Slot Drains vs Trench Drains: 7 Advantages of Slot Drains Over Trench Drains

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Until about 30 years ago, the main option for a floor drain was a trench drain. However, this sort of drain system is expensive, requires lots of maintenance, and is generally not very effective in helping with drainage. Now, there are new options like slot drain systems that are available for use in various industries. Slot drains are built pre-sloped, offer more effective drainage, require less maintenance, and are generally more aesthetically pleasing. Check out these 7 reasons slot drains are the preferred option over trench drains.

1. Sleeker Design



Part of the appeal of slot drains is their physical appearance. Trench drains, although set into the ground, are wide and covered with heavy grates that make them stand out. Slot-drain systems, on the other hand, are not as wide as trench drains and do not require grates to keep them covered. This makes them blend seamlessly into the ground, so they stand out less and are more aesthetically pleasing.

2. More Cost Effective

When deciding what type of drain system you want to go with, one of the major factors you should keep in mind are all the different aspects of maintenance. Nobody wants to be forced to spend thousands of dollars every year simply to maintain their drain systems, especially with the specific guidelines set up by the USDA and FDA. Proper cleaning for a trench drain system is a multi-step process and can take hours a day to clean, especially if you have a longer drain channel. This means you can find yourself spending up to $15,860 a year just to keep your grated drainage system clean!

With a grate-free system, the lack of drain covers means less time spent cleaning. Technicians will not have to worry about removing and tending to the drain covers before they can clean the actual drain. All they will have to do is clean the drain itself and nothing more. Since it takes so much less time, you will not have to pay as much for labor, meaning you will spend around $1,664 per year on drain cleaning. That’s a massive cost savings to consider!

3. Control Odor



Another major difference to keep in mind is the level of smell that these different types of drainage systems create. Trench drains are designed to have wider channels and are not sloped, so standing water and sediment begin building up over time, which lead to bad smells. On top of that, because they are more difficult to clean, there is always a possibility of residue waste not getting entirely cleaned and sanitized, creating unpleasant odors. Slot drains, on the other hand, are sloped, making it easier for water and sediment to drain, rather than just collecting in the channel. This, along with the slot drain system being easier to clean, helps to eliminate foul smells that may otherwise develop.

4. Clean with Ease



One of the biggest differences between slot and trench drain systems—besides the price—is the ease of cleaning. With a trench drain system, the worker performing the daily cleaning needs to remove the grates and clean them thoroughly, on top of cleaning the actual drain channel. To clean the drain, they have to then thoroughly scrub, rinse, and also sanitize it, before replacing the clean grate covers. It is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process, especially when there is a big drain channel in the facility.

With slot drains, there is no need to worry about grates. All a cleaning technician will have to do is use a special cleaning paddle to push any waste through the entire length of the channel. Alternatively, a self-flushing system can also be used, which would make the process even easier. From there, all that needs to be done thoroughly brush the entire drain to ensure nothing was missed and that the drain has been entirely cleaned.

5. Fewer Replacements

Grates begin to deteriorate, break down, and corrode over time. This is especially true when you work in an industry where the grates are exposed to extreme temperatures or strong chemicals. This means, besides having to keep them clean and sanitized, you will have to remember to replace them after a certain point, otherwise, they will not be up-to-code and will not function as well as they should to protect your drainage system. This is a big reason why a slot system is superior; there is no need to concern yourself with the state of the grates because a slot system doesn’t require them. This will also, of course, save you a lot of money in the long run in replacements.

6. Sanitary



Bacteria is another factor that you need to be aware of when it comes to any type of drainage system. It is important to ensure that you are following the sanitation requirements that were created by the USDA and FDA in order to help prevent bacteria growth. Bacteria can end up trapped in the rough and porous materials used in trench drains, creating an environment where it can grow and spread. This situation is not helped by the fact that trench drains are more difficult to clean thoroughly, which means that there is always a potential that an area will not get cleaned and sanitized properly, which can also lead to the growth and spread of bacteria.

Slot drains eliminate this issue in a few different ways. Firstly, Slot Drain can be installed with CIP functionality and can be flushed with caustic to zap unwanted bacteria. Slot drain is made with food grade stainless steel and have a smooth built-in slope design which prevents standing water and ensuring potential bacteria does not grow on any edges, corners or bumps. On top of that, slot drains are easier to clean with no grates, and therefore help eliminate the concern of bacteria.

7. Safer



The grates used for trench drains also create a number of serious safety concerns. For one, their heavy weight makes them difficult to remove and, if done improperly, can lead to injury. Grates can also break, either from normal wear-and-tear or by having too heavy of a load placed on them. A slot drain can handle heavy loads that go beyond Load Class F and are also more forklift friendly than trench drains. Slot drains are also designed so that they comply with American Disability Association standards.

There are many notable differences between the trench and slot drain systems, but all of them come back to one essential difference: the presence of grates. A slot drain system eliminates the need for grates which, in turn, eliminates many of the potential issues you may otherwise encounter. On top of that, by selecting a slot drain system, you will save thousands yearly in installation and maintenance costs.