Drainage trays: 10 tips for choosing and installing

8 min

Water wears away the stone. The meaning of this expression is especially well understood when you yourself undertake construction work, in particular the arrangement of the foundation or the adjacent territory. If you do not correctly organize a drainage system, then rain and melt water, accumulating in a place not intended for this, will act destructively. As a result, the foundation may suffer, as well as the materials used to cover roads, parking lots, local areas, etc. It is not so difficult to choose drainage trays and install them, therefore this stage of work should never be neglected.

How is the drainage system arranged?

A drainage system is a system for collecting and draining rain, melt and ground water to a specially designated place. Drainage systems are divided into the following types:

  • surface – those through which rain and melt water is collected, and later transported to the storm sewer;

  • deep – designed to collect and drain groundwater.

Gutters are part of the surface drainage system. In addition to them, storm water inlets and sand traps are used. As a rule, the gutter diverts water to the storm sewer, ordinary sewer or reservoir, but some enterprising summer residents direct the collected water to the beds. This is a practical solution, but it will be justified if heavy rainfall is a rarity in the region, otherwise a strong stream of water can wash out the soil and harm the plants.

Trays are made from different materials. Usually plastic, concrete and metal are used. It is advisable that the top of the tray is covered with a grate that protects the system from large debris, and, therefore, from blockages. The tray can be U-shaped or U-shaped. When choosing a drainage tray, first of all, attention is paid to the material of its manufacture, therefore, we will begin with this characteristic.

Plastic drainage trays

Plastic trays are made from polypropylene and low pressure polyethylene. In private construction, they have gained the greatest popularity. Products differ in width (7-30 cm). Stiffeners can be used to increase the strength properties. Such reinforced gutters are perfect for arranging areas around garages, parking lots and car services.


  • price. Plastic trays are cheaper than all analogues;
  • light weight, which ensures ease of transportation and installation;
  • resistance to siltation, since the surface of the tray is absolutely smooth;
  • resistance to low and high temperatures, from -40 to + 900C;
  • relatively high resistance to aggressive substances that can enter the drain


  • low strength, low resistance to mechanical stress, which imposes restrictions on the area of ​​use.

Such products are perfect for arranging the territory of a country house, but if we are talking about a road or industrial territory, then it is better to take more reliable material. An alternative solution is to reinforce the plastic tray with a zinc strip. Otherwise, during a strong flood, such a gutter can be deformed or even moved from its place.

The plastic tray must be protected with a grate, otherwise the storm sewer can become clogged with debris flowing from the territory. The grill should be lightweight, yet strong at the same time. Products made from galvanized or stainless steel are ideal. The strength of the lattice is chosen depending on where the drain is mounted, since there will be different loads near a country house and a car service.

Metal drainage channel

The most durable products are obtained from metal. Despite this undeniable advantage, such gutters are rarely used at the moment. The main reason is susceptibility to corrosion. Of course, manufacturers apply a protective layer, but it does not always save you from rust, since the product will be in constant contact with water. In addition, metal is expensive, and everything with such gutters will be decent, which will greatly complicate self-assembly.

Metal trays can be of the following types:

  • cast iron. They are used extremely rarely, since they are high in weight. But they practically have no analogues in terms of strength. In private construction, such products are not used, but they can be seen at military bases and other military facilities;

  • steel trays (stainless and galvanized) are slightly inferior in strength to cast iron ones, but when choosing the right size and proper installation, such gutters serve no worse. On the other hand, they are much lighter than cast iron, which means they are easier to install. The products are used for arranging park areas and roads where passenger cars move.

When choosing, it is important to pay attention to the thickness of the metal, as well as the thickness of the protective layer, which directly affects the strength and durability.

Concrete and reinforced concrete trays

Concrete trays are widely used in almost all areas of construction, incl. and in private. Products are made in different sizes, they go well with paving slabs.


  • high strength, comparable to cast iron products;
  • small price;
  • durability;
  • relatively easy installation, even despite the weight of the products;
  • the possibility of using it with an aggressive composition of drains, however, when buying, it will be necessary to clarify the grade of concrete used, since some of them can literally dissolve under the influence of certain substances.


  • weight, which complicates transportation;
  • sensitivity to shock, therefore, transportation is performed with extreme caution;
  • the need to use special equipment for cutting.

The carrying capacity of concrete gutters is average, since the material has an imperfectly smooth surface, and dirt particles can gradually settle on it.

In a wide range drainage trays offers the company “Professional Innovation Systems”. On sale there are products made of concrete, composite concrete, polymer concrete, plastic and fiberglass, as well as point drainage and drainage systems for facades and terraces. The company’s employees will help you choose the most suitable products.

Polymer concrete trays

Polymer concrete trays combine the advantages of plastic and concrete products, but they are rarely used, which is associated with a rather high cost. Products are made on the basis of plastic, sand and additives.


  • smooth inner surface;
  • durability up to 30 years;
  • relatively low weight (less than that of concrete), therefore transportation and installation are facilitated;
  • sufficient strength and durability.


  • price;
  • the need for special equipment for installation.

Composite gutters

Composite, or rather composite concrete, gutters are a more advanced version of concrete drainage gutters. In the composition, in addition to concrete, there are composite additives that make it possible to obtain a material with unique characteristics.


  • light weight and ease of transportation;
  • easy installation;
  • high throughput;
  • durability is higher than that of concrete counterparts;
  • the ability to carry out mechanical cleaning;
  • resistance to low temperatures;
  • anti-vandal properties.


  • price.

Fiberglass drainage systems (fiberglass)

One of the most modern solutions with an amazing set of benefits. The tray is made on the basis of polystyrene, which is reinforced with fiberglass. Unlike conventional plastic gutters, which are designed for light loads, fiberglass counterparts can be operated even on busy roads, near factories and warehouses.


  • versatility. Trays can be used in almost all areas of construction, incl. and in private;
  • minimum weight and ease of transportation;
  • ease of installation;
  • durability;
  • smooth surface;
  • resistance to temperature extremes, freezing and defrosting;
  • not very high price.


  • in terms of strength, it is still inferior to concrete, therefore it cannot be used on sites where the loads will be maximum (military bases, airfields, etc.).

Permissible load

Depending on the permissible load on the tray, they are divided into the following groups:

  • A15 – trays that are mounted in places with low mechanical and storm loads. Suitable for the local area in a country house, for garden paths, sports grounds;

  • В125 – more durable products, suitable for installation along roads along which passenger cars move;

  • С250 can withstand even more solid loads, can be operated in a car service and at a car wash;

  • D400 – trays that can withstand the load from a car of any weight, therefore, they are suitable for installation on any roads, as well as in industrial areas;

  • E600 is used near industrial plants and warehouses;

  • F900 are the most powerful trays required for airport and military installations.

Plastic trays belong to the A15-C250 group, fiberglass trays – A15-E600, and concrete and cast iron products can withstand maximum loads.

What else to consider when choosing?

When choosing drainage trays, also consider the following:

  • throughput, i.e. the volume of water that the system, including the drainage trays, will be able to receive and remove per unit of time. The larger the tray, the higher the throughput. When selecting, it is worth taking into account the intensity of precipitation in the region, the features of the territory (this is a nearby area, where it is usually dry, or the area in front of a car wash), the area of ​​the catchment area. It is also important to take into account the parameters of the outlets into the storm sewer so that the drainage systems do not become overfilled. You can calculate the throughput of trays in special programs or by contacting specialists;

  • the dimensions of the tray are calculated using the formula, taking into account the amount of precipitation, the area of ​​the site and the drainage coefficient, depending on the type of coating;

  • depending on the characteristics of the territory, universal ones are acquired (they drain large volumes of water, often used in private construction), wear-resistant (they cope with the withdrawal of a constantly large amount of water) or deep drainage trays (optimal for low-lying areas, they have increased throughput).

Features of drainage installation

You can cope with the installation of drainage trays on a personal plot on your own. You will need a shovel, buckets, concrete mixer, hammer, hacksaw, saw or grinder. Installation technology is as follows:

  • marking. It is better to place drainage systems in the lowlands, if there are any on the site, and even better – to pre-create a draft drainage system;
  • preparation of trenches for marking. The depth and width should be such that the tray fits comfortably in the trench. There must be a slope in the drainage system so that the water in the trays flows calmly into the sewer and does not stagnate;
  • after the trenches are ready, they must be compacted. Some people use sand for this, which has excellent drainage properties. If you plan to install plastic trays, then a concrete base must be made in the trench;
  • the tray is installed 0.5 cm below the ground level so that it does not interfere with free movement;
  • joints of plastic trays are sealed with silicone sealant. It is also necessary to carefully seal the blind part of the trays. The kit usually includes an end cap;
  • it is advisable to strengthen the walls of the plastic tray. This is done using the same concrete solution;
  • the final stage is the installation of the grille.

The drainage system can be connected directly to the sewage system, or you can pre-install a sand trap if there is a lot of sand in the catchment area. If all the work on the calculation, selection of drainage trays and their installation are performed correctly, then the territory will not suffer from precipitation, and you will not know what deep puddles and damaged coating are.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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