Q&A How do I replace pool deck grates?

Jonite Grates for Pools

A common complaint I hear about pool deck drains is that replacement grates are hard to find. The pool industry tends to offer narrow plastic trench drains, and while this itself is not a problem, it does pose one.

Most common pool deck drains do not offer removable grates. Rather, the channel drain is a one-piece conduit with a perforated top. These type of drains are affordable, easily manufactured and quickly installed. However, if the top of the drain breaks there isn’t an easy fix. Instead, the homeowner has to ask two questions:

Can I replace my deck drain’s grate?

If your deck drain is wider than 2” and has screw holes, the quick answer is Yes! You can find a replacement grate.

For a long time, a pool deck drain meant a 1 – 2” wide plastic channel like the photo shown below. The white Stegmeier Deck Drain is one of several models commonly used in pool decks. It comes in four colors and several angles. It also comes with clean outs – special sections with removable tops.

The gray Micro Channel Drain offers three colors and the same angle options. Without a removable top grate, the little channel drain system requires clean-out sections to access the interior for cleaning.

stegmeier deck drain, strip drain, pool deck strip drain, 2" strip drain,

A few deck drains this size DO include removable grates. The only one I’ve seen personally is Stegmeier’s Frontier Deck Drain, which is roughly the same width as the gray system above. If you have a deck drain with 10ft long, removable grates it’s likely this system.

What are my replacement grate options?

Bluntly put, your options depend on which deck drain you have. Some channel drains only incorporate plastic grates. Others allow upgrades: brass, bronze, iron and aluminum grates that can spice up the drainage system.

Here’s what you need to find a replacement grate:

  • Length of grate
  • Width of grate
  • Thickness of grate
  • Distinguishing marks, if any

Not every system displays its manufacturer marking on top of the grate, but some will. Below, you can easily identify MEA, NDS and Zurn grates by their markings.

zurn grates, nds grate, MEA grating

Other times you’ll find a DIN marking. This is a sign of load class – not helpful with identifying a replacement but useful for knowing what weight traffic can cross it.

If you’re replacing a plastic grate, a good tool is this replacement grating identifying table by Trench Drain Systems. As long as you know the dimensions of your deck grate, you will likely find it listed there. Many of the grates listed in the table are available to buy right away, but you can always call if you’re uncertain. The experts at TDS are helpful like that.

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