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Do Plumbers Video and Snake Out French Drains?

Posted by jrdwyer (My Page) on
Fri, May 15, 09 at 9:55

Our bi-level home was built in 1982. We have exterior French drains connected to an interior sump pump well. Well is pumped to street/storm drain system. We also have a walk-out basement door that has a drain at the bottom level (below basement floor grade) that connects to the French drain. Poured concrete steps then go up to ground level.

The system generally works well (basement dry), but every year or two during especially wet periods the walk-out basement well drains slowly and fills the well up to the door level. I have solved this problem by pulling the iron drain cover and using a plunger on it. After plunging, the silt filled water comes up and then it drains fast again. Good to go.

I suspect that the French drain is partially clogged with soil. I don't know if the drain is solid PVC with holes drilled in it or just flexible plastic pipe with holes (what farmers call tile). Anyway, is it possible to video and/or snake out a French drain system around a house? The only entry points appear to be the hole from the sump pump well and the drain from the walk-out basement steps.

I'm not sure if all plumbers do this type of work, but I decided to post here in case some do and have such experience. Thanks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Do Plumbers Video and Snake Out French Drains?

Where I live a French drain has no pipe at all. It's simply a drainage ditch that is filled with gravel or drain rock, and then sometimes covered over with soil. If that is the type of French drain you have, it's entirely possible that the drainage stone has silted up over the years.

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