catch basin so that the dirt doesn’t damage them.

Final Thoughts

Have you ever asked yourself, can I connect a downspout to a French drain?

The answer is you definitely can. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a job that you can do at home as a challenging DIY project.

Just follow the steps outlined in this guide and you’ll be good to go!


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