Installing a channel drain in 4 simple steps

Flooding can cause severe and long-lasting damage to your property, especially close to the house.

Whether it’s causing dampness, shifting foundations, damaging surrounding trees or walls, or even creeping into your home when levels really rise, preventing flood water near your home is crucial.

In this blog, we look at how channel drains act as an effective measure for reducing the threats of flooding and provide advice on installing a channel drain in 4 simple steps.

What is a channel drain?

If flooding on your property is of concern, or you’ve unfortunately experienced it before, a channel drain, also known as a trench drain, is an effective and affordable solution.

Available in an array of hard-wearing materials like stainless steel and plastic, a channel drain is a tray fitted in the ground that acts as a gutter.

The tray is connected to an underground drainage system, such as a septic tank.

To prevent blockages such as leaves and unwanted accidents, the tray is covered by a grate, built to withstand large capacities such as cars.

What does a channel drain do?

A channel drain collects and transports water that would otherwise pool, such as excessive rainwater.

These drains are brilliant additions to properties in urban areas, as they prevent damage caused by overflowing street drains that have reached capacity.

The drain acts as a gutter, collecting water and sending it down to the drainage system.

Why do you need to install a channel drain?

There are many reasons why fitting a channel drain is a no-brainer.

Street and yard flooding isn’t just an eye sore or disappointing for your garden: it can be incredibly damaging and potentially dangerous to your house.

Heavy flooding can erode and move soil from underneath your property, damaging the foundations.

Excess water can also cause serious harm to the electricity in your home – which is expensive, disruptive, and possibly life-threatening!

A trench drain is a simple yet highly efficient method of diverting significant amounts of water away from the surface into an underground drainage system.

Other benefits include

  • Very easy to maintain
  • Affordable
  • Long-term solution – you can rest easy knowing flooding is unlikely to happen whilst your channel drain is installed
  • A channel drain doesn’t require professional installation!

4 simple steps to install a channel drain at home 

Positioning is vital when digging the trench where your channel drain tray will sit.

As pooling tends to occur below a slope where water naturally runs down, it’s most effective to place the tray there. Trench drains can be installed in paving or turf.

After you have planned the positioning of your new drainage system, you can begin installing the channel drain.

  1. Dig the trench – it will need to be deep enough to hold a 50mm flattened sand base, with a minimum width of 100mm on each side. This will ensure enough space to fit the grating 3mm below the surrounding terrain.
  2. Fill the trench with sand – tamp the sand down to create a flat and even foundation.
  3. Fit the channel drain – start at the drain’s lowest point and work up from there. This should be where it meets the drain, known as the endcap and end outlet. Connect your drainpipe to this outlet. After this first section has been fitted, the others should be in line with the other connecting slots and quad connectors. Secure the channel with wire ties and ½ inch rebars.
  4. Backfill the trench with concrete – you need to lay a concrete bed, ensuring enough clearance for the channel. Remember to smooth the concrete and refill the channel on both sides to keep it in place! At this point, you can replace any surrounding pavement or turf removed whilst installing the tray into the ground. Leave for at least 72 hours to cure and set. After this has dried, you’re free to add the grate to the top of the channel drain.

Buy the tools you need to protect your home If you want to protect your property from flooding, check out our range of underground drainage systems that prevent water from gathering around your home and the long-term damage and costs a flood can cause.