4 Places To Install Trench Drain

Driveway drainage

Residential trench drain is a large market that fluctuates with the construction season. Homeowners and private drainage projects often extend the market well into winter months when the commercial sectors slow. The most common residential applications are pool/patio, driveway drains, downspout drainage and shower drains.  This article discusses these four main drainage applications and some of the solutions available to you.

Pools – Spas – Patios

Pool/Spa and patio drains are grouped together because of their similarities.  Plastic channels and grates are standard, both for economic and practical reasons. These trench drains only handle water flow from their respective areas, which are typically flat surfaces, and offer bottom or end outlets. Neither is designed for a high volume of water so they tend to be 4″ wide or less.

A longstanding problem that homeowners face with patio drains is how they affect the aesthetics of the patio. No one wants to spend thousands of dollars on a beautiful concrete or paver patio only to have a drain standing front and center. 

Thankfully, many systems are beginning to offer decorative grating for trench drains.  TDS™ offers beautiful bronze and aluminum options. While NDS® came out with decorative plastic grating. Iron Age Designs make decorative cast iron grates to fit many patio drain systems to give any project that upscale look. 

Swimming Pool Application
Decorative Stainless Steel
Driveway Trench Drain


When a driveway slopes toward the house foundation or straight into the garage, it is a good indicator that future flood mediation will be needed. A good remedy for this is a floor drain. However, floor drains have a relatively small open surface area and require seasonal cleaning to avoid clogging from debris. A trench drain on the other hand, nearly stretches across the entire driveway which effectively stops the water flow before it can harm your basement, foundation or nearby structures.

A pre-sloped system is the standard in driveway drains. Their widths and slopes allow the systems to evacuate a large amount of water rapidly. There are a variety of cast iron grates available to fit the 6″ systems, including decorative cast iron grates which allow the same water flow as standard slotted grates.

Load class is an important factor in driveway drains. A system should have grating that will not warp or break from the traffic driving over it. Class B grates (cars and lightweight trucks) or class C grates (heavy-duty traffic, H-20 loading) are recommended. 

Catch Basin Install
Sun Catch Basin


Downspouts are a tricky topic. Some downspouts flow into driveways which redirects the problem to that area. Others drain right into the ground and have the potential for saturating the soil, causing erosion, killing shrubs and potentially weakening a house’s foundation.

There are basically two ways to remedy a downspout drainage problem. The first is to install a French drain or similar product to catch downspout water and slowly filter it into the surrounding soil. This eliminates much of the pooling and damage you’ll get from a sudden storm. However, this method can be ineffective if installed improperly or if there is too much water for the system’s capacity.

Your second option is to install a catch basin in the area.  A catch basin holds a small reservoir of water and carries it away from the downspout site through piping.  If placed beneath the downspout, it prevents water from ever reaching the soil. The reservoir at the bottom of the drain allows any extraneous debris to settle to the bottom where it can be removed later. Be sure to have a plan in place to clear debris periodically to avoid the system being blocked.

Shower Drains

While shower drains can sound appealing, the truth is they’re expensive when compared to other residential drains. This is no fault of the suppliers (prices do vary), but rather a consequence of the application itself. The material cost for stainless steel, a standard component of the shower drain, remains high which effects pricing across all industries.

Shower Drain Application

The experts at TDS can help you find the right drains to fit your plan and budget. Contact us for a free quote or for further information on drainage solutions visit TrenchDrain.com or DrainageKits.com

Phone: 610-882-3630

Email: [email protected]

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