DIY drain pipe installation: step-by-step instruction + analysis of nuances

Vasily Borutsky
Checked by a specialist: Vasily Borutsky
Author: Irina Yakushchenko
Last update: March 2019

Drainage will protect the underground part of the house from inevitable destruction, protect the roots of plants from decay, and relieve stagnant puddles. Numerous advantages are somewhat leveled by the price, the size of which is justified by a large amount of work. However, they can be fully or partially carried out by hand, agree?

We will tell you how to lay the drain pipe with your own hands, what system components still need to be installed. For those who wish to make drainage on their own, we offer reliable information about the principles and rules of its construction. The information presented to you is based on regulatory requirements.

The article describes in detail the types of drainage system. The organization’s technology is described, recommendations are given for the selection of pipes and related materials to ensure the removal of groundwater. A selection of photos and video guides are included to help interested visitors.

Prerequisites for organizing drainage

Drainage is an expensive system, even if you do not have to pay for the services of specialists and the owner of the site is ready to do all the work yourself. Therefore, you should understand how much it is needed at all.

It is impossible to determine the need for a system design “by eye”, because groundwater can lie close to the surface, which becomes a real problem only during floods or heavy rains.

Many sites are located in lowlands. Waterlogged soil causes rotting of the roots, which creates many difficulties when caring for the garden. Plants often infect fungal diseases, mold “eats”. Some crops do not take root on wet soil, and the crop rots on the vine.

Dense clay soil rocks do not absorb water well. This leads to frequent flooding of the underground parts of buildings. Due to the high degree of mineralization, flood and atmospheric waters negatively affect buildings: they destroy building materials and provoke corrosion.

Even high-quality waterproofing is not able to 100% prevent the flooding of basements, erosion of the array of foundations, socles. As a result, the buildings serve much less than they could.

Closed drainage construction
Open drainage systems are designed to collect and drain rain, flood and melt water, closed drainage systems - to protect underground structures from groundwater

It is possible to determine whether drainage is needed on the site for several reasons:

  • Terrain. Sites located in lowlands and on steep slopes need a drainage system. Otherwise, fertile soils may be eroded or flooded during rains and floods.
  • Puddles. The flat terrain is convenient for construction, but puddles may appear on it for a long time. This is a clear sign that water is poorly absorbed into the ground. A drainage system should be installed throughout the site.
  • Rotting the root system of plants. If excess liquid remains in the gardens, flowerbeds and lawns, the plants will vomit and become ill.
  • Water-loving plants. If one or several species of hygrophilous plants grows on a site, this clearly indicates a waterlogged soil.
  • Flooding basements and cellars. An obvious “symptom” of the need for drainage is flooding of foundations and underground building structures.
  • Hydrogeological studies and observations. If specialists have determined that a high water level is high on the site, or similar conclusions can be reached during excavation, care should be taken to drain the soil.

Right drainage pipe laying on the plot - the only way to get rid of excess water inexpensively and effectively.

If you contact a specialized company, the system will cost significantly more. It is better to understand the features of the arrangement of drainage and do everything yourself.

To build a drainage system with your own hands, you will need a perforated corrugation or a rigid plastic pipe with slit-like or round holes, which you can drill or cut through with your own hands. You will need gravel backfill and geotextiles.

The principle of the drainage system

Drainage of soils in the area can be closed, immersed in soil, and open, which is a network of open grooves.

The work is carried out in the following order:

In the first case, the system is designed to drain groundwater if they flood the site. In the second, drainage provides a reduction in soil moisture during the flood and rainy season.

Both types of systems can be developed and mounted on their own.

Drainage system diagram
When buying a site, owners often have no idea about the hydrogeological features of the area. If the soil is too wet and there is prolonged stagnation of water on the surface, you should choose the right drainage scheme (+)

Depending on whether it is necessary to collect moisture from the entire site or only from separate zones, in addition to drainage, storm sewer systems with linear and point water inlets are equipped.

Systems of the first type require careful design, when installing them, it is necessary to strictly observe the installation technology and drainage pipe slope angle.

In linear versions, there is a need if it is necessary to drain the areas around buildings, walkways, entrances, to ennoble the local area or to remove excess moisture from the garden.

Such drains are shallow ditches, where water flows, and then moves to special receiving tanks, storm sewers or to the place of discharge outside the site.

Elements for a drainage device in the area
The choice and features of the installation of elements of drainage systems depend on the estimated load on the system: soil density, the amount of water that enters the drains. If the load is too high, it is worth choosing designs from the most durable materials.

Point water collectors must also be accurately calculated and predesigned. They serve for local water collection, but are connected to a similar linear system of ditches or pipes.

Through the indicated drainage channels, the collected water is discharged in the same way to the collector well and then to absorbing well, gutter or pond. Therefore, work on the arrangement of systems with point water inlets is not much different from systems with linear options.

Open systems are very simple to implement and cheap, but they spoil the landscape with an unaesthetic appearance. Another minus - the walls of the ditches have to be constantly corrected, because they crumble under the influence of moisture, and the system ceases to fulfill its functions (water stagnates at the bottom of the trenches and does not move to the place of discharge).

Selection of drainage options for the site
When planning drainage, you should determine the type of system. You need to consider whether it will be open or closed. In the first case, ditches with oblique walls are dug for the convenience of water flow.The width of such a trench is usually 0.5 m, and they dig it to a depth of 0.7 m (+)

To solve the problem of shedding the walls of the ditches, you can use the method of sprinkling with gravel: a large fraction of the material is laid on the bottom, and a fine fraction is placed on top, after which the entire drainage pillow is covered with turf.

This option allows you to not trim and not strengthen the walls of the trenches, but it is suitable for areas with relatively low humidity, because ditch capacity is greatly reduced.

The use of polymer and concrete trays in the construction of open drainage significantly facilitates and speeds up the work. In order to improve the landscape and protect the systems from clogging, such open systems are covered with cast-iron gratings.

For arrangement drainage system around the house special perforated pipes are used - drains laid to the depth of the foundation. They are laid in pre-formed ditches, covered with material with excellent filtering properties, gravel, small gravel or GPS.

To monitor the operation of the system and conduct periodic cleaning manholes. They are located at each turn and through 20-25 m of the linear route of the drainage pipeline.

Determining how to lay down the drain pipeYou can use averages to protect plants from excess moisture. As a rule, the optimal depth is 0.6-1.5 m.

Moreover, for flower beds, lawns, beds it does not exceed 0.9 m, and to protect the rhizomes of trees you need to dig as deep trenches as possible, especially if the site is located on peaty soils.

Types and parameters for the selection of drainage pipes

Of all the materials for making pipes, polymers are the most popular. Their indisputable advantages are durability, resistance to chemicals and smooth internal walls on which dirt does not stick. Storm and ground water flow into the pipeline and freely move to the water collectors by gravity.

Homemade Perforated Tube
In the device of underground drainage, plastic pipes with factory or home-made perforations are most often used.Pipes made of ceramic or cast iron are used less often, too heavy for self-laying

A drainage system assembled from modern materials can last up to half a century. The main thing is to mount it correctly, conduct technical inspections on time and not ignore the need for repairs.

Another advantage of polymers is their relatively low cost, because Ready drainage is inexpensive, practical and durable.

Plastic drainage pipes
When choosing drainage pipes, it is better to give preference to two-layer products with stiffeners. Due to the uniform distribution of the load, the pipeline lasts longer and more reliably. Plastic drainage pipes do not rust, do not rot and prevent the formation of sediment on the walls (+)

An excellent solution is a pipe in a sheath made of geotextiles. External material filters water, trapping dirt. Due to this, the pipelines are not silted.

An alternative to factory-made drain pipes is conventional sewer. You can easily make DIY drainage components from them. To do this, simply drill holes in the products, and wrap them on top with a geotextile.

Elements for a drainage system
In addition to the perforated drainage pipe, a closed system will require viewing and rotary drainage wells, a collector well, geotextiles and crushed stone or similar filling material with high filtering properties

If a local drainage system is required, pipes with a diameter of 100-200 mm can be dispensed with, and if it is necessary to remove moisture from a large area or there is too much water, it is better to choose products with a diameter of 300-400 mm. The best choice is a special drainage pipe with a filter shell.

Pipeline laying technology

When arranging drainage, the relief of the site is of fundamental importance. The system should be built so that there are no problems with the outflow of fluid into the ditches. If there are no results of geodetic studies, you should independently draw up a diagram, noting on it the places where rainwater merges.

When creating a scheme, you need to be careful, because errors will cause drainage to be ineffective. According to the finished drawing, they outline how to lay and tilt the drainage pipe and where to install the water collectors. After checking the data, mark up on the ground and begin work.

The pipeline lead to drainage well. If it is long and located on a flat area, observation wells are arranged on each 50 m section. They are also needed in places of bends and bends of the pipeline, where the slope changes.

You can also build a drainage well with your own hands. It consists of a bottom, a shaft with a neck and a hatch. The dimensions of the well should be large enough so that a person can descend into it and clean it from silt. If it is not possible to equip the overall well, then it should be equipped so that it is possible to wash the walls with a hose and scoop up dirt.

As materials for the manufacture of wells, concrete, plastic, brick can be used.

The most durable and durable structures are made of reinforced concrete well rings. They are distinguished by a large diameter, they are convenient to maintain. Minus - difficulties with installation due to the large mass. As a rule, you have to attract assistants or use special equipment.

Cone Shaped Plastic Well
Polymer wells are very popular. They are purchased ready-made. The advantages of such tanks are tightness, strength (due to the corrugated surface, stiffeners), chemical and biological stability

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

During the development of the scheme and during the construction of the drainage, some difficulties may arise. So that they do not become an obstacle to high-quality water diversion from the site, check out useful video materials.

Video # 1. Features of the arrangement of the sewage system on the site:

Video # 2. How to equip drainage in the country, using improvised means:

Video # 3. Features of arranging drainage in the garden:

Video # 4. The design of the drainage well made of polymers:

Video # 5. How to properly install drainage pipes:

To lay the drain pipe with your own hands, it will take time and effort, but the costs will be only for materials. Do not save on them: get pipes and wells of good quality.

An effective drainage system will protect the planting of plants, houses, utility buildings from moisture and will last for many years. The main thing is not to forget to inspect and clean wells and drains in a timely manner.

Want to talk about the construction of a drainage system on your site and share step-by-step photos? Own useful information not covered in the article? Please write comments, express your opinion, post pictures in the block below.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Azimova Rose

    A drainage pipe was made and laid by the hands of her husband around our site the year before last, just before the traditional flood. When I showed him this material, I heard that part of the work was done by him incorrectly, so flood water was discharged rather slowly. Perhaps this spring, he will correct the shortcomings that have arisen.

  2. Sergei

    Very helpful article. In fact, it is cheaper to equip the drainage on the site in advance and then have fewer problems with the “walking” soil and unexpected flooding.

  3. Serge

    And what diameter is better to take for a summer residence?