Heel Proof Trench Drain Grates
Heel proof trench drain grates are a popular solution for many drainage needs, particularly in high-traffic pedestrian areas where safety is a primary concern. These types of grates are designed to prevent heels from getting caught in the grate.
What is a Heel Proof Trench Drain Grate?
A heel proof trench drain grate is a type of grate that is specifically designed to prevent high-heeled shoes from getting caught in the grate. These grates typically have narrow slots or perforations that are too small for heels to pass through, but still allow water to flow freely through the grate.
Heel Proof Trench Drain Grates, also known as heel guard grates, are designed to prevent high-heeled shoes from getting caught in trench drain grates. Although building codes rarely require this type of opening, it has become a popular choice for trench drain grates. The ASME A112.6.3 standard established the heel proof grate in section 7.12, which states that the maximum grate hole size in the least dimension should be 5/16" (8mm) to resist the entry of high-heeled shoes.
Heel proof trench drain grates come in a range of grate slot styles and various sizes for different applications. It is important to note that the heel proof grate standard was created by ASME for "floor and trench drains" and was primarily intended for drains inside buildings. While a heel proof grate can perform well inside a building, the same grate used outside can quickly become clogged with debris, such as leaves, grass clippings, small stones, and cigarette butts. In some cases, the heel proof grate's design may be advantageous because it can screen debris and keep it on the surface. However, when the grate becomes clogged, it can lead to flooding and poor performance of the trench drain, which can pose a safety risk to moving vehicles.
It is crucial to consider the need for this type of grating before selecting a heel guard grate. In many cases, an ADA-compliant grate is sufficient, as it is less likely to become clogged and offers better performance than a heel proof grate, resisting plugging and blinding by up to 75%.
If a heel proof grate is indeed necessary for the design, it is best to discuss this with the owner and put the grate on a maintenance schedule. The maintenance of a heel proof grate will depend on the debris loading and required open area for the application. Oversizing the trench grate and factoring in a clogging rate of 50-75% when doing inflow calculations may be necessary in some cases.
Benefits of Heel Proof Trench Drain Grates
The benefits of heel proof trench drain grates are numerous, and they are commonly used in a wide range of applications. Some of the most significant benefits of these grates include:
- Improved safety: Heel proof trench drain grates are an important safety feature in areas with high pedestrian traffic, such as shopping centers, airports, and hospitals. By preventing high heels from getting caught in the grate, these grates can help reduce the risk of injuries and accidents.
- Enhanced drainage: Trench drains with heel proof grates are effective in managing large volumes of water, and can help prevent flooding and other water-related problems. This is particularly important in areas that experience heavy rainfall or are prone to flooding.
- Easy maintenance: Heel proof trench drain grates are easy to maintain and clean, and can be quickly and easily removed for cleaning or maintenance.
- Aesthetically pleasing: These grates are available in a variety of designs and finishes, making them an attractive option for architects and designers who want to create an aesthetically pleasing drainage solution.
How to Choose the Right Heel Proof Trench Drain Grate
Choosing the right heel proof trench drain grate requires careful consideration of several factors, including:
- Flow rate: The flow rate of the drain is an important consideration when choosing a heel proof trench drain grate. The grate should be designed to handle the expected flow rate of water without becoming overwhelmed.
- Load capacity: The load capacity of the grate is another important consideration. The grate should be able to handle the weight of foot traffic, as well as any equipment or vehicles that may pass over it.
- Material: Heel proof trench drain grates are available in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, cast iron, and polymer. The choice of material will depend on the specific needs of the application.
- Design: The design of the grate is an important consideration, particularly for applications where aesthetics are important. Grates are available in a variety of designs and finishes, including decorative options that can enhance the overall look of the area.
In conclusion, heel proof trench drain grates are an important safety feature in areas with high pedestrian traffic, and offer a range of benefits, including improved safety, enhanced drainage, easy maintenance, and an attractive design. When choosing a heel proof trench drain grate, it is important to consider factors such as flow rate, load capacity, material, and design to ensure that the chosen grate meets the specific needs of the application.