A French drainage system refers to a pipe that has holes along its entire length. This type of a drainage system is used in yard drainage.

In case the yard has some depressions or is located on a low-lying area, then water will stand and make the ground muddy or soggy.

plumber unclogging a french drain

In such situations, a French drainage system will assist in encouraging water to flow rather than collecting on the yard. It’s important to clean the French drain regularly to ensure the holes on the pipe don’t get blocked by dirt.

If the holes get blocked, they will prevent water from flowing into and out of the drain pipe. The blockage will make water back up instead of draining from the yard.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to unclog a French drainage system:

Step 1

First, locate the upper opening of the drain. To do this, check for a hole on the ground surface where the drain starts.

In case you’re not sure about where it starts, then start searching from the higher points of your yard since the drain works by assisting water to run downward.


Step 2

Upon locating where the drain starts, run some water down it. You can use a garden hose to send water through the drainage.

If you notice that water is backing up rather than running through the drainage, then it’s a sure sign that you’re dealing with a clog. You’ll need to remove the clog to make the drain functional again.


Step 3

You can use a water pressure washer to unclog a French drain. The washer works by sending water down the drainage at extremely high pressure.

It’s advisable to stand at the side of the drainage opening while sending water down the drain since it may backup upon reaching the clog.

You should aim the water towards the bottom section of the drainage. Doing so will make it easier to get rid of the clog. Remember to move the pressure washer around to clean the pipe on the sides.


Step 4

If the clogs are extremely stubborn, then try to remove them with a plumber’s snake. If you’re using a water pressure washer but it doesn’t dislodge the clog, water will still back up from the drainage.

A plumber’s snake refers to a lengthy piping that is inserted into a blocked drainage. It stops moving further down the drainage upon reaching the clog. Once it stops moving, push it gently onto the clog.

Doing so will loosen up or break up the clog. You can break up the clog further and push it down the drainage by using the water pressure washer.

Use both the water pressure washer and plumber’s snake to completely get rid of the clog. This way, water will freely flow down the drainage.


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