Great Lakes Drain System ™ was formerly known as frame-a-drain, which is not to be confused with CertainTeed's Form-A-Drain®.

Patent #6669404

When it rains, it drains... Great Lakes Drain System™!

High performance foundation drainage system at a competitive price.

Click here for the newly revised ICC Legacy report #ESR-1901

published September 2013, for national product approval information.

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New References for Great Lakes Drain System
Crosswinds Communities

EARTH Improvement Technologies
ICC Legacy
Report Review
ESR-1901 2008

McIntosh Poured Walls and Concrete, Inc.

New Great Lakes Drain System new install gallery
Luther Oklahoma
New Installation photo of Great Lake Drain System with ICF walls


Great Lakes Drain System™ is a unique foundation and surface drainage system that utilizes current manufactured drainage strips to our specification in conjunction with our patent pending fittings.   This system provides superior water management, measurable time saving, easy installation at a cost effective price! 

The need for an effective drainage system has always played a vital role in the construction industry and in the development of new and improved products. As a result of these efforts you can now use Great Lakes Drain System™ in place of conventional crushed stone and perforated pipe.  Below are the critical components that make up the assembly.



Drain System Installation

Great Lakes Drain System™

 composite drainage system rendering shown below

(click here to actual product photos)

Strip Drain

Modular Drainage System is a modular composite drainage and collection system consisting of 3-dimensional dimpled or honeycombed polymeric high flow drainage core that is wrapped with a geosynthetic non-woven filter fabric. This allows water to pass through to the drain core without requiring peastone for easy removal by sump or storm drain system.

Incorrect and correct installation graphic sample

The graphic above shows both the incorrect and the correct positioning of the strip drain in poured footing. The dimpled sections always face away from the vertical footing surface as shown.


Graphic for drain strip with geosynthetic non-woven filter fabric

Strip Drain


Side-out components receive horizontal strip drain sections into each side [note positive stop prevents any strip drain overlapping, maximizing water flow].  The side-out also connects a 4" drain tile section/bleeder (see red bleeder detail below) through footing and to interior drain system.

Side-out with service stops to receive drain strip


90 Degree Corner

The corners fitting are used both as inside and outside corners on horizontal drain strip. Vertical strips require a corner at the outside base of footer.  The minimum recommendations for vertical strip drain is to place one at each beam pocket and at centerline of each window to reduce hydrostatic pressure at critical areas. [see other pages for details]

Graphic of corner piece (inside or outside corners)

90 Degree Corner

End Cap

End caps are to be used at top of vertical strip drain. Note: vertical strip drain should should reach the sill plate.  The strip drain should be field cut one to two inches below final grade, concealing the strip drain and end cap.

End Cap graphic for capping vertical drain strip use.

End Cap

4" Drain Tile

Round 4" drain tile is connected to the side-out to move the exterior drain system water through the footing and connect to the interior drainage system for removal by the sump or storm drain.

Graphic for 4" round drain tile

4" Drain Tile

Great Lakes Drain System™

Radon Vent and Egress Window & Walkout Drain Fittings.

Click in "New" of picture to go to page

Sample graphic installation of radon vent configuration with slab


Vertical 90 Degree 4"

Solid Pipe Connector Assembly for RADON VENT for Basement

(accommodates 4" solid pipe for venting radon)

90 degree assembly for radon vent for interior slab

Vertical 90 Degree 4"

Drain Connector Assembly for Egress or Basement Window.


(for flexible drain tile) 

90 degree assembly for egress window and stand window drains

Horizontal 90 Degree 4"

Drain Connector Assembly for Walkout & Sump Pumps


(for flexible drain tile) 

90 degree assembly for walkout drain

The installation overview page shows the color coded product use.


Why are foundation drainage and water management systems important?

There are several factors in understanding why basement foundations can leak and how to protect your foundation from moisture penetration. Whether you have a block basement or a solid concrete poured wall, it is important to move the water away from potential cracks that will occur over time in your foundation [note: cracks are caused by soil differential or settling, thermal change, lateral pressure & drying].  These cracks don't have to be a problem!


There are four important factors to consider to protect your basement and it's contents from water;

  1. Gutter and Down Spout.

  2. Positive Grade that moves the water away from the foundation,

  3. Waterproofing

  4. Foundation Drainage System.

When water saturates the soils around your foundation, it creates hydrostatic pressure.  This pressure can weaken waterproofing membranes and will compromise your warranty if you cannot show proper water management by using gutters and positive grade to move water away the home.


A good drainage system actually works to dewater the soils around your home and eliminates hydrostatic pressure.

How do typical drainage systems work?

Footings are poured with small sections of 4" drain tile placed approximately every 25' feet. Then walls are blocked or poured. Now a backup crew removes forming equipment allowing for laborers to place yards of peastone around the exterior of the foundation. Then they place 4" round drain tile around the entire foundation, followed by more peastone over the newly placed drain tile. The peastone is to help protect the drain tile from being crushed and help filter the water. 

The disadvantage of conventional 4" drain tile are 5 fold;

  1. There is always an additional trip to place the drain tile and peastone.
  2. The cost of the stone, labor and equipment to place it.
  3. Since the Great Lakes Drain System™ drainage system is poured with the footing, you do not have the same issues with potential cave-ins, standing water, snow removal or scheduling for exterior peastone [the drainage system is completed when the footing forms are removed].
  4. Flow rate of water through the system.
  5. The storage area required for storing and inventorying material. Note the picture below comparing a 150' of 4" round drain tile to the same amount of strip drain.


150' Round Drain Tile vs. 150' Strip Drain.

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Contact Information: Don LeBlanc 810-241-6450 phone

Email: Postal address PO Box 73, Linden, Michigan, 48451
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