Workshop
Ask a question

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

How to replace a channel drain cover?

jackobss
Getting Established

How to replace a channel drain cover?

At my home there is a 40-metre continuous concrete drain which is 11cm wide. Into this channel has been inserted a plastic channel with a plastic grate. The drain has to be covered because I once stood in the uncovered drain with serious repercussions. I used to be able to remove the grate cover regularly and easily to sweep/clean out the drain. Over the years the grate has become very brittle so that it breaks when being removed. Also the 11cm gap for the grate cover has decreased to 10.5cm. This makes it extremely hard to return the cover when I have finished cleaning and causes the tight squeeze which contributes to the breakage when I try to remove the cover. The channel sleeve is still in good condition but dirt between the concrete drain and the sleeve has contributed to the decrease in gap width. As the sleeve is in good conjdition, I have tried to purchase only replacement covers to rest on top of the concrete "shelves". An expandable cover would be ideal but I don't think that such a thing exists. I can find no covers that are 10.5 or 11cm in width to purchase. A friend has suggested sawing 5mm off the side of each cover so that they will fit but still be stable enough to walk on. I suspect that this would be a big job. To make matters worse, the ends have been broken off the covers when prising them out of the drain so there are now big gaps in between each cover. I thought of putting a Staymesh plastic gutter guard strip in the drain instead of the covers but gutter guard is wider than 11cm, would probably not support weight and would be an aestetic disaster.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Channel Drain Cover

Hello @jackobss 

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's sensational to have you join us, and thanks for sharing your question about your drain.

 

In order to give our members a better idea of what the plastic cover and drain looks like, would it be possible for you to post a few pictures of the cover and drain? This will help us to try and identify the cover. We can then make recommendations on how to replace the cover or perhaps suggest an alternative.

 

If you need a hand to post the photo, please let me know.

 

Eric

 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
jackobss
Getting Established

Re: Channel Drain Cover

Thank you for your response, Eric.

I have forwarded a number of photographs.

 

PeterIMGP2048.JPGIMGP2049.JPGIMGP2050.JPGIMGP2053.JPGIMGP2054.JPGIMGP2055.JPGIMGP2056.JPG

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Channel Drain Cover

Hi @jackobss,

 

What is the distance across the top of the grate? So, from the concrete to concrete. There is the EasyDRAIN Pressed Galvanised Grate. Through sheer luck, if it's 130mm, the grate might slip over the channel. That would require a gap of a few millimetres on either side of the grate between it and the concrete. If the grate was large enough to fit over the channel, perhaps you could have a tradesperson cut a thin slot between the channel and concrete to accept the lip of the new grate.

 

The only alternative I can see would be removing the channel and having the concrete cut back to accept a new system.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Mitchell

 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!

Re: Channel Drain Cover

Thank you Mitchell for taking the time to reply to my query.

The distance between both concrete sides of the drain is approximately 12cm.

Inserted in the drain is a plastic sleeve, the top of which is flush with the top of the concrete.

The sides of the sleeve are 5mm wide on each side which reduces the 12cm gap to 11cm.

Below the top of the sleeve is a shelf/lip which is 1cm wide on each side. The grating rests on this shelf/lip.

Unfortunately, over the years dirt between concrete and sleeve and possibly expanding concrete has decreased the gap between the sides of the sleeve to 10.5 cm so that the 11cm wide grating cannot fit in the gap without much pounding if at all. If it is forced into the gap, it is almost impossible to get it out again without breaking the brittle grating.

That is why I am looking for 11cm wide grating to rest in the gap after 5cm has been cut from one side of each length.

So far, the grating I can find is much wider than 11cm, usually 13cm as you suggest. It is a pity that the gap is not 13 cm wide because there are so many 13cm options out there. Duplicate grating must be available somewhere but I have yet to locate. Grating 10.5 cm wide would be ideal, particularly if metal. . I don't know who originally installed the drain. Even if I could find grating 11cm in width,  I would need to cut 5mm from the side of each 1metre length of grating. Your suggestion has given me the idea of cutting a wider groove between the concrete and the sleeve which would allow the gap to expand as the grating is inserted. Would that be a viable solution? 

Although a time-consuming option but a cheaper one. would it achieve my desired outcome by widening the groove with a chisel?

I have no DIY experience so my thoughts may not be workable. Thanks for headsing me in the right direction.

Peter

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Channel Drain Cover

Hello @jackobss 

 

Thank you for posting those photos of your drain. This drain set must be quite a few years old for the grill to become this brittle. Although grinding the sides of the concrete might give you extra space, I don't know if it will be enough for you to fit in a new grate.

 

One way you can get a cover is to look for a custom stainless-steel fabricator in your area and asking them if they can build a similar looking drain cover for you. I recommend asking for a quote first so that you'll have an idea of what to budget for. 

 

If the cost is equivalent to putting in new drains, it would be more practical to install new drains rather than modifying what you have. 

 

Let me call on our experienced members @Dave-1, @TedBear and @JoeAzza for their recommendations.  

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!
Dave-1
Home Improvement Guru

Re: How to replace a channel drain cover?

Good Evening @jackobss 

40m is a long run 😕 What a pain.

 

Going through the suggestions maybe you could take some from Both @EricL and @MitchellMc 

I was going to suggest to pull up and replace the drain even tho costly I think ist the best option available.

How about getting a tradie to cut the concrete slab by 3cm off the drain, then removing the concrete strip and drain, you could asses the state of the drain (see if it goes back to its original size cross fingers) and if so potentially reuse it. If it dosnt go back to the originalk size maybe some of the existing grate lids can be reused with a new base? 

 

Id suggest that strip you see between slabs on a footpath be installed next to the new grate before redoing the concrete if necasary (depend on how fine a cut you choose) 

 

I had a builder mate come over and cut my concrete driveway for a channel (yeah no way was I confident to do that lkevel of accuracy) I also have chisled pleenty of concrete and know how hard it is to keep any form of a line with it. Here is the link, step 3 will show you the cut Fixing water ingress issues in garage By fluke it is the perfect size for pavers. If you can get someone to cut down the length of your channel it could save a whole bunch of work breaking up concrete.

 

Dave

jackobss
Getting Established

Re: Channel Drain Cover

G'day Eric

Yes, the drain was installed over fifteen years ago and like most things these days was not made to last.

I have taken your suggestions on board and thank you for them. I still live in hope of finding 10.5 or 11cm wide grating somewhere. Financially, replacing the drain is not a possibility for the moment. I'm starting to think outside the box. If I can't remove the grating without breaking it, can I find a more efficient way to clean out the drain without removing the grating? That would certainly be cheaper. 

 

Peter 

jackobss
Getting Established

Re: How to replace a channel drain cover?

G'day Dave

Being a DIY novice even although I am well past my prime, it is exciting to find that there are blokes like you out there eager to help me out. It is appreciated. One day I might be able to afford to follow the welcome advice I have been given. For the moment however, I'll look for ingenious ideas to clean out the drain without removing the grating. I do have access via the traps between the grating. Your water ingress issues have made me thankful that my only problem is a grating that won't go back into place. Thanks for sharing your experience.

 

Peter

Dave-1
Home Improvement Guru

Re: How to replace a channel drain cover?

Afternoon @jackobss 

:smile: This place is full of great ideas! And when I was reading you response to @EricL the thought jumped into my mind. Have you seen people ising a tire with a rope being pulled through a culvert to clean it out on youtube? 

 

For you, you could feed your hose down the drain all the way, Then tie a bunch of rags or something solidish but flexible at the high end of the drain but in the channel. Go to the other end and gentle pull the hose, hopefully ou will be able to drag out the leaf matter/rocks ect that way or every several meters up up one grill to extract the debris.

 

Just went looking for a "spreading clamp" Something to allow you to spread the channel back so you can drop the grill back in (I do think something will give way due to age of the channel if you try this) and came up with this. (Search for the term) "1pc Professional Brake Disc Piston Pad Spreader Separator Car Caliper Tool" and you will see a tool that may work for you. If you get two or three then you could widen the whole chanel then slip in the grill one end and slowly work the grill down the chanel lid. Chance of it working is low but "lifts hands and shrugs"

 

Dave

 

 

 

Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects