A French drain is a small trench, on a gradient that’s filled with aggregate. It allows surface water to drain away from your property and helps you avoid flooding, sitting water and damp. It’s become a popular way to keep your basement dry and free of water but it’s important to keep it clean and clear of debris. Here’s our guide on how to keep your drain working its best and how to spot problems.
1: Check the Inflow and surrounding area.
If water is flowing into the drain, it is likely working properly. However, if you see water pooled around the drain or notice that the water is not draining properly, it is time to call a professional to check about how to clean out a french drain. It’s worth keeping an eye on how water is flowing throughout the year before they become bigger issues. The area around the French drain should be dry. If it’s not, the French drain is not working properly. Better call a drain cleaning professional and ask him how to clear a french drain.
2: Check the Outflow
The French drain should have a pipe leading away from it that carries the water away. You want to make sure there is no water coming out of the pipe, especially at joints or seams. If there is, the French drain is not working properly and needs maintenance.
3: Add some colouring to the water
One way to test your system is to use a dye. Simply add a few drops of food coloring or another type of dye to the water that’s flowing into the French drain. If the water that comes out of the drain is tinted, then you know the drain is working as it should. If you don’t see any color in the water, that could mean that the drain isn’t functioning properly. In that case, you’ll need to call a professional to take a look and make sure everything is in working order. Food colouring is safe to use, won’t harm the pipes and obviously isn’t toxic.
4: Testing with a Camera
If you have a French drain, it is important to know if it is working properly. Unfortunately, you can’t just open up the drain to take a look. The best way to tell if your French drain is working is to use a camera. A camera will allow you to see inside the drain without having to open it up.
This is the best way to tell if there is any clogging or blockages in the drain. It is also a good way to check for any leaks. If you have a snaking camera that’s perfect and ost plumbers and drain cleaning specialists can do this for you as part of a yearly service.
What to do if you spot a problem
French drains, especially those outdoors or in high-use areas, can easily become blocked. If the worst happens and one of the above tests suggests there’s a problem it’s time to get a plumber in. While it may be possible to fix small problems on simple french drains yourself it’s often cheaper and easier to get a trained professional to do it for you. We can put you in touch with trusted drain specialists 24/7 Get in touch today to find out how we can help.