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What’s the difference between a manhole cover and an access cover?

shutterstock_344796989Because they are very similar products, many people find themselves wondering what the difference is between a manhole cover and an access cover.

Each have their own unique benefits and can be used for a range of different purposes. Below we have highlighted the main differences between the two different types of covers.

Manhole covers

A manhole cover is a removable plate which forms the lid over the opening of a manhole. This prevents anyone or anything falling in and keeps unauthorized people and materials out. These types of covers are generally used to safely and securely conceal the entrance of drains and other chambers. They are often made from cast iron, ductile iron, galvanised steel, concrete or even a combination of several of the above.

The main benefits of manhole covers are that they are inexpensive, strong and heavy. The weight helps to keep them in place when traffic passes over them which is crucial to avoiding accidents from occurring. It also makes it difficult for unauthorised people to get in because they won’t have the suitable tools needed to remove them.

Typically, manhole covers come in all sorts of designs and shapes from circle and square to rectangular and even triangular. They tend to be found outside but can occasionally be found inside as well.


Access covers

Access covers are usually found on roads, pavements, footways, car parks, driveways and internal floors. Their aim is to protect people from falling into man-made holes and to provide workers with access to underground services.

3500seriesAccess covers are also sometimes used for building projects. They allow construction workers to gain quick, easy and safe access to concealed areas such as electrical wiring, cabling, plumbing, drainage, heating and ventilation. With these covers, they can do so without putting the public or other staff at risk.

Different types of access covers come with various design features. Some can be lifted up by just one person for those who work independently and others have been purpose-built for frequent use. They can either be hinged or lifted out with the aid of customer engineered lifting keys for ease of use.

The majority of access covers tend to be square or rectangular and they are ideally suited to both indoor and outdoor use. They are usually available in stainless steel or aluminium and can be used alongside many different types of flooring including ceramic tiles, rood, concrete and granite.

One of the main benefits of access covers is that they have been designed to be a lot more aesthetically pleasing than what you would typically expect and they’re far more attractive than standard manhole covers. As well as being easy on the eye, they’re also incredibly subtle which means that the average passer-by is unlikely to even notice when they’re walking past one.

Although these types of covers are hard for the average person to detect, they can still be accessed quickly and easily by the people who know they’re there.

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