Tupper Barn Installation – Econodrain #4

Trench Drain Systems supplied and oversaw installation of the Econodrain #4 trench former system at a residential horse barn in Doylestown, PA.

Tupper Barn - original trench drain installThe Situation

The Tupper barn stands downhill from the farm's southern field and horse paddock.  The barn doors open south, facing uphill toward the paddock, and north toward the large pasture.

Rain followed a natural path downhill through the south doors and through the barn interior. The concrete floor retained moisture, creating a potential health hazard for horses stabled inside.

Previous attempts to solve the drainage situation had failed. An earlier contractor installed a light-duty trench drain across the southern door, which piped water to a catch basin in the center of the barn and out the other side. The barn drain proved ineffective for three reasons, any one of which would be cause for concern.

Problem No. 1 – improper drain selection

The original contractor purchased a non-sloped plastic channel drain called the NDS Spee-D Channel from Lowes.  The 4" channel drain used a 2" outlet, which meant it could effectively carry only 1/3 of what the barn typically saw during heavy rains.  The drain’s small grating openings, ideal for pool and sidewalk traffic, quickly clogged from sediment in the runoff water.

Problem No. 2 – wrong drainage piping

During the first installation, the contractor used 4" corrugated pipe instead of 4" S&D pipe.  Not only did the rutted interior catch sediment, but the corrugated pipe was not sturdy enough.  The drainage pipe partially collapsed during the backfilling phase of installation, further limiting water flow.

Problem No. 3 – poor outlet planning

Instead of running the drainage pipe to a downhill outlet, the initial contractor had connected the corrugated pipe to an old French drain uncovered during excavation.  A French drain, essentially, is a perforated pipe used to collect ground water and distribute it elsewhere.  This French drain had become clogged with sediment, blocking the outlet completely.

The Solution

The customer called Trench Drain Systems to seek advice and pricing from a trench drain specialist.  After reviewing the situation, the specialist recommended a pre-sloped trench former system called the Econodrain #4 Series.  The new drainage system offered numerous advantages over the Spee-D Channel, most notably its higher water capacity and improved grating.

So, what is the Econodrain #4?

The Econodrain #4 Series features a sloped EPS form installed in pre-welded grate frames that anchor in concrete.  EPS forms have a minimum .5% slope (1/16" depth increase per foot) and run from a minimum depth of 4.25" to 25.25" maximum depth.

EconoDrain trench drain

Econodrain #4 can be adapted to many situations. In this case, the customer chose painted steel frames and H25 capability ductile iron grates with 64% open surface area. The EPS forms sloped toward a central outlet.

Trench Drain Systems oversaw installation of the new barn drain, which would replicate the original drainage layout. The install took place in four steps.

Phase 1 -- Excavation
Click any image for larger view      
Tupper barn excavation of old trench drain

A contractor removed the old drain and excavated the surrounding soil.  The corrugated pipe and old French drain were also removed.

Phase 2 – Piping Placement

drainage pipe from barnThe contractor laid 4" S&D pipe in the excavated trench, working backward from the outlet point to ensure consistent slope.  Pipe connections to the 12" x 12" catch basin and Econodrain #4 system were secured.

The installation team backfilled the piping trenches with gravel.  They tamped the backfill to remove air pockets, setting the gravel.  Dirt provided the final fill for the exterior piping trench on the north side of the barn.

Phase 3 – Concrete Pour

Econodrain in poured concrete in barnThe installation team poured concrete around the Econodrain #4 system, the catch basin and the backfilled trenches in the barn’s interior.  They stirred the concrete to release any air bubbles and troweled the surface level with the existing floor.

Phase 4 – Final Setup

Econodrain in poured concrete in barnReturning once the concrete had set, the contractor finished the Econodrain system.  The 3/16" spreader bars and EPS forms were removed.  Blemishes in the drain’s concrete interior were smoothed over using mortar.  Finally, the ductile iron grates were installed and secured with locking devices.

Finished trench drain at barn entrance
Finished Econodrain installation in horse barn

The Results

Spee-D channel installation diagram
  • Light duty load capability
  • 2" outlet
  • 19.30 sq in. open surface
  • 12 GPM
EconoDrain No. 4 installation diagram
  • Heavy duty load capability
  • 4" outlet
  • 41.40 sq in. open surface
  • 86 GPM

With a water capacity of 86 gallons per minute, the Econodrain former system solved the barn's water issues.  Runoff now entered the drain system instead of the barn.  Smooth piping whisked water efficiently toward the outlet while the catch basin prevented silt from building up in the system.

Request Quote NowCall us at 610-638-1221 or fill out the Quote Request Form for pricing and information on your next drainage project. Our knowledgeable sales team is standing by to help you find the best solution for your project.

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