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Branden 05-23-2010 08:22 PM

Trench Drain Question
So I tore out the old trench drain at the bottom of my driveway along with the piping to the sump. The driveway slopes towards the house. I am replacing the concrete up to the first expansion joint from the bottom of the driveway that includes this area.

I was thinking that I can just form the new trench drain with concrete and add grates over the top. I was planning on having a 3 inch lip all the way around the drain to rest the grates on. The dimensions of the drain itself would be 12 foot long by 6 inches wide by 8 inches deep.

Is there any reason why this wouldn't be a good idea, other than it taking longer to form? If it does sound stupid, does anyone know a place where I can have a 12' drain ordered?

Also, I was planning on not having the drain pipe to the sump to sit on the bottom of the drain, but a few inches up to give the dirt that gets in it a place to settle so that it can be cleaned out. Is this a good idea or pointless?

Daniel Holzman 05-24-2010 07:55 AM

The trench drains I have worked with have been prefabicated units, typically concrete or plastic, designed to be dropped into the trench. They do not have pipes in the bottom, rather the bottom of the trench is sloped towards the desired sides, and the water simply runs out to a collection pipe at the end of the trench.

Sounds like you are building your own, so you need to check with the grating manufacturer to see how much lip you need.

AllanJ 05-24-2010 08:05 AM

I don't see why you could not build your own, although if you don't design it properly (I don't know how to design it) the long sides might collapse towards each other or it might break in two in the middle after you drive over it a few hundred times..

This is a more complicated concrete pour compared with a patio. It is not unusual for a void to remain in the concrete and you discover that after you remove the forms that occupied what would be the drainage channel across the driveway.

It should not be designed so some water stays behind in it; that will be a breeding place for mosquitoes.

The Engineer 05-24-2010 12:04 PM

My advice would be to buy a pre-fabbed pre-sloped concrete or fiberglass trench drain in sections that lock together to create the length you want, some manufacurers have an optional catch basin at the end of the trench drain to collect debris before it discharges down the drain pipe. You have to get grating that is rated for the load you want to drive over it. You can get grating rated for everything from pedistrian traffic to dump trucks to airplanes.
Here is a link to the precast polymer trench system, not sure on pricing, but it should get you headed in the right direction. Remember, if you do form and cast your own trench, you are going to need support braces that span the trench at close intervals along the trench to avoid it collapsing on itself after a short time.

Branden 05-24-2010 12:22 PM


I did look into the plastic ones, but I just don't like the idea of putting in a plastic drain. Seem really cheap to me, and I don't want to have to knock up new concrete if it cracks or if something else goes wrong.

I have a very experienced concrete finisher in the family and If anyone can form it in, he can. Haven't really talked to him about it yet though.

Engineer, I have also looked into the precast concrete drains....pricey! Trying to stay away from that.

vaconcrete 05-25-2010 07:24 AM

I am a concrete contractor and have installed many trench drains. If you do form and pour your own you need to have angle iron with hooks welded to them and cast them in to use as the lip for your grate. In this day it is cheaper to buy the units. You can buy a nice Acco system for around $50 l.f. They come presloped and flat bottomed. They come in lengths of 1 and also half meters. Grates included. So figure 12' and thats around $600. Compare that to the angle iron fabrication and grate and you'll find it's a better deal. Set some grade stakes with string line, set the units with some bag concrete mix at under ends of units. Use some rebar stakes or wood stakes to hold in straight line if you need. They can be pulled out after you pouer your concrete. Also put a few pieces of rebar around.

Branden 05-25-2010 10:02 AM

Thanks for the input VA. I definitely wasn't planning on spending $600 on a drain though. Although I did want to stay away from using plastic, I came across this website

Seems a lot better than the other plastic ones I was looking at. I shot them an email with some questions. Anyone ever hear of or use this company before? This would cost me around $210

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