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What Type of Drainage Pipe To Use Under Gravel Driveway? [Question Answered]

Having a drainage pipe under a driveway is an essential construction.

If not installed, the driveway remains wet for a very long time even in lightweight rains.

Therefore, having drainage installed is mandatory for the longevity of your driveway.

What type of drainage pipe to use under gravel driveway?

There are plenty of drainage pipes available in the market which you can use. But the most usable one is polyvinyl chloride or PVC pipes. PVC pipes are very durable in addition to being lightweight. Also, they are very easy to work with. It has a smooth wall. Therefore, the water flow will be smooth too. 

Sounds informative enough? I have brought you a detailed breakdown of what pipe works best for your driveway. 

Why wait? Join us in the world of driveway drainage installation. 

What type of drainage pipes to use for gravel driveways 

While installing a drainage system, the outdoor drainage system seems to work the best. PVC pipes and corrugated pipes are the two most common pipes used for this purpose. 

They are the one that performs the best as well due to their construction and durability. I will try to shed some light on them in order for you to make the final decision;

PVC Drainage Pipes 

PVC pipes are the most common material you will see used for drainage purposes. Most homes use it for indoor and outdoor drainage purposes. 

And so, it is a safe option to install in your driveway. 

PVC pipes are made of synthetic plastic polymer. Therefore, they have a strong structural rigidity. Also, they are really easy to clean due to their smooth surface. 

These two are the primary reasons behind making them a good choice for your exterior drainage system. Additionally, plumbers’ putty on plastic drains makes the installation process much easier. 

Exterior pipes usually have to endure fluctuating weather. Also, they consume more residue and debris than the inside pipes. They need to have enough structural integrity to withstand these circumstances. 

If we want to shop for a PVC pipe then you will find plenty worthy of using. Here are some of them with certain necessary traits-


PVC-U is unplasticized PVC pipes. Essentially they don’t have any plastic materials to it. Rather they are made of stronger materials. Which essentially makes them more rigid and durable. 

Therefore, they are perfect pipes that you can use for your driveways. They can withstand any unprecedented weather. 


The C-PVC is essentially chlorinated PVC pipes. They perform really well in the driveway drainage system. They have certain characteristics that make them so perfect. These are- impact tolerance, corrosion resistance, durability, and reliability. 

They usually last a long time. So, you won’t have to worry about it clogging or breaking every time. 


These pipes are just an improved version of C-PVC pipes. Therefore, they have better performance in terms of durability and reliability. These pipes have hydraulic operational opportunities. 

Also, they boast better impact tolerance and wear resistance. So, you can easily use heavyweight automobiles under the driveway.

If you are looking for some PVC-O pipes, we have something for you. We have personally curated some of the best PVC-O pipes available in the market. 

This is personally tested by us:

Product 1
Product 2 
Product 3

These are some of the best PVC-O pipes on the market. They are also relatively cheaper. Hence, they will be able to give you the best value for money. 

Corrugated Drainage Pipe

Unlike the PVC pipes, these pipes have grooves and ridges. They usually are installed in a parallel manner. As they consist of grooves and ridges, they can withstand bends and joints. 

Therefore, they are very durable. Hence, they also perform well in terms of outdoor drainage systems. 

Apart from only performing well, they are cheaper than PVCs as well. If you are looking for something within a budget then corrugated pipes are the way to go. 

Additionally, The overall installation process of corrugated pipe is relatively easier as well. 

Among various corrugated pipes that are available in the market, HDPE/N 12 pipes are mostly used. These pipes are made out of high-density polyethylene. 

Polyethylene is considered to be the strongest plastic material among others. Hence, they provide excellent rigidity and strength. As a result, issues such as drain bladder stucking in the pipe were reduced. 

Also, these pipes are made with dual walls. The exterior walls are well concentrated to withstand heavy weights. Also, they can endure extreme weather conditions as well. 

Subsequently, the interior walls are concentrated on offering good steadiness and flexibility. As a result, the water is easily carried away to the primary sewer line. 

Perforated Drainage pipes 

Perforated pipes are essentially corrugated pipes with some necessary modifications. Corrugated pipes can be of two types. Perforated and solid. You will find PVC perforated pipes as well. 

PVC perforated pipes improve the overall drainage system. They are responsible for removing rainwaters from outdoor spaces. 

If your lawn or yard contains water from the rain, then perforated pipes would be a better choice. 

The primary motive behind these pipes is to remove rainwater. But they can be used for driveways as well. Given that they have improved draining capacity, structural rigidity, and performance, they work well in terms of driveways. 

Also, they can easily be unclogged from standing water

Perforated pipes come with tiny holes around their surface. Due to these holes, the water can exit and enter the pipe much more easily. Since it can effortlessly take water from all sides, their draining is much more than the PVC pipes. 

These sorts of pipes are good for rainy weather. If you are living somewhere monsoon is common, perforated pipes would be the one. 

Factors to Look at for Drainage Pipe Under Driveway 

As you are well aware of the types, you need to consider some things before installing them. Installing any random pipes will cause you more harm in the long run. 

Therefore, some factors need to be considered:

Temperature Changes 

Polar fluctuations in temperature can severely affect the performance of the drainage pipes. If your living area’s temperature is extreme, then the pipe may react differently. Essentially, hampering their performance. 

Usually, in sub-zero temperatures, the PVC pipes can not resist wear and tear. Also, the frozen water can damage these pipes as well. As a result, they might even break. 

In situations like this, perforated corrugated drainage pipes perform the best. They have small holes through which the excess water can release. 

Hence, you should have a good understanding of the weather of your locality first. Then choose the pipe accordingly. 

Amount of Drainage Water 

This factor is mostly related to the size of the diameter of the pipe. The diameter of the pipe should be determined depending on how much water it’ll need to remove. For instance, ⅝” drains can remove more water than the ½” drainage pipe. 

So, understand how much water you are expecting the pipe to remove first. Then determine the pipe size and diameter. 

The Weight of the Vehicle 

This is an important factor. Keep in mind that the pipes will be under your driveway. Therefore, they will have to tolerate your car’s weight frequently. They need to have the structural durability to withstand that weight. 

An average Sedan weights from 2,500 pounds to 4,500 pounds. It depends on the car that you have. Regardless of what pipe you choose for your driveway drainage, ensure its weight-containing capacity. 

Otherwise, the pipe will expire soon causing them to break. 

These are some of the factors you need to consider before deciding what pipe you want to install. 


How do you drain water from a gravel driveway?

Gravel driveways are different from concrete driveways. Unlike the concrete driveways, gravel driveways do not require a channel drain. Instead, the solution is to lay some land drain or twin walls underneath the gravel in a french drain system. After that, redirect the water to a suitable outlet. 

Can you drive over a PVC french drain? 

Yes, you can drive over PVC french drain. Even Though PVCs are made of plastic, they have the structural rigidity to withstand most of the vehicle’s weight. Therefore, usually, you can drive over them without causing any damage. 

How do I keep my gravel driveway from sinking? 

Geotextile fabric separates the rock layers from the gravel driveway from the soil below. Using this fabric increases the life longevity of the gravel. Also, it prevents the rock from sinking into the soil. Also, you won’t have to constantly replace rock over a short period of time. 


That’s all we had on what type of drainage pipe to use on gravel driveways. I hope your confusion has been cleared. And you are prepared to make a more conscious decision with the provided information. 

Installing the right drainage system will make your living more peaceful. Therefore, it is essential to install the right one. 

Have a beautiful day!