ACO’s trench drain products are purpose-built to be able to withstand daily pedestrian and vehicle traffic in urban, industrial, road and residential environments. ACO is also known to provide aesthetically-pleasing and unobtrusive drainage for the commer cial building industry. To ensure comprehensive support is given to fit in with modern construction practices, ACO has updated its trench drain Site Installation Manual that comprehensively details the process required to safely and correctly install ACO-manufactured Polycrete® Channels.
ACO understands that each installation site is unique and presents different challenges when installing drains. This occasionally results in some on-site fabrication to ensure a seamless connection to the underlying pipe work. This article will summarise key sections of the manual important to the installation of ACO’s trench drain products.
1. Load Class and Pavement Type
When installing ACO’s trench drain systems, several factors must be considered including:
- The type of surface (pavers, asphalt etc.)
- Whether the system is for private or commercial use – to determine the frequency of traffic
- Type of vehicle – to determine the load class
By knowing these factors, site installers are able to install ACO channel systems with the correct amount of concrete encasement according to the guidelines outlined in ACO’s Installation Manual. Load classes are derived from AS 3996 – Metal Access Covers and Grates and are divided into three groups, along with their concrete encasement dimensions:
|AS 3996 Load Class||Encasement Dimension|
Differences in site conditions and surfaces may require either more or less concrete encasement or additional reinforcement. When in doubt, ACO recommends the installer seek professional engineering advice.
2. On-Site Fabrications
Before beginning fabrications on-site and conducting cutting modifications to channels and/or grates, it is recommended that installers are wearing the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, protective eye wear, and a respirator.
When bonding cut surfaces together, a two-part rigid resin glue is recommended to be used, however if the liquids draining into the trench are corrosive in nature, a chemically-resistant sealant/adhesive should be used to correctly seal the joints. While there are numerous custom arrangements and fabrications that can be applied to ACO trench drain systems the most commonly used configurations include:
- Non-Standard Lengths
Channels can be easily shortened. Installers are advised to cut channels with a diamond-bladed masonry saw. Comparatively when cutting grates, a band saw or similar saw with an abrasive blade suited to the task should be used.
For curves, there are two installation methods regularly used. The preferred method requires the installer to cut one end of each channel and grate to the required angle. This ensures no gap appears between channels and makes the drain system appear neater.
To form a bend, use a mitred joint, cut the ends of the connecting channel segments at a 45 degree angle for a right-angle bend.
T-Junctions involve bonding the end of one channel midway against another to create a “T” shape. Liquid flow at these interfaces is ensured through openings cut into the side of the channel through moulded guides.
3. Channel Setup
Determining which method to use requires an understanding of the conditions of the site. This is generally left up to the installer. Here are some options:
- Patty Method
Ideally used for new construction as well as narrow, shallow, and/or light channels, the Patty Method involves using stiff, low-slump concrete intermittently to support the weight of the channel and prevent the channel from settling below the designated finished height.
- Continuous Wet Base Method
While similar to the Patty Method, the Continuous Wet Base Method consists of using an unbroken wet concrete base to ensure channel stability at the required height. This method is best used for new and retrofit construction.
- Installation Device Method
This method allows for channels to be installed in a single pour through the use of purposed designed installation devices.
- Hanging Method
Used for both retrofit installations and new constructions, the Hanging Method uses timber (or other similar solid material) to hold the channel in place while suspended at the required height for a single concrete pour.
4. Pavement Finishing
When laying concrete, transverse and longitudinal expansion joints are important and must be accounted for whilst in proximity to the channel.
Like concrete, asphalt can be finished right up to the channel edge. The channels’ edge rail is a good restraining edge for this type of rolled flexible pavement.
- Brick Pavers
Brick pavers too can be installed right up to the channel edge if they are bonded to the underlying concrete encasement.
To ensure that the integrity of the drain system remains intact, regular inspections of all components of the drain are recommended. The length of time between inspections depends on environmental and local conditions. Inspections of the installation should cover:
- Concrete encasement and adjacent paving
- Grates and locking devices
- In-line pits and rubbish baskets
If you want to find out more about any of ACO’s products for urban landscapes or road infrastructure call 1300 765 226 to speak with an expert – or contact us now via email.