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How to install a channel drain

Updated February 21, 2017

Channel drains are made of metal and plastic and serve as ideal drainage systems for driveways, pool decks, patios or any other outdoor area. They provide an ecological and simple alternative to traditional concrete drains. The easy installation process, coupled with the ultraviolet inhibitors that prevent sun damage and fading, provide consumers with great value for a drainage system. While installation may sound like a difficult process, it is actually quite simple.

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  1. Find the lowest spot where the most water accumulates. Dig a trench wide enough to allow for 7.5 cm (3 inches) of backfill on each side of the drain. The trench should be deep enough for the height of the channel and drain plus an additional 6 mm (1/4 inch) for additional drainage.

  2. Refill the trench with sand and compact the ground thoroughly. Use a compactor to create a level base and additional support. Measure the channel to the desired length and cut with a fine tooth saw.

  3. Connect the channel drain directly to the sewer drain and drain pipes using a spanner and the provided clamps. The pieces should fit snugly with one another and should snap together prior to putting on the clamps. Test and make sure the channel drain fits securely in place without tightening the clamps to the drain pipes. If the channel drain does not fit, cut the drain to the desired length with the fine tooth saw.

  4. Remove the channel drain from the ground and take it apart. Apply PVC primer and cement to its joints and reassemble the channel drain back to its original state. This process must be done quickly, before the primer and cement dry.

  5. Let the channel drain sit for 10 to 15 minutes or until the adhesive is firmly in place.

  6. Install the grate on the channel and place the channel into the trench.

  7. Make sure the channel is completely connected to the sewer and drain pipes using a spanner and the provided clamps. The clamps should be tightened as securely as possible to prevent water leakage.

  8. Tip

    If you intend to pour cement, the grate must be installed in the channel before being placed in cement to prevent deflection from the foundation.

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Things You'll Need

  • Drain
  • Grate
  • Channel
  • Shovel
  • Compactor
  • Sand
  • Fine tooth saw
  • PVC primer and cement

About the Author

Freelance Writer

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