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Channel Drain Installation: Your Simple Step by Step Guide


Hearing the rain pour down outside is usually good news for your plants. But can the same be said for the rest of your premises?

When water pools it can be problematic, causing erosion, being unsightly or a breeding ground for insects. As it’s a common problem on many properties, channel drains have become popular. And no, you don’t even need a pro to solve this challenge. With our guide below this easy solution can be your next weekend project.

It’s quite simple—and you’ll appreciate the many benefits.

Benefits of DIY Channel Drain Projects

A channel drain is a smart option; benefiting you and your property:

  • You’re preventing damage to your property as there will be less soil erosion. This can even affect the value of your property.
  • Adding your trench drain increases its resale value.
  • The garden’s layout and landscaping won’t be destroyed be extensive rain.
  • It will be more convenient walking on your premises after a rain shower, thanks to water draining away faster.

There’s no reason to pay others when you can do this one-day-project yourself. As a bonus: Design your property the way you want it, instead of contractors having their way.

It’s also the safer option if you don’t allow unfamiliar contractors onto your premises. So, with this simple task that requires relatively few tools as well, why not try it yourself?

Your DIY channel drain installation project can solve your problems overnight. Let’s show you how.

Channel Drains—Where to Use Them

You may not be aware that it’s the ideal solution for you. These unique types of drains, also called trench drains, create large surface areas to collect water which falls into the pipes through the grates on top. Connecting it to a pipe system helps collect water and guide it elsewhere.

This infrastructure is a practical solution for:

  • Channeling water away from a patio or driveway after the rain
  • Pool areas to keep surfaces dry and less slippery
  • Wet rooms
  • Parks

Yes, the application is quite diverse for inside or outside and even industrial sites. Just keep in mind the type of traffic crossing on a daily basis. For heavy traffic and large vehicles, opt for commercial channel drainage that can handle more weight.

What You Need for Channel Drain Installation

Make sure you have everything ready before you start, which includes:

  • Safety glasses
  • Channel drain and cover (grating)
  • Channel drain outlets and caps
  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • General tools
  • Cement
  • Shovel

Installation Step by Step

For the channel drain system to work effectively, accuracy is key during each step.

Pick a Spot and a Drain

Select an area where the slope will ensure the water runs into the drain naturally. These drains come in different sizes and you have to match capacity with the amount of water you will collect. If it’s not big enough there will be an overflow and water will still run everywhere.

You’ll connect the outflow of the channel drain with an existing drain or a pipe leading to it.

Prepare a Trench and Your Infrastructure

Dig a trench for the drain and piping to fit in, from the capture area all the way to your existing drain.


Important tip: Start from the side where the pipe infrastructure connects with your existing drain. Work your way towards where the channel drain will be. Cut pieces of pipe as you go along to ensure precision. Channel drains and pipes are sold in standard lengths. Measure the length you need and cut to size if necessary.

If the channel drain is positioned on the edge of a driveway you may have to cut away bricks or tar.

The trench must be big enough for the drain, as well as cement on all sides. Ensure the grid’s top will be below the ground level so water will naturally flow downwards into it.

Connect the Parts

You don’t want the drain to leak, so all components must be put together with silicone sealant:

  • The end cap on one end
  • A connection leading to your drain or another pipe on the other end
  • Different channel drain sections if you need to cover a large area
  • Pipes running from the channel drain to your existing drain (this can run below or above ground depending on your layout)

Check the Level

The side with the end cap needs to be positioned higher than the rest, so the water will flow down towards your drainage system. For every 1m of channel drain you use, the slope should create a fall of 5mm.

Cement it in Place

Cover the grate with tape so no debris will fall through. Then you can position the channel drain and other pipes & start pouring in concrete.

It will take up to three days for the cement to dry completely. Keep the grate covered so dust won’t fall inside and clog your new drain system.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to innovative products such as channel drains, drainage is improved so no property owner will have to settle for pools of standing water anymore. And with a DIY plan, you can solve your water challenge at an affordable cost too. Do you have any tips on transforming your premises with a channel drain installation? Leave a comment and let’s help each other.

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