How to Drill Holes in a Pipe for a French Drain

Drilling holes in a plastic PVC pipe to create a French drain is quite simple. Remember that the pipe for the French drain is only one part of the drainage system. To construct a proper French drain trench, you will also need filter fabric, washed stone, gravel and other components.

  1. Clamp the PVC pipe to a workbench or table.
  2. Snap chalklines the length of the pipe at 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock, 12 o'clock, 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock.
  3. Drill 3/8-inch holes approximately 3 inches apart down each chalk line.

Things You Will Need

  • 4-inch diameter Schedule 40 PVC pipe
  • Clamp
  • Chalkline
  • 3/8-inch diameter drill bit
  • Drill


  • The holes in the French drain pipe typically are placed down in the trench to allow for maximum water penetration.


  • Always use construction-grade filter fabric when constructing a French drain to keep fine dirt particles from clogging the drain pipe.

About the Author

Evelyn Fielding has been a full-time freelance writer since 2001. She has a Master of Fine Arts and a Master of Business Adminstration. Her work has appeared online at Beiers Greenhouse, SelfGrowth.com and various syndicated real-estate websites. Fielding has also composed grant proposals, research documents, marketing materials and numerous articles on various subjects.