How to Build a Rubble Drain | Follow These 10 Hacks


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The rubble drain is a great way to divert water away from areas of your property prone to flooding or pooling. A rubble drain can help protect your property from the damage that can occur from water pooling in areas around your home or business. Constructing a rubble drain is relatively easy and requires few materials and tools. However, let’s learn how to build a rubble drain. It would be best if you did this:

  • Dig the Trench
  • Lay the Drain Pipe
  • Place the Rubble
  • Place the Rocks
  • Install the Filter Fabric
  • Cover the Filter Fabric
  • Finish the Trench
  • Fill the Trench
  • Compact the Soil
  • Seed and Water the Drain

With a few hours of labor, you can be on your way to creating a practical solution for your water drainage needs. 

In this Home Affluence post, we will discuss the steps necessary to build a rubble drain and provide some helpful tips to make the installation process as smooth as possible. By following these steps, you can have your rubble drain up and running in no time.

How to Build a Rubble Drain

Dig the Trench

Once the area does clear, dig the trench. Start by marking out the place where you’ll be searching.

Dig the Trench

Ensure the trench width is wide enough to contain the rubble layer, plus a few extra inches on either side. 

Use a shovel and pickaxe to deeply dig the trench containing the rubble layer, plus a few extra inches. 

Take care not to damage any existing pipes or cables in the vicinity. Move the soil and debris away from the trench as you dig.

Lay the Drain Pipe

After you have dug the trench for your rubble drain, it is time to lay the drain pipe. Start by connecting the two ends of the line and then place it into the trench. 

Ensure that the pipe securely fits in the trench and has a downward slope from one end to the other. 

The pipe should be secured with sand or gravel and covered with soil, ensuring it is level. 

Lay the Drain Pipe

Depending on the size of the pipe, you may need to use a few rocks to hold it in place and to provide extra support. Once the line is in place, you can move on to the next stage of your project.

Place the Rubble

The final step in constructing a rubble drain is to place the rubble, which is the foundation of the gutter. 

Rubble is composed of easily portable stone materials such as gravel, pebbles, and rocks.

These materials should include layers, with larger, heavier stones at the bottom and lighter, smaller ones at the top. 

Place the Rubble

Any voids between stones should fill with smaller rocks and other materials such as sand. 

The final layer of rubble should level off, and any irregularities should fill with a mixture of sand and gravel. Be sure to compact the wreckage to ensure its stability.

Place the Rocks

Once you have dug out the trench, it’s time to fill it with rocks. Place the stones carefully in the track so that they are firmly in the ground and slightly angled to provide a path for water to flow. 

Place the Rocks

When placing the rocks, use giant rocks at the bottom of the trench and gradually decrease the size as you build up. 

It does help to create a sturdy base for the rubble drain. Additionally, spread the rocks out evenly across the bottom of the trench to ensure that the rubble drain is even and balanced.

Install the Filter Fabric

After digging the trench for your rubble drain:

Install the Filter Fabric
  • Lay out the filter fabric in the canal and ensure it fits properly.
  • Overlap any seams by at least 6 inches.
  • Secure the filter fabric to the ground with stakes or pins, paying careful attention to corners and curves.
  • Cut away the excess fabric, ensuring that the edge of the filter fabric is even with the ground. It does prevent dirt and debris from entering the system.
  • Check the material for any rips or tears and patch them as necessary.

Cover the Filter Fabric

The next step is to cover the filter fabric. 

This fabric should be laid over the base material of the rubble drain, extending a minimum of six inches up the sides of the trench.

Cover the Filter Fabric

Ensure the fabric is adequately secured so it will remain in place, and ensure that there are no gaps that will allow the soil to clog the filter. 

Once the filter fabric is in place, the rubble can be added on top, ensuring that the rocks are spread evenly over the material and that the top is still exposed.

Finish the Trench

The last step in building a rubble drain trench is to finish the track. 

It does typically do by pouring a mixture of cement and sand into the trench and smoothing it out. 

Finish the Trench

Once the mixture does pour, it should level off with a trowel. Once the mixture has hardened, it’s vital to cover the trench with soil to protect it from the elements. 

It does also help keep the surface of the trench from eroding over time.

Finally, ensure to properly dispose of any excess rubble left from digging the trench.

Fill the Trench

Once the trench does excavate, it’s time to fill it with the rubble that will form the drain.

It is vital to use appropriate materials for the rubble drain—gravel, small stones, and sand can all do use.

Fill the Trench

The layer of rubble should be at least a foot deep and firmly packed.

Make sure to tamp the rubble down after each layer does add to ensure the drain won’t easily dislodge. 

Add a bit of cement to help bind the rubble together. Once the wreckage is in place, the trench can backfill with soil, and the surrounding area can restore.

Compact the Soil

Building a rubble drain is an essential task for many construction projects.

Compacting the soil before installing the rubble drain pipe is essential to ensure that water can flow freely through the drain.

Compact the Soil

It does a long, narrow trench that does dig in the grain. The track should be deep enough to ensure that the height of the water will not exceed two inches. 

This type of drain typically has a slope or grade from one side to another, creating an area for water to move through and a separator channel for sediment, stones, and other materials to flow out.

A rubble drain can use in areas where there isn’t enough room for a standard stack pipe, such as on sloping land, rocky soils, or uneven ground.

Seed and Water the Drain

The process involves two key steps – seeding and watering the drain. 

Seeding the drain helps to ensure it is stable while watering helps to keep it free of debris. And plant growth and encourages good drainage in the area.

Seed and Water the Drain

Choose a location that is out of direct sunlight but not in full shade. Make sure you do not plant near any tree roots, as it may cause a blockage.

Seeds can place directly into the drain or into a pot, which should then place over the drain. 

Fill the pot with soil just below the rim of the drain, then pour in water until it covers all parts of the earth with one inch (2.5 cm) above (or more).

The top of the seeds should now lie entirely underwater during the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make rubble Soakaway?

A soakaway is an endpoint of a French drain. Soakaway is a part of a garden where the ground soaks water. It means the floor has this ability to absorb moisture.

  • Its exact position is the lowest point through which water makes a proper path to flow.
  • To make a soakaway, dig a large hole in the ground with a good quality fabric landscape to prevent it from water clogging.
  • The next step is to dig the trench, now connect the tracks to follow into the hole.
  • Remove loose soil.
  • Fill with rubble or 20mm gravel.
  • Wrap the fabric over the top.
  • Now all procedure is done. Leave it for 2-3 weeks to settle the soil down.

How do you build a gravel pit for drainage?

A drainage pit is built where water flow is not proper. This pit is usually

3 feet long3 feet wide3-4 feet deep
  • 1st of all, dig a big hole in the ground outside the poorly drained area of your land. If you have a low-lying area in your backyard, place the pit outside this area’s perimeter.
  • In the 2nd step, execute the trench along the center of the poorly drained area and into the pit.
  • 3rd step is to fill the drain with gravel.
  • 4th cover the perforated pipe.

Does a French drain need an exit?

To end your French drain, ensure water goes through the lowest point. This is to ensure that it follows away from the wet area.

  • You must ensure water goes into the dry area or water-absorbing points.
  • Some areas where you can end your French drain are an existing gutter, dry well, gravel pit, and soakaway system.

Does the drain tile need to be sloped?

The drain tiles don’t need to be slopped, but a slight pitch or trench will help water flow fastly. More, it will help set and soil to be executed from the pipe.

Expert Opinion

In conclusion, building a rubble drain is a great way to protect your home from flooding or water damage. The process requires minimal materials and is relatively simple to construct. With the proper knowledge and preparation, you can build your rubble drain in no time. A rubble drain will help keep your property safe and dry, helping to reduce the risk of water damage in the future.

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