When Deck Drain Stops Draining
Deck drain serves two purposes in a deck slab.
Because it has width and a small amount of squeezability, deck drain will absorb some compression making it an effective deck crack controller. (Every slab that experiences changes in temperature or humidity will expand and contract. This energy causes deck movement, usually resulting in cracks. While you can't prevent this movement, you can control where movement occurs; at either a control joint set in the concrete or specifically spaced gaps between slabs.)
In Florida we experience annual fluxuations of about 60 degrees (F) temperature and 10 to 100% humidity resulting in a minimum 1" movement per 100 linear feet of slab. Pouring more than about 12' of concrete on either side of deck drain results in the familiar pinched, broken or sunken drain top; another problem we repair on the Pool School PRO CD.
But, the primary purpose of deck drain is to provide a 2"X4" channel to carry excess water from your pool deck. Even when the deck is level, drain provides a 2" drop to attract water. Dust and pollen accumulates on your screen enclosure and rainfall knocks it onto the deck. As water rushes into the drain, dirt goes with it.
Installed properly, deck drain is self- cleaning. It will flush itself with every rainstorm.
It's when one or both ends of this channel are plugged with concrete, sod or top soil that this natural flow of water is disrupted and dirt builds up in the drain. To clean deck drain, start by exposing one end of the channel. You'll need a piece of cheap, flexible 1/2" hose with the metal end removed that is at least as long as as the drain.
Turn the hose on to about half-flow and feed it slowly into the drain. If slope outside the deck does not allow quick, natural drainage of this water, it may be necessary to use a water pump.
Place a sump pump or small aquarium pump into a 3- 5 gal. bucket.
Dig a hole deep enough to bring the top of the bucket even with the bottom of the drain. Run the discharge hose to a convenient, lower area.
If this is the lowest area and water naturally collects here you can make the installation permanent by partially filling the bucket with gravel to prevent mud from clogging the pump and replacing the hose with PVC pipe directed to a distant point and buried in the ground.
Related articles on the
Buy Pool School | Archives | Help | Praise | Links | Great American Pools, Inc
Excerpts from Pool School, pictures, text, graphics and web page design © 1997-2016+, Scott Cruikshank, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited.