Extruded Channel Drains (Part 1)

NDS Mini Channel Grate Options

Last month, I wrote an article about a plastic channel drain product marketed by NDS under the “Pro Series” brand. This neutral channel product line is manufactured by injection molding. While injection molding is great for making intricate shapes, manufacturing costs associated with injection molding drive product costs up.

There are design and mold costs associated with all formed plastic products. However, extrusion, as a plastic manufacturing method, is well suited for high volume, simple shape production.  Being a continuous method, the extrusion process is continuously producing products (more units per hour) and drives down unit of the finished part.

Designed in the cross-section shape of the final product, extrusion dies are less complicated and less expensive to make.  When hot plastic is passed through the die in the actual extrusion process, a continuous stream of product is made. Plastic PVC pipe in manufactured by this process.

In the case of plastic channel drain, this “stream” of molded plastic comes out looking like a plastic roof gutter (see photo below).

extruded plastic, plastic channel drain, plastic patio drains, plastic manufacturing

This article will address the extruded plastic channel drains. In part 1, I will discuss common features in pool deck drains manufactured by NDS and Stegmeier. I also discuss the NDS Mini Channel product.

NDS Micro Series vs. Stegmeier Deck Drains

The NDS Micro and Stegmeier deck drains are narrow drainage channels designed specifically for swimming pool decks. Generally speaking, these extruded PVC channels are 1.5” wide and 3.25“deep. The channels are used to form a perimeter around a swimming pool to create a drain for incidental pool water. All the products are designed to be installed in concrete.  However, channel anchoring techniques during installation differ between the two brands.

Below you can see the NDS Micro Channel (left) compared to Stegmeier’s standard deck drain. Both products are extruded “box” channels. Later, slots are cut into the top surface to form the drain holes. NDS seems to use a small mill to form this slot while Stegmeier appears to use a carbide saw blade. The NDS Micro is actually more narrow (1.25”) than the Stegmeier products (1.625”). The Stegmeier product also has a more rigid feel to it.

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NDS offers its Micro Channel pool deck drain in three different colors. That’s it. Stegmeier’s deck drains come in 4 colors and 4 styles. Two of the styles are like the above “box” channel with the integral drain grate. However, they have two other products that have an awesome “press fit” grate that makes channel cleanout very easy. Stegmeier’s Frontier Deck Drain has plastic “press fit” grates that come in 4 colors. Stegmeier’s Treadmaster Deck Drain has an aluminum grate for the more commercial swimming pool look. These grates come in tan, white and silver. I’m sorry I don’t have photos of these now. In the interim, check out their website www.stegmeier.com.

NDS Mini Channel – The next “size up” in extruded plastic channels is the NDS Mini Channel. This is a unique product that is both economical and sturdy enough to be used in light traffic areas. The 3” wide and 3” deep channel allows for larger water flow than deck drain while giving the homeowner a greater selection of grating options. As with deck drains, the Mini channels are connected with couplings and are available with a broad selection of special junction sections.

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The highlight of the Mini Channel system is with the grating options. You can select from six colors of plastic slotted “light traffic” grates. These come in 3-foot lengths and can be screwed into place.  NDS also offers decorative plastic grates in two patterns and six color options.

If you want a more durable or ornamental product, you can have a slotted brass or cast iron grate. The brass grates are available in polished or brushed finishes and come in one-foot lengths. The cast iron grate is available in four patterns (Minione, Interlaken, Carbochon, Locust).

nds grates, mini channel grates, 3" plastic grates, 2.75" grates, patio drain grates,

If you have any questions or comments on these products, please send us an email. You can also visit our website for more information on the NDS product lines.

Ready to shop? Visit our online store by clicking here.

Big job? Click here for a fast/free quote.

For immediate expert advice, call 610-638-1221


14 thoughts on “Extruded Channel Drains (Part 1)

  1. Roger Stone says:

    I have used SL-1 Caulk sold at lumber yards
    not at your home discount facilities. City
    municipitalites use it on side walks. i used it
    on my foundation and driveway. Very sticky but
    skins rapidly. Need to use a backer rod (round
    styraphom) very cheep keeps caulk from running
    Only know of it to come in gray color though.
    Cleans up easily with acetone otherwise you will
    not be able to get it off your hands when dry.

  2. becky Lindsey says:

    I have no grate left in my pool cement, my horses stepped on it and broke it. I have been trying to replace it for awhile. Do you have replacement grates?

  3. Tom Huddas says:

    Looking for mini channel drain grate and screws.
    2″ wide (similar to your 3″). Tan color.

  4. Tom Huddas says:

    need some help locating 2″ wide plastic drain grates and s.s. screws. I noticed a 3″ wide grate but i need to do repairs to an existing drain.

  5. Alfonso Diaz says:

    This looks like the channel drain I might have not sure, will have to remove a section, but its falling apart, the sun has taken it toll as well as chorine thats probably made it brittle. it appears to be just over an inch in width not sure how deep and they standard, and how much for about 40 feet.

  6. C says:

    Is there any way to remove and replace my existing channel drain? It seems like it is an NDS micro channel. I tried popping it open, but it won’t budge. It is completely full of dirt and cracked in some areas so I really don’t think it is worthwhile cleaning it.

  7. K says:

    I have the same question as “C” above. I need to remove and replace old channel drains around my pool area that are cracked and super caked with dirt and crud. How the heck does one get these old ones out? I tried prying it out, but it just broke chunk off.

  8. Geni says:

    Dear C,
    The NDS micro channel is 1 piece so it won’t “pop open”. Go to http://www.stegmeier.com & click on Products, then click Renovation Items & from the drop down menu select Re-Cover Drain II. There are instructions on the website for removing (cutting out) the top of your drain and attaching the new cover. I have the same type of drain and it is installed in cement so it won’t come out without breaking the cement. The Re-Cover Drain II is a much simpler and less expensive option. Mine was full of dirt and even had weeds growing out of it, but a hose with a power nozzle works pretty well.

  9. Ivan Andrade says:

    We would like to know where we can buy the following items:

    12 ft of NDF, Mini Channel Drain, 3″” Mini Channel’s Decorative Grating Option we would like to quote
    12 feet Black plastic
    12 feet Brass

    Ivan Andrade

  10. HannahS says:

    Hi Kathy,

    If you want to remove the strip drain yourself, you can use a concrete saw and cut a line lengthwise on either side of the drain before removing the plastic channel. (This will only work if it is a plastic channel.) Then, if you want to seal up the hole, pour concrete into the leftover hole. Alternately, you can ask a concrete contractor to remove it for you and fill in the hole.
    I hope this helps! Let me know if you need more assistance.

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