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What Are the Different Types of Drainage Products?

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  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are several different types of drainage products, and a few examples would include trenchers, drain pipes, sump pumps, and drainage tiles. These drainage products are usually combined in a complex landscaping or drainage design to intercept various sources of excess water. By implementing such a system, homeowners and businesses can quickly reroute water to places where it is much less likely to cause permanent damage.

A drainage trench is the most common type of drainage system and the most appropriate one for clearing waterlogged areas on flat ground. Drainage trenches are dug using drainage products known as trenchers, which use a digging tool comprised of buckets mounted on wheels. Rock wheel trenches use a mounted circular saw while chain trenchers use enormous chainsaws. Once the trencher has dug the trench according to the width and length specifications provided by the builder, a perforated drain pipe between 5 to 6 inches (12.7 cm to 15.2 cm) in diameter must be laid within the trench to allow water to clear quickly. The pipe is usually made out of chromium or copper to avoid corrosion.

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One drainage product commonly added to a drainage trench is a sump pump, which is required to help clear the trench in times of heavy rainfall or flooding. Sump pumps may be divided into submersible pumps, which are fully immersed inside the trench, or pedestal pumps which are mounted above the trench. The latter is easier to service, but is often considered an eyesore as well. Many consumers favor automatic sump pumps equipped with pressure switches that activate the pump when water pressure exceeds an acceptable level. A sump pump with higher horsepower clears water at a faster rate, but may rack up colossal utility bills if heavy rainfall is common in the region.

Finally, drainage tiles provide an alternative to drainage trenches by directly intercepting excess water at its source. These are placed above the water table to prevent excess water from affecting the property. Modern drainage tiles usually consist of continuous lightweight and flexible polymer tile lines. Some drainage tiles may be incorporated into a drainage trench system in order to more effectively combat excess moisture arising from both water trapped above the water table and the water table itself. Weeping tiles, which are porous tiles arranged in a formation allowing water to accumulate in the trench, are an example of such drainage products.

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