How to Clear a Clogged French Drain Pipe

A drain using a French drain pipe is probably one of the easiest and most inexpensive of drain systems you can use. The disadvantage of these drain systems is that they become clogged and need to be cleared of debris that clogs it. Here's how to clear a clogged French drain:

Things you'll need:

  • Garden hose
  • Rake
  • Gloves
  • Landscape fabric
  • Rebar

Step 1 - Remove Debris from Your Drain Surface

The top surface of your French drain will usually be a layer of gravel that filters debris from water that seeps down through the gravel. Remove this debris that can clog the drain and prevent water from seeping through it and into the drain pipe.

Step 2 – Remove Debris from your Pipe

Use a rake to pull gravel or rocks from around your drain pipe. Remove all debris from these stones and from around the pipe. Remove old landscape fabric from the drain surface and discard it.

Step 3 – Clear the Pipe

Remove the pipe and use a garden hose or a length of rebar to clear out any compacted soil or other debris from inside the pipe and its perforations.

Step 4 – Finish

Replace the pipe in the trench, place a sheet of landscape fabric over the pipe, and cover the pipe with gravel.