The Ultimate Guide to Inspection Covers and Access Chambers

installation of precast duct access chamber

The Ultimate Guide to Inspection Covers and Access Chambers

What is an access chamber?

Access chambers are an essential component of any drainage or utility system, allowing for easy access and maintenance of underground networks. At Castings Services, we offer a wide range of ironworks designed to sit over various chamber opening sizes, from small inspection chambers to large manhole and data centre chambers. In this blog post, we will provide a breakdown of the most common chamber opening sizes and their uses, including fire hydrant chambers, valve chambers, water meter chambers, telecom chambers, and more.

Chamber opening size
150mm x 150mm – 430mm x 280mm

Fire Hydrant Chambers

Fire hydrant chambers are either 430x280mm or 380x230mm opening. The chambers are designed to site above fire hydrants to allow the fire service quick and easy access to the water mains in emergency situations.

Wash Out Chambers

The 430x280mm or 380x230mm opening chambers are also often used as wash out chambers. A washout valve is located with these chambers and their purpose is to allow for the outflow of water during maintenance work, e.g. the process of cleaning a watermain.

Valve Chambers

Valve chambers are mostly 150x150mm, 225x225mm or 300x300mm clear opening and are used to allow access to the spindles of sluice valves so operators can control the flow of water through a straight section of pipe and use a ‘shut off’ valve to isolate the supply.

An air valve can also be used on a wastewater pipeline, designed to maintain a positive pressure in the pipeline by controlling air and wastewater gases.

Water Meter Chambers

Water meter chamber opening sizes are 150x150mm, 225x225mm or 300x300mm and are most often seen outside domestic or commercial properties, used to sit over a water meter.

Loop Box Chambers

Loop box chambers are 150mm x 150mm opening and have slots either side of the frame to allow cables to pass through. Loop boxes are designed to be installed in the carriageway adjacent to the kerb edge, this then allows engineers quick and easy, roadside access for maintenance.

Chamber opening size
450mm Diameter – 450mm x 450mm

Inspection Chambers

An inspection chamber is smaller than a manhole (not big enough for man access) and is used to maintain the sewage system (cleaning and flushing).

It is normally installed at a junction where several pipes are connected. These chambers can be used in either heavy, medium, or light duty settings.

Chamber opening size
600mm x 600mm – 900x900mm

Manhole Chambers

Manholes are chambers that are big enough for man access, normally by way of a manhole ladder or steps installed into the chamber walls.

These chambers are most often used to hold sewage or rainwater, to then re-direct the flow in designated directions. The full man access nature of these chambers allows maintenance professionals to fully clean, unblock and or/repair large diameter sewage and surface water drainage pipework.

chambers hightlight

Telecom Chambers

Telecom Chambers clear opening sizes vary across a wide variety of sizes but the most common are in a footpath at 915x445mm and 1310x610mm clear opening sizes.

Telecom chambers are used to connecting some cables from different areas to each other and directing them to a specific site e.g., a housing development or a communication centre.

Chamber opening size
900x900mm and above

Data Centre Chambers

Data centres are home to a variety of large equipment, mostly servers which store large amounts of off-site data. Because of their large physical size and the volume of data they store, there is a huge number of cables leading to the servers which all need to be maintained. These chambers allow for easy access for any maintenance work that is required.

Electrical Draw Pit Chambers

Electrical cable draw pits are where duct pipework carrying electrical cables meet at a junction.

Where there are multiple duct sections of pipework meeting at the same junction, some being large diameter, they require a large chamber to create space and allow for the cables to be carried outwards in various directions.

Pumping Station Chambers

Pumping stations are designed to pump water from one place to another, most commonly wastewater. The pumps can also be used to pump water from low lying land to higher ground where necessary. The pumps and associated pipework can be large in size and so require a wide span chamber.

In Summary

Access chambers are a crucial element of any drainage or utility system, providing access for maintenance and repair work while ensuring the safety of workers. At Castings Services, we offer a wide range of ironworks that are durable and designed to withstand harsh conditions. Whether you need a small inspection chamber or a large pumping station chamber, we have the right product for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our range of access chambers and how we can help you maintain your underground networks efficiently and safely.

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