Basement Waterproofing – The Weeping Tile System

weeping tile system
A weeping tile system is a 4-inch porous pipe. Other names include drain, perimeter tile or corrugated drain pipe used for underground water collection or discharge. It was named around the time when terracotta (clay) was the typical material used for drain pipes. The weeping tile system was made up of short lengths of clay tube that was laid end to end. Water would get into the system through the gaps between the pieces of pipe and flow away. There were many problems with the clay weeping tile system:

They would crush and break over time due to pressure

Tree roots also infiltrated the weeping tile often breaking or plugging it

Soil movement due to frost also shifted sections of the weeping tile so they no longer were able to connect

Clay weeping tile systems stopped working after a few decades.

The Weeping Tile System Used Today

The modern weeping tile of today is a plastic pipe with small slits or holes in it. It is designed to redirect water away from the home so that your foundation and basement walls remain intact. The system is usually covered with a “sock” or net to prevent silt and soil from filling the tube over time. If soil were to enter, the buildup would eventually block the drain and render the weeping tile useless.

The concept for how a weeping tile system works is actually quite simple. The weeping tile is buried and surrounded by coarse material (for example gravel) larger than the slits. The coarse material prevents excessive soil from falling through the slits into the weeping tile. The weeping tile is placed, holes side up, into a trench around the outside perimeter of the home or inside under the basement floor. As the ground water rises, it flows through the holes in the weeping tile. The water then drains or follows the pipe’s incline into a solid pipe leading to a discharge away from the house or directly into a sump which is then removed by a sump pump.

It is often used for water drainage near basement foundations as a part of basement waterproofing often called a French drain. The weeping tile system can be used anywhere soil needs to be drained.