What is Drain Tile 101 | How Drain Tile Works

YOU NEED DRAIN TILE!  This is a common sentiment that homeowners hear when they have water in their basement.  Sometimes you are told by a friend who had a Drain Tile System installed in their home.  Maybe you heard your handyman mention Drain Tile being a common solution to basement seepage problems.  It could have been that guy on your block who seems to have his nose in everyone else’s business.  You know – the self proclaimed Mayor of the neighborhood!

But just exactly what is Drain Tile?  What does the Drain Tile do?  How does it work?  Read on as we try to answer your questions and give you a clear understanding of what Drain Tiles are.


Drain Tiling has its origins in the field of agriculture.  Although field drainage systems date back over 2000 years, they were first used in America in 1838.  When farmer John Johnston installed clay tiles on his farm in Seneca County, New York, he was dubbed "The Father of Tile Drainage in the United States".  Farm Drainage was further revolutionized in 1860 by Henry French in his book  “Farm drainage: the principles, processes, and effects of draining land with stones, wood, plows, and open ditches, and especially with tiles".  The effect was so profound they renamed the tile drain system to French Drains, after Henry French.


Drainage Tile Systems have many uses in both agricultural and construction applications:


Although Drain Tile is a common term used interchangeably, it is often referred to as:


Although material, size and shape of the piping varies, there are common qualities:

Although this overview of Drain Tile has plenty to offer, stay tuned for more in-depth blogs about Drain Tile, its specific uses and applications. 

As for your home, tell the ‘Mayor’ he can keep out of your business – you are calling the experts!  Set up a free evaluation and we will send one of our experienced Advisors to evaluate whether you need Drain Tile or another time tested solution to your basement seepage problems.

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