Manhole covers, manholes, drains: do you know the differences?

So much confusion, let's try to clarify!

Many of you may be wondering about the difference between manhole, manhole cover or manhole, terms used indiscriminately in common parlance.

What is a manhole?

A manhole is defined as a cavity in the ground intended to contain liquids or suitable for accessing and inspecting deeper spaces such as: sewer pipes, network service tunnels (gas, electricity, telephony), manholes.

What is a drain?

The manhole is a culvert, generally made of masonry or concrete, which allows water (both clear and dark) to flow under the road surface or into watercourses. Generally, the manhole is connected to the manhole.

What is a manhole cover?

The manhole cover, erroneously referred to as a manhole, is the cover of the manhole or manhole. The UNI EN 124 standard defines the manhole cover as a closing device in traffic areas used by pedestrians and vehicles. The manhole cover must comply with certain principles of construction, marking and quality control. The materials permitted for construction are: cast iron, steel, also in combination with concrete, reinforced concrete.

The manhole covers, depending on their function, can be of different shapes (quadrilateral or circular), supported or hinged.

It is called a grated manhole when the grated opening of the manhole allows water to flow.

Manhole covers are classified according to their area of use and the resulting breaking load.

Classified, for example, are A15 those in pedestrian or cycling areas, D400 those on provincial roads or car parks, E600 or F900 those in ports or airports. Generally, the class allows identification of bulk and/or heaviness.

Who has access to manholes or drains?

All operators of road, port, airport, sewerage, waterworks, electricity and telephone networks.

How do you access the underground spaces?

To gain access to manholes or manhole covers, it is necessary to open the manhole. Due to the characteristics of the material, shape and type of positioning, this operation can be more or less complex.

How do you open a manhole cover?