Channel Drains for In Ground Pool's Concrete Deck

tspenard

Active member
Nov 10, 2016
31
St. Louis, MO
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hi,

I have an existing 20' x 40' vinyl liner pool with a full concrete surround. There is 6' of walking area on all sides. This means that the long run is roughly 52'. The original plastic micro drain channel is in really bad shape, collapsed, etc. I want to replace it with 4" or 5" channel drain on the two sides (long side and adjacent short side) and plumb to existing rain drainage piping underground which leads to daylight. The project is straight forward but I can't wrap my head around what people actually do regarding channel slope. The short side won't be much of an issue, however at 52' the long side will require over 3" of slope to achieve a spec I found on a UK website of 5mm per 1 meter. If it started flush at the high corner it would be 3+ inches below deck at the outlet end. Concreting a swale from deck level to this would be difficult, it would look terrible, and be a tripping hazard.

What do expert builders do when installing a working channel drain in a concrete deck? Leave it level and hope the remaining standing water doesn't stagnate to the point where it smells or causes problems? Use an incredibly expensive pre-sloped channel system? (not in my budget unless there's an affordable one I haven't seen yet) Put a really tiny bit of slope into it and hope for the best?

Factoring the natural slope of the property and physical restrictions I can't gravity pipe this trench out anywhere but to the far end as described above. It runs parallel to a 3' retaining wall that leads to another level which is a massive concrete deck above the pool level. I don't even want to entertain the labor and cost of a below-grade sump pump that would collect at the middle and shoot it out subgrade to the drain pipe.

I am not thrilled about the idea of making a completely custom concrete "luge" due to the labor intensity and intricacy of crating a custom shelf and grate system. I really want to incorporate an affordable (couple thousand) channel system plus installation and make it work as best as possible, but if a flat or nearly flat system won't work I'd like to know before starting the project. Or if a reasonably priced sloped system could be sourced that would be ideal. A system with accessories like corner pieces for clean integration and available replacement grates for future proofing would be critical. Plastic with a standard load rating would be fine, these areas see very light foot traffic only.

Water on the deck is not a major situation, IOW it's not a flooding issue even with the mostly useless existing drainage. Planting areas on three sides take most of the water. But there needs to be a solution that is longer lasting and better than micro channel without going broke.
 

duckcmmndr

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
428
Arkansas
Pool Size
29980
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
The purpose of the channel drain is to be the low point for the water to run to. It is perfectly normal for the channel drain to be 100% level with concrete sloped towards the drain. Water will drain out either end or just one end if the other end is capped. If you set the drain level...there will never be any significant amount of water in it.

I have had this setup for 2 years now and never the first issue with any stagnate water of any kind. The longest one here between pool and house is 55' long. The short drain only runs out one end furthest from house. The long one drains out both ends to pipes that are under ground that route the water off both directions away from the house.
grade2.jpg
 
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Kjingram821

Active member
Aug 5, 2020
26
Cincinnati
I'm in agreement with duckcmmnder, I'd try to give it some pitch towards the drain end, but honestly even if level it would be a pittance of water that ever laid in there. As long as there's no slope back towards the closed end, surface tension will pull most of the laying water out as it drains. What kind of winters do you get in MO? I don't honestly think enough water would stand in there to prevent a freezing/bulging/cracking problem.
 
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tspenard

Active member
Nov 10, 2016
31
St. Louis, MO
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The purpose of the channel drain is to be the low point for the water to run to. It is perfectly normal for the channel drain to be 100% level with concrete sloped towards the drain. Water will drain out either end or just one end if the other end is capped. If you set the drain level...there will never be any significant amount of water in it.

I have had this setup for 2 years now and never the first issue with any stagnate water of any kind. The longest one here between pool and house is 55' long. The short drain only runs out one end furthest from house. The long one drains out both ends to pipes that are under ground that route the water off both directions away from the house.
View attachment 411331
Thank you. I figured that people put in flat drains regardless if there might be side effects but it's good to hear a positive story from someone who's done it and analyzed the results.
 
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