How to Use Weeping Tile for Backyard Drainage

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Things You'll Need

  • Wooden stakes

  • Hammer

  • Post-hole digger

  • Shovel

  • 3/4-inch gravel

  • 4-inch diameter perforated weeping tile

  • Weeping tile fabric sleeve

Weeping tiles can help improve drainage in your backyard -- no more muddy feet.

If part of your property seems to take forever to dry out after a heavy rainstorm, or if a walkway floods every time it rains, you may be able to solve these problems by installing French drains fitted with perforated weeping tiles. A French drain is a hole filled with gravel and fitted with a perforated pipe known as weeping tile. The pipe holds excess surface water while the gravel allows the water to slowly percolate into the subsoil. The benefits of this simple system are twofold: excess surface water drains away quickly, while the subsoil holds a reserve of moisture, which your plants and trees will find useful during times when rainfall is scarce.


Step 1

Observe your property during and after a heavy rainstorm. Designate the places where water collects either as stagnant pools or running stream-like pathways. Pound in wooden stakes at the epicenter of these areas, which is the best place to install weeping tiles in gravel-filled pits to drain away excess water.

Step 2

Dig vertical pits approximately 12 inches in diameter and 2 to 4 feet deep with a post-hole digger. The depth of the pits will depend on the level of standing water you observed in Step 1. The more and deeper the standing water during and after a rainstorm, the deeper you should dig your gravel pit for the weeping tile.


Step 3

Place 2 to 3 shovelfuls of 3/4-inch gravel into the bottom of the pits.

Step 4

Place weeping tile fabric sleeve over a length of weeping tile cut approximately 6 to 8 inches shorter than the depth of the pit. Tie the fabric sleeve in a knot at each end of the weeping tile. The fabric keeps sand, dirt and debris from clogging up the weeping tile, which could cause it to lose its effectiveness in draining away excess surface water.

Step 5

Insert the sleeve-covered weeping tile vertically into the pit. Ensure that the top of the weeping tile pipe is about 6 inches below the surface of the ground.

Step 6

Back fill the pit with 3/4-inch gravel, ensuring that the weeping tile pipe is surrounded on all sides. Cover the top of the pipe with 6 to 8 inches of gravel.



Sharon Sweeny

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.