Split Drain vs. Channel Drain

fairoaksmomApril 30, 2012

We are having our pool (built sometime in the 70's) replastered (sandblasted with bond coat). It is approx 22K gal freeform pool, white plaster, 9 - 10 foot deep end.

I have 2 attractive bids from 2 reputable pool guys. One says they prefer to do a split drain because "The channel drain looks odd. The rectangle shape at the bottom of a curved structure always look out of place. A channel drain works better in the floor of a spa..." The other says they prefer to do a channel drain because (as I understand it) a split drain requires 2 holes plus digging up gunite (or to the gunite?) in between for the pipe which then has to be patched causing a weak point, whereas the channel drain fits snugly. (Did I get that right?)

No price difference between the two drains. And either company will do either if I prefer, so this isn't a deal breaker for either. But I do want to be educated on this subject. Any thoughts on drains?

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Both work equally well. Gunite has to be chipped out for the channel drain as well. I prefer splitting the drains. The repair is simple and no weak spot exists if done properly. Channel drains are a little more difficult to fit because the shape at the bottom of a residential pool tends to be more rounded, thus a long, flat drain can look a little odd even when properly installed. Should be 36" minimum between split drains.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Our refinishing contractor put in channel drains. He didn't ask and we didn't know that split drains were an option, but I like the look of the channel drains in our pool and spa. Our pool has a good-sized flat area at the lowest point with plenty of room for the channel drain.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:43PM
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I took some pictures of our drains.

Here is the one in the pool. The pool is ~ 17 feet wide where the drain is.

A picture to give you an idea of the shape of the pool. The drain is in the near end of the pool.

Here are the channel drains in the spa. There's a drain pipe for the spa filter returning over the falls, one feeding 3 of the jets and one that goes to the pool equipment because the heater is on that pump and returns through 3 jets so they needed two channels to cover them.:

For the pool, I think split or channel drains would have been fine, but for the spa, two round drains 3' apart might make the small floor area seem too broken up.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 12:21AM
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Cloud swift -- Thanks for the pictures - they really are worth a thousand words. The channel drain looks very nice. Your pool is beautiful. Is that Pebbletec, and what color?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:36AM
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Thank you Fairoaksmom. It's Wet Edge Pearl Matrix. The color is Mediterranean Magic (which is in the catalog that Burkett gave us but isn't in the on-line catalog. It is like the Black Magic except with more blue.

Are you in Fair Oaks, California or another Fair Oaks?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:03AM
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