Manhole Covers - BE

Manhole Covers provide access to our drains, sitting on top of either plastic inspection chambers or old brick manholes. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, weights and materials, including polypropylene, steel and ductile iron.

At PVC Cladding we receive more questions about manhole covers than on any other subject, so we have produced an infographic fact sheet packed with do's and dont's and questions and answers - click here to take a look.


Historically, manhole covers were square or rectangular castings that had to be surrounded with a bed of concrete or tarmac, limiting the amount of choice for new installations. These days there is a wide range available, including covers that can be fitted discreetly into block paving or patios, or even inside the house! Circular manhole covers are also now commonplace, brought about by the introduction of circular plastic inspection chambers.

In terms of materials, you can choose from galvanised steel, ductile iron or polypropylene. Steel and polypropylene are the lightest materials and are very strong and hardwearing. Cast or Ductile Iron look particularly good in period properties, or in tarmac drives. As always you should ensure that the loading capacity of the cover that you choose is fit for the location where it is to be installed.

Our covers are made by recognised market leaders such as ClarkDrain and Floplast.


If the manhole cover is in a garden or other pedestrian area, it only needs to be an A Class cover, rated to 2.5 tonnes. In a driveway we recommend B class, which is rated to 5 tonnes and will support a slow moving wheel load of 1.25 tonnes – perfect unless your everyday drive is a tank!

If you bring a van or small truck onto your drive we recommend a C class cover with a 10 Tonne load capacity. For more commercial applications, please refer to the table below.

Load RatingWheel Load SupportedRecommended For
2.5 Tonne N/A Pedestrian Use Only
5 Tonne 1.25 Tonne Domestic Driveways
10 Tonne 2.5 Tonne Service Areas / Restricted Access
17 Tonne 4.25 Tonne As above but will support small commercial vehicles
25 Tonne 6.25 Tonne Pedestrian Precincts and Commercial Delivery areas
38 Tonne 9.5 Tonne Petrol Forecourts - special order, please contact us
40 Tonne 10 Tonne Forklift traffic - special order, please contact us


Please note that most modern covers will not fit into old frames – it is much easier and very much safer to remove the old frame entirely and fit the new cover and frame as a complete unit. For full details of loadings, please refer to the table above, there is also a lot of information available by clicking on the Guides and Tips tab below.


Unfortunately we are unable to supply covers without frames. All replacement covers must be fitted in their own frame, which means removing the old frame.

To ensure that you buy the correct sized cover and frame the key measurement to take is the clear opening size rather than that of the actual frame or cover. By measuring the clear opening this will ensure that your cover gives you the correct access required to your drainage system and is the correct size to sit comfortably on the surrounding material.

If your replacement cover is being fitted to a plastic inspection chamber then just measure the diameter of the chamber. PVC Cladding supply a variety of lightweight and heavyweight manhole covers in Galvanised Steel, Ductile Iron and Plastic, in various shapes and sizes.

For further information on installation and replacing manhole covers, please visit our Guides and Tips section for manhole covers, we have also created an infographic that you can see here

If you need any further information about our drainage covers please contact us.

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