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Has anyone had contractors install Garage Trench Drain in existing garage floor?

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  • Jan 3rd, 2022 10:59 am
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Has anyone had contractors install Garage Trench Drain in existing garage floor?

Hey Fellow RFD'ers, as the title suggests I've been mulling the notion of adding a trench style or slot drain in my garage to manage the winter melt-off of our vehicles when they are parked in the garage.

I'd also like to be able to wash the vehicles in the garage during the winter months.

I'd be contracting this out but can't seem to find any contractors in southern Ontario that do this type of work. Has anyone had this kind of a job done in their garage?

The type of system I am interested in is mentioned in these Youtube videos from a contractor in Calgary. It uses a catch basin that is about 3ft deep and holds around 25 gallons of water before you have to empty it out.

Calgary contractor


The contractor uses this brand of trench drain
https://acoswm.com/drain/klassikdrain/k100/

Emptying the catch basin


I like the sleekness of the SlotDrain or U-Drain (by Norstar Industries), but can't seem to confirm if they sell a version that has a catch basin that you need to empty as opposed to one that drains on its own.

SlotDrain
https://info.slotdrainsystems.com/Residential
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iirc in Ontario you aren't permitted to connect a garage drain to either the sanitary or storm systems, so you'd need to deal with the pit, or build a dry well (which also might not be permitted due to contamination) to handle the water.
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Ya I am in the Hamilton area and that’s the reason I want a system that I have to empty myself and not connected to anything.
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nielboy wrote: I like the sleekness of the SlotDrain or U-Drain (by Norstar Industries), but can't seem to confirm if they sell a version that has a catch basin that you need to empty as opposed to one that drains on its own.
I spec/recommend the use of a lot of ACO. ACO has brickslot which probably has the same sleekness of the other one you're looking at, basically just a 3/4" opening.

All their Trench Drains can connect to a catchbasin or whatever, the storage capacity is very limited, but 25gal is pretty small volume as well, so you could probably make something work.

If you wanted a larger storage system, you could likely install ACO Stormbrixx with a liner, each unit of the smaller HD one of those holds 420L. So instead of a CB could install a few of those and an access chamber and you'd have tons of volume. It would need an impermeable liner to stop infiltration.

As others have said, a connection to any sewer would likely be illegal, and you would likely be denied a permit ( or it would require far to much cost in filtration/servicing).

Your project is likely too small for most site servicing contractors, so you're probably looking for a landscaper who deals with this on a somewhat more frequent basis. You can contact the ACO rep, get the design and ask about contractors while you're at it.
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SubjectivelyObjective wrote: I spec/recommend the use of a lot of ACO. ACO has brickslot which probably has the same sleekness of the other one you're looking at, basically just a 3/4" opening.

All their Trench Drains can connect to a catchbasin or whatever, the storage capacity is very limited, but 25gal is pretty small volume as well, so you could probably make something work.

If you wanted a larger storage system, you could likely install ACO Stormbrixx with a liner, each unit of the smaller HD one of those holds 420L. So instead of a CB could install a few of those and an access chamber and you'd have tons of volume. It would need an impermeable liner to stop infiltration.

As others have said, a connection to any sewer would likely be illegal, and you would likely be denied a permit ( or it would require far to much cost in filtration/servicing).

Your project is likely too small for most site servicing contractors, so you're probably looking for a landscaper who deals with this on a somewhat more frequent basis. You can contact the ACO rep, get the design and ask about contractors while you're at it.
Thank you for the information. How do you clean the ACO Brickslot? The Slotdrain uses a paddle seen in this video at about the 40 second mark.
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nielboy wrote: Thank you for the information. How do you clean the ACO Brickslot? The Slotdrain uses a paddle seen in this video at about the 40 second mark.
Didn't watch the video, but there are a number of options. There is a removable section that can be finished with concrete, pavers, etc and lifted off to get access to a section to snake, jet or flush it out.

If you're installing a catchbasin at the end you can also just get access to the downstream end from there and clean out that way.
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SubjectivelyObjective wrote: Didn't watch the video, but there are a number of options. There is a removable section that can be finished with concrete, pavers, etc and lifted off to get access to a section to snake, jet or flush it out.

If you're installing a catchbasin at the end you can also just get access to the downstream end from there and clean out that way.
OK great thanks for the info.
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The amount of water generated from melting snow is relatively small. Think a gallon (maybe two) per week for two vehicles leaving/entering garage every day and with snow on both vehicles every day. Obviously it will be more if the bed of your truck is full of snow.

Cleaning the garage floor with a hose/pressure washer or washing vehicles in the garage in winter generate a lot of water.
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Feb 6, 2007
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We just redid our garage to 13 foot ceilings to accommodate a lift. I had asked our contractor a similar question about putting in a spigot. My garage is heated.

He was happy to put in the water supply but suggested a coil drain pipe for the 2-3 times a year I would realistically wash my car or garage floors. Reco was not to put a drain in as his suggestion was over time the salt accumulation from the winter melt would start to ruin the concrete pad (even with the export coating) as concrete is a porous material.

His suggestion was just buy a 90 car wash pass at PE toro etc for the winter months and use it to rinse off the cars before you park.

I didn’t end up putting a drain in. Just sharing my 2 cents…
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Imsmarterthanyou wrote: The amount of water generated from melting snow is relatively small. Think a gallon (maybe two) per week for two vehicles leaving/entering garage every day and with snow on both vehicles every day. Obviously it will be more if the bed of your truck is full of snow.

Cleaning the garage floor with a hose/pressure washer or washing vehicles in the garage in winter generate a lot of water.
The majority of the melt would be from the winter crud frozen under our vehicles...the really grimy stuff. My tonneau cover keeps my bed nice and dry so no worries there.

Regarding washing our vehicles in the garage...that's more of a pipe dream than a reality. RIght now I'm fine using the touchless Esso washes during the winter.
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squeeks786 wrote: We just redid our garage to 13 foot ceilings to accommodate a lift. I had asked our contractor a similar question about putting in a spigot. My garage is heated.

He was happy to put in the water supply but suggested a coil drain pipe for the 2-3 times a year I would realistically wash my car or garage floors. Reco was not to put a drain in as his suggestion was over time the salt accumulation from the winter melt would start to ruin the concrete pad (even with the export coating) as concrete is a porous material.

His suggestion was just buy a 90 car wash pass at PE toro etc for the winter months and use it to rinse off the cars before you park.

I didn’t end up putting a drain in. Just sharing my 2 cents…
Thanks for the info squeeks.
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nielboy wrote: The majority of the melt would be from the winter crud frozen under our vehicles...the really grimy stuff. My tonneau cover keeps my bed nice and dry so no worries there.

Regarding washing our vehicles in the garage...that's more of a pipe dream than a reality. RIght now I'm fine using the touchless Esso washes during the winter.
In addition to a floor drain your garage should be both fully insulated and heated. This will result in all the snow melting from your vehicle when parked overnight and will keep humidity at a reasonable level (around 40%). If only insulated and not heated humidity could reach 90% and will contribute to vehicles rusting sooner/faster.

I've been washing my vehicles in the garage in winter for decades. My house was built when oil paint was legal to manufacture and purchase. I had the painter give 3 coats of oil paint on walls/ceiling. Oil paint will act as a vapor barrier. Sometimes when washing your vehicle a small amount of water will end up on a wall.

If feasible depending on house layout/basement, an inexpensive way consists in using a gas concrete saw to cut a 2" deep trench in garage floor + drilling a 2" hole in foundation wall + passing a 2" abs pipe in hole connected to a 50 gallon drum located in basement. For winter snow a 50 gallon drum should suffice for the whole winter. The drum is then drained into basement floor drain. For washing vehicles you might need to empty the drum more than once a year. I know someone who took this road after the contractor told him how much work, time and money it would take to have something done similar to your videos. I believe it cost him $500.
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Imsmarterthanyou wrote: In addition to a floor drain your garage should be both fully insulated and heated. This will result in all the snow melting from your vehicle when parked overnight and will keep humidity at a reasonable level (around 40%). If only insulated and not heated humidity could reach 90% and will contribute to vehicles rusting sooner/faster.

I've been washing my vehicles in the garage in winter for decades. My house was built when oil paint was legal to manufacture and purchase. I had the painter give 3 coats of oil paint on walls/ceiling. Oil paint will act as a vapor barrier. Sometimes when washing your vehicle a small amount of water will end up on a wall.

If feasible depending on house layout/basement, an inexpensive way consists in using a gas concrete saw to cut a 2" deep trench in garage floor + drilling a 2" hole in foundation wall + passing a 2" abs pipe in hole connected to a 50 gallon drum located in basement. For winter snow a 50 gallon drum should suffice for the whole winter. The drum is then drained into basement floor drain. For washing vehicles you might need to empty the drum more than once a year. I know someone who took this road after the contractor told him how much work, time and money it would take to have something done similar to your videos. I believe it cost him $500.
Thanks for the info...that's a novel approach. My garage is insulated and I've been looking into the idea of a ceiling mounted natural gas heater.
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nielboy wrote: Thanks for the info...that's a novel approach. My garage is insulated and I've been looking into the idea of a ceiling mounted natural gas heater.
To be more precise his garage trench drain is only 2" wide by 2" deep. That's all you need to handle the melting snow. And although he doesn't have the habit of washing his vehicles he told me he did it a few times and his floor drain was able to handle the flow of water. If your concrete garage floor is 4" thick then making a 2" wide/deep cut will not jeopardize its integrity.
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SubjectivelyObjective wrote: I spec/recommend the use of a lot of ACO. ACO has brickslot which probably has the same sleekness of the other one you're looking at, basically just a 3/4" opening.
I thought holding pits and drains of any kind in Ontario were illegal due to build up of oils/gas leaking from cars and risk of explosion. Could be wrong though.
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Jerico wrote: I thought holding pits and drains of any kind in Ontario were illegal due to build up of oils/gas leaking from cars and risk of explosion. Could be wrong though.
That's a loaded question and also likely a grey area. I'd be interested to know what guidelines state something like that.

Basically any new parking lot designed in the vast majority of Ontario will be equipped with either an OGS, Filter unit, or maybe just a Catchbasin with an inlet control device. All of these will store oil/hydrocarbons/floatables until they are cleaned out, and this is required by CAs, Cities, MECP, etc.

Even a small OGS will store hundreds of litres of oil.

An exterior storm drain, would fall under this. If its on a single family dwelling, no quality control is usually required, so in the case of a reverse slope driveway or something to that extent where a drain would be more common, the drain would go to a sump which would be pumped out via a bottom draw, so any hydrocarbons would be left on top till clean out.

For interior drains, they would be likely connected to sanitary, such as drains in a parking garage in a condo building or a $20mil iceberg house with a 10 car garage.
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SubjectivelyObjective wrote: That's a loaded question and also likely a grey area. I'd be interested to know what guidelines state something like that.
My source is my Dad, when I was a kid, and my neighbours grandpa had an old school oil changing pit in his garage he had to fill in around 1986. My second source is around 2000ish when my old boss looked into having a drain put into his garage in Oakville and was told he couldnt due to similar reasons. Neither sources are great.

I was referring to private residences of course. Most underground garages have some sort of drainage, but commercial and residential are vastly different. Most 10 car private garages I have seen are build industrial vs residential anyways.
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Jerico wrote: My source is my Dad, when I was a kid, and my neighbours grandpa had an old school oil changing pit in his garage he had to fill in around 1986. My second source is around 2000ish when my old boss looked into having a drain put into his garage in Oakville and was told he couldnt due to similar reasons. Neither sources are great.

I was referring to private residences of course. Most underground garages have some sort of drainage, but commercial and residential are vastly different. Most 10 car private garages I have seen are build industrial vs residential anyways.
Yeah, I basically said its a grey area, as because likely OBC states something along the lines of "You an do it if your local municipality allows it". As such, it is more difficult to obtain an approval or permit to discharge it to a sewer. Therefore, it would be illegal to connect it to a sewer and you would likely be denied a permit in most cases.

As I stated previously, with reverse slope driveways, and other single family residential homes we deal with, generally going to a cistern, sump pit, or underground storage system and pumping to the surface will mean the drainage system is entirely private and therefore does not require approvals (in most cases). Also further to that point, the argument can be made that collection and pumping is equivalent to the water just flowing towards the street with a standard 1.5% graded garage and whatever positive slope driveway.
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SubjectivelyObjective wrote: Yeah, I basically said its a grey area, as because likely OBC states something along the lines of "You an do it if your local municipality allows it". As such, it is more difficult to obtain an approval or permit to discharge it to a sewer. Therefore, it would be illegal to connect it to a sewer and you would likely be denied a permit in most cases.

As I stated previously, with reverse slope driveways, and other single family residential homes we deal with, generally going to a cistern, sump pit, or underground storage system and pumping to the surface will mean the drainage system is entirely private and therefore does not require approvals (in most cases). Also further to that point, the argument can be made that collection and pumping is equivalent to the water just flowing towards the street with a standard 1.5% graded garage and whatever positive slope driveway.
I think the difference between a slope out and a collection pit is the possibility of explosive or toxic gases building up en masse. I think in the case of the old school pit, it was people dying from the gas build up in the bottom vs an explosion.

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