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Why Not to Use a Trencher for Your French Drain

Why dig a large trench instead of using a trencher that will open a six-inch slot to put a tube of four inches and some stone? With more stone, you will move more water and the longer that your system will last.

When using a trencher, you end up with a channel that is only 6 inches wide. The pipe alone is four inches. The channel you’re looking at here is 16 inches wide and 18 inches deep, it’s going to move a lot of water. This is going to be a system that will last.

This homeowner paid someone to install a french drain less than two years ago. That system didn’t work too well. The contractor used a trencher to dig a channel that was 6 inches wide, threw in some pea stone and put the dirt back on top. It worked at first, however it continued to work less and less until it just stopped.

We are taking out about 40 yards of dirt for this project. We are lining the trench with a filter fabric so the stone and the dirt don’t migrate into each other and clog the system. This system is going to move a lot of water, the pipe can move 240 gallons per minute. You can expect the same performance from the stone, this system is going to move.

Water isn’t going to saturate the subsoil with this system. The best part is that this system isn’t going to fail in two years. It will stand the test of time and work for decades to come.