Types of Trench Drains
There are four main types of trench drains that are categorized by the way that they are made or the way that they are installed. Here is a quick primer to explain what each type is so that you can ensure you are selecting the correct trench drain for your next project.
CAST IN PLACE TRENCH DRAINS
This is the original standard for trench drains. It is built by pouring concrete in the ground with a reinforcing bar, manual labor, and wood "molds" or framing to direct the concrete to form the desired shape. As you can imagine this is the most labor intensive installation and can leave a lot of room for human error. Once the drain is set the wooden cast would be removed.
FORMER SYSTEMS TRENCH DRAINS
This was the successor of cast in place trench drains and made the installation a bit easier by having prebuilt molds that were made out of cardboard or a lightweight expanded polystyrene. While this took the step of building the mold out of the picture, it is still pretty labor intensive. Once the drain is set the cardboard cast would be removed, though cardboard is recyclable so there is not as much waste.
PRE-CAST CONCRETE TRENCH DRAINS
Following former systems, pre-cast concrete allows the drains to be premade in a factory with metal molds and more durable materials. This is a huge labor savings as the drains show up ready to lay and provides a much more durable finished product. While the materials may be more expensive than the cast in place drains, the savings on labor is a much larger factor and makes this well worth the investment.
LINEAR SYSTEMS TRENCH DRAINS
The most recent trend in trench drains is a linear trench drain. Linear trench drains are premade out of materials like structural plastic, steel, polymer concrete, and fiberglass. In order to provide the additional needed strength, these are layed into concrete in order to ensure they hold up for their requirements. As you can imagine these linear system trench drains make for an easy installation.