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French drain needs serviced?

First off, I'm not 100% sure what I have would be considered a french drain. It was there when we purchased the house about a year and a half ago, so I'm not 100% sure on the details. There are two round grates in the two back corners of the yard, each about 8". There is also one in one of the front corners of my yard, right by the curb. It seems like water from the backyard drains down towards this grate in the front yard. In the other front corner of the yard is a storm drain, so maybe the water from the other grate in the back drains into this? Finally, the downspouts in the back and sides of the house drain underground somewhere, I'm assuming into this drainage system.

I've never noticed a drainage problem in the yard, but the other day I found a little bit of water in the HVAC duct at the back of the house. Our house in on a slab, and this appears to be a common problem with the vents that run under the house. I'm already in the process of getting this fixed, however from what I can tell the fact that it's happening means there a drainage issue somewhere. I've never had standing water up against the house, so I assume there's some sort of issue with the drainage system we have. My question is this... How would I go about having this inspected and/or serviced? Would I need to call a plumber, a place like Roto-Rooter, or something entirely different?

Re: French drain needs serviced?

Pry off one of those covers and check what type of pipe you have running between the grates. If it is black corregated plastic and in the vicinity of 5 or 6 years old you are looking at a shovel and some digging. Those pipes clog over time.

A plumber with a camera on his drain snake will be able to give you a view underground on what you have. Round these parts a visit with a camera will run about $350 - 400.

If you do have to replace or add to your drain lines I suggest you use only solid schedule 35 SDR pipe and fittings. No holes. Tree roots will fing the holes and clog the pipe.

Install the 'bell' end of each section of pipe up hill
Have the intake riser be at least 12" above soil height
No glue needed unless required by local code.

Re: French drain needs serviced?

Before digging or calling a plumber you should go down to the big orange home improvement store and get a "large drain bladder". Put that on your hose and try flush all sediment that builds over the years. I also used a 10' dryer lint brush tool attached to a drill. My drains are only ones on the whole street that work.

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