How to Install Corrugated Drain Pipe

Updated February 21, 2017

A corrugated drain pipe is designed to carry water from your guttering system away from your home. This will prevent water from settling around the base of your house where it would certainly cause damage to the structure. Once the corrugated drain pipe is hooked to the downspouts, you must properly slope and bury it to ensure the drainage system can protect your home for many years. Installing a corrugated drain pipe system takes some time, a few basic tools, and just a bit of know how.

Mark along the proposed route of your trench with orange paint. Be sure that your trench begins at the downpipes of your guttering system and follows a generally downhill track toward the lowest point of your property.

Dig along your paint line with the shovel and mattock. Angle the trench so that there is at least a 1-inch drop for every 1 foot of length.

Remove any large chunks of dirt and stones from the trench. Add 2 inches of gravel along the entire length of the trench.

Hook the end of a piece of corrugated drain pipe to each downpipe. Lay enough plastic drain to cover the entire trench. If using slotted drain pipe, make sure the slots in the plastic pipe are facing down on every piece. Add straight and angled connectors between pieces where necessary to follow the trench. Cut the pipe with your hacksaw to get the proper length for each piece of pipe.

Cover the entire trench with the dirt saved from your initial excavation. Spread grass seed on the exposed dirt. Cover the grass seed with loose straw.


Choose from two types of pipe. One type has small slots that allow water to drain during the run. The other type is solid that drains all the water at the exit of the pipe. Solid pipes are recommended if the drain pipe is running near building foundations. All the water can be discharged at one specific point. Slotted pipes are best used if the pipes run out into yards or fields away from buildings and other structures where it doesn't matter where the water drains.

Things You'll Need

  • Orange spray paint
  • Mattock
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • French drain
  • Hacksaw
  • Straight and angled French drain connectors
  • Grass seed
  • Straw
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
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About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.