Types of Garage Floor Drains

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Garage floor drains are handy mechanisms that can significantly improve your process for cleaning your garage. Whether you are using your garage for its original intent, to house your cars, or you are using it for other mechanical purposes, chances are fluids like water, oil or coolants dirty the floor. Garage floor drains allow fluids to properly drain out of your garage, making for easy clean up. Garage floor drains are also helpful in draining out rain water in the case of storms. While most garages are well sealed, rain water often gets in, resulting in standing water in your garage which can lead to all types of problems, including mold. A garage floor drain will address this problem, allowing the water to flow freely down the drain and out of your garage.

Types of garage floor drains

It is important to note that there are several types of garage or garage floor drains in the market so you want to make sure that you choose the one that is best suited for your needs. 

  1. Trench garage floor drains: These types of drains are the most sophisticated and typically more expensive, but they are the most efficient at keeping water and fluids out of your garage. The drain is structured like a trench, as its name suggests. They are more rectangular in shape and can be connected together like puzzle pieces. 

CAI Approved Cast Iron Square Bell Trap Drain, Slip Connection, 3", Pipe Dia, 4-1/2" Height - Drains

  1. Square bell trap drains: These are the most common garage drains that you will see and they are more affordable to purchase and install than the trench garage floor drains. Square bell trap trains are simple to install and still do the job of draining fluids out of your garage.

Whether you go with a trench garage drain or a square bell trap drain is more a matter of preference and budget. Both are efficient at draining fluids; the trench drain just requires more care to install properly which is why it is more expensive.

Things to consider when choosing the type of drain for your garage

Installing a garage door drain can get a bit complicated, depending on the type of drain you choose. For example, if you are considering a trench drain, you will need to dig into the concrete in your garage to do so. If you do not have the proper training to do this, it is suggested that you go with a professional which we will discuss momentarily. The square bell trap drains are more simple to install but still require some minor construction to embed in the concrete. Ideally, garage drains should be installed during the construction process of the home to make things simpler, but we understand that rarely is the case when a homeowner chooses to install a garage drain. 

Given that installing a garage drain is considered a small construction project, check with your local government to see if you will need a permit to work on this project. The last thing you want is to receive fines or an order to cease work because you failed to do your homework prior to starting the project. If you are choosing to take on this project on your own, it is recommended that you do the proper planning to ensure your success. Pretend you are an architect for a day and draw up plans for your project. While the installation of a garage floor drain sounds simple, it requires digging up concrete in your garage and connecting drain pipes underground so there is not much room for error. Mistakes made during this process will be costly. Avoid unnecessary costs by planning ahead properly.

Once you’ve made your plans, the next thing you will want to do is make sure you have the proper tools for your project. You are going to have to dig up concrete so one of the primary tools you will need is a jack hammer. This is why it’s important to make sure you check with your local government to see if you’ll need a permit. If you have a homeowner’s association, check with them as well to make sure this type of work is approved for your neighborhood. 

With the cost of materials included, it is possible to install a garage floor drain on your own for less than $1,000 – if you  know what you’re doing.

Why it is better to hire a professional

No matter how handy you think you are, it is best to consider a professional when installing a garage floor drain. It doesn’t matter if you’re installing a trench drain or a square bell trap drain, you will still need to dig up concrete in your garage. Unless you are already a contractor with experience working these types of jobs, it is suggested that you hire a professional to install your drain. As mentioned earlier, you don’t want to leave much room for error because mistakes can be very costly. If you choose to hire a professional but still want to be involved in the process, you can still develop the plans for this project and share those plans with your contractor. It will lay out the vision for them of exactly what you want. Be flexible and allow their  input on your plans. Their experience in this area could refine or improve what you already have, giving you the best possible outcome. 

When it comes to installing your garage floor drains and hiring a professional, the first question that comes to mind is, how much will it cost? The most expensive, your trench drain can run as high as $150 per foot, depending upon the type of material you use. The installation of the square bell drain maxes out at $50-$75 per foot, considerably less.

Carefully evaluate what drain makes the most sense for you and talk to a professional about getting you set up properly.

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