Cost of French Drain

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Old 08-31-11, 07:02 AM
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Cost of French Drain

Hey Guys,

While I contemplate the basement remodel, I started thinking about installing a french drain below the dricore subfloor for the "what if" or "storm of the century" that drains some water under the subfloor.
That said, I haven't seen water in the basement other than a few freak instances, and the gutters and downspouts were to blame. They have since been repaired and the grade improved to ensure propper drainage away from the foundation.

That said, if I were to install a french drain, what would be a fair price?

The basement is about 20x30, poured slab floor with block walls.

Other than labor, the job seems pretty simple. Hammer, dig, place in the drain, tie into the sump, cover with rock and top with cement... The labor must be a big part of the bill. Lots of heavy hauling....

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Bryan
 
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Old 08-31-11, 10:23 AM
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I would not install a French Drain inside your basement. I think it is just wasted money. If anything I would install a sump pit & pump to remove the occasional water intrusion. The physical work would be about the same as for a French Drain but would actually remove water from your basement.

I do not like a French Drain inside your basement because:
1. It has very limited ability to accept and get rid of water and that will totally depend on your soil and the weather. Chances are you will have a water intrusion problem during periods of prolonged heavy rain. Exactly the time when a French Drain will not be able to handle much if any water.
2. A French Drain at the low point in your basement may fill with water when you dig it and could be a potential for water to enter your basement when you get heavy rains.
 
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Old 08-31-11, 11:18 AM
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Good to know...

I do have a sump and pump. The reason I thought about a french drain was because once, after a SEVERE downpour, water jumped the gutters and saturated the exterior front of my house. There were a few pinholes in the block morter lines that flowed water. I plan to touch up these spots with hydraulic cement, and the french drain was more of a last option...
 
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Old 08-31-11, 12:38 PM
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Our house had the french drain under the slab when we bought it. The weeping tile drains into the sump well.

And we've had several inches of water in our basement because the sump pump itself failed and the well overflowed - then there was a major power outage and tons of rain, then another sump pump failed.

Now we have a redundant pump system and during Irene the battery didn't quite last long enough and we had to use our hand held submersible pump and run power to the watchdog pump from my car.

I don't know what the basement was like *before* the french drain was put in - maybe it was even worse - but IMO the better place to focus if you are going to have dricore anyway is on a triple redundant sump system - where the 2nd backup is an induction pump (water powered).
 
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Old 08-31-11, 01:36 PM
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tell me more about your tertiary induction pump.
I have a watchdog system with battery backup. Fortunately, we lost no power during Irene, but I can say the new pump far outperformed to prior unit. The DC backup pump was also quite effective at emptying the sump dring my initial steps.

With the dricore I would imagine any problems, when and if they happen, would be insignificant... So I hope. The worst follding has only resulted in a little dampness and water accumulation from the block. I think I can plug those sources and forget about the french drain...

Any other thoughts?
 
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Old 09-20-11, 06:47 PM
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I had a french drain and sump pump system put in my basement (northern NJ) not long after I bought my 80 yr old house because I had water intrusion through cracks in the slab and from the block foundation wall. That was 7 yrs ago and have not had water in my basement since. The holes drilled in the bottom of the block walls relieves the pressure from the water built up in the blocks and drains the water into the drain tiles which brings the water to the sump pit. Best improvement we made to the house by far.

We have a 1/3 HP Champion sump pump (40gpm at 5ft head) and the Basement Watchdog Bigdog battery backup. Until hurricane Irene the back up pump never had to turn on since we never lost power when there was water flowing into the sump pit. Thank God we did not lose power during Irene because there was so much water flowing into the pit that the main pump and the backup were both operating and they were barely able to keep up. At one point I threw a 1/4 hp utility pump into the pit with a hose out the window to help keep up with the flow. I am in a high water table area and the park across the street from my house always floods but my Champion pump has always worked like a ... well, champ. It was a real wakeup call when I saw both pumps barely keeping up. If we lost power we would have been screwed. To make sure we don't have any problems during the next storm I have upgraded the main pump to a Zoeller 1/2 hp N98 pump with 71gpm capacity at 5 ft. Should be able to handle another Irene situation without needing the backup. And if we do lose power I will be getting a emergency generator to make sure the pump keeps pumping.
 
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