Drains and Drain Systems Information

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How to Select Drains and Drain Systems      How to Select Drains and Drain Systems    How to Select Drains and Drain Systems

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Drains and drain systems are used to capture and remove water to prevent accidents, flooding, or other hazardous conditions. Products and components include:

  • Screens
  • Strainers
  • Grease traps
  • Wet waste interceptors
  • Grease gutters
  • Grease absorbent materials
  • Grates
  • Grate guards
  • Passive skimmers
  • Grate lifters
  • Drain pipes
  • Check valves
  • Pressure relief valves


Types of Drains and Drains Systems

  • Automatic condensate drain systems can be used to remove water condensate from steam and boiler applications.
  • Trench drain systems are used typically in parking areas, paved lots, and other exterior surfaces with heavy traffic. The trench can be made of concrete, tile, polymer concrete composite or other materials. The grating can be welded bar, swaged rectangular bar, swaged I-bar, mesh or other types.
  • Concrete drain systems can use either pre-cast or poured-in-place components.
  • Sewer drains collect wastewater and feeds it into a sewage system. Industrial or commercial drains and drain systems may need to handle toxic, corrosive, or explosive wastes.
  • Domestic drains and drain systems typically handle organic waste.



Specifications for drains and drain systems include:

  • Strainer shape - Typically, drains have a round, circular, square, or rectangular inlet.
  • Strainer size - Strainer size is the diameter of a round inlet, or the size of a square inlet. The long side is given for rectangular or trench drains.
  • Connection size - Connection size, another important measurement, is the size of the pipe that connects to the bottom of the drain.
  • Body material - Drains and drain systems use many different types of material. Choices include Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), cast iron, ceramic, ductile iron, fiberglass, polymer concrete, porcelain, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), steel, and stainless steel.
  • Features - Some drains have a domed, angled, or funnel-shaped inlet or strainer. Others include a grease or oil separator, integral cleanout, or side outlet. Often, the inlet height of the strainer may be adjusted with threads or by other means.



ASTM International (formerly called the American Society for Testing and Materials) maintains several committees whose work applies to drains and drain systems, including Technical Committee C04 on vitrified clay pipe, C13 on concrete pipe, and committee F17 for plastic piping systems. In the United States, a sewage system must have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Internationally, drains and drain systems can ensure high water quality standards by following Standard 14001 from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Other ISO standards for drains and drain systems include ISO 559 (steel tubes for water and sewage), ISO/TR 7074 (performance requirements for plastics pipes and fittings for use in underground drainage and sewage), and ISO 7186 (ductile iron products for sewage applications). The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) maintains HDG-3, Vol. IX, guidelines for storm drain systems.