How to Clean Foundation Drain Tiles

Foundation drain tile is the perforated pipe installed against a home's foundation. Covered with gravel, the tile drains water away from the foundation of the house, protecting the foundation from water damage. Cleaning the tile when it becomes clogged is necessary to retain the functionality. Foundation tiles clogged with dirt or debris will begin to drain the water slowly or not at all. You can usually clean the foundation drain tile using a sewer snake, routing out the dirt that has gathered in the pipes to make the way clear again for proper water drainage.

Garden hose in rack on wall with faucet
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Step 1

Locate a collection point for your foundation drain tiles. Collection points are the easily-accessible areas where the tiles connect to openings such as surface drains or downspout connections.

Step 2

Access the tile piping by removing the connecting device. Unscrew the downspout pipe from the drain tile, or remove a drain cover leading to the tile.

Step 3

Place the sewer snake into the end of the foundation drain pipe. Push the cable contained in the sewer snake through the pipe to push the dirt and debris in the pipe out the drainage end. On the end of the sewer snake cable is an auger, a blade which rotates as you push the snake through the pipe. Rotate the auger with the hand crank at the snake's end to scrape the debris from the sides of the pipe and clear the perforations that line the pipe body. Remove the sewer snake when the pipe has been cleared.

Step 4

Attach a hose to the end of drain tile, with the other end of the hose attached to a faucet. Turn on the faucet and pump water through the cleared pipe to help wash away any remaining dirt. Remove the hose after washing.

Step 5

Replace the access covers to finish the cleaning of the foundation drain tiles.


Larry Simmons

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.