06:04PM | 03/27/07
Member Since: 03/26/07
3 lifetime posts
Long story short... I had a new french drain put in 2 years ago, interior perimeter plus crossed through the middle in both directions. Drains into 2 sumps, each with a 1/2 HP Zoeller M267 pump to 1 1/2 pipe; each pump runs nearly constantly (128 GPM).

Problem is... water is still pushing up through microscopic cracks + through the joints made during the trench digging for this new french drain; enough to make small puddles 3 or 4 days after each heavy rain.

Contractor used the 4" black corrugated pipe - I think it is clogged; water pours into each sump from around each pipe - not through it.

What to do now? I can call them back here (warranted for 10 yrs.), but I think using slotted PVC pipe would work better than the black corrugated.

We have high iron + silt content in the groundwater here. I heard somewhere that iron eating bacteria can be to blame for clogging french drains.

Anyone? Any help is appreciated!

p.s. if our electricity goes out, I get about 18" of standing water in the room! How come this water wasn't present during original construction just 5 years ago?

p.p.s. my house was built on an old stream bed (since re-routed decades ago).

[photo shows about 6" of water and UGL Drylok covering the trench for the french drain]
4057 interior french drai


07:53PM | 04/10/07
Member Since: 04/09/07
5 lifetime posts
Whoever did that work for you should have a gaurantee that it won't leak in at least the areas they serviced. Could have been installed incorrectly or the wrong way. Contractor should come back and make sure everything is right even if it means opening floor again. Also sounds like contractor should have questioned you about power outages and recommended battery backup sump pumps. Not to fault you sir b/c you did do something to fix your problem, but it sounds like maybe this was a job done at a lesser price than some other companies would have done it for. Sometimes when you shop price you end up paying twice. If you get no satisfaction or contractor won't/can't fix your problem and you would like it fixed right and live in mid-atlantic region call mid-atlantic waterproofing and they can fix your problem and gaurantee no water not just in area of service but 100% of the foundation, double lifetime. A good portion of their work is replacing other companies/contractors failed systems with mid-atlantic's patented and time tested system. If you have any other questions for me I would be glad to answer them as I do have a background and extensive knowledge in this field. [email protected]


04:35AM | 04/11/07
Member Since: 03/26/07
3 lifetime posts
Thanks for the reply, I do have a 10 yr. guarantee on the work - the contractor is very responsive and is coming back this Sat. to take whatever actions are necessary.

I've discussed it with him, and based on evidence/ advice I've gotten from people in the same situation, sounds like I do have a silt/ iron ochre issue, so we're going to install cleanout access ports and pressure wash the inside of the french drain out to get rid of the buildup/ clog. I know I'll need to do this going forward at least once a year.

If the water flows from the french drain, I have no issues --- aside from needing a battery backup pump system which I am in the process of spec'ing out and building.

In hind-sight knowing of my silt/ iron ochre issue; if I had to do this again, I would have laid down 4" PVC with perpendicular slots cut in the bottom every few inches, partially transecting the pipe. I hear that method can work better than the 4" black corrugated pipe in situations which are prone to silt clogging.

Oh well, I'll hope for the best, I'll know more after this weekend I guess.


05:26PM | 04/11/07
Member Since: 04/09/07
5 lifetime posts
Very glad to hear that you're getting problem fixed for no additional costs. That black pipe you're refering to is also called ADS pipe (Advanced Drainage Systems - patented) and almost always is the better pipe to use in the system. However I guarantee if there is not proper pitch (AT LEAST one inch for every 10 feet) it will clog. It is designed to be a self cleaning pipe but I would imagine with a high amount of silt anything might clog? One thing to help no matter what pipe you use is the type and amount of gravel used in the trench. Gravel works as a great filter and the more that can be used the better. Sounds like you'll be in great shape here soon.


05:18PM | 04/14/07
Member Since: 03/26/07
3 lifetime posts
Quick update; I wrote to my local government, they wrote back... they have opened a case and referred my issue to the highway dept.; I made a request for them to convert the two catch basins outside my house (which just sit full of water) and connect the drains to the public storm drain (which flows to the bay).

Also, my waterproofing contractor came by today, his crew dug up spots in the slab to inspect the french drain - turns out they cleared some clogs, water started flowing real well (gushing) from the cleared drains and he said that he wants to dig everything up again and start fresh with a better french drain installation.

I'm happy for now, in case anyone cares I'll update again once he comes back and does the complete re-install of the french drain.
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