Skip to main content

How to Install a Channel Drain

By October 8, 2022August 30th, 2023Uncategorised

A channel drain is a linear drain found on the ground. It has a thin channel with a grating on the top and it enables water to move from the ground to the underground drainage system. Also known as drainage channels, trench drains, or linear channels, these types of drains prevent pooling water that can cause flooding and structural damage to buildings and homes.

Channel drains are efficient surface water management systems used in a wide variety of locations such as driveways, carparks, gardens, patios, swimming pools, golf courses, airports and more.

How to install a channel drain?

You can install a channel drain easily at home, or you can call a professional contractor. A channel drain needs to be installed properly for it to work effectively over the long run.

Below are the basic steps you need to take to install a channel drain:

Preparation and planning

Before you start with the installation, you need to decide where the drainage will be installed. For this, you need to consider the grading around the property. The slope needs to be enough to drain the water away from the buildings or built-up areas into the main drainage via a pipe union end cap at the bottom outlet section.

It’s also important to remember that the channel drain should not be installed along the line of the vehicle wheel travel.

Once you have planned the route of the channel drain, you will need to clear the area and the hard surface, like tarmac, paving, and bricks, to dig a trench.

Dig trench

To install a channel drain, you need to dig a trench with enough height and width that accommodates at least 50 mm of compacted sand at the base and a minimum of 100 mm backfill of concrete on either side. You can replace the concrete with a compacted fill if the channel drain is being used in a pedestrian-only area.

You will also need to allow for a fall of 5 mm per every 1 m length of the channel drain. As most domestic channels do not have built-in fall or slopes, you will need to account for it while digging the trench. A simple way of doing this is to mark the height with a length of string. Starting at the top of the drainage trench, mark the trench depth every metre by measuring down in increments of 5 mm. The final measurement should be about 2 mm below the final surface level.

Prepare the channel drain

Make sure you have the channel drain ready for assembly. Ensure that the lengths are correct and that the pre-form outlet has been cut out. One of the benefits of channel drains is that it can be cut to size.

Check that you have all the other required components, such as a silt trap, end caps, and other accessories.

Install the channel drain

To install the channel drain, look at the following steps:

  1. Begin installation of the channel drain from the lowest point where the section meets the drain. Install complete channel drainage sections first. This ensures that if you need to cut any lengths they are at the furthest point from the outlet.
  2. Connect the lengths as you go along. Most channels will have interlocking joining systems to snap sections into place with the help of connecting slots and quad connectors. Some products will also have a rebar that helps hold the channel in place while the concrete is poured.
  3. Install sections with the grate in place to make sure the channels are at the accurate height against the surrounding landscape.
  4. Once you finish laying the channel drains, install an end cap to the last section before laying it into the trench. The end cap should always be placed at the highest point.
  5. Connect the lowest point of the channel drain to the drainage pipe either using an additional end cap or the preformed channel drainage bottom moulding.
  6. Seal the joints on each section with a silicone sealant to improve durability and leak resistance. Many styles of channels that have interlocking systems do not need any silicone sealant or other special tools to lock them into place.

Place the grate

Install the grating on the top of the channel (if you haven’t done so already), making sure it is sealed with some tape or similar adhesive.

Pour concrete

Before pouring the concrete, protect the grated sections with an exterior masking tape.

Pour concrete into the trench, finishing at least 2mm above the surface of the grate. Wait for at least 72 hours for the concrete to cure before exerting any pressure on it. Do not remove the grate till the concrete is set.

Choose the right products

Now that you know how to install a channel drain, you need to select the right products. If you are looking for channel drainage solutions, we have a variety of channel drains to suit various applications. Please visit our website or contact us for more information.