PVC Pipe vs Corrugated Perforated Pipe
We’re replacing a failed PVC French drain system. This system ran for two years and two years only. The community paid good money to have the system put in as PVC is not cheap.
I’m going to tell you all the reasons it failed, and what we’re going to do to build a French drain system that will last forever using corrugated pipe.
Why PVC French Drain Pipe Clogs
With PVC there’s three holes on the bottom so that the center hole is pointed to the bottom of the trench. Once PVC gets sediment in it, it plugs right away. I mean, it plugs pretty much immediately. So you’re flowing less water already. Now you just have the two side holes that come up on the side flowing water until the sediment builds up and it starts to restrict them. When you’re not moving enough water through the pipe, you no longer can flush sediment out of it.
See corrugated french drain pipe has holes 360 degrees all the way around, so it’s always going to flow water. On those really, really hard rains, those torrential rains, those thunderstorms, it’ll literally flush out any sediment. Now we wrap ours in a four ounce to eight ounce non-woven geotextile filter fabric that’s double punched, so we’re not going to have any issues. But unfortunately, when you use PVC pipe with only holes pointing down and you have no fabric wrapping the system, unfortunately that is just a disaster waiting to happen.
Another Problem with PVC: Stone Under the Pipe
Since the bottom holes in the PVC pipe can’t take in water many contractors lay stone at the bottom of the trench under the PVC pipe. The problem is, water is left in the stone, under the pipe. This invites tree roots to sniff out the water. Meanwhile, those trees are getting bigger and bigger and eventually find their way into the drain system. This system works slower and slower each and every year until one year it doesn’t work anymore.
Since perforated, corrugated pipe has holes all the way around, we don’t need to rely on stone at the bottom of the trench to move water. Instead, we are able to place our stone on top of the pipe.
So the community, they had to live with this thing not working for years, before the HOA was able to collect enough money and a new board came around with new ambitions to do the research, to find French Drain Man, our recipe, our blueprint. They understand it. They know the truth behind PVC French Drain pipe with only holes on the bottom that point down. You don’t have holes 360 degrees, so you can’t take water in. Once there’s sediment on the bottom of this PVC pipe you’re done, and if you don’t use a really good non-woven geotextile filter fabric, the sediment’s going to find this pipe that much quicker and it’s done.