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I noticed it during a visit to Home Depot recently and it piqued my interest.
A French drain system allows water to flow away from residential foundations, buildings, and sports complex surfaces in an unobtrusive manner via underground means.
Generally, a French drain system consists of a trench, gravel and top-perforated pipe (plastic or otherwise).
Those items used to be the components of a French drain system — and still are — but this EZflow pre-engineered system offers an alternative method that saves time during the installation process, and therefore, it saves you money!
How EZflow French Drain System Is Different From Traditional Methods
EZflow is an all-in-one product.
Dig the trench. Lay the product in the trench and cover it with soil. Simple. There is no gravel (aggregate) to shovel.
There is a perforated, corrugate pipe that is surrounded by a mesh sleeve, or sock. The sock is stuffed with a different type of aggregate made of hardened expandable polystyrene (EPS) that happens to consist of 100% recycled resins. It feels like packaging peanuts, but it doesn’t look like them.
The EPS beads have engineered flow channels for improved flow and storage of water. The color of the beads? Blue. The pipe itself is made from at least 90% recycled content, also.
Speaking of the sock… it’s kind of cool, too. It’s not really a sock, of course, it’s a 30-sieve geotextile mesh that weighs about 3 ozs./square yard and a strength of 100 pounds per square inch (in accordance with ASTM D-3786). The flow rate is 300 gallons/square foot/minute at 3 inches of head in accordance with ASTM D-4491. I don’t know how that compares to other products or what all that really means, but if you wanted to know the technical specs for your specific project, now you do.
The entire product is extremely lightweight. Shoveling heavy gravel is not necessary and is a real back-saver. You can also purchase the sleeves filled with aggregate and no pipe for additional drainage as needed.
Hey… you can use this product for foundation drainage around homes, too!
I really like that it’s:
- Lightweight – there are several diameters to choose from but a 10′ section of 8″ pipe w/aggregate and sleeve weighs in at a mere 7.1 lbs.
- 90% recycled material by mass (weight).
- A time-saver.
- A contributor towards LEED credits when it is used as part of a stormwater design or by contributing to the proportion of recycled materials on a job site.
Check out the Design & Installation Manual when you get a chance. It’s concise and has a few photos and lots of illustrations to help you complete your project.
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a “green” building material but it does have green attributes. The plastic pipe and expanded polystyrene aggregate pellets will still be underground doing their job on your project long after you & I are 6-feet under.
Looking for even more technical data and specs on different types of EZflow products?
Overall, this product is a great alternative to the traditional French drain system. Be sure to read the technical data and specs that apply towards your specific drainage project.
I started as a home-stalker… visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects — chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.