My house has always sat too low in the ground, and when it rains (even just a little), our master bedroom and bathroom would flood. To combat this, my brother and I installed a french drain around our house this weekend. It was a lot of work, especially because the path we ran the drain went through several large roots that took hours of ax swinging to clear. We also ended up running the trench too low to drain it, so we had to come up with another solution involving a sump pump and a 5 gallon bucket. In the end though, it turned out nicely.

Digging The Trench
My dad and I started the trench last year, but we still had to dig it deeper and further, about another 30 feet.

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Lining The Trench
We lined the trench with landscape fabric to keep weeds, dirt, and other obstructions out of the gravel and pipes.

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The First Layer of Gravel
We had 8000 pounds of 1.5 inch gravel delivered and wheel barreled it to the trench where we laid a thin layer to cover the bottom of the landscape fabric.

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Installing the Drainage Basin (The Bucket)
We took a standard 5 gallon bucket and cut a 3" hole in the side of it for the drain pipe to enter, then placed it at the end of the trench.

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Installing The Pipe
Next, we took 3" corrugated piping (50'), and laid it throughout the trench.

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Testing It Out
We started to fill gravel in over the piping but decided we should probably test the whole thing before we do, just in case it didn't work. We turned a water hose on and let it flow in at the end of the trench. It took a long time, but eventually as the trench filled with water and it all moved downhill, the water started flowing into the bucket.

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Filling It In
Now that we knew the drain worked, we started filling the entire thing in with gravel, then wrapping the landscape fabric over it, and then filling it in with dirt.

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Installing the Pump
Lastly, we drilled holes in the lid of the bucket and ran a garden hose and our power cord for the sump pump. We then tested the pump out and.... it worked! It pumped out water for over 25 minutes, nearly emptying the entire trench.

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