A footing drain is an essential part for any basement where the ground becomes saturated with water during a hard rain or spring thaw. The best time to install a footing drain is during new construction when the basement is exposed, but it can be done to an existing home. If your basement experiences periods of running water, then installing a footing drain is something you will want to do. It does require some heavy equipment. Hiring a contractor for the excavation around the home is something to consider. If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, then you can rent a backhoe from most rental stores.
•18 Inch PVC Pipe
•1 Inch Rocks
Step One - Excavate Soil from Foundation
In order to install the footing drain you are going to have to use a backhoe and excavate the area around your home. This will cause you to set up temporary steps and points of entry to the home. If there is a deck attached to the home, this will have to be moved to allow access to the foundation. The excavation should also clear one area near a window to three feet below the footing.
Step Two - Measure Perimeter of Foundation
Measure completely around the perimeter of your foundation and leave a few extra feet for the footing drain. Purchase the drain tile according to this measurement.
Step Three - Install PVC and Drain Tile
Cut holes in the 18 inch PVC pipe and attach two T adapters on each end. Install the top portion of the PVC pipe near the bottom of a window and the other end at the bottom of the footing. Attach the drain tile to the T adapter on one end of the PVC and wrap it around the foundation in one continuous line. This end will connect to the other T adapter Keep the drain tile as close to the foundation as possible by bracing with a rock every couple of feet.
Step Four - Cover with Rocks
Go along the entire perimeter of the foundation and cover the footing drain with the 1 inch rocks. This should be at a depth of at least 1 foot all along the drain. This will allow for good drainage of any water on top of the pipe and will keep the holes in the PVC pipe unclogged. Add another few feet of sand all the way around the foundation and then backfill back to original grade.
Step Five - Install Sump Pump
Connect the sump pump to a drain pipe and lower it into the PVC pipe. Leave a rope, or chain, near the surface so you can pull it back out in case it needs to be repaired. Angle the exterior drain pipe away from the home for drainage down a slope. Attach the end of the drain tile to the T adapter and cap the PVC pipe.