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How to Install a Black Perforated Drainage Pipe

Updated February 21, 2017

Black perforated drain pipe is used to drain low lying area of soil that receives a large amount of water runoff. The perforated pipe -- usually 6 to 8 inches in diameter -- drains water from the soil through a series of 1/2-inch holes located on the top of the pipe. The average do-it-yourselfer can install black perforated drain pipe in one to two days, depending on the size and scope of the project.

Dig a trench that is 12 to 24 inches wide and 24 to 36 inches deep. However, when installing the drain pipe against foundations, remove the soil all the way down to the footer of the foundation. Save the soil. You will use it to cover the perforated drain pipe.

Add 4 inches of gravel to the bottom of the trench and spread it around evenly. However, if you are installing the pipe against a foundation wall, then hold the gravel. You will not need a gravel base for this application. The footer will serve as a base.

Lay the perforated pipe into the trench and directly on top of the gravel or footer. Because the pipe comes in a roll, you may need to place temporary weight on the pipe to hold it straight. Add couplers onto the pipe where you need to add extra lengths. Add Ts and elbows where you need to turn 90 degree corners.

Cover the entire perforated pipe run with filter fabric. This landscaping fabric can be purchased from any hardware store. Make sure the fabric is tucked around the pipe. You may need to wrap the fabric around the pipe several times, however.

Cover the pipe with 4 to 6 inches of gravel and distribute the gravel evenly around the trench. This gravel will allow water to drain through the layer of soil above the pipe and into the perforations quickly.

Add the soil back over the pipe, packing it down over the gravel. Use a rake to distribute the soil evenly. After several days, when the soil has settled, add more dirt and smooth out with a rake. Any water that drains into this area will now seep into the soil, through the gravel, into the perforated pipe, and out the end of the pipe and away from the trenched area.

Things You'll Need

  • Perforated Drain Pipe
  • Perforated Pipe Couplers
  • Shovel
  • Pick
  • Gravel
  • Filter Fabric
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About the Author

Billy McCarley has been freelancing online since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.