How to Make Channel Drain Corners

How to Make Channel Drain Corners

Channel drains are an efficient way to move water away from buildings, patios, walkways and other structures. They prevent pooling and flooding by creating a channel for water runoff to quickly drain away. While straight channel drain sections are simple to install, turning corners with channel drains can be tricky. With the right supplies and proper planning, you can seamlessly continue your channel drainage around landscaping corners or building edges.

Challenges of Turning Corners with Channel Drains

When it comes to installing channel drains, it’s usually a straightforward process on straight sections. However, when you need to turn a corner, it can get a bit tricky. Some of the key challenges include:

  • Calculating the precise angle of the corner
  • Obtaining or fabricating the proper elbows, tees, and corner pieces
  • Cutting the drainage channel components to fit correctly
  • Maintaining the proper slope for drainage around corners

With attention to detail and the right materials, you can certainly meet these challenges and create flowing channel drainage corners. If you’re interested in learning more about how to install a channel drain, check out our guide about a guide to channel drainage installation, channel drainage installation -key points, and channel drainage detailed installation instructions.

Materials Needed for Channel Drain Corners

When it comes to installing channel drains, you’ll need more specialized supplies for corners than for a basic straight section. Here are some materials you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Channel Drain Pieces: This includes straight channel drainage sections, end caps, elbows or corner pieces with appropriate angles, and tee fittings to connect drains at junctions. Using moulded elbows and corner pieces can help avoid the need to cut pieces to fit. For unique angles, you may need custom-fabricated pieces.
  • Soil, Concrete or Mortar: This is required to firmly adhere to the drain pieces.
  • Tools: You’ll need a shovel, level, tape measure, marker, trowel (if you use concrete), channel drain grate pieces, and a saw or angle grinder to cut channel pieces.

If you’re interested in learning more about how channel drains connect to PVC drainage, check out our article here. It provides detailed information on how you can connect channel drainage to underground drainage in two different ways.

Planning Your Drainage Layout

Before installing a channel drainage, it’s important to plan carefully to ensure that the corners are seamless. Here are some key steps to follow before installation:

  • Measure and Sketch: Measure the area where you want to install the channel drain and sketch a layout for the drainage path.
  • Mark: Mark the locations where you will need elbows, tees, or corner pieces.
  • Calculate: Calculate the angle of each corner and determine which fittings you will need.
  • Cut: Determine if any straight pieces will need to be cut to fit properly.

Cutting Channel Drain Pieces

To create a seamless corner channel drain, it’s best to use a protractor to determine the exact angle of each corner in your planned drainage path. This will help you calculate the angles precisely so that you obtain the proper fittings. For complex corners, you may need to use multiple smaller angled pieces rather than one sharp elbow. Once you have determined the angles, double-check your measurements and mark the cutting lines clearly with a pencil or marker. Remember to measure twice and cut once!

For concrete channel drains

For straight cuts across the width of the concrete channel, you can use a circular saw with a concrete blade or a handheld angle grinder with a cutting disc. Ensure that the channel piece is firmly supported while cutting.

For angled cuts, mark the angle carefully with a protractor. Use a mitre saw equipped with a concrete blade to make precision angled cuts. When cutting through thick concrete, it’s best to make multiple light passes instead of trying to cut through in one go. This helps prevent cracking and ensures a smoother finish.

For plastic channel drains

To cut plastic channel drains, you can use a jigsaw or hacksaw with a blade that is suitable for cutting plastic. Make sure to support the channel properly and make slow, smooth cuts.

For straight cuts, mark a guideline and follow it with the saw.

For angled cuts, you can use a mitre box or carefully guide the saw freehand while checking the angle with a protractor.

For metal channel drains

To cut metal channels, you can use a power metal chop saw or angle grinder with a cutting disc. Carefully mark the cut line and clamp the piece securely.

For composite channel drains

When working with composite channel drain materials, be extra careful during cutting to avoid cracking or chipping the pieces. I'd recommend using a circular saw or jigsaw with carbide-tipped blades specifically designed for composites. The key is taking lighter, multiple passes rather than trying to power through in one go.

After cutting any material, smooth any rough edges using an angle grinder or rasp. The ends should fit flush against adjacent pieces.

Remember to take safety precautions when cutting, such as wearing eye protection and a respirator. Using a dust collection system is also a great way to keep your work area clean when installing a channel drain.

Installing Channel Drain Corners

Proper installation techniques are crucial for a functional drainage system. Here are some key steps to follow:

  • Ensure that the corner angles align properly and that the gutters have a consistent slope.
  • To attach pieces, apply soil or concrete liberally across the entire contacting surfaces, not just around the edges. This creates a watertight seal.
  • Corner areas need additional concrete packed underneath for maximum support and stability. Make sure elbows and tees are level.
  • Tool any excess concrete to slope towards the channel so water runs off the edges smoothly.

Setting the Corner Pieces

To ensure proper drainage, it’s important to create a solid foundation. Use a level frequently to ensure that the pieces meet at the proper angle. End caps will connect the straight pieces between your elbows and corners. The straight pieces should fit snugly into the fittings. To seal the connections, apply soil or concrete around all joint areas.

Finishing the Installation

Once you’ve assembled your channel drain, it’s important to take a few more steps to ensure that it functions properly. Here are some key steps to follow:

  • Smooth any remaining concrete around the drain edges.
  • Insert the drain grate pieces, trimming as needed.
  • Test water flows through the entire drain to ensure that there are no leaks.
  • Consider sealing all connections with a waterproof sealant.

Proper planning, measurements, and construction techniques allow you to seamlessly continue channel drains around corners. With durable materials and precise installation, your drainage system will function flawlessly and resist weathering for years. If you’re looking for more information on how to install a channel drain, check out our guides and tips section.

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