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Why are drain covers important?

Even if the closest waterway is kilometres away, there’s still a risk of polluting it – via your

stormwater drain. In the case of an accident, spilled liquids can run directly into the groundwater where they can easily get into waterways. Obviously, the resulting fines can “drain” your profits!

But it’s actually quite easy to keep spills out of your drains, without having to permanently seal them or fill them in. A great temporary solution is a drain blocker, or drain cover. This a really easy, cost-effective way to seal your drains to stop unwanted liquids going down the gurgler. Drain covers can be made from lots of different materials, so there are a couple of things to think about when choosing them.

 

1. How easy is it to use?

The most important thing about a drain cover is that it stop liquids getting into the drain, so it has to be easy to use so that you can grab it and fit it when needed, without any hassles. That goes for whether the drain blocker becomes part of your factory’s scheduled routine maintenance or is just for emergencies.

Not only does it need to be easy to fit, it should be easy to remove as well. That makes it simple to clean and simple to use the drain when you actually want to.

There are some drain covers that you need to position and then fasten down. Others are made of clay so you have to mould the drain cover in place to get a seal; then there are others that use magnets to attach (not much use with non-ferrous materials though).

The best and most effective drain cover is one that’s easy to use by just being able to be laid into position, where it can begin working straightaway, and then is just as easily removed — all the while creating a tight seal. It’s worth checking too, to see if the drain cover seals well and actually stops liquids from getting into your drains — make sure you use plain water!

 

2. How robust and re-usable it is?

The most popular type of drain covers are made form of urethane because of its ease of use and chemical resistance. Soft and pliable urethane seals to most clean and dry surfaces, but “urethanes ain’t urethanes”, so not all have the right combo of drain-sealing ability, durability and re-usability.

Neither is urethane particularly tolerant to UV exposure; in fact, polyurethane can have a meltdown after just a few hours in the sun (not great for outdoor use), and can easily become unstable or brittle before that. With a bit of research, New Pig developed a method of protecting urethane from harmful rays with its DrainBlocker products.

This patented line has a DuPont Elvaloy PVC top layer that deflects UV light, preventing it from reaching the drain cover’s lower layers, so it can keep on doing its job. (As part of its R&D, New Pig in the USA tested a whole series of urethane covers that don't have the same PVC layer, finding begin degrading — and going back into their natural liquid state in just a short time in the sun!)

The PVC layer protects the urethane and also gives the whole drain cover greater strength, so it doesn’t tear or deform when you remove it. Because it’s so resilient, these drain blockers have a typical life expectancy of up to 5 years, making them extremely cost effective. They’re also perfect to use indoors or outdoors, with foot traffic and light, hand-pushed trolleys.

 

3. Traffic applications

That brings us to point 3 – the type of traffic that will be going over your drain cover. What if you don’t just have foot traffic and light trolleys, but anything up to a semi-trailer? The PIG Drive-Over DrainBlocker Drain Cover has an exceedingly tough top layer (we call it “HogHyde”). It’s puncture resistant and, the same as the Elvaloy PVC, it blocks harmful UV rays, so protects the urethane for years while still creating a perfect, positive seal.

And again, just as with the PIG DrainBlocker Drain Cover with DuPont Elvaloy, the drive-over version has a high resistance to chemicals, and can be removed, cleaned and stored when you need to.

Another good temporary solution is a drain plug, these give a liquid-tight, chemical-resistant seal that’s low-profile enough to fit below the floor grate. When you want to use the drain, the drain plug is easily removed with hand-tools and the drain just functions normally.

For help in choosing the right type of drain cover, call us on 1800 HOT HOG (468 464). Or get in touch with us.

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