How to Build a Rubble Drain | It’s Not as Difficult as You Think

Drainage can be either artificial or natural. It’s a proper channel through which water drains from a place. Without correct drainage, water will sit and can build up and cause several problems. Drainage ensures the soil is properly aerated. If you have excess water, it can easily spoil your crops, through which plants lose their nutrients and reduce soil. If you build drainage on hill slopes, then it will prevent the risk of soil slippage. In this article, I will tell how to build a rubble drain? What benefits it has? And how much cost needs to construct a rubble drain. Moreover, I will explain to you the purpose of rubble drainage.

Do you know the term Rubble Drain?

Also known as a rubble drain or trench drain, filter drain, or blind drain, all are similar French drain terms. It is a trench filled with stones or perforated pipes to redirect the water to follow away from a business or particular area. This underground water can cause a problem for neighbours other property owners. This perforated pipe’s main purpose is to prevent water surface or groundwater from penetrating or damaging the building foundations.

what is rubble drain

How does Rubble Drain work?

A French drain is a low environmental impact solution where drain pipes are installed for areas around walls, driveways, and gardens.

As I mentioned above, a French drain is a trench through which water goes throughout the soakaways, and then perforated pipes abstract this water away from your house or in a safe place.

But make sure the ditch slip is 1 foot away from each foot. This will allow water to directly go down without moving its direction.

Tools Need to Build a Rubble Drain

Shovel

Nupla-72-016 Round Point Shovel, 48 in.Handle, 16...
  • Blade dimension 9" width x 11 1/2" height
  • Ergonomic for comfort, safety and less fatigue
  • Nupla ergo power handles meet the highest performance ratings

Mini Digger

Radius Garden 22411 Root Slayer Mini-Digger...
499 Reviews
Radius Garden 22411 Root Slayer Mini-Digger...
  • Lightweight and versatile Root Slayer mini that is easy to bring anywhere you need it
  • Root Slayer mini digger with an inverted V-shaped cutting tip that is designed to rip through dirt, roots and other minor obstructions in the soil without the use of other gardening tools
  • Garden digger with a powder-coated carbon steel blade and a resin-encased carbon steel shaft for maximum durability with non-latex grips at the top for easy handling

Wheelbarrow

Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart with...
  • Patented quick-release dump feature makes unloading quick and easy
  • New frame design reduces assembly time while offering improved maneuverability and ground clearance
  • Durable 38.7-inch x 20-inch rust-proof poly bed and 10-inch pneumatic tires

Gravel

Margo Garden Products 30lbs Bag Rainforest Gravel,...
  • Gravel can be used in landscaping beds to inhibit weed growth
  • Helps retain moisture in soil and prevents erosion
  • Made of 100% long lasting natural stone

Why install a Rubble drain

Installing a French drain is a very easy method. And you will able to manage to build a drainage system with only some pieces of equipment. 

The other way you can hire a mini digger or if you want to do it yourself, then use a shovel and wheelbarrow for digging.

How do you install a Rubble Drain?

Planning a French drain

These are some points you have to plan when you are going to build a French drain. If you don’t consider these points, your drain might be blocked or not draining water as you think.

  • Lowest point: water always finds its way through the low points. That’s why the French drain pipe must be installed on the lowest point to throw the water away from the building.
  • Existing surface: A French drainage must not be used in the existing surface drainage.
  • Position: If your building is surface-only, you should position the French drain no less than a meter away. Why you have to keep this distance? Because it will avoid any structural damage. 
  • Aggregate size: To minimize clogging of the drain, the aggregate size may vary from coarse in the center to a smaller grain position outside
  • Rabble: you can use DIY drainage rubble for DIY purposes.
YouTube video

Where to end a French drain

  • To end your French drain, you must ensure water is going through the lowest point. This is to ensure that it following away from the wet area.
  • You must make sure water is going into the dry area or water-absorbing points.
  • Some particular areas where you can end your French drain are an existing gutter, dry well, gravel pit, and soakaway system.

Installing a French drain

There are two ways of installing a French drain:

  1. Traditional way modern method
  • Traditionally, you use aggregate within the trench to throw water through aggregate to a suitable area.
  • The modern method includes landscape fabric, perforated pipe, and aggregate.
  • Using perforated pipe and fabric to make a proper stream without any blockage with sediment gives free flow from pipe to the end area.
  • Pipework also allows you to maintain the drain with inspection ports and drainage outlets for its long life.
YouTube video

French drain with perforated pipes

  • Find the place where you want to drain off to.
  • Plan out your trench route: Make sure the route doesn’t contain any resistance or hurdles like trees, cables, or pipes. You can mark it with caulk.
  • Decide where the soil waste will go: can be used as a garden feature or easily skip it.
  • Check the depth of the building: Make sure the building is shallow or not. If it is, then keep the drain on 1feet away.
  • Plan the width of the drain: A width of 200-300ml is suitable for a French drain. But it can vary depending upon how much water you want to drain.
  • Dig your trench: You can do this with hand or either hires a mini digger. It must be like that it deep from center and slope of 45º and have edges around.
How to Build a Rubble Drain

Fill the French drain

  • To prevent water from clogged, and then you should trench the line with a water fabric.
  • Fill the drainage with aggregate around 12-20mm wide.
  • Now fit the perforated pipeline into the bottom of the drainage.
  • Fill it half with a layer of coarse to just below the trench.
YouTube video

Without a perforated pipe

In this method, you have to follow all methods same like drainage with a perforated pipe.

The only changes you have to make are in filling.

In this traditional method, you have to fill the trench with aggregate to make stream flow.

What is the Cost to Build a Rubble Drain?

Average cost $20-$30 per linear footExterior applications$1000-$1500
$45-$60Interior application$5000-$6000

 Purpose of Soakaway

  • You can describe it as an endpoint of a French drain. Soakaway is a part of a garden where the ground soaks water. It means the ground has this ability to absorb moisture.
  • Its exact position is the lowest point through which water makes a proper path to flow.

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 ground has this ability to absorb water.

  • 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 trenches 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 soil down.
YouTube video

What is a rubble drain?

Do you know the term French drain? Also known as a rubble drain or trench drain, filter drain, or blind drain, all are similar to a French drain. It is a trench filled with stones or perforated pipes to redirect the water to follow away from a business or particular area. This underground water can cause a problem for neighbors other property owners. This perforated pipes’ main purpose is to prevent water surface or groundwater from penetrating or damaging the building foundations.

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 on 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?

Yes, to end your French drain, you must ensure water is going through the lowest point. This is to ensure that it following away from the wet area.

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

Does 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.

Article Summary

To sum up this topic, I explain to you all methods through which you can build a rubble drain. Now you know how to build rubble drains. I give you the exact cost need for French drainage and exact sizes. Once you start building, you will enjoy it. In this article, I explained how to build a rubble drain, select a position, dig the ground for a trench, put perforated pipes, and then fill it again. 

I hope you enjoyed this topic.

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