What is a J Drain System?

Some additional questions that I get when working with clients with Drainage Issues is the following:

What is a J Drain System?

There are different types of subsurface drainage systems, and this is one of them.
It is sold as an easier, better french drain system. You dig a trench, install the J drain, and then backfill with the original soils. The concept is that the J drain has more surface area than the pipe at the bottom of the french drain system.
In looking at how these drains function over time, the following is what we have found. Since the drains are backfilled with the same soil that is removed (yazoo clay), the water does not drain thru the soils. Overtime, the drainage system gets clogged up with clay. We have seen some installed with no discharge pipe or wrong elevations that do not allow the water to drain out properly.
When you compare a french drain to a J drain, the main thing that stands out to us is the following. A french drain system has more capacity to carry the water because you have to consider the volume of the pipe and voids in the gravel. The drainage system is better protected because there is a commercial grade filter cloth around the entire drain system that helps protect the gravel from the clay. Again, there is more surface area for water to enter the drainage system because the drain is wider. Finally, you can install a clean out on the pipe to check to make sure the drain is functioning properly or cleaned out if needed.
Sometimes you have to realize that the original way is the best because it has stood the test of time and still working properly.
If you have any questions about foundation repairs, or concerns for a foundation problem, please call us and we will be glad to assist you.

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