LOGISTICS If you’re working as a one-man crew, this project will take a few days and a lot of manual labor. Be sure to eat your Wheaties. Keep an eye on the weather and block out a few clear days—this is no job to do in the rain. Realize that digging the drain trench involves displacing a lot of dirt, and since you’ll be replacing all that mass with gravel and pipe, you’ll have to figure where to put all the dirt. Plan this in advance. I filled several low spots on my property and “bermed up” a few tree trunks. You’ll need a wheel- barrow to transport the dirt around the site. You might even need a pickup truck. I did. Depending on the scope of the job, a drain project could require a great amount of gravel. I used about 2-1/2 cubic yards of drainage rock on this one (although a lot of that gravel was used to support the patio pavers on top of the drain). If you don’t have a pickup truck, you’ll need to arrange for delivery of materials. It’s always smart to have the rock delivered directly to the worksite when you’re ready to fill the trench, so arrange easy access for the supplier. EXCAVATION On this project, I intended to reinstall the patio pavers on top of the drain. When calculating the depth of the trench, you will need to account for the depth of gravel beneath the pipe ( 3 to 4 inches), the 4-in. pipe, the gravel bed that covers the pipe (at least 6 inches), plus the thickness of
Use a mattock to break ground. Allow the weight and sharpness of the tool to do the work—there’s no need to take big swings.
Shape the trench with shovels. Testing the length of the pipe. This photo shows the scope of the project.
I drilled three 3/4” holes every six inches into the bottom of the pipe.
Join pipe lengths with PVC primer and cement.
Apply the pipe sock.