Back Button

How to Repair Drain Tile

How to Repair Drain Tile. Since it hides beneath the surface of a home's perimeter, it's easy for homeowners to overlook the importance of drain tile. Drain tile is one of your home's chief defenses against water damage.

Without drain tile, water would seep into the structure of your basement thereby flooding it, or worse, causing damage directly to the structure itself. That's why it's critical to repair drain tile as soon as you notice water in your basement or shifts in your sediment.

Replace Damaged Drain Tile

  1. Unearth the drain tile in the area where damage is becoming apparent. If there is water damage or seepage in your basement, then the damage to the drain tile should be nearby on the drain tile opposite the wall. You may require heavy equipment to unearth the drain tile depending on how deep it is and how hard the earth is around your foundation.

  2. Clear away the gravel layer that covers the drain tile and footer. Save this gravel as it can easily be reused once you complete your drain tile repair (just be sure that you have extra to replace any that gets lost or mixed up with the sediment).

  3. Remove the damaged section of drain tile from the edge of the footer. This step may require you to break seals at either end of the pipe in order to remove it for repair. It is possible to cut away a section of the pipe a few inches from a joint so it can be re-seamed later.

  4. Replace the damaged drain tile with new drain tile. It is very important to ensure that you have the proper size drain tile prior to beginning repairs. Take measurements of the existing drain tile before you purchase a replacement tile.

  5. Recover the drain tile with the gravel and sediment you previously removed. It's important to also remember to replace the water filtration system at the bottom of the drain tile to ensure sediment doesn't seep into the drain tile itself.

  6. Tip

    Use newer plastic drain tile and piping as opposed to classic clay designs. Plastic drain tile is far more durable and much less expensive. Best of all, plastic drain tile is easier to repair since it is lighter and can be provided in longer lengths.


    Do not attempt to install or repair drain tile unless you are absolutely certain that you know what you are doing, or unless you have the assistance of an expert. Failing to properly repair drain tile can lead to serious structural damage to your home.