Your Complete Guide To Installing A Stormwater Drainage System In Your Backyard

Sometimes when it rains, it pours. If your home drainage system isn’t up to Mother Nature’s challenge, you might end up with a flooded backyard. Installing a stormwater drainage solution in your home is not only a cost-effective way to avoid unwanted flooding and drainage issues; it’s a straightforward DIY project that almost anyone can do themselves.

Follow along as we go through the basic steel drainage installation process for how to install channel drain systems on your property, a complete Steel Builders guide to external linear drain installation.

How To Install Channel Drain Systems

Your complete guide to installing steel drainage channels

1. Planning Your Yard Drain System Installation

Planning the route of your steel drainage system is crucial to an effective linear drain installation. Your best bet is to take advantage of the natural slope, which will direct water to run into the channel and avoid blockages. Drains can be especially useful in combination with sloped driveways, as this can lead stormwater onto the main road and into local council stormwater drains. Once the area is identified and cleared of obstructions, it’s time to dig.

2. Dig Trench

A linear drain installation trench requires enough height and width to accommodate a 50mm compacted sand base at the bottom and 100mm of concrete side-fill on each side to surround the channel. As you dig your trench, deepen it in the direction you want the water to travel, preferably along any natural slope.

3. Set Level Stringline

A simple way to mark height during a yard drainage system installation is with a length of string. Starting at the top of the drainage trench, set a level string line and mark the trench depth at each metre point by measuring down in increments of 5mm. This is in addition to any natural slope, as most domestic drainage channels do not have a built-in fall or slope. The final measurement should be around 2mm below the final surface layer.

4. Fill Drainage Trench With Sand

Before adding packing sand, use the flat end of a fence bar or sledgehammer to compact soil, remove rocks and any other obstructions. Packing sand should be mixed with one part cement to four parts sand, allowing groundwater to be absorbed. The amount of sand required for a drainage trench depends on its length. Get advice from your local sand supplier on how many kilograms you need, as the amount can depend on the type of sand. Once you’ve got your sand in the trench, tamp and smooth the sand using a steel float, using the string line level as a guide.

5. Insert Channel Drain

Now it’s time to insert the channel drain. Starting from the lowest point, slot each channel length together, as this will ensure that if any additional channels need to be cut, they are furthest from the drain outlet.

6. Installing Drain End Caps

Install end caps at both ends of the channel drain, and seal each joint with silicone to ensure longevity and durability. Using a roof and gutter silicone with a caulking gun, apply to each joint. Smooth with a wet finger, and replace grates.

7. Connect Grate To Stormwater Drain Outlet

Finally, connect the lowest point of the gutter to the underground drainage pipe outlet. Using a 90mm PVC Pipe, attach the channel drain to the stormwater outlet. Apply PVC primer before using PVC cement around the pipe to seal. The amount of pipe needed depends on the proximity of the outlet to your channel drain.

Stormwater Drain Outlet

8. Install Grate

Lay grating on top of the channel and ensure it is attached securely with tape or a similar adhesive.

9. Concrete and Cure

Now it’s time to pour the concrete into the trench. Finish pouring concrete 2mm above the grate’s surface, and wait at least 72 hours to cure. Do not remove the grate or drive vehicles over the grate before the concrete has had time to cure.

Steel Builders sell a complete range of galvanised, stainless steel, and aluminium grate and drain products suitable for various external applications, including driveway, patios, pools and other stormwater products and accessories. Shop online at Steel Builders today!