Channel Drain Resources

Welcome to the Channel Drain Resource page. Here at Drainage Connect, We believe you may not have control over when it rains or how much it rains, but you do have control over how it affects the landscape. Don't wait before it is too late, Without a proper drainage system, water can collect on your land creating catastrophic costly issues! On this page, we'll cover how to construct a simple channel drain into becoming the perfect drainage system that can be completed in just a few easy steps. At any point, you can click one of the links below to take you to the information that's most relevant to you. If this is your first time with a channel drain project, it's recommended that you read through the entire page before starting your project to save yourself both time and money. If you have a question about channel drains that you don't see answered below, feel free to send a message to for a solution to your issue; it may even get added into this guide!

Quick Navigation

What is Channel Drain?

Channel drain (also referred to as linear or trench drain), is a prefabricated floor drain used to route water to other locations. Channel drain is installed level with the surrounding floor so that excess water can easily flow in through the channel grate and into the channel. Once in the channel, the water flows to a discharge point via gravity; discharge points need to be the lowest points in the system to prevent water from sitting in the channel. You can read more about types of channel drains here on Wikipedia

When should Channel Drain be used (or not)?

Channel drains, or trench drains, are used mainly to divert water from problem areas to other areas where the removal of the water is not an issue. Despite most drainage issues involving water diversion, channel drain isn't right for every project. Typically speaking, channel drains are used to collect surface-level water on hardscapes such as a driveway, pool deck, or basketball court. Channel drains are preferable in these situations for two reasons: the channel is supported on both sides by concrete, allowing it to reach its listed load rating while also capturing and removing water that would not otherwise be absorbed. In a typical installation, channel drains are supported on both sides by concrete, thus when a load is applied, it is evenly spread to both sides of the channel. If a hardscape is not present, the channel may buckle or even break under heavy loads. In areas where the ground is permeable a french drain, or EZ Flow from NDS, is a more desirable solution.

How do I choose the appropriate Channel Drain?

The appropriate channel drain for you will depend on a few factors:

  • Size of the area drained: Determine the total surface area
  • Environmental factors: Observe local weather patterns and surrounding soil conditions
  • Mechanical and Dynamic Loads: Consider load rating and intended application
  • Discharge Capacity: Decide the volume of water that you are wishing to remove

This may seem like a lot, but by the end of this page, you'll be able to select channel drains like an industry veteran. To make matters even simpler, there are several online tools that you can use to calculate the exact amount of trench drain you'll need to solve your problem. As stated above, the first thing you'll need to do is calculate the area that's going to drain into the channel. Since the area is length multiplied by width, you'll just need the perimeter of the space that's draining into the channel. Once you've calculated the amount of area you've got to drain, you'll need to take into account environmental factors that can skew the amount of drainage you'll need such as weather or the ground surrounding the drain. Since you probably don't know how much rain your area receives, use the National Weather Service's Precipitation Frequency Server Data to get an accurate estimate. For best results, search for your address and use the data for 30-minute rainfall as it is the most indicative of storms in your area.

Now that you've got all the data you need, we can use the intuitive Drainage Calculator from NDS to calculate the amount of water that needs to be removed. The calculator provides us with both liquid flow rates and the volume of water; using this data we can determine the type of channel required for your job.

What is the proper installation technique?

You will need to begin by preparing the site by excavating a trench as per the manufacturer's guidelines. Technical specification and installation instructions are routinely provided and included when purchasing products from reputable manufactures. It is strongly warranted to ensure precise alignment and slope to facilitate optimal water flow towards the designated discharge point of your project. Once you have completed those two tips, securely install your chosen channel body, using concrete or appropriate bedding material for stability and endurance. Then place your selected channel grates and accessories -- double checking their firm attachment to the channel. Lastly, we recommend to conduct a thorough system test to confirm functionality and make any adjustments as needed for seamless performance.

Our Channel Drain Resource page serves as an invaluable repository of information for all individuals navigating water management. Our guide equips you with the knowledge and tools necessary to tackle drainage challenges effectively. By adhering to the meticulously outlined steps given and leveraging the provided resources -- property owners and contractors alike can navigate their drainage projects with confidence and precision while mitigating the risks of water damage and preserving the integrity of their landscapes for the long term. Our commitment to clarity, practicality, and relevance, we take pride in providing a resource to enhance the accessibility and effectiveness of drainage solutions for a diverse array of audiences.

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