ROOF DRAIN INSTALLATION TIP #4:

DO I USE A LARGE OR SMALLER (bowl)DIAMETER ROOF DRAIN?

1) Get the distance (how far apart) your roof joists/rafters are for each location where you want to install each roof drain. 

2) On wood framed roofs, they are either 16" or 24" on center and on concrete and steel roofs, they are farther apart. 

3) Look in the attic space unless it's open beam and measure. If you have no access, you will need to find blueprints or do a test hole. This is VITAL.

4) Generally speaking, you can use an 8-1/2" or 12" (bowl) diameter roof drain for where the joists are 16" on center.

5) You can use a 15" or 16" (bowl) diameter roof drain for joists 24" on center. 

6) Items #5 and #6 apply when using a sump receiver.   

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ROOF DRAIN INSTALLATION TIP #5:
Should I use a roof drain sump pan or a sump receiver with my roof drain installation project?

What's the difference? 


  • ROOF DRAIN SUMP PAN: The purpose of the roof drain sump pan is to lower or "sump" the roof drain (as it is referred to in the industry) 2" below the roof level. Sumping a roof drain is always the preferred method as the sumped roof drain will prevent rainwater from ponding on the flat roof.

  • They are specifically engineered to fit perfectly between joists that are either 16" or 24" on center without a single modification.* (see the photos below)

  • Their matched roof drains complete the assembly and the entire unit fits between the joists.

  • You do not want to modify any structural members such as cutting the joists to get  the roof drain to fit your flat roof drain installation!

  • * = model LCP sump pan requires one brace.


  • ROOF DRAIN SUMP RECEIVER: A roof drain sump receiver IS NOT the same as a roof drain sump pan. The sump receiver (link) does not have a true "sump" or lowered section and as such, does not lower the roof drain. It is not engineered to lower the roof drain, rather it "receives" it (holds it in place). It can leave the roof drain higher than the surrounding roof and cause further ponding.
  • WHEN TO USE A ROOF DRAIN SUMP RECEIVER?  It can be used where the roofing is thick. An example is an insulated roof that has perhaps 2" of insulation. The insulation is often tapered to the roof drains. In this case, the roof is raised, via the insulation, rather than lowering the roof drains. Other than that, sumping a roof drain is VITAL for excellent flat roof drainage and to prevent further ponding and roof damage. ​

Video #1: How to install (and sump) the Zurn Z100 roof drain

If you will be installing a large 15" cast iron roof drain, watch this video. It shows  exactly how to install the Zurn Z100 cast iron roof drain using model LSP roof drain sump pan. The roof drain installation was done on a two story commercial building with a wood framed roof. Likewise, this system is VERY FAST to install by nearly anyone in the trades with the added benefit of sumping the roof drain. 

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  • These simple roof drain installation instructions describe how to install a flat roof drain using a roof drain sump pan and a cast iron flat roof drain in the bottom outlet configuration. The same basic procedure applies if you prefer to use a sump receiver or a deck plate rather than sump pan. 
  • These instructions DO NOT DO NOT apply to retrofit roof drains or scupper drains (sheet metal or otherwise). ​​

How to Install your roof drain

Video #1: How to install and sump the Frank Pattern roof drain

Roof drain installation tip #2:

Use this basic info before you buy your roof drain...

DO I USE A BOTTOM OR SIDE OUTLET ROOF DRAIN? HOW TO CHOOSE... 

1) Determine the vertical space from the roof to the ceiling (if there is a ceiling) per the drawing below for each roof drain location. Using the sketch below, you can determine whether you need to buy a side outlet roof drain or whether you can use a bottom outlet unit. VERY IMPORTANT to know this. You can also download the sketch. These are general dimensions. Always use spec sheets and make your own determination. 

Roof Drain Installation Tech : 

A division of All Tech Plumbing

If you will be installing a small cast iron roof drain, watch this video. It shows  exactly how to install the Frank pattern 8-1/2" cast iron roof drain using model SSP roof drain sump pan. The roof drain installation was done on a one story building with a wood framed roof. This system is VERY FAST to install by nearly anyone in the trades with the added benefit of sumping the roof drain. 

Whether you are using a sump receiver or a deck plate (same thing) with a Jay R. Smith, Wade, Josam or any other roof drain type for your roof drain installation, the procedure is almost exactly the same.  

Use the techniques the pro's use by All Tech Plumbing

Roof Drain Pans Co 1-888 900-9145  (949) 297-8689

ROOF DRAIN INSTALLATION TIP #6:
Roof drain installation...the basic procedure 

  • THIS is MUCH EASIER TO UNDERSTAND BY WATCHING THE VIDEOS. 

  • Cut a hole in​ the flat roof between the rafters big enough to receive the roof drain pan or sump receiver. 

  • Attach the roof drain to the roof drain pan. see the video or manf drawings.

  • Set the roof drain assembly on the flat roof with the "sump" section directly in the hole. Structural  modifications should not be needed.    

  • Secure the flanges on the roof drain sump pan to the joists with nails or screws on the two sides that straddle the roof rafters. (not supplied). 

  Roof drain installation tip #1:

Find the low spot on your commercial flat roof.


  • IF YOU ALREADY KNOW WHERE YOUR LOW SPOT IS, YOU CAN SKIP THIS SECTION.

  • This will generally be very obvious as debris settles in the lowest spots and the area will be discolored.   SEE HERE

  • If the flat roof is dry and you really can’t tell, put some water on it and will it will gravitate to  the low spot(s). You can also use a straight edge or a string. We've even used a tennis ball  which rolls to the low spot. 
  • If there is heavy standing rain wateron the flat roof, get it off by whatever means but not all of it. Leave enough and push it around with a broom and it will gravitate to the low spot(s). 

ROOF DRAIN INSTALLATION TIP #7:
How to buy your flat roof drains? 

  • Cast iron roof drains generally come in these sizes: 8-1/2", 12" and 15 or 16" which refers to the bowl size.  

  • ​They are sold with a sump receiver or similar deck plate that cradles or receives the roof drain. The sump receiver and related pans do not lower or sump the roof drain. Rather it is left at deck level or higher.

  • This website provides an optional sump pan that lowers the roof drain 2" or 2-1/2". see products page
  • They are sold in a bottom outlet (vertical) or side outlet (horizontal)configurations with pipe sizes generally from 2" to 10" diameter.
  • The pipe connection is available in a no-hub, threaded, instant set and caulked (lead) joints.  
  • OVERFLOW ROOF DRAINS: They are available with an optional exterior or interior mounted overflow dams. This is 2" high to comply with the plumbing code.    
  • Using a roof drain sump pan is the recommended method by industry pro's and by one of the biggest roofing material manufacturersin the world.