How to Install a Drain Field for a Crawl Space


A crawl space serves as an access point to the plumbing, gas and electric lines running under a home that does not have a basement. Keeping your crawl space dry is important to allow easy access to all of the utility lines under the house. A simple perimeter drain will cause most surface water to drain out of the craw space without filling the crawl space with water. Perimeter drains are best installed during construction.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • 3/4-inch crushed stone
  • Level
  • Dig a 1-foot-wide by 2-foot-deep trench around the inside perimeter of the crawl space. The trench should be at least 1 foot from the edge of the blocks.

  • Level the bottom of the trench.

  • Remove excess dirt from the crawl space.

  • Fill with 1 foot of stones along the bottom of the trench.

  • Insert a PVC perforated pipe on top of the stones in the center of the trench.

  • Install the pipe pitching down toward a sump pump or a point where the drain will exit the building.

  • Connect the drain pipe into the sump pump or stub it out of the building.

  • Fill the entire trench with stones until they create a 4-inch mound above the surface of the ground.

Tips & Warnings

  • Round, washed stone can be used in place of 3/4-inch crushed stone, but they are usually more expensive.
  • Consult with your building inspector to acquire proper permits and identify regulations.
  • The top of the drain should be even with the bottom of the footing.

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  • Photo Credit stone image by chrisharvey from
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