What's the easiest way to build a french drain?


I have a pipe that my air condition condensation drips out of. It is causing a mud puddle in my yard which apparently has dog magnets in it. I have a huge back yard but my dogs always run right through the mud puddle. I thought a small french drain would solve the problem and need the easiest way to make a small one. Thanks everyone!

  4 answers
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Jul 03, 2018
    Rather than a French Drain, how about putting a child's plastic swimming pool there with the overflow drain going into the pool? The dogs would love it and the mud would be gone.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Jul 03, 2018
    BTW: I have my overflow drain going into a catchment drum and I use that water for watering my plants.

  • Pmr33619375 Pmr33619375 on Jul 03, 2018
    First you need to understand what a french drain is. It is nothing more than a gravel drain/pit that directs water away from the house. Its effectiveness depends on several factors -- thickness of the gravel bed, type of soil, weather conditions, amount of water that needs to be dealt with, slope of the land.

    Once you have determined the above, you now have to dig out the drain area. In your case, put a bucket out and determine how much water you are dealing with. If the area is not "too muddy" you may only need a shallow drain, but if it is really muddy, you will need a deeper drain and probably a means of draining the water away from the house.

    If there is not a lot of mud, you might try putting down a 2" layer of mulch. If that doesn't work, dig a hole about a foot deep and pour in a bag of gravel that you can get at ta "big box store." Cover with mulch to make it pretty.

    If you still have problems, dig a 1.5 to 2' deep hold and a drain line area away from the house. Fill the hole with gravel and put a 2-3" layer of gravel on the bottom of the drain line. Then lay a perforated PVC drain pipe (10') with one end centered in the hole and the rest on top of the gravel in the drain line. Fill the drain line with more gravel until it is 2/3 full. next lay a quality weed-block material (garden centers) on top of the gravel and finish filling the drain line with dirt. Spread some grass seed and you are finished with the french drain (but you need to make sure the seed grows).

    Phil Rasmussen, US Army-retired
    The Mountain Woodworker
    Hendersonville, NC

  • Rhonda S Rhonda S on Jul 03, 2018
    excellent answer. We have fine sandy soil...almost dust with specks in it. It turns to jelly and washes badly if there is much slope at all. I put fabric all the way around the plastic pipe to keep the dirt from packing in between the gravel and eventually filling the pipe. One would think the sandy soil would be porous enough to allow water to drain, but we get our rain a couple of times a year in downpours of 2 inches over four hours, so the drain in front of the retaining wall helps make sure the wall doesn't get pushed out when the soil is saturated.